INDEPENDENT NEWS

UnitedFuture Back School Speeds

Published: Mon 26 May 2014 09:35 AM
UnitedFuture Back School Speeds
"We would be supportive of moves towards both of your proposals. They appear to be low cost and bring wonderful benets." Fraser Seifert, Ministerial Advisor, Ofce of Hon. Peter Dunne, the Leader of United First in reply to a question from Lucinda Rees, NZ School Speeds asking for their policies regarding safer roads for school children in the run up to the elections.
The Prime Minister, John Key will be visiting Rangiora High School this Friday 30th May from 1.30pm to address Rangiora High Schools young leaders. NZ School Speeds, Lucinda Rees will patiently be waiting outside, hoping to have a word. She would like to know if he has watched the plea from Swannanoa School students about lowering speeds outside schools https://www.facebook.com/NZSchoolSpeeds from last week and is the Prime Minister listening to their plea?
Following the policy announcement by the Green Party for "Safe to School" earlier this year, Ms Rees contacted other political parties to see what their commitments will be about lowering speeds outside schools and making cycling safer for children in the run up to the elections. Mr Seifert's reply is the second one, following a prompt but brief reply from Denis O'Rourke, NZ First who agrees with lowering speeds outside schools, but doesn't think that it "is really a matter for local councils to do through their bylaws."
'Something that is however not happening through these local channels at present as cars are still legally allowed to pass schools at up to 100km/h, which is why Ms Rees is calling for consistent speed limits outside schools, with the introduction of a law and a mandatory gap given cyclists by drivers.
The World Health Organisation recommends a maximum speed limit of 30km/h outside all schools when children are coming and going and no more than 70km/h at all other times. The coroner has recommended that drivers give cyclists a minimum 1 metre gap. However international studies show that the 1 metre gap is safe for up to 60km/h and 1.5 metres for 60km/h and above. In New Zealand there is only a 'suggested' passing distance of 1.5 metres, but drivers need to know that these distances are mandatory.
'To reduce speeds consistently outside schools and give cyclists a safe passing distance, will be relatively cheap to implement. However it will have the effect of radically changing our driving culture for the better,' adds Ms Rees. 'Mr Key we need your commitment. Save New Zealand Kids Today.'
ENDS

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