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RECENT NEWS

Communities across New Zealand will be calling on drivers to #SlowDown as part of UN Global Road Safety Week 2017 (8-14 May), to help save lives on NZ roads.

One in three fatal crashes in New Zealand involves someone driving too fast [1].

A survey conducted by Brake, the road safety charity shows 78% of people are worried about being hit when out walking or cycling in their area, and 60% say they worry about fast traffic in their community [2].

To mark Road Safety Week, Brake, the road safety charity, Safekids Aotearoa, Ministry of Transport, NZ Police, NZ Transport Agency, Auckland Transport, the Yellow Ribbon Road Safety Alliance, Rural Women New Zealand and other road safety organisations are calling on everyone to pledge to #SlowDown, in line with the UN theme for the Week. They will particularly be reminding drivers to keep well below speed limits around schools and in communities, and to remember the 20km/h limit for passing a school bus. Road Safety Week is kindly sponsored by QBE Insurance.

Across New Zealand more than 700 schools, kindergartens, companies and communities are getting involved in the Week by holding a #SlowDown event, or other awareness-raising activity to get the message across about the horror of road crashes and the part we can all play in making communities safer. (See details below of how to find out what’s happening in your area.)

New Zealand’s road safety strategy, Safer Journeys, includes safe speeds as one of the four pillars, and Brake will be highlighting the difference that even a small increase in speed can make to the outcome of a crash.

Brake and Safekids Aotearoa are teaming up with Dr Michelle Dickinson (aka Nanogirl), Engineer at the University of Auckland and students from Meadowbank School in a video explaining the science of speed, reaction times and stopping distances. (The video will be released on Monday 8 May, with a link available in an updated version of this release.)

Individuals and organisations will be using the official Road Safety Week signboard to make their pledge to #SlowDown and share on social media. School children around the country will be making posters to be displayed outside their school, or creating banners and going on a walk in their community reminding drivers to #SlowDown and look out for kids.

The Yellow Ribbon Road Safety Alliance, a group of organisations committed to raising awareness of road trauma in New Zealand, is promoting use of the colour yellow to highlight road safety and show a personal commitment to safer roads, by distributing yellow ribbons and reaching out to government and businesses to light buildings in yellow during Road Safety Week.

This is the sixth Road Safety Week New Zealand coordinated by Brake in collaboration with our partners, and the fourth UN Global Road Safety Week. Figures from the Ministry of Transport 2015 (the latest available) show that:

  • Speeding was a contributing factor in 32% of road deaths, with 101 people killed in speed-related crashes [3].
  • More than half those deaths were children and young people (5 children aged 0-14 and 49 young people aged 15-19) [4].
  • Speeding was a contributing factor in 410 (21%) serious injury crashes, resulting in 496 seriously injured people [5].
  • The total social cost of crashes involving drivers speeding was about $940 million, approximately 25% of the social cost for all injury crashes that year [6].
  • Speeding was a contributing factor in 34% of urban fatal crashes and 30% of open road fatal crashes between 2013-2015 [7].

Speeding around schools is particularly dangerous as it puts children, who are unable to effectively judge vehicle speeds, in danger [8]. Police enforcement figures show the number of speeding offences near schools:

  • In 2016, there were over 6,300 officer issued speed notices, and almost 75,000 speed camera notices for speed offences near schools. They accounted for 9.3% of all speed notices in 2016 [9].

 

Members of the public can show their support for Road Safety Week by:

 

Caroline Perry, Brake’s NZ director, said: "When drivers use roads without care for others the consequences can be tragic and horrific – people killed and badly injured, lives ruined forever, because of a moment of inattention, impatience or a bad decision. At Brake we witness the suffering that results, through our work supporting people affected by road death and injury. Speed is a factor in all crashes. Whilst it might not have caused the crash, it will help determine the outcome. Even small increases in speed can mean the difference between life and death. That's why, this Road Safety Week, we’re asking drivers to pledge to #SlowDown for someone. Whether it’s your family, friends, community, or yourself, reduce your speed and help make our roads safer."

 

Dr Mike Shepherd, Director of Starship Child Health - Medical and Community and Starship Safekids Aotearoa spokesperson, said: “Every year 22 children are killed, and 294 are hospitalised with serious injuries because of a road traffic crash in New Zealand. Speed is at the core of this child injury epidemic that is affecting communities and families across NZ and around the world. A concerted effort between the Government, organisations and communities is needed to stop our children from dying in NZ roads due to speed. Safekids and the World Health Organisation advocate for simple steps to manage speed: introducing more traffic calming features such as speed bumps, traffic signs, road markings and low-speed zones; establishing and enforcing lower speed limits, especially in school zones; install technologies in vehicles such as automatic emergency breaking (AEB); and most important of all, make drivers realise that speed kills.”

Harry Wilson, Director safety and environment, NZ Transport Agency said: “Everyone makes mistakes when driving, but a simple mistake doesn’t need to result in loss of life or limb. The faster you drive, the more likely you are to crash, and speed affects the outcome of every crash. Road Safety Week is a timely reminder for all of us to slow down and keep safe on the roads.”

