Great to see in today’s NZ Herald…  NZ Police road policing team operations manager Inspector Peter McKennie putting the case for safer speed limits of 80 km/h on our rural roads:

McKennie says many of the countries our tourists come from have better engineered roads than ours, with more finely tuned speed limits for every portion of road.

For instance, our open roads are typically set to 100km regardless of road type, but in other parts of the world difficult sections of open road, such as winding areas, would be set to 80km instead.

“A lot of people complain because visiting drivers drive slowly and hold up traffic but quite often they are just driving at the safe and appropriate speed for the engineering of the road,” he says.

“New Zealand drivers are used to driving faster on those roads, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that those speeds are safe and appropriate for the engineering of the roads.”

This isn’t just a safer approach but a more logical one, he says. “If you are driving 80 kilometres an hour as opposed to 100 kilometres an hour, on winding roads there is probably a time difference of five minutes for every 100 kilometres you travel.”

Plus, if you drive at a slower, more steady speed you’ll save fuel too.

NZ Herald: Safe or not? The truth about tourist drivers