I wish to know if our 40km/h zone outside schools is at all times or only when school is in? Some places have an illuminated sign, others not. What about holidays and weekends?

Also, there is a sign outside the Pakuranga Plaza on the corner of Ti Rakau Dr and Pakuranga Rd where the lights are. It's a very busy intersection, and the sign reads Caution Blind Pedestrian Crossing. What does it mean? Hannah Aiken, Pakuranga.

Auckland Transport's website advises that school speed zones are in force throughout Auckland with a 40km/h speed limit in operation on school days for a maximum period of 35 minutes before the start of school and 20 minutes at the end of the school day, beginning no earlier than five minutes before the end of the school day.

The speed limit also applies for 10 minutes at any other time when at least 50 children cross the road, or enter or leave vehicles at the roadside. Appropriate signs are usually installed to mark the beginning and end of the area where the speed limit operates.

Police strictly enforce a 4km/h tolerance within a school zone. There is no difference between primary and secondary schools, or indeed between preschools, kindergartens, kohanga reo or other similar types of establishment.

A school speed zone is selected using NZ Transport Agency criteria that states that there must be high speeds past the school and a significant level of on-road, school-related activity.


The majority of the schools on the selection list are primary and intermediate, where the risk of injury is higher than at secondary level.

Research has shown that not only does a school speed zone slow traffic, it also increases driver awareness of the presence of children, helping to reduce the risk of crashes around schools.

The sign stating Caution Blind Pedestrian Crossing is in place to advise motorists that an abnormally high number of blind or vision-impaired people may be using the nearby crossing, and to allow extra time and awareness for this.

Red light runners seem to be the norm now with no end in sight for this dangerous behaviour. Could you advise when the fine for this offence (and not stopping on the orange) was last reviewed and also why no demerit points are awarded for these offences please? Kelly Samson, Auckland.

The penalty for red-light running is currently an instant $150 fine, but no demerit points. The same fine applies for failing to stop at an amber or orange light, unless you are so close as to not be able to safely do so.

Oddly enough, you incur 20 demerit points as well as the fine for failing to stop at a stop sign. The same level of demerit points may apply for red-light running, but I can find no reference to this, although I'm happy to be advised to the contrary.

A review of the penalties for various traffic offences was held in 2007 by the then Minister of Police, Annette King. She suggested that 75 demerit points should be the penalty for failing to stop at a red light, as well as the $150 fine.