Variable speed limits for schools welcome

Lower temporary speeds will help improve the safety of children.

Most drivers will be on board with the Government’s plans to reduce speed limits around schools and bring back signs ahead of speed cameras, says the Automobile Association.

AA Principal Advisor – Regulations Mark Stockdale says the AA has long supported flashing variable speed limit signs at all urban schools.

“We support variable lower speed limits at the busiest times when children are present – at the start of school or the end of the school day. Motorists understand the need to slow down when children are present as children can be unpredictable. Lower temporary speeds at those times will help improve the safety of children, and flashing variable signs will help to clearly advertise the lower speed to drivers.

“The AA surveyed our members about this a few years ago, and 97% supported the use of flashing variable signs at the times of the day when children are likely to be crossing the road,” Stockdale said.
Ninety-four percent of AA Members also supported a lower variable speed limit around urban schools – with support for either 30km/h or 40km/h.

“For rural schools, a 60km/h limit will be a big speed reduction for drivers travelling at open road speeds, so it is essential that the variable limits are clearly signposted with flashing signs on all approaches to the school. To get good compliance, it will need to be absolutely clear to drivers when a lower speed limit is in force,” Stockdale said.

The AA also wants to see additional engineering treatments on the approach to rural schools and schools on busy arterial roads to make it clear to motorists that they are entering a school zone.
“This change will be rolled out over 10 years so there is time to get it right and have a uniformly consistent approach across the country. The AA looks forward to details on the additional funding that will be needed to help councils install these new signs and undertake other engineering works,” Stockdale said.