Poolburn School principal Melissa Gare is trying to raise awareness of the school’s proximity to the busy Ida Valley-Omakau Rd, after learning that a confusing speed sign is not enforceable.
Signs that have been near the school since 2020 read ‘‘School Zone 40 When Children Present’’, but the Central Otago District Council (CODC) and Waka Kotahi confirmed they were an advisory only and not a legal requirement.
CODC infrastructure manager Quinton Penniall said the council had plans to consult on a range of school speed zones, including outside Poolburn School, early next year.
Mrs Gare said a police officer from Ranfurly clocked most vehicles passing the school two weeks ago at close to the legal 100kmh speed limit and they would like to spread awareness among drivers of the school’s presence.
She said the school would definitely be making submissions during the council consultation, but hoped drivers would slow while passing even though it was not legally required.
‘‘If a child was unpredictable and ran out, then the outcome would be horrific,’’ she said.
Locals in the community had been very supportive, as had local police, but she worried about drivers who were unaware of the small rural school, which has 47 pupils.
‘‘Rural kids may not be as aware of vehicles as those in towns and cities,’’ she said.