Constable Nayland Smith points out why speeding motorists
have concerned Omarama residents. Photo by Andrew Ashton.
The sole-charge police station at Omarama will draft in
extra recruits at the end of the month for a blitz on
speedsters ignoring the 50kmh signs outside the local school.
A recent New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) speed survey
outside Omarama Primary School, in September, clocked
vehicles at speeds of up to 118kmh at 3pm, just when the
children were leaving school. As a result, between this
coming Tuesday and November 9, police officers would conduct
overt and covert operations to net any speeding motorists
endangering school children, Constable Nayland Smith said.
"Since being stationed at Omarama [in August 2011], I have
been astounded by the amount of vehicles that speed through
the Omarama township, past Omarama Primary School," Const
"The worst of the problem comes from vehicles travelling
southbound pretty fast towards town."
A petition to tackle the problem was signed by 177 of the
township's 231 residents within the first 10 days of being
circulated around town, Const Smith said.
Speeding motorists were a problem that the whole township
wanted to see an end to, he said.
Throughout the operation, police would be using speed guns on
both marked and unmarked squad cars, and any vehicle
travelling at 4kmh over the speed limit would receive an
infringement notice and fine, he said.
Although the initiative was part of the "Speed Kills Kids"
police programme, Const Smith referred to it as "Operation
"Because getting tickets speeding past our school is as easy
as shooting fish in a barrel."
A similar operation in February saw tickets issued at a rate
of one every 12 minutes, and the upcoming operation was a way
to further educate people and raise awareness of the issue,
The NZTA this week confirmed funding for two flashing speed
feedback signs, to be be installed north and south of the
school, which he hoped would help reduce the problem in the