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You are coming up to a school patrol crossing and both signs are held out. What must you do? You are coming up to a school patrol crossing and both signs are held out. What must you do?

  • A. Stop until the signs are pulled back in

  • B. Carry on if the children are not ready to cross

  • C. Stop until the children have crossed

    The correct answer is A
    Correct. Children can be unpredictable, so wait until the signs are back in

School crossings

School crossings, which are also called kea crossings, are active in the hours when children are travelling to and from school, and occasionally at lunchtime. They are installed around school grounds for both management of children, and also to keep traffic flowing smoothly on busier roads. As they are controlled, the controllers will wait until a number of children have arrived before allowing the group to cross, rather than just have a pedestrian crossing with children crossing as they arrive, which holds up traffic more frequently.

The stop signs provide an added safety feature to protect children that might just step into the crossing without waiting for vehicles to stop for them.

As these crossings are sometimes almost exclusively used by school children, they are infrequently used through the day. Drivers who frequent the route can become used to there never being anyone on the crossing. The additional visibility and the signs make it easier for motorists to see and observe the rules.

If there's no school patrol crossing then the road functions as a normal road. If the kea crossing commandeers a pedestrian crossing, then the pedestrian crossing returns to its normal function once the kea crossing flags and signs are removed.

What features does a kea crossing have?

A kea crossing will be marked 65m in advance by a permanent fluorescent orange children crossing sign. They are the same as those used outside schools warning motorists that pedestrians might be crossing ahead.

Two types of removable signs are used at the crossing itself, but only while in operation. There are two fluorescent orange children crossing flag signs, and two red school patrol stop signs that swing out. These are removed when the crossing is not in operation.

Just as with a pedestrian crossing you are not allowed to pass another vehicle waiting at the crossing.

This diagram, courtesy of NZTA, shows a kea crossing.

kea crossing

Children crossing signs

In areas where children cross frequently you will often see fluorescent signs like the one below to warn you.

beware children crossing the road