Superintendent Steve Greally, National Road Policing Manager, NZ Police said: “We are all human, so mistakes on the road are going to happen. Sure – most of the time when we drive nothing happens, but how well prepared are we if something does? While you might not be at fault, the speed you choose to drive at determines the outcome of any crash.Safe speeds are essential for this reason, you can’t control the behaviour of other road users but you can control your own.As a safe driver, you’ll have to look out for changes in traffic, road and weather conditions, and reduce your speed accordingly. Also remember to look out for our vulnerable road users, like cyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists. Increased speed, regardless of vehicle type, puts vulnerable road users at greater risk. For them, even a small reduction in vehicle speed could save their life.”

 

Maria Lovelock, Programme Manager of Road Safety Education (RSE) and member of the Yellow Ribbon Road Safety Alliance said: “The Alliance believes that together we can all make a difference and change our road safety culture across New Zealand. 328 lives were lost last year as we got to our jobs, travel and families. The Yellow Ribbon symbolises getting home safely. As a society we need to change our mindsets about accepting a toll for using our roads and all pull together to drive more carefully and socially. We would like to encourage all New Zealanders to wear yellow this week in support of this and take a moment to think about one situation while driving where you could pledge to slow down.”

 

Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) National President, Fiona Gower said: “With school buses back on the roads, we’re reminding drivers to obey the 20km/h speed limit. It is very important in all communities, particularly in rural areas, that drivers are aware of the speed rule and drive at a safe speed limit of 20km/h when passing a stopped school bus.”

 

Kathryn King, Walking Cycling and Safety Manager at Auckland Transport said: “Auckland Transport is supporting Brake with Road Safety Week by encouraging schools to get involved. Our team are looking forward to assisting schools with their road safety activities during the week.”

Bill Donovan, General Manager – New Zealand Operations at QBE Insurance said: “At QBE, we firmly believe we have a responsibility to be a good corporate citizen in the communities in which we operate. This is one of the reasons that we’ve supported Brake and Road Safety Week for six years. It’s an initiative to encourage commitment - both personal and corporate - to road safety, and we are very pleased to be part of this community initiative.”

 

Filming, photo and interview opportunities

Activities are taking place around the country throughout Road Safety Week, with some open to media to attend for interviews, filming and photos.

View our list of selected activities taking place in Road Safety Week. (These will continue to be added to prior to, and throughout, Road Safety Week).

To find out more, or attend activities in your area, contact Caroline Perry on 021 407 953 or [email protected].

In Auckland, media are invited to attend and conduct filming, interviews and take photographs at:

Tuesday 9 May, 10.30am, Royal Oak Intermediate School

Students at the school will be measuring out stopping distances at different speeds, highlighting the importance of slowing down in communities.

Students, Brake and other road safety representatives will hold a photo call to share #SlowDown messages on Road Safety Week signboards.

Students will display #SlowDown posters as part of their Road Safety Week competition.

There will be an assembly teaching the students about road safety with their community constable, Brake, Safekids and others.

Wednesday 10 May, 9.30am-2pm, Trusts Arena, Henderson

A RYDA road safety programme is taking place with Rutherford College, where Year 12 students will learn about a number of road safety issues, including speed, through a series of workshops. Students will all be given a Yellow Ribbon pin to wear and asked to pledge to slow down for one situation they may be faced with whether that’s personally driving or speaking up as a passenger. Rutherford College will also be presented with a special certificate to celebrate the 500,000th student to have attended RYDA since it started 15 years ago in Australia and New Zealand

Friday 12 May, 8am, Sunnybrae Normal School

The school is holding a Bright Walk to school. Students will dress brightly to remind drivers to #SlowDown and look out for children on foot, bike and scooter. The students will be carrying signboards and the Road Safety Week banner with #SlowDown messages.

Case studies

Karen Gibbons, whose son Ryan, 19, was killed in a crash north of Auckland, is sharing her story as part of Road Safety Week.

We also have a number of other families affected by road crashes around the country that are available for interview. To arrange interviews with any of our volunteers, please contact Brake on the details below.

Facts on speed

Driving is the most dangerous thing most of us do on a regular basis: you're operating a potentially dangerous machine in an unpredictable, public environment, so it requires full concentration at all times.

 

Speed is a critical factor in all road crashes and casualties. It is estimated that for every 1mph (2km/h) reduction in average speeds, crash rates fall by an average of 5% [10].

 

See Brake’s stopping distances illustration.

See Brake’s website for speed facts.

Key advice to help you #SlowDown

  • On all roads, keep well below speed limits – it’s a limit not a target.
  • Slow down in school zones, around road works, and in communities at all times.
  • Passing school buses: either way its 20km/h.
  • Come to a complete stop at intersections and double check for children.
  • Slow down and double check for people at pedestrian crossings, particularly in school zones.

See Brake’s driver advice on speed.

To find out more or take part in Road Safety Week, go to www.roadsafetyweek.org.nz.

For media queries, or to arrange interviews with Brake, volunteers, or any supporters, contact Caroline Perry on 021 407 953 or [email protected] .

 

Notes for editors:

Brake
Brake is an international road safety charity. Its New Zealand division promotes road safety and campaigns against the carnage on New Zealand roads. It is also fundraising to improve support for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. To support Brake, go to www.brake.org.nz. Support books for children and adults bereaved in road crashes are available for free to families by contacting Brake on [email protected] or 021 407 953.

Brake was founded in the UK in 1995, and now has domestic operations in the UK and New Zealand, and works globally to promote action on road safety.

Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.

 

QBE 

QBE Insurance has been operating in New Zealand since 1890 and is part of the QBE Insurance Group, one of the world's top 20 general insurance and reinsurance companies.

 

QBE New Zealand offers a comprehensive range of quality business insurance products to cover enterprises of all sizes; from small owner operators to large corporations.

 

Underwriting risk in the corporate, commercial and professional insurance sectors, QBE provides all classes of business insurance including: Liability, Property, Contract Works & Engineering, Marine, Motor, Trade Credit and Accident & Health.

 

Talk to your broker about QBE Insurance.

 

End notes:

[1] Speed: crash facts, Ministry of Transport, 2016

[2]Brake’s family safety survey, 370 respondents, 2017

[3] Speed: crash facts, Ministry of Transport, 2016

[4] ibid

[5] ibid

[6] ibid

[7] ibid

[8] Traffic at 30mph is too fast for children’s visual capabilities, University of Royal Holloway, London, 2010

[9] Figures from NZ Police, 2016

[10] Speed, Speed Limits and Accidents, Transport Research Laboratory, 1994

 

Slow down for Road Safety Week 2017

Monday, May 08, 2017

Communities across New Zealand will be calling on drivers to #SlowDown as part of UN Global Road Safety Week 2017 (8-14 May), to help save lives on NZ roads. Read More

Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) remind drivers that school buses are back on the roads, remember the 20km/h speed limit when passing a stopped school bus.

“It is very important in all communities, particularly in rural areas, that drivers are aware of the rule and safe speed limit of 20km/h passing a stopped school bus,” says Fiona Gower, National President of RWNZ.

Additionally, the organisation NZ School Speeds is encouraging government to consider lowering speed limits to a maximum of 30km/h in school zones at peak times, to bring these in line with the 20km/h School Bus rule. "It is hoped that all political parties will agree to a speed restriction outside schools at peak times," says Lucinda Rees of NZ School Speeds.

RWNZ also advocate for parents and caregivers to teach children about road safety when they are getting on and off the bus, at the gate or at the designated point on the road. Accompany children to the bus stop and ensure that they understand what to do. When picking up children, park on the same side of the road as the bus stop. Let friends and neighbours know that the buses are back on the roads and to watch out for children.


 

Safety around school zones and school buses

Friday, January 27, 2017

Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) remind drivers that school buses are back on the roads, remember the 20km/h speed limit when passing a stopped school bus. Read More

After two weeks of having children at home for the term break, it is time for them to head back to school for the final term of the year. Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) remind drivers that school buses are back on the roads and that sometimes unpredictable things happen around school buses when they are stopped.

“It is very important in all communities, particularly in rural areas, that drivers adhere to the rule and slow down to 20km/h passing a stopped school bus, no matter which side of the road you are driving on,” says Wendy McGowan, National President of RWNZ.

“The roads in our rural communities are not always quiet roads and we need to be responsible for playing our part to make the roads safer for everyone who uses the roads, especially our children.”

RWNZ also advocate for parents and caregivers to teach children about road safety when they are getting on and off the bus at the gate or at the designated point on the road. Accompany children to the bus stop and ensure that they understand what to do. Let friends and neighbours know that the buses are back on the roads and to watch out for children.

Back to school, look out for school children

Friday, October 07, 2016

After two weeks of having children at home for the term break, it is time for them to head back to school for the final term of the year. Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) remind drivers that school buses are back on the roads and that sometimes unpredictable things happen around school buses when they are stopped. Read More

As children return to school after the holidays, Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) reminds drivers to stick to the law and slow down to 20km/h when passing a stopped school bus.

Rural children are especially vulnerable when drivers speed past school buses, and children have been involved in a number of serious and fatal crashes. The speed limit is 20km/h when passing school buses that are stopped to drop off or pick up children. The rule applies whichever direction you are travelling in.

Drivers are also being reminded to slow down around schools and in communities. “Drivers need to pay attention to the speed limit of 20km/h when passing a bus that has stopped for children," says Wendy McGowan, National President of RWNZ.

As advocates for safer rural roads, RWNZ has been supportive of trials of 20 km/h signs on school buses in Ashburton. NZTA southern regional director, Jim Harland says that a trial of 20km signs on school buses in Ashburton showed a reduction in the speed of traffic passing a school bus, which had stopped to let children on or off.

However, he also remarked that "earlier trials of signs without the support of the community and police, indicated that the speed variation of traffic passing school buses may increase the risk rather than improving safety."

RWNZ encourages the community to obey the speed limit and encourages families to get involved in teaching children road safety messages. Brake NZ, the road safety charity have travel tips for families on their website (www.brake.org.nz). Advice includes young children holding hands when crossing roads, and teaching children to “stop, think, look, listen and live” before crossing roads. Other tips include children wearing high visibility vests and planning a safe route to cross roads.

 

Back to school: driving safely around school buses

Friday, July 22, 2016

As children return to school after the holidays, Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) reminds drivers to stick to the law and slow down to 20km/h when passing a stopped school bus.  Read More

Rural Women New Zealand says the recent accident in Canterbury, when a teen was hit crossing the road after getting off a school bus, may have been avoided if the bus had been fitted with flashing 20K signs.

