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 and urban speed limits must come down…

The mayors of Waimate District and  Mackenzie District Councils are fed up and embarrassed by NZTA’s lack of action on safer speed limits.

More than 2000 people sign petition to have NZTA lower the speed limit at Kawakawa’s notorious Three Bridges.  Residents of Waitati  in Otago have petitioned NZTA for a safer speed limit of 70 km/h.  Waitahanui on Lake Taupo is petitioning NZTA for a safer speed limit.

Recent crashes in Grovetown, Marlborough have residents asking NZTA what came of their requests for a safer limit?

Western Bay of Plenty District Mayor Garry Webber says it is frustrating to delay council’s review of speed limits but this is due to “so much uncertainty around NZTA’s timing” on its SH 2 speed limit review – which NZTA had previously said would be completed in 2018.

In Pareora, near Timaru, NZTA has dismissed 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 safer rural road speeds of 80km/h but advise “NZTA has been reluctant to act previously”. A situation that remains unchanged today.

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 Glenavy, Waimate Mayor Craig Rowley is “sick and tired” of NZTA’s lack of action about a situation he describes as an accident waiting to happen..

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?”

Residents are disappointed that NZTA has ruled out safer speed limits in Burkes Pass.

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 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.

Tragically,  NZTA’s nationwide ongoing reluctance to implement safer speed limits is killing us.