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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


 

RURAL WOMAN LEADER ELECTED CHAIR OF LANDCARE TRUST

 

Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) is delighted that National President Fiona Gower has been elected Chair of the New Zealand Landcare Trust.

RWNZ has been a trustee organisation since the Trust’s inception over twenty years ago and continues to support its work in promoting sustainable land and water quality locally through its Members.

“Fiona is well-suited for the role of Chair of NZ Landcare Trust – she has been RWNZ’s representative on the Trust since 2016, has a deep understanding of farming and is very passionate about sustainable land use and improving water quality,” says National Chair, Penny Mudford.

“RWNZ works to build and support rural leaders and to provide opportunities for leadership development and growth.

“Fiona's experience as RWNZ National President, Board Member, and a former co-ordinator of the rural environment portfolio provides a great foundation for her new role at NZ Landcare Trust.

“We are delighted that Fiona was elected as Chair of New Zealand Landcare Trust and we will continue to support her,” says Ms Mudford.

ENDS

For more information or to schedule an interview please contact Penny Mudford ONZM on 027 246 1936

 

Rural Women New Zealand released a media release calling for a review of school bus eligibility criteria. 

 

 

RURAL SCHOOL BUS SERVICE REVIEW NEEDED

Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) is calling for a review of the school bus eligibility criteria, particularly in the rural areas.

“The safest way for children to get to school in rural New Zealand is by bus, however, the current eligibility criteria for the service means that children are being put in dangerous situations,” says Education Portfolio Convenor and Board Member, Sue Higgins.

“If children live within two kilometres of a rural school they are not eligible for the local bus service where there is one, and are forced to walk or cycle on roads with no shoulders, often used by logging trucks, stock trucks and milk tankers, making it treacherous for our children.

“RWNZ understands that parents are responsible for ensuring their children go to school, however, the rural bus is vital for farming families who have both a busy working life and distance, for those who live further away, to contend with.

“A review of the criteria applied to children’s eligibility for their local rural school bus service is needed – school by school.

“It’s time the Government showed leadership on keeping our rural children safe on their journey to and from school,” says Mrs Higgins.

Ends

 

For further information, please contact:
Rural Women New Zealand
National Office
04 473 5524
[email protected]


 

 

Rural school bus service review needed.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Rural Women New Zealand released a media release calling for a review of school bus eligibility criteria.  Read More

 Rural Women New Zealand has released a media release following the announcement that Lumsden will lose its birthing unit. 

 

MEDIA RELEASE

16 August 2018
For immediate release

 

RURAL MATERNITY CARE IN CRISIS

The downgrading of maternity care in rural Otago and Southland will be catastrophic says Rural Women New Zealand(RWNZ).

“On top of the news that Lumsden’s birthing unit has been downgraded to a pre- and post-natal care unit, RWNZ understands that Wanaka has lost its bid to have a primary birthing unit and this does not bode well for rural communities,” says Board Member and Health Convenor, Margaret Pittaway.

“Whilst RWNZ is somewhat pleased that Lumsden will retain care facilities for any woman with pre- and post-natal needs, women ready to give birth will need to travel at least 50 kilometres to the nearest delivery suite.

“Wanaka is expecting 200 births this coming year and there will be no primary birthing unit, and like Lumsden, will become a hub.

“The Otago-Southland region has a huge hinterland with many young parents who are choosing to have families and raise them in this wonderful part of the world and are at risk due to distance from the maternity care they are entitled to.

"No consideration has been given to those parents who have needed the services provided at Lumsden and already travelling up to two hours, now having an extra 50 kilometres added.

“When assessing maternity needs there is always two lives to consider, the mother and the child, and its outrageous that at the time in their lives when they should be close to their families they are not able to be, due to poor decision-making.

“It is not acceptable that pregnant women in rural areas of the South Island are now miles away from anywhere that can support them to have safe births, something a rural impact analysis would have highlighted.

“It’s time the Government and DHB ensured rural communities have the same access to maternity care as urban communities expect,” says Mrs Pittaway.

Ends

 

For more information, please contact National Office.

[email protected]

04 473 5524

 

 

 

 

 

Rural maternity care in crisis

Thursday, August 16, 2018

 Rural Women New Zealand has released a media release following the announcement that Lumsden will lose its birthing unit.  Read More

Please read below our media release about Suffrage125 celebrations with RWNZ across the country. 

