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Children's crossing in New Zealand

New Zealand copies the shape of the Australian road­sign. The drawing, however, differs and is like in Great Britain.
The same drawing of the children is used for the bus stop, but they are partly hidden. Well done and a good evocation of the dangerous situation. Much better than in other countries (e.g. Italy) where the shape of the canvas is modified but to the drawing nothing is added to hint to the risk.
Palliser Bay (N-Isl.), 22.VII.2001;
pict. Breine & Van Den Bergh
Australia Great-Britain Raurimu NP (N-Isl.), 21.VII.2001;
pict. Breine & Van Den Bergh
The Kangaroo warning seems to be import from Australia. In fact, apart from a bat or two no mammals in New Zealand are native species. Wallabies f.e. were brought in during the 1870s at about the same time when the first rabbit set foot in Australia. Rabbits adapted quite well —due to their hind-legs, probably. But I digress. Anyway, New Zealand is now being gobbled up by Possums and other imported pest species. And yet another warning for children on the road. The artist took his inspiration from the old fashioned signs from Europe (f.e. Spain and the most common sign in Belgium). And he was so conscientious to mirror the design in order to make it fit to a left-hand driving situation.
Ngawi, Cape Palliser (N.Isl.); 22.VII.2001
Ian Fraser wrote me about the Palliser Bay sign:
The supplementary Caution Children is a non standard addition. ... where lay persons felt that a standard sign in use over the whole country did not signify a message well enough, and there was a feeling that it had to be added to in some way. (A standard supplementary is School)
and he continues:
... The previous NZ standard sign showed a boy leading a girl. (Work for our spotters!) ... I had a batch of the new format signs made up with half boy/girl, and half girl/boy. I don't think that it made any difference since it would seem that no matter how much we tried, and no matter how much care we put into clearly signing hazards, drivers still managed to crash their cars.
Well, there we have it. Diversity in the region drops again. Our team on the road stumbled upon a new children's crossing sign where the children come straight from Australia.
Don't understand me wrong: it is a nice drawing with children in decent clothes, but I prefer that New Zealand's roadsign administration had created a local version. I advise them to start immediately working at it and also change the wording in order to avoid cheap jokes about retarded children (see U.S.A.).
Moeraki (S.Isl.), 4.XII.2009;
pict. Van Herck & Demarest

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More signs from New Zealand: Men at work - Falling rocks