We are a class of Year five and six students who frequently use the roads around our school. Roughly half of our class bike or walk to school during these busy times and many of us are also road patrollers. While we protect our school community out on road patrol we often see many cars travelling quickly who then have to slam on their brakes as we put our lollipop signs out signially it is safe to cross. Therefore we strongly believe the speed limit should be reduced to 30km/h around school drop off and pick up times.
Through the media we are taught how speed kills or causes serious injury. Campaign messages like the greater the speed the bigger the mess or less speed, less harm tell us how dangerous speed can be.
Children can at times be unpredictable. When crossing the roads they may not always look both ways. People may not always cross at a pedestrian crossings and drivers need to be ready to stop suddenly. At busy drop off and pick up times parents can often be walking into school with preschoolers who are even less aware of how to safely cross the roads. Our school is also situated next to a daycare and there is another school up the road which can make the roads around our school very congested at these times.
Road patrollers put their safety ahead of others before and after school by providing a safe place to cross. At times drivers can see that the lollipop signs are about to open. They treat it like an orange light speeding up to get through the gap before being stuck behind the pedestrians who are crossing rather than slowing down to give way.
Environmentally we know that it is better for us to walk, bike or scooter to school rather than drive. To encourage people to bike, walk or scooter to school we first need to make sure our roads are safe and reducing the speed around schools is one way of doing this.
Hopefully you will consider reducing the speed limit down to 30km/h to keep us and many other children safe around our schools.
Thanks Room 8, Vardon School for your thoughts and taking the time to tell us them. We’d love to hear others views on this and other ideas around how we can better manage speeds in Hamilton, go to https://yourideas.hamilton.govt.nz/