Matt Greenop:Times on speed limits at schools illogical

By Matt Greenop


Speed limits around schools are a fantastic idea - after all, who really wants to see a child bouncing off the bonnet? But there seems to be a bit of a reality gap at work around some schools.

On my way to and from Driven's Auckland premises, I go past a number of schools - and the school zone speed limits apply for a seemingly random time. There's one primary school on a reasonably main East Auckland road that has 20 minutes at each end of the day nominated as 40km/h limits.

I remember (vaguely) my school days, and know that the chances of a school yard emptying completely in 20 minutes are about the same as Novopay getting its systems sorted and efficiently paying the "volunteers" who are entrusted with looking after the next generation.

Who is the genius who decided a mere 20 minutes is long enough? This piece of traffic engineering cleverness is certainly a huge step in the right direction to stop bad driving - aside from psychopathic school-run mothers, of course, as they're seemingly exempt from following all but their own rules.

There's absolutely no point in doing half a job - and while a tea-break's worth of time to empty a school is better than nothing, there needs to be uniformity and a decent amount of time where the limit drops to 40km/h.

It's about safety, not the usual close-to-quote revenue gathering exercise, and it's about young people who live around bonnet-height. We need to get this right, and if we don't do something about these illogical time-frames around some school zones, little Johnny Dawdler could conceivably come a cropper. And nobody wants to see that.

On another piece of traffic cleverness, last week in New York I noticed that all intersections had large boxes painted in the middle. If you're battling traffic and try the rudest move of all - creeping into the middle of the intersection on an orange light and blocking people coming from other directions - you're hit with a couple of demerit points and given an on-the-spot fine. Hitting discourteous drivers in the wallet for making rush-hour a nightmare for other people seems like a great idea to me. What do you think?

- Hamilton News

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