 


Rural Women New Zealand took part in a trial of new LED signs in Ashburton last year, which included a public education and police enforcement campaign. The trial proved very successful in slowing drivers and Rural Women New Zealand hopes that the signs will be approved for general use on school buses in 2015.

"Rural Women NZ has been advocating for years for public awareness and driver education around school bus safety, especially the 20K speed limit in either direction. Using technology to get the message across to drivers has been a big part of our campaign."

The ‘Either Way It’s 20K’ Ashburton trial saw a marked drop in speeds when the flashing 20K signs were operating.

“The flashing lights and illuminated signs are visible for a considerable distance, alerting drivers to slow down
especially in a 100kph zone.

"Every day motorists speed past school buses, putting children's lives at risk on rural roads and non-urban State highways," Mrs McGowan says.  

The NZ Transport Agency agrees the results of the Ashburton trial are promising, provided they are widely and consistently used on entire school bus fleets, and supported by active and widespread community engagement and publicity.

The Transport Agency is in discussions with the Ministry of Transport, the Ministry of Education and Police on the possibility of wider use of the signs from next year.

In the meantime, Rural Women New Zealand urges drivers to be more vigilant and slow down to 20kp/h when passing a school bus in either direction.

"Children of all ages can be unpredictable. It only takes a moment of inattention for a child to dart across a road without looking or misjudge the speed and distance of an approaching vehicle.”

Since 1987 23 children have been killed in New Zealand when crossing the road to or from school buses. At least 47 more have been seriously injured.

20K signs without delay call 15-Dec-2014

Monday, December 15, 2014

Rural Women New Zealand says the recent accident in Canterbury, when a teen was hit crossing the road after getting off a school bus, may have been avoided if the bus had been fitted with flashing 20K signs. Read More

A year-long school bus safety trial in Ashburton has shown that illuminated 20K signs on buses can have a big impact on driver behaviour.


For years Rural Women NZ has called for clear signage on school buses to indicate the 20K speed limit in both directions when passing a bus that’s stopped to let children on or off.


Every day motorists speeding past school buses on rural roads put children’s lives at risk.


During the ‘Either Way It’s 20K’ trial in Ashburton there was a marked drop in speeds when the 20K signs were in operation, with many motorists slowing to between 25 and 35 km/h.


The bright LED signs lit up automatically when the bus door opened, and flashing amber lights operated for 20 seconds before the bus stopped and after it had pulled away, giving approaching drivers plenty of warning of a hazard ahead.


The three-stage trial was carried out by TERNZ Ltd with funding from the Road Safety Trust.  It began with an awareness campaign, followed by installation of the signs on Pearsons Coachlines’ school buses. The final stage was an enforcement operation by the police.

While the awareness campaign increased knowledge of the 20K rule, alone it had little effect on driver behaviour. However installation of the signs on the buses had an immediate and marked impact.


Rural Women NZ hopes the 20K signs will be approved for use as part of next year’s amendment to the Traffic Devices Control rule, if not sooner.


TERNZ’s final report and recommendations will be submitted to the New Zealand Transport Agency by the end of June.


Background
  • In the 23 years since 1987, twenty-three children have been killed crossing the road to or from school buses. Another 47 have been seriously injured and 92 received minor injuries.
  • In New Zealand buses are multi-purpose and come in all shapes and sizes, the only requirement being to display a SCHOOL or KURA sign when they are used on a school bus run.
  • ;Despite good education programmes in schools and through the police, children will sometimes behave unpredictably and have poor ability to judge the speed of oncoming traffic.
Key Outcomes of the Trial
  • 26% more respondents in the post survey knew the legal speed limit past a school bus when stopped to drop off or pick up children.
  • 22% more respondents in the post survey claimed to normally pass a school bus at 20km/h when stopped to drop off or pick up children.
  • There was a 19% increase in the post-trial survey respondents that thought 20km/h was a safe speed past a school bus when stopped to drop off or pick up children.
  • More respondents agreed / strongly agreed that the sign combination (LED sign and school sign) was safer than the original school sign.
  • All stages of the trial showed a decrease in motorists speed past a school bus in 100km/h zones.
  • The enforcement + signs installation + awareness campaign showed the largest reduction in speed overall.
  • Long term results indicate the signs are effective at maintaining lower speeds past school buses with no accompanying targeted
  • The large external signs were legible from approximately 200m
  • The fields of sign performance exercise indicated that those motorists braking 200m prior to passing the school bus were able to reduce their speed to the 20km/h legal limit in a 100km/h area.
  • A set of signs on the front and back of a school bus is likely to cost in the region of $2000 installed.

Earlier reports from TERNZ on school bus safety.

School bus safety trial 04-Apr-2014

Friday, April 04, 2014

A year-long school bus safety trial in Ashburton has shown that illuminated 20K signs on buses can have a big impact on driver behaviour. Read More

In a bid to get drivers to slow down, thirty school buses in mid-Canterbury have been fitted with illuminated flashing 20km/h signs - the legal speed limit when passing a stationary school bus.


The active signs were launched in Ashburton this week as part of a national trial that aims to get motorists to slow down when passing a school bus that’s stopped to let children on or off.  Click here for pictures and videos.


Our national president, Liz Evans, says 23 school children have been killed in New Zealand during the last 25 years when crossing the road to or from school buses, and another 47 have been seriously injured.


