Across the country we’re seeing communities demand safer speed limits:
In Pareora, near Timaru, NZTA has dismissed many of the residents’ concerns about a stretch of road which, over a 10-year period, has seen three fatal crashes, four serious crashes, five minor injury crashes and 16 non-injury crashes.
In South Canterbury, rural mayors want rural road speeds dropped to 80km/h but advise “NZTA has been reluctant to act previously”.
In Southland, NZTA is reluctant to consider the community requests for safer speeds limits, claiming that these roads are outside of New Zealand’s top 10% “high benefit” speed management opportunities. What this means is that people must die before NZTA will consider safer speed limits.
In Kerikeri, local residents became so frustrated by lack of action that they reduced the speed limits to 80km/h themselves.
Tauranga and Katikati, on State Highway 2 – the highest death toll of state highways – the residents want 80km/h: “It feels like there’s a crash every other day on this road” , “How many people need to die before it becomes a priority?”
The Mackenzie District Council has won an apology from NZTA as it battles to lower the speed limit to 50 km/h through Takapō/Tekapo.
Even NZTA’s own research shows that most New Zealanders agree that our roads would be safer if we all drove a little slower, and they understand lower speed limits reduce road trauma (see NZTA research report 563: Safer speeds: public acceptance and compliance, December 2014).
In 2004, NZTA recognised that safer speeds on our rural roads were needed: “80km/h limit likely on dodgy NZ highways” but they have failed to act.
NZTA Road Death statistics year to date: https://www.transport.govt.nz/resources/road-safety-resources/road-deaths/