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The Ashburton District Council is reminding drivers to slow down around schools and school buses as winter driving conditions set in.
Ashburton Mayor Angus McKay said that while it is the law to slow down to 20km/h when passing a school bus, slowing down to 40 km/h in a school area – particularly along rural roads - is sometimes forgotten.
The speed limit is 20km/h when passing school buses that are stopped to drop off or pick up children and the rule applies whichever direction you’re travelling in.
New Zealand Transport Agency rules state that school speed zones have a 40km/h limit on school days at school drop off and pick up times at both ends of the school day. With winter approaching, icy and wet road conditions will increase the stopping distances and all drivers need to be mindful of this, according to Mr McKay.
"At speeds of under 30km/h drivers have a much better chance of being able to stop in time if a child runs out than at higher speeds," Mr McKay said.
"We need to give the road our full attention, particularly around school areas because children can be so unpredictable and we need to do everything we can to protect them," Mr McKay added.
Facts:- The speed limit is 20km/h when passing a stopped school bus, whichever direction you’re travelling in.
- Your stopping distance increases disproportionately to your speed. Slower speeds around schools and school buses mean you have a much better chance of stopping in time if a child runs out.
- At 40km/h your stopping distance is 26 metres
- At 50km/h your stopping distance is 35 metres