Temporary speed limit signs have helped cut the number of motorists speeding within school zones, police say.

A campaign targeting speeders in rural and urban areas as well as school zones ran over the first two weeks of the school term. It resulted in 179 infringements issued, with only 22 of these related to speeding within school zones.

"If you think of the thousands of vehicles that would have passed through the school zones during the campaign period then the results are pretty good," said Western Bay road policing Senior Sergeant Ian Campion.

He put the good results partially down to the temporary speed limit signs outside schools which are lit up by LED lights.


"They are very visible and I think more people are taking heed of them."

Read more: Inside story: Traffic troubles in Tauranga

Mr Campion said the first two weeks of the school term were a dangerous time because drivers had often fallen out of the practice of watching out for school kids and slowing in school zones.

He said police targeted as many schools as possible all over Tauranga but could not pinpoint where the most infringements occurred.

"The most common infringement issued was exceeding 40km/h within a school zone."

Though the operation had concluded, police would not stop targeting speeds and other bad driving behaviour.

Mount Maunganui College principal Russell Gordon said there had been no cause for alarm this year.

"My office overlooks the street and I carefully monitor what the traffic is doing around the time students are leaving and I can say it would appear that cars are going by at a cautious and respectful speed."

He said Mount Maunganui College was particularly sensitive to speeding in their school zone after a tragedy eight years ago.

Mount College is on Maunganui Rd which was changed from a 70km/h zone to a 50km/h zone in 2008 after a student died when she was clipped by a truck outside the school.

Tauriko School principal Suzanne Billington said this year had been no worse than usual, though there were still issues with traffic outside the school on State Highway 29 where the speed limit was 70km/h.

If you think of the thousands of vehicles that would have passed through the school zones during the campaign period then the results are pretty good.


"People park in the wrong places, vehicles speed past and we have people making dodgy decisions when they turn into traffic."

She said they were in conversation with the appropriate groups around the issue of growing traffic and were pushing for a reduced speed limit.

"We are acting proactively to do something before an accident, though nothing has happened yet."

She said the beginning of this school year was much the same in terms of speeding.

"It's more that the amount of traffic coming over the road. As Tauranga grows and expands the traffic is growing and expanding."

Threat to little ones:

* A child struck by a vehicle going at 60km/h has only a 15 per cent chance of survival. When the impact speed is reduced to 50km/h, the chance of survival increases to 55 per cent.

Source: Ian Campion