“A perception survey our members helped to carry out in Ashburton in July found that 35 per cent of drivers did not even know that 20km/h was the legal speed limit, and very few slow right down.  It would be much the same around the country.”


Data collected during the trial has shown that most motorists are speeding past school buses, with bus drivers reporting less than one in 20 drivers slowing down past a school bus.


The trial is being run by Transport Engineering Research New Zealand (TERNZ Ltd) with funding from the Road Safety Trust (NZ Transport Agency), and supported by the local police, Ashburton District Council and Rural Women New Zealand.

 

The Either way it’s 20k awareness campaign has been running in Ashburton for the last two months.

 

This week illuminated 20km/h signs with flashing beacons have been fitted to the buses operated by Ashburton bus company, Pearsons Coachlines. The company has the contract for 27 school bus runs from the Rangitata to Rakaia, bringing children to schools within Ashburton and outlying rural areas.


Pearsons Coachlines Depot Manager, Mark Cook, says while driving school buses he has seen a lot of close calls, “a lot of which never get reported”.  He’s also witnessed motorists passing stationary school buses on long, straight roads at speeds in excess of 100km/h.


“We were very motivated when the opportunity arose to join with Rural Women New Zealand, with a vision to improve the safety of our children around school buses.

 

“The results so far have been extremely positive and now combined with the new 20km/h signs on the buses, I am sure that the current trial will prove to be successful.”


The signs will operate on Pearsons’ buses until at least June 2014. Bus drivers have already seen a change in driver behaviour, with a notable decrease in the speed at which motorists pass stationary school buses when the signs are operational.


Motorists will have a couple of weeks grace before the police begin to actively enforce the 20km/h speed limit past stationary school buses, says Sergeant Stephen Burgerhout of the Police’s Mid/South Canterbury Highway Patrol.

 

“As there has been a comprehensive educational campaign, I will be highly disappointed to see many offences.”


Rural Women New Zealand strongly hopes that at the end of the trial the NZ Transport Agency will approve the active 20K signs so that they can legally be installed on school buses around the country.

 


Trial of 20K signs on school buses aims to save children's lives 30-Aug-2013

Friday, August 30, 2013

In a bid to get drivers to slow down, thirty school buses in mid-Canterbury have been fitted with illuminated flashing 20km/h signs - the legal speed limit when passing a stationary school bus. Read More

In a bid to get drivers to slow down, thirty school buses in mid-Canterbury have been fitted with illuminated flashing 20km/h signs - the legal speed limit when passing a stationary school bus.

 

The active signs were launched in Ashburton this week as part of a national trial that aims to get motorists to slow down when passing a school bus that’s stopped to let children on or off.  Check out these photos and videos

 

Our national president, Liz Evans, says 23 school children have been killed in New Zealand during the last 25 years when crossing the road to or from school buses, and another 47 have been seriously injured.

 

“A perception survey our members helped to carry out in Ashburton in July found that 35 per cent of drivers did not even know that 20km/h was the legal speed limit, and very few slow right down.  It would be much the same around the country.”

 

Data collected during the trial has shown that most motorists are speeding past school buses, with bus drivers reporting less than one in 20 drivers slowing down past a school bus.

 

The trial is being run by Transport Engineering Research New Zealand (TERNZ Ltd) with funding from the Road Safety Trust (NZ Transport Agency), and supported by the local police, Ashburton District Council and Rural Women New Zealand.

 

The Either way it’s 20k awareness campaign has been running in Ashburton for the last two months.  Illuminated 20km/h signs with flashing beacons have been fitted to the buses operated by Ashburton bus company, Pearsons Coachlines. The company has the contract for 27 school bus runs from the Rangitata to Rakaia, bringing children to schools within Ashburton and outlying rural areas.

 

Pearsons Coachlines Depot Manager, Mark Cook, says while driving school buses he has seen a lot of close calls, “a lot of which never get reported”.  He’s also witnessed motorists passing stationary school buses on long, straight roads at speeds in excess of 100km/h.

 

“We were very motivated when the opportunity arose to join with Rural Women New Zealand, with a vision to improve the safety of our children around school buses.

 

“The results so far have been extremely positive and now combined with the new 20km/h signs on the buses, I am sure that the current trial will prove to be successful.”

 

The signs will operate on Pearsons’ buses until at least June 2014. Bus drivers have already seen a change in driver behaviour, with a notable decrease in the speed at which motorists pass stationary school buses when the signs are operational.

 

Motorists will have a couple of weeks grace before the police begin to actively enforce the 20km/h speed limit past stationary school buses, says Sergeant Stephen Burgerhout of the Police’s Mid/South Canterbury Highway Patrol.

 

“As there has been a comprehensive educational campaign, I will be highly disappointed to see many offences.”

 

Rural Women New Zealand strongly hopes that at the end of the trial the NZ Transport Agency will approve the active 20K signs so that they can legally be installed on school buses around the country.


Trial of 20K signs on school buses aims to save children’s lives 09-Jun-2013

Sunday, June 09, 2013

In a bid to get drivers to slow down, thirty school buses in mid-Canterbury have been fitted with illuminated flashing 20km/h signs - the legal speed limit when passing a stationary school bus.

 

The active signs were launched in Ashburton this week as part of a national trial that aims to get motorists to slow down when passing a school bus that’s stopped to let children on or off.  Check out these photos and videos

 

Our national president, Liz Evans, says 23 school children have been killed in New Zealand during the last 25 years when crossing the road to or from school buses, and another 47 have been seriously injured.

