Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Signs on shelters, cop's idea to improve traffic behaviour passing school buses adopted in Southland

Tranzwatching in Te Anau, Te Wai Pounamu. New Zealand

A highway patrol cop in New Zealand's southernmost province, Southland, was sick of seeing motorists flagrantly exceeding speed restrictions when passing school buses. He has come up with the idea of educating an often woefully ignorant public on this issue - putting signage up on school bus shelters.

The project won the support of local councils and Total Span Under Cover kids project which will erect 18 signs, with NZ Transport Agency to erect larger signs on state highways near shelters.

The same report in The Southland Times also includes some fairly staggering statistics about speeding past school buses from a NZTA study done in the North Island.

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Also in the same category - at least in cities - educating children (and adults!) about not crossing in front of buses when dismounting. Apart from often being a bloody nuisance for drivers trying to pull away some kids really have no concept of how much of the view a bus can block and step out quite suddenly - screech! Phew. Once - back in the days when kids still carried leather school satchels on their back - a little nipper about eight years old, no doubt thinking of some exciting thing at home or whatever, got off the front door of my bus ran without even looking straight out in front of my bus unloading at a bus stop on very busy Pages Road in Christchurch. There was a screech and the boy appeared to go under the front of a Morris Minor and a split second later went hurtling half-way into the next lane. Unbelievably, considering the distance he had travelled and his hard fall onto the road's asphalt he picked himself up, and like a terrified little dog ran to the footpath and stood their shivering.  Myself, the Morris Minor driver and others rushed across but at that moment coming along in the other direction,  a St Johns's Ambulance - they has seen the whole incident - amazing timing and despite the child's state of shock, found no immediate indication of serious injury. They took my staff number was no follow up and nothing in the news paper so I presume the wee chap survived.

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