Next month Taupo District Council will begin installing new active warning signs on Kiddle Drive and Invergarry Road adjacent to schools.
Council is planning to upgrade the existing school warning signs to the new battery-powered active warning sign. The new signs feature the iconic “children walking” symbol in bright reflective yellow on a black background. Two orange flashing lights are also positioned on the new signs to help them stand out to drivers.
The signs are part of a bigger plan to review road safety around schools in the area. Roads around schools are often perceived as dangerous for children due to high traffic speeds, manoeuvring vehicles, parked vehicles and other features which restrict a driver’s visibility. Often there can be a mixture of pedestrians, cyclists and drivers using the same road.
“Kiddle Drive is recognised as a main arterial road in Taupo so well-planned walking facilities are essential to ensure the safety of pedestrians, particularly pupils, around the school zones,” said Road Safety Coordinator Christine Hutchison.
“The advantage of these new active signs is that they are active at peak times to capture the attention of the driver. Research suggests that complacency can set in with permanent road signs as drivers pass them every day without taking any notice,” she said.
Several trials using the active warning signs have been conducted nationally. The results demonstrated strong community support for the signs, reduction in speeds at ‘high’ speed sites and an increase in motorists’ awareness of the signs.
Another initiative as part of the road safety plan was the recent installation of a ‘refuge island’ on Kiddle Drive adjacent to the Christian School to upgrade the walking facilities and improve the safety of vulnerable road users.