ARSRPE Conference Paper Database

The Effect on Vehicle Speeds of Electronically-Signed Part-Time Speed Limits Outside Schools

Osmers, W.F.

School Safety


In January 2000 the Christchurch City Council and Transit New Zealand installed trial ?School Zones? outside five primary or intermediate schools in Christchurch. These zones had permanently-displayed fluoro warning signs and part-time 40 km/hr speed limits imposed by electronically-operated, illuminated signs.

As part of the evaluation of the trial, speeds of free-running vehicles travelling past the schools were measured at the school crossing point using a concealed laser gun.

The results showed that the permanent fluoro yellow-green warning signs had little or no lasting effect on speeds unless the school was not readily visible from the road. Good speed reductions (down to mean speeds around 40-42 km/hr) were achieved with the illuminated signs but these reductions were only sustained at times when there were children present on the roadside.

On two lane, two way roads with manned crossing points, mean vehicle speeds past the crossing point could be reduced to 40-42 km/hr using the illuminated speed limit signs if they were not already at that level.