A road safety campaign starts as children return to school after the long Christmas Break called “Speed Kills Kids” which reminds motorists to take special care on the roads around Rodney schools. Over 1,200 child pedestrians have been killed or injured during school terms over the last five years.
Children are most at risk on their way to and from school between 7.30 am - 9am and 3pm - 4.30pm on week days. Children aged between 11 and 15 years are also more likely to be killed or injured than other age groups as they make up 44% of all child casualties aged between five and eighteen years.
“Children are our most vulnerable road users,” says Councillor John Kirikiri, Rodney Deputy Mayor. “It’s particularly important for people to take extra care when driving at times when children are on their way to school.”
In the urban environment, a child struck by a vehicle travelling at 60 km/hour has only a 15% chance of survival. When the impact speed is reduced to 50 km/hour, the chance of survival increases to 55%. “A small reduction in speed has a big impact on safety and means that you are much less likely to have the death of a child on your conscience, ” says Councillor Kirikiri.
The campaign will be supported by Police enforcing a 5km/hr tolerance within 250 metres on each side of school boundaries between the high-risk times of 7.30 and 9am and 3.00 – 4.30pm on week days.
The police will continue to actively enforce these limits after the campaign is finished and issue tickets to anyone caught exceeding the speed limits.
Councillor Kirikiri says that it is important that people report vehicles that are speeding around schools to the local Road Policing Manager in order to protect children from harm.