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New school speed zone in Ngaruawahia

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Motorists will be required to slow down along a section of State Highway 1 from Wednesday 2 December when a new school speed zone is activated through Ngaruawahia township.

Motorists will be required to slow down along a section of State Highway 1 from Wednesday 2 December when a new school speed zone is activated through Ngaruawahia township.

The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) and Waikato District Council have installed electronic 40km/h speed limit signs on SH1 near Galileo Street and Belt Street, which will operate at the beginning and end of each school day.

NZTA State Highway Manager, Kaye Clark says NZTA has worked very closely with Waikato District Council and the NZ Police to make the highway and the local roads in this area safer for school students walking to and from the Ngaruawahia and St Pauls Primary schools. 

This is the final piece of work in a series of initiatives that have been undertaken in this area. These include the upgrade this year of the pedestrian refuge island, and the installation of a formal bus bay and connecting footpaths.

Mrs Clark says, “Research has shown that an unprotected pedestrian hit by a vehicle travelling at 40 km/h or below is much more likely to survive than they would be if the vehicle was travelling at a speed above 40 km/h. Along with reducing the traffic speed, the new speed zone will alert motorists to look out for children during the critical times when they are likely to be crossing the road so the chances of a pedestrian getting hit will be much less likely.”

St Pauls Primary School Principal Catherine Readman says, “We are really pleased with this outcome.  The safety of the students crossing State Highway 1 has, for a long time, been a huge concern for the schools in Ngaruawahia and the community.  The introduction of a 40 k/m speed zone is a welcome move.”

The new speed zone will be in operation each school morning from 8.20am to 8.55am and each school afternoon from 2.55pm to 3.15pm. The schools also have the option of activating the speed zone for 10 minutes either side of any other time when 50 or more children have to cross or be near these roads.

Ngaruawahia Primary School Road Sense Coordinator Jeannette Rowell says, “The safety of our tamariki is paramount at our school.  We are incredibly excited about the new 40km speed zone lights that will be operating to alert motorists.  It has been a long process but well worth the wait.”

Motorists are asked to watch for the speed zone signs and to be prepared to slow down when the electronic signs are operating.

Waikato Road Policing Manager Inspector Leo Tooman, says the police will be actively enforcing the new speed zone limit from Wednesday 2 December, as they do with all other schools. 

Inspector Tooman says, “Given that these children are crossing a main arterial route, we are very supportive of this initiative and the improvements made for children’s safety. The police have no tolerance for motorists who speed near schools and endanger lives of children, and we will not hesitate to ticket anyone going faster than the speed limit.”

For more information please contact:

Julie Hannam
Regional Communications Advisor
NZ Transport Agency
T 64 07 958 7238
M  64 027 294 2649  
julie.hannam@nzta.govt.nz

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