 

“A perception survey our members helped to carry out in Ashburton in July found that 35 per cent of drivers did not even know that 20km/h was the legal speed limit, and very few slow right down.  It would be much the same around the country.”

 

Data collected during the trial has shown that most motorists are speeding past school buses, with bus drivers reporting less than one in 20 drivers slowing down past a school bus.

 

The trial is being run by Transport Engineering Research New Zealand (TERNZ Ltd) with funding from the Road Safety Trust (NZ Transport Agency), and supported by the local police, Ashburton District Council and Rural Women New Zealand.

 

The Either way it’s 20k awareness campaign has been running in Ashburton for the last two months.  Illuminated 20km/h signs with flashing beacons have been fitted to the buses operated by Ashburton bus company, Pearsons Coachlines. The company has the contract for 27 school bus runs from the Rangitata to Rakaia, bringing children to schools within Ashburton and outlying rural areas.

 

Pearsons Coachlines Depot Manager, Mark Cook, says while driving school buses he has seen a lot of close calls, “a lot of which never get reported”.  He’s also witnessed motorists passing stationary school buses on long, straight roads at speeds in excess of 100km/h.

 

“We were very motivated when the opportunity arose to join with Rural Women New Zealand, with a vision to improve the safety of our children around school buses.

 

“The results so far have been extremely positive and now combined with the new 20km/h signs on the buses, I am sure that the current trial will prove to be successful.”

 

The signs will operate on Pearsons’ buses until at least June 2014. Bus drivers have already seen a change in driver behaviour, with a notable decrease in the speed at which motorists pass stationary school buses when the signs are operational.

 

Motorists will have a couple of weeks grace before the police begin to actively enforce the 20km/h speed limit past stationary school buses, says Sergeant Stephen Burgerhout of the Police’s Mid/South Canterbury Highway Patrol.

 

“As there has been a comprehensive educational campaign, I will be highly disappointed to see many offences.”

 

Rural Women New Zealand strongly hopes that at the end of the trial the NZ Transport Agency will approve the active 20K signs so that they can legally be installed on school buses around the country.


 Read More

School bus safety Rural Women New Zealand has cause to celebrate ‘Back to School’  this year as two rural safety initiatives it’s been promoting get the green light.

We have been advocating for safer speeds around rural schools for several years, and are thrilled that variable speed limits are to be extended to 23 rural schools, following the success of a trial at seven rural schools in 2012,  says Rural Women New Zealand national president, Liz Evans.

“We’re also delighted that a trial of active, flashing, 20km/h signage is to go ahead on a fleet of school buses in Ashburton early this year, with funding approved just before Christmas.

“Our rural children are often placed in very vulnerable situations getting to and from school, and we welcome both these initiatives to raise driver awareness and slow down traffic,” says Mrs Evans.  “We will be actively promoting both these to our nationwide network of members.”

In the first trial, the NZ Transport Agency says the variable speed limits have resulted in an improvement in driver behaviour and reduction in speeds around the rural schools that took part, and the trial will be extended to 23 sites by the end of 2013.

The variable speed limit is set at 70km/h past schools in 100km/h zones, and 60km/h for schools in 80km/h areas.

The speeds are displayed on electronic signs, which allow the speed limit to be changed locally at agreed times.  

Mrs Evans says it’s encouraging to see innovative technological solutions being used to solve safety concerns.

“Technology is also the answer when it comes to reminding drivers about the 20km/h speed limit past school buses, and  it’s exciting that the Road Safety Trust has approved funding for a trial of active signage on school buses.”

The four stage trial with a bus company in Ashburton is expected to get underway in the next few weeks.

Bright 20km/h signs with flashing lights will be illuminated to alert drivers to the speed limit in both directions when passing a school bus that has stopped for children to get on and off.


The additional schools are:
•  Amisfield School, Waikato
•  Ararimu School, Papakura
•  Dairy Flat School, Dairy Flat
•  Elstow-Waihou Combined School, Matamata Piako
•  Kaimai School, Western Bay of Plenty
•  Loburn School, Waimakariri
•  Newstead School, Waikato
•  Opoutere School, Thames Coromandel
•  Pahoia School, Western Bay of Plenty
•  Puni School, Waiuku
•  Pyes Pa Road School, Western Bay of Plenty
•  Swannanoa School, Waimakariri
•  Te Wharekura o Te Rau Aroha School, Matamata Piako
•  Tirohia School, Hauraki
•  Waikuka School, Waimakariri
•  Westmere School, Wanganui



Rural school road safety initiatives welcomed 25-Jan-2013

Friday, January 25, 2013

School bus safety Rural Women New Zealand has cause to celebrate ‘Back to School’  this year as two rural safety initiatives it’s been promoting get the green light. Read More

We were delighted with the feedback we received from RWNZ members and other groups interested in safety issues, following our call for an indication of community support for active 20kmh signs on school buses. Click the link below to see the feedback summary. 

In terms of next steps, TERNZ have been asked by NZTA and the Ministry of Education to apply for funding from the Road Safety Trust for a 50 bus trial of the active 20kmh signs.

Jackie Edkins, RWNZ’s information officer, will be going to the Australasian Road Safety Research, Policing and Education Conference in Wellington in October, co-presenting a paper with TERNZ on its school bus safety research.

