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Published: 2004-04-22 00:00:00

Hundreds of Waikato drivers will find the young “victim” of speed plastered over their windscreens over the next week or two.

A poster showing the face of a young girl hit by a car will be left under windscreens of parked cars in towns urging drivers not to speed near schools. The dramatic campaign is being led by Environment Waikato to emphasise the realistic effects of hitting a child while speeding in urban areas.

Campaign promoter, Environment Waikato Road Safety Marketer Barnaby Bates said there had been a significant increase in the number of urban accidents related to excessive speeds.

“We drive in town under the misguided belief that the speed limit is 50 plus 10, but police could issue infringement notices to drivers doing 51 kph. Reducing speed can make all the difference in the world, as the Land Transport Safety Authority’s current television advertisement shows.”

The television advertisement shows two cars hitting a truck, one going 5 kph faster and being much more severely damaged.

“If you hit a child at 60 kph they only have a three percent survival rate, while at 40 kph that improves to 80 percent. Travelling 5 kph faster results in 27 kph greater impact if the driver has to brake suddenly.”

People who complain about speeding urban drivers were often the culprits themselves, he said.

“When residents request the use of ACC’s speed indication device (SID) in their areas because they are concerned about speeding traffic, results show that more than 80 percent of speeding motorists are local residents. Many talk the talk but do not walk the walk.”

The windscreen posters will be distributed in conjunction with print ads in community newspapers showing the difference between 50 kph and 60 kph in a road scene where a child is running onto the road after a ball.

Mr Bates said police supported the Council’s initiative to warn drivers about the effects of speed.

The campaign begins as school resumes for the second term, when the number of motorists near schools increases dramatically. A different area of the Region will be targeted without warning.