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Action taken to save lives on the region’s highest-risk road

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The NZ Transport Agency will lower the speed limit on a high-risk section of State Highway 58 as part of a package of safety improvements designed to save lives.

The speed limit will be lowered from 100km/h to 80km/h between State Highway 2 and the Pauatahanui roundabout on SH58, with the change coming into effect on 22 September.

“Since 2008, four people have died and 68 people have been injured, including 15 seriously, in almost 200 crashes on this road. Statistically, this is the Wellington region’s most high-risk road,” NZTA’s Regional Transport Systems Manager Mark Owen says.

“We aim to make an immediate impact on crash rates by lowering the speed and introducing a package of new safety features.”

“Safety is the NZ Transport Agency’s top priority. The new speed limit will only add one extra minute to the time to travel this section of SH58 at 80km/h. That’s a small price to pay for the lives that will be saved.”

“It’s also important to note that Police, Fire and Emergency New Zealand, the Automobile Association, Hutt City Council, Wellington City Council, Porirua City Council, Living Streets Aotearoa and many local residents support the Transport Agency’s decision to lower the speed limit.” 

A lower speed limit gives you more time to react in an emergency or recover from a mistake. If the worst happens and you do crash, you’re much more likely to walk away if you’re driving at a lower speed.

Lowering the speed limit is part of a package of safety improvements planned for the route that includes two new roundabouts, a median barrier, road widening and improved access from side roads and driveways.

"Improving the safety of SH58 is of vital importance to the Wellington Region. It is a critical route which we believe will carry much more traffic in the years ahead, particularly once Transmission Gully opens," says AA Wellington District chairman Michael Gross.

"Lowering the speeds that people are travelling will mean fewer serious accidents, though the AA believes it is important that current plans for a median barrier, wider shoulders and passing lanes are extended to reduce crash risks even further."

New signs will be posted and temporary electronic signage will be in place to remind road users of the new speed limit.

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