INDEPENDENT NEWS

Introducing Safer Speeds For Our Community

Published: Thu 11 Apr 2024 09:47 AM
Timaru District Council is introducing safer speeds areas throughout the District around schools, urban developed areas, and the Timaru CBD.
The changes are a result of the Speed Management Plan that approved by Timaru District Council and NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi earlier this year.
Timaru District Council Land Transport Manager Susannah Ratahi said that plan prioritises the safety and wellbeing of community members by targeting kura (schools) and other high-risk locations.
“These locations were identified through public feedback and supported through research that showed we could put in safer speed limits while maintaining travel journey efficiency.
“By implementing these changes, we aim to enhance road safety and ensure streets are places where people feel safe to walk, ride, cycle, scoot, drive, and access public transport.”
The first are to see the changes will be around schools, through the introduction of a 30km/h permanent or variable speed limit for urban schools throughout the district.
While urban schools will be reduced to 30km/h, this will vary from rural and state highway facing schools. Our rural schools will receive a 60km/h permanent or variable speed limit due to a lower volume of active transport used in these areas.
The measures are only being introduced on local roads. Schools that are adjacent to highways such as Timaru South School and Roncalli aren’t being changed at this time.
The schools with variable speeds will be equipped with electronic signs flashing the reduced speed during school drop-off and pick-up times, when students are most at risk.
“Research undertaken within New Zealand and Australia shows that if a person walking is hit by a car travelling at 50km/h, the chance of survival is only 20%. If a person is hit by a car travelling at 30km/h, the chance of survival increases to 90%,” said Susannah.
“These changes are a response to public feedback over a number of years by people living in these communities. We have taken a proactive but balanced approach to ensure travel times for motorists are not impacted unduly.”

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