School bus safety is an ongoing project for RWNZ and we will keep you updated as the 20kmh signage project develops.

Summary of Community Consultation - Active 20km/hr school bus signs


Read more about the RWNZ School Bus Safety Campaign HERE.



Community Support: Speed Past School Buses 22-Jul-2012

Sunday, July 22, 2012

We were delighted with the feedback we received from RWNZ members and other groups interested in safety issues, following our call for an indication of community support for active 20kmh signs on school buses. Click the link below to see the feedback summary.  Read More

Read All NewsRecent news

(Pictured: Sticksn'Stones Chairperson Ashleigh Smith with RWNZ National President, Fiona Gower in the UN General Assembly at the CSW62 Opening on Monday). 

 The opening of the 62nd Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW62) was held on Monday, 12 March 2018 at the United Nations in New York. The Commission's priority theme for this year is 'Challenges and opportunities in achieving gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls'. The work of the Commission is to review the progress made by governments to improve the lives of women and girls in rural areas.

CSW62 is being held in the UN General Assembly and 175 member and observer states are represented. Along with the member states there are 10,000 delegates from 400 Non-Government Organisations (NGO) attending numerous events as part of the CSW62's activities.

The day commenced with the session being opened by the CSW Chair Ambassador Geraldine Byrne Nason from Ireland. She is also Ireland's Permanent Representative at the UN. Her address was followed by the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, and the President of the UN General Assembly Miroslav Lajcak. Other speakers included the Chair of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), a Representative of the Youth, and a Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences.

National Chair, Penny Mudford also attended the opening in her role as Civil Society Representative on the New Zealand Government delegation. Both Fiona and Penny attended the opening inside the General Assembly where only government delegations and selected NGO delegates are eligible to attend. It was a great privilege that RWNZ was represented in person at the opening of CSW62.

CSW62 runs until Friday, 23 March 2018 where it is expected to culminate in an Outcome Document which will capture the agreed outcomes in relation to rural women and girls for governments to implement resulting from the work done at this session of the Commission.

New Zealand also held a side event led by Dr Jackie Blue, NZ Human Rights Commission responsible for Womens Rights. The panel comprised Minister for Women Hon Julie Anne Genter, Renee Graham (Ministry for Women Chief Executive), Fiona Gower, Jo Finer (Fonterra), plus representatives from Argentina and Australia. The panel spoke on the topic of Case Studies of Economic Empowerment of Rural Women in New Zealand, Australia, and Argentina. The session was full with over 100 delegates from all around the world attending the panel session. There was keen interest in our message.

National Chair, Penny Mudford. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CSW62 Well Underway

Thursday, March 15, 2018

(Pictured: Sticksn'Stones Chairperson Ashleigh Smith with RWNZ National President, Fiona Gower in the UN General Assembly at the CSW62 Opening on Monday).   Read More

Thursday, 8 March marked this year's International Women's Day. As this year also celebrates 125 years since women in New Zealand won the the right to vote, the day was marked with significance.

Wednesday, 7 March was the launch of the Suffrage125 celebrations which was held at Government House and was attended by RWNZ Board Chair, Penny Mudford, Chief Executive Officer, Penelope England and Office Manager, Felicity Bunny. The launch was hosted by the Governor General, and RWNZ Patron Dame Patsy Reddy. The event was MC'd by journalist, Mihingarangi Forbes, and guest speakers included Minister for Women, Hon Julie Anne Genter and 2017 Young New Zealander of the Year, Rez Gardi.

The following day, Thursday, 8 March marked International Women's Day celebrations. RWNZ attended a breakfast at Parliament hosted by Zonta Wellington and the UN Women. RWNZ Chief Executive Officer Penelope England, and Communications, Marketing & Events Assistant, Catherine Stabb both attended the event.

Discussion topics at the event included recognition of the milestones made by women in New Zealand and the challenges that we still face. Rt Hon Helen Clark spoke of her successes, the obstacles she has faced and the how her rural background contributed to her personal strength, saying "rural people have to be very resilient".

Watch Rt Hon Helen Clark's Q&A with National Council of Women CEO Dr Gill Greer at the breakfast through the link here.

 

(Pictured below: Executive Officer Women’s Institute - Colleen Dryden, National Board Chair - Penny Mudford ONZM, National President Women’s Institute – Kay Hart, RWNZ Chief Executive Officer – Penelope England at the Suffrage125 launch at Government House.)

 


 

 

International Womens Day & Suffrage125

Friday, March 23, 2018

Thursday, 8 March marked this year's International Women's Day. As this year also celebrates 125 years since women in New Zealand won the the right to vote, the day was marked with significance.  Read More

Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) has released a media release today following RWNZ's oral submission on the Trusts Bill. 

 

Please read the media release below. 

 

RURAL WOMEN NEED TO BE INVOLVED IN DECISION MAKING

 

 

Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) influenced positive change for rural families and communities recently, through their oral submission to Parliament on the Trusts Bill.

“RWNZ submitted that both a rural impact and gender impact analysis be conducted on the legislation and intersectionality so that the Bill does not discriminate against women in any way,” says RWNZ National Chair, Penny Mudford.

“RWNZ research indicates that women can be shut out of a share of the family farm through old trusts that fail to acknowledge them in the family as beneficiaries.

