Over the years NZTA has told us that New Zealanders don’t support reducing speed limits to make roads safer.  However all around the country we’re seeing communities demand safer speed limits,  as people realise that 100 km/h for an undivided rural road just isn’t safe…

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 relunctant 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 80 km/h themselves.

Tauranga and Katikati, on State Highway 2 – the highest death toll of state highways – the residents want 80 km/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?”

In Port Chalmers a local residents have had to petition and get a Council resolution requesting NZTA to implement a safer speed limit.

Even NZTA’s own research 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)

And way back in 2004, NZTA recognised that safer speeds on our rural roads were needed: “80km/h limit likely on dodgy NZ highways” but they failed to act.

We think it ‘s time NZTA took a look in the mirror to see who are the real culprits blocking safer speed limits for New Zealand.