Stolen school zone signs a blow to road safety and ratepayers
Ratepayers have been left with a bill of over $10,000 to replace two solar school zone signs stolen from Ōtaki this week.
Kāpiti Coast District Council discovered the two ‘Jack and Jill’ signs missing yesterday from Convent Road to the north of St Peter Chanel Catholic School and on Tasman Road outside Te Kura-a-Iwi O Whakatupuranga Rua Mano School. The signs operate before and after school hours to let drivers know to take extra care.
“It’s just a really senseless, irresponsible and costly crime that needlessly puts our tamariki at risk,” says Bruce Johnston, Road Safety Educator and Vehicle Crossing Inspector for Council.
“The culprits have used a grinder to cut off both signs at ground level below the locking screws leaving behind the ground sockets. The power the solar panel can generate is too low to be useful for anything else so the signs are effectively useless.”
Mr. Johnston believes the signs can be repaired if they are recovered in good condition which would save ratepayers a hefty bill.
“The signs are approximately $5000 each to replace. That’s money that could be spent on other initiatives to support road safety. If you have any information about these thefts, please do the right thing and call Police on 105 or call Crimestoppers to report a crime anonymously on 0800 555 111. We would be really pleased to get both signs back,” says Mr. Johnston.
These are the second and third electronic road signs to be stolen in Ōtaki within the last 18 months. A new speed radar sign worth $6000 was pinched from Tasman Road in March last year.