“This can lead to women being discriminated against in the dissolution of a relationship where a trust is used to exclude them from a share in the family farm or farm business.

"These situations should not be happening in 2018 and we urge the government to uphold the international instruments and outcome statements when updating legislation such as with the Trusts Bill currently before the Justice Select Committee.

"In particular, the agreed conclusions that came out of the United Nations 62nd session of the Commission on the Status of Women, which were held in New York in March 2018, make it abundantly clear that government's policies and legislation should not disproportionately disadvantage women and girls living in the rural sector.

"Since trusts are a common type of farm ownership structure in New Zealand we need to be sure they are not being used to disadvantage those who would otherwise be entitled to a share of the farm asset through relationship property or inheritance if the asset was not held in trust," says Ms Mudford.

Ends

 

If you wish to read our oral submission, you can find it here

 


 

Rural women need to be involved in decision making.

Friday, April 06, 2018

Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) has released a media release today following RWNZ's oral submission on the Trusts Bill.  Read More

Rural Women New Zealand have released a media release raising our concerns for how data is being collected in this year's census.

Please read the media release below.

CENSUS DATA COLLECTION INTEGRITY QUESTIONED

This year’s census is in danger of not providing the data needed to make good decisions, says Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ).

“Whilst we understand and support the excitement of capturing our census data online, our concern is that many people still do not have access to internet while others might not have the capability or capacity to do so,” says National President, Fiona Gower.

“The timing of the delivery of access code letters, which indicate that New Zealanders can opt for paper forms presents challenges for our rural communities, given that delivery of mail is taking longer and might only be delivered three days a week.

“The chances of a rural household without internet or with unreliable internet, receiving census paper forms in time for Tuesday, 6 March is slim, and that is concerning.

“RWNZ is doing everything possible to ensure our networks are aware of the new way of doing the Census although surely more thought should have gone in to how the valuable information about the lives and status of New Zealanders would be collected.

“Maybe this year, there could have been a concerted effort to use both electronic collection and paper collection to ensure integrity of the data,” says Ms Gower.

Ends

 

Please contact the National Office for more information.

 

 

National Office

Rural Women New Zealand

 

[email protected]

04 473 5524


 

 

(image source: www.census.govt.nz)

Census Data Collection Integrity Questioned

Monday, February 26, 2018

Rural Women New Zealand have released a media release raising our concerns for how data is being collected in this year's census.  Read More

Rural Women New Zealand has today released a media release following the announcement that the Rural Health Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand (RHAANZ) will move to shut down if it does not receive funding.

Read the announcement here.  

 

 

ANOTHER SET BACK FOR THE HEALTH AND WELLBEING OF RURAL COMMUNITIES

Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) are saddened to see that the Rural Health Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand (RHAANZ) will cease operating if it does not receive government funding next week.

 

“RWNZ supports the work already done by RHAANZ in bringing together various rural groups and rural health providers to develop initiatives for rural communities,” says RWNZ Board Member and Health Portfolio Convenor, Margaret Pittaway.

“Remarkable work has been done to deliver the Rural Health Road Map which sets out a plan and priorities for achieving healthily rural communities.

“Being geographically isolated, often with significant distance to the nearest town or health centre means that rural communities have an immediate need of affordable and reliable access to all health services.

“The Government has committed to rural proofing government policy, and RHAANZ has a vital part to play in this development – without the continuation of RHAANZ, and the work it does, rural communities will go backwards.

“There is no other place where issues impacting the health and wellbeing of rural communities are considered concurrently, and the loss of achievements met and efforts made by RHAANZ will be detrimental for our rural people.

RWNZ urges the Government to recognise the good work that has been done by RHAANZ and to support its continuation," says Mrs Pittaway.

Ends

 

 

Another setback for health and wellbeing of rural communities.

Friday, April 06, 2018

Rural Women New Zealand has today released a media release following the announcement that the Rural Health Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand (RHAANZ) will move to shut down if it does not receive funding. Read More

Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) are saddened to hear of the death of a nine-year-old boy whilst riding a quad bike in rural Waikato last night and our thoughts are extended to friends and family.

 

“It is very sad, but it need not have occurred. We need to prevent families and friends from the heartbreak of losing a loved one in such tragic circumstances,” says National President, Fiona Gower.

 

“RWNZ are concerned on two levels, one is children riding age appropriate quad bikes unsupervised and the other is children under the age of 16 riding adult-sized quad bikes.

 

“Last nights’ incident is an unfortunate but timely reminder of manufacturers recommendations that children under the age of 16 should not be riding adult-sized quad bikes.

 

“Children do not have the weight, strength or judgement to be operating these vehicles.

 

“Or if young children are riding age appropriate quad bikes, they need to be wearing a helmet and be supervised at all times.

 

“RWNZ encourage that anyone planning to use any form of machinery on farms receive training, and learn safe practices.

 

“It is heart breaking to receive news like this,” says Ms. Gower.

 

To find the media to which we have responded, follow the link here

 

 

 

Please contact us for further information

[email protected]


 

(photo source: www.nzherald.co.nz)

 

Another Preventable Rural Tragedy

Thursday, February 01, 2018

Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) are saddened to hear of the death of a nine-year-old boy whilst riding a quad bike in rural Waikato last night and our thoughts are extended to friends and family. Read More