Join today and get instant access to all test results and research.
It’s time the New Zealand Transport Authority (NZTA) announced all school buses will be fitted immediately with flashing 20km/h signs. Between 1987 and 2007, 22 kids died, 45 were badly injured and 91 had minor injuries while crossing the road to or from a school bus. Isn’t that far too many? We told you about these signs in November 2011, after a trial showed they were effective. So what’s happened in the last 2½ years? NZTA decided to do a further trial.
And surprise, the signs work – just like the first trial. Drivers slow down and in many cases close to the 20km/h limit once the signs start flashing. If a child steps out in front of you from behind a bus and you’re doing 20km/h, you’ve probably got time to slow down or even stop. Injuries from impacts at 20km/h or less are potentially survivable as well.
At 88km/h, (the average speed studies show vehicles drive past stationary school buses) there’s no way you can stop in time – and there’s not much chance a child will survive the impact.
In 2011 we, along with the organisation Rural Women, asked for the signs to be introduced straightaway. We’re asking again – but we don’t think we should be. NZTA should just get on with installing them.
Unlock all of Consumer from just $7 for 7 days or become a member from just $12 p/m