Please Help Lower The Speed Limit Through Omata!

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My name is Benjamin Withers, I am ten years old and I go to Omata school, in Taranaki.  I am petitioning because we need a safer road through our community.   Currently, the speed limit through Omata on SH45 is 80km/h and this is too fast.  The road is also quite narrow in parts, making it dangerous when sharing with cars, bikes, horses, and people.  I would like the speed limit lowered to 50km/h and a footpath put in.

I get scared when my brother, sister and I walk to school, especially when big trucks come past and there is not much room at the side of the road.  Sometimes the trucks and cars do not see us and start drifting towards us!  Some vehicles even go over the white line beside us.  Most vehicles seem to travel over the speed limit, and I can always tell when the speed camera is up the road because all the vehicles slow down!  

There are lots of people who use the road; cycling, walking, and running, and it is getting more and more busy.  The Omata community has grown immensely over the past decade.  Ten years ago, the school roll was 132, and now is nearly 200 children.   There are a lot more houses getting built in the area and the population is increasing all the time.  The communities of Oakura and the Kaitake area are increasing rapidly as well.  According to the census statistics, the areas have increased in population from 2931 in 2006, to 3471 in 2018 - and all these people travel through Omata on their way to New Plymouth. 

Our school is on a side road around a blind corner.  When the school bus turns right out of the intersection after school, if a car or truck comes around the corner they need to slam on their brakes.  It is just lucky that there has never been a major accident.  There are usually around 30- 40 children on the bus every day and they need to get home safely.

I know that the government is looking at lowering the speed limit around schools however, I am worried that they are going to overlook us because the school address is already in a 50km/h area.  The school is, however, right on the corner of the main road (80km/h).  Also, we want the speed to be lowered permanently, not just during the school rush times.

Lowering the speed limit is going to make our road safer and putting in a footpath will decrease the risk of an accident even further.  I know that these changes will cost money, but what price do you put on a person’s life?  We really do not want to wait for an accident to happen. We need to be being proactive rather than reactive.

The NZTA have said they will look at reviewing the speed limit, but they need more information from the people it might affect.  Please help us get this information by signing this petition.  Thanks.