The safety of the region's tamariki was at the forefront of discussions around a speed limit review at a council committee meeting yesterday
The Rotorua Lakes Council's strategy, policy and finance committee heard five verbal submissions on the Speed Limit Review 2021.
More than 100 written submissions were received by the committee between March 20 and April 21 this year.
"The lower you go, the less the risk. That's a no-brainer," Lake Rerewhakaaitu school spokeswoman Amanda Armer told the committee.
Armer said the residents of Kaingaroa, Rerewhakaaitu, and Waimangu have had concerns about the speed limits for more than 30 years.
"We have every reason to have the speed lowered to 50km through our village and 40km past our school and I truly believe there is no logical reason for it to stay as it is."
The review currently proposes a reduction of the speed limit on Ash Pit Rd outside Rerewhakaaitu school to a variable 40km/h.
Armer said there should be a blanket 40km/h speed limit around all rural school roads.
"I also have seen though that there are other schools that are not being considered for that 40k past their school," Armer said.
"I don't understand what you're weighing up here. Is the child at one school more capable of making better choices than another?
"You're talking about children. You're talking about all the children attending our schools and going through the same curriculum. I don't believe it should be different."
Kaharoa School PTA member Michelle Marino came to the meeting with a petition of 80 signatures in support of lowering the speed limit on Kaharoa Rd.
The current speed limit outside Kaharoa School is 70km/h. The change proposed in the review lowers that by 10km/h to 60km/h.
"I personally live 500m from the school and cannot walk my children to the school which I would dearly love to do."
Marino also brought with her letters from the acting principal, school board of trustees chair, PTA chair, and Kaharoa Community Association.
All the letters stated their support of a 40km/h speed limit outside Kaharoa School between 8am and 3.30pm.
Marino said these times would encompass the first and last bus arrivals of the day.
The committee also heard from Gordon Crighton and Helen Creagh who spoke of the need for a lower speed limit Tarawera Rd.
"You are not the one living there," Crighton told the committee.
"I don't care what you put there, judder bars, or whatever you put there.
"I just hope that you see common sense and bring the speed down."
Creagh wanted more road rules and speed limit enforcement on Tarawera Rd.
She also suggested the council could install a safer pedestrian crossing.
After the meeting, the council's group manager infrastructure Stavros Michael told the Rotorua Daily Post the proposed limits have been calculated on the basis of a range of technical and risk probability criteria as the "safe and appropriate" speeds for these roads and are broadly based on the form, function and use of each road.
He said the 56 local roads up for review were roads where either speed limits needed to be formalised, or the speed limit is currently 70km/h.
Roads outside rural schools for broad safety reasons, and those which were requested for review were also specifically included, Michael said.
A spokeswoman from Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency previously told the Rotorua Daily Post the current Speed Management Guide and Safer Journeys for Schools Guide encourage 60km/h variable speed limits outside rural schools where there is an identified turning traffic risk.