 

NEW ZEALAND’S FARMING WOMEN CELEBRATING 125 YEARS ON

Rural women across the country have been celebrating the 125th year of universal suffrage in a variety of events says Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ).

“The 125th celebration of the day women finally won the right to vote is such a big milestone in New Zealand’s history that commemoration events will to be held over several days,” says National President, Fiona Gower.

“RWNZ Suffrage Day celebrations ranged from sharing family stories about collecting signatures on the petition, marches through rural towns, to our involvement in the ‘What Women Want’ project.

“Other events include capsule openings, celebrations alongside other community groups, and screenings of women-centric movies including ‘She Shears’.

“Our social media campaign in conjunction with the Ministry of Primary Industries showcasing New Zealand’s primary sector women is my personal highlight of the Suffrage 125 commemorations.

“Many of our Members will be celebrating right up until 28 November, which is the date of the first election in which women could vote in 1893,” says Ms Gower.

Ends

For further information, or to schedule an interview, please contact:
Rural Women New Zealand
National Office
04 473 5524
[email protected]


 

New Zealand's farming women celebrating 125 years on

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Please read below our media release about Suffrage125 celebrations with RWNZ across the country. 

 

NEW ZEALAND’S FARMING WOMEN CELEBRATING 125 YEARS ON

Rural women across the country have been celebrating the 125th year of universal suffrage in a variety of events says Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ).

“The 125th celebration of the day women finally won the right to vote is such a big milestone in New Zealand’s history that commemoration events will to be held over several days,” says National President, Fiona Gower.

“RWNZ Suffrage Day celebrations ranged from sharing family stories about collecting signatures on the petition, marches through rural towns, to our involvement in the ‘What Women Want’ project.

“Other events include capsule openings, celebrations alongside other community groups, and screenings of women-centric movies including ‘She Shears’.

“Our social media campaign in conjunction with the Ministry of Primary Industries showcasing New Zealand’s primary sector women is my personal highlight of the Suffrage 125 commemorations.

“Many of our Members will be celebrating right up until 28 November, which is the date of the first election in which women could vote in 1893,” says Ms Gower.

Ends

For further information, or to schedule an interview, please contact:
Rural Women New Zealand
National Office
04 473 5524
[email protected]


 

 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

 

 

NZI Rural Women New Zealand Business Awards

 

The NZI Rural Women New Zealand Business Awards will be held on the evening of Tuesday, 20 November 2018 in Wellington in the Banquet Hall at Parliament.

A review of the Enterprising Rural Women Awards has been completed by the RWNZ Board with feedback from members and participants, external advice, and the awards partners.

The awards have been renamed the NZI Rural Women New Zealand Business Awards and NZI is the Premier Partner. The categories have been broadened, the application process has been updated and the judging criteria strengthened.

 

The NZI Rural Women New Zealand Business Awards give an outstanding opportunity to showcase your business. The event attracts extensive media coverage and promotional opportunities. All winners will receive a membership of Rural Women New Zealand for one year. All category winners will each receive $1000 in prize money and a trophy, and the Supreme Winner will receive a further $1000 in prize money.

 

 

“Winning the Supreme Award was such an amazing result. I am proud of my achievements and honoured to be surrounded by such inspiring, talented and strong women,”

- Debra Cruickshank of Tannacrieff Wines, Supreme winner 2017.

 

The categories for the NZI Rural Women New Zealand Business Awards 2018 are:

  • Emerging business: Awarded to a business starting out in its journey and achieving exceptional results. Open to businesses that have been running from 2 – 5 years.
  • Love of the Land: Harnessing the potential of New Zealand’s land, environment or products of the land, to create a successful business enterprise.
  • Creative Arts: A business specialising in the creative arts working in a rural environment or using rural materials.
  • Innovation: An enterprise that challenges the status quo to bring something new and innovative to the market or utilising rural resources in an innovative way.
  • Rural Champion: A person or business who champions the rural sector or a rural enterprise – an outstanding contributor who goes above and beyond the normal in their support rural enterprise. Open to anybody.
 

A Supreme winner will be chosen from all category finalists, who has shown excellence and outstanding achievement across all entry criteria.

Please read the media release launching the NZI Rural Women New Zealand Business Awards here:

If you are interested in supporting the awards as a category partner, please contact [email protected].

NZI Rural Women New Zealand Business Awards

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

  Read More