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Drivers are urged to pay extra attention when students return for the start of Term Two next week, as, along with busier roads, new 30km/h speed limits will also be in place around all Hamilton schools.  


Hamilton City Council City Transport Unit Manager Gordon Naidoo said the new speed limits, which come into effect around all 58 of the city’s primary, intermediate and high schools from Monday 29 April 2024, aim to make these areas safer for all road users, particularly children. 


“With the relationship between speed and road injuries well established internationally, by reducing speed limits around schools we are taking practical steps to help protect our youngest road users,” said Naidoo, who hopes the change will also give tamariki more confidence to walk, bike or scooter to school if they can, which is not only good for their health but also helps reduce traffic congestion around schools. 


Research shows that if a pedestrian is hit by a car travelling at 50km/h, they have a 10% chance of survival – whereas the survival rate increases to 90% if the car is travelling 30km/h.  


“Children travelling to school can be easily distracted by their surroundings. They may also find it difficult to judge distances and could step into the road without warning, so it is important that drivers are patient, take extra care and stick to the speed limit when driving near schools,” said Naidoo. 


The new 30km/h speed limits will replace the previous 40km/h speed limits around Hamilton schools. The change was approved at Council’s Traffic Speed Limit and Road Closure Hearing Panel in December 2023, following full consultation with schools and the public earlier in the year. Strong support for the change was received from schools, while 293 comments were generated from 177 respondents during public consultation – of these, 63% of comments (186 comments) were supportive of speed reductions, while 19% (55 comments) opposed the changes.  


Knighton Normal School Deputy Principal Materoa Collins is welcoming the reduced speed limits, which will help ensure students get to and from school safely each day. 


“Having safer speed limits around schools keeps our tamariki at the heart of all that matters to us. It puts their safety first and foremost,” said Collins. 


Rather than a ‘one size fits all’ approach to the change, Naidoo said careful consideration was given to each school location to determine whether a permanent speed limit was appropriate or if it better suited a variable speed limit, which would see the limit reduce to 30km/h around drop-off and pick-up times only. For schools located on roads considered to be important for moving people and freight, variable speed limits will be in place.  


“As part of the process we also worked with schools to better understand the journeys that their students take to determine whether any changes should be made to the area covered by the new speed limits,” he said. 


“As a result, in some areas there will be additional side streets and back entrances covered by the 30km/h speed limits, to better reflect how students are getting to and from school.”  


Along with adhering to the new speed limits, Naidoo is also reminding drivers of the importance of being considerate around schools and not parking across driveways, footpaths, yellow lines, cycle lanes or bus stops. 


“We are all in this together as a city, so it is important we all do the right thing on our roads. We want everyone to travel safely and return home safe every day,” he said. 


The introduction of the 30km/h speed limits around schools aligns with the Hamilton Speed Management Plan 2022 and Council’s Vision Zero goal where there are no serious injuries or deaths on our roads.  


For more information on the new 30km/h speed limits around schools, visit 


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