Road safety for Kaipara schools

Kaipara District councillor Jonathan Larsen (left) and Mangawhai Beach School Board of Trustees chairman Luke Canton

A road safety improvement programme, which will analyse 23 Kaipara schools on council-owned roads, is currently underway.

The council roading team based at the Northland Transportation Alliance office is examining all aspects of safety outside the school gate.

Safety concerns were brought to councillor Jonathan Larsen’s attention a couple of months ago around the lack of a proper crossing at Mangawhai Beach School.

He raised the concerns with Kaipara District Council’s chief executive as a matter of urgency and publicised the issue on his Facebook page, The WorkBoot Councillor.

“It’s great to see that council staff are acting promptly to address these issues and are expanding the initiative across the district,” he said.

Council’s roading engineer, Dwayne Claassen, says a number of factors are considered when making improvements and safety inside the school zone.

“[Things such as] road conditions, school type — which links to the age of the children, school roll, average annual daily traffic , the percentage of heavy vehicles, One Network Road Classification, posted speed limits, crash history, the expected number of children on the roadside, the number of vehicles entering and exiting the premises, physical constraints, buses and other environmental factors.” 
Mangawhai Beach School has two Variable Speed Limit signs installed that reduce the traffic speed from 50 km/h to 40 km/h during school drop-off and pickup times.
The VSL signs help to manage traffic speed by flashing the required limit and provides data for the council’s road engineers.
Otamatea High School and Te Kopuru School have also already had work done to improve road safety for their students. 


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