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Carmel shows kids what to tell parents when approaching school zones. CREDIT: Taupo District Council
Councillor Keith Crate and Mountview Principal, Carmel Hoetawa cutting the ribbon with students. CREDIT: Taupo District Council
Mountview Primary School on Rangatira Street is the second school in Taupō to receive an active 40km/hr school speed zone, which was officially opened on Friday with a ribbon cutting ceremony. The speed zone includes the installation of new solar-powered, time-activated speed limit signs.
The new active speed limit signs are designed to slow traffic passing the school to 40km/hr during peak school traffic times. The signs are operated from inside the school and lower the speed limit to 40km/hr for 35 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes in the afternoon. The signs were officially received on Friday 4 May with a ribbon cutting by Councillor Keith Crate, Mountview Primary Principal, Carmel Hoetawa, local area police staff and some of the school children.
The signs boldly illuminate the 40km/hr speed limit and feature flashing beacons to alert drivers to the change in the speed limit. During off-peak times the signs are non-active and the speed limit remains at 50km/hr. The area was chosen due to the volume and speed of traffic, and volume of pedestrians, and meets the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) criteria.
Taupō District Council Transportation Strategy Team Leader, Claire Sharland, says the main objective of the variable speed limit signs is to create a safer road environment outside the school. “They are designed to reinforce driver expectations of the likely presence of children and encourage safe and active travel to school.”
Principal Hoetawa says the new signs are welcomed by the school, and especially the students. “Lots of the children who come to Mountview live in the surrounding area and walk to school. So it’s imperative that we have a safe area around the school gates, especially as students are crossing the road. The new variable speed limit will ensure drivers are cautioned to slow down and are aware of the school zone at the crucial times.”