Principal Debbie Waldron outside St Peter Chanel School in
Mosgiel on Friday after school.
Taieri school principals are angry none of five proposed
40kmh speed zones will be set up around their schools.
About 80 Dunedin schools were assessed for traffic problems
under New Zealand Transport Agency criteria.
But only five schools - Carisbrook School, King's High
School, Queen's High School, Kaikorai Valley College and
Wakari School - met the criteria for speed reductions during
peak traffic times.
Green Island School principal Steve Hayward said he would
have liked a 40kmh speed zone around his school, and was hot
under the collar when it missed out.
''This is bizarre. It's laughable. Why make exceptions?'' Mr
He said the Otago Primary Principals' Association met two
Dunedin City Council representatives to discuss the issue,
and were told the slower speed zones were not implemented
outside schools such as Kaikorai Primary School and Columba
College because traffic in the area was so heavy and
congested that it slowed traffic naturally.
''Why can't we do the same as they do in America and
Australia?'' Mr Hayward said.
''There is a blanket bylaw at every school, between the hours
of 2.45pm and 3.30pm, the speed limit is 40kmh.
''If we had a blanket ruling, there would be no need for the
big signs and the flashing lights.''
He said even schools on dead-end streets needed the zoning
because sooner or later, pupils had to cross a busy street to
get to or from their school.
''Keep it simple.
''Why make it complicated and why make exceptions? It should
be the same as driving past a [stationary] school bus - the
speed limit is 20kmh.''
The 80 schools were assessed to determine if a 40kmh variable
speed limit would reduce the risk to vulnerable road users.
The NZTA criteria included how many children walked, cycled,
entered or exited vehicles along a school road; the speed
limit on the road; if it was a main route; if there had been
any accidents; and if physical constraints obscured lines of
St Peter Chanel School principal Debbie Waldron said she was
''quite shocked and surprised'' only five schools were
She said the school was on Main South Rd, which was very
busy, and although there was a pedestrian crossing near the
school, cars often ''whizzed'' past.
She said it scared ''the living daylights'' out of her to use
the crossing on Main South Rd, let alone take children across
''I always wait to make absolutely sure that they [cars]
''A couple of times I've seen cars whizz by and I've thought
She too believed there should be a blanket 40kmh speed zone
around all schools.
East Taieri School principal Jennifer Horgan said she too had
issues with speed on Gladstone Rd outside her school.
''It is a 50kmh zone but some cars don't observe that.''
She said a blanket 40kmh zone around schools would be
desirable, but would be difficult to impose.
Taieri College principal David Hunter agreed.
He believed a blanket 40kmh zone would make more sense for
drivers, but he questioned how it would work in reality.
Defining the boundaries of a school zone would be
challenging, especially for larger schools, he said.
''There are a few more complexities in it than just saying
where does the zone start and finish.''
He said technically, traffic should travel past Taieri
College's front gates at 20kmh because there were up to six
buses parked at the front gates when school finished, and the
legal speed for passing a stationary school bus was 20kmh.
''It's not as simplistic as it sounds.''
Outram School principal Jeremy Marshall said the issue did
not affect his school because it was surrounded by quiet
Dunedin City Council senior traffic engineer Ron Minnema said
defining the boundaries of a school zone would be
challenging, and the cost of erecting signs prohibitive.
He said the council was working on other measures to slow
traffic, such as judder bars, raised street tables and
traffic lights at pedestrian crossings.
''We will provide different solutions to different problems
for different schools.
''Just because we've done this, it doesn't mean that is it.
''We are going to continue looking at schools and different
methods to reduce the risk.''
Public submissions on 40kmh zones will run from July 1 to
Changes, if confirmed, will be in place from February1.