New, safer speed limits are set to be in place between Masterton and Featherston from 27 January to help protect the lives of people who use local streets and roads.
Speed limits outside schools will be reduced around the start and end of the school day, making it safer for children to walk or bike. In the main town centres of Masterton, Carterton, Greytown and Featherston, new speed limits of between 30 km/h and 50 km/h will make it safer and easier for everyone to cross the road, ride bikes and use wheelchairs and scooters.
The open road 100 km/h sections will be reduced to 80 km/h to help prevent people from dying or being seriously injured if they crash. These sections of road have seen the most fatal and serious injury crashes.
Between January 2010 and December 2019, there were 488 reported crashes on State Highway 2 between Masterton and Featherston. Four people were killed, and 28 were seriously injured.
Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency Director of Regional Relationships Emma Speight says changing speed limits comes down to what we all value most - protecting the lives of all who use our streets and roads.
“Speed limits were first set before we knew what was safe and appropriate for our roads. We know the current speeds harm people we care about and have a responsibility, and we must change that.”
Emma Speight says lowering the speed limit is an immediate way to reduce both the frequency and severity of crashes on this road.
“Even when speed doesn’t cause a crash, it is always a factor in the severity and can be the difference between a person being killed, seriously injured, or walking away from a crash.”
The setting of the permanent speed limits follows engagement with the Police, the AA, and road user groups, and consultation with the public from July to September 2021.
Emma Speight says over 1,300 pieces of feedback were received from stakeholder organisations and the public during the consultation period.
“I want to thank the members of the public for their feedback and input on the new speed limits. It has been greatly appreciated.”
This speed review is aligned with New Zealand’s Road Safety Strategy, Road to Zero 2020 – 2030 and a programme of work delivering safety improvements, including speed management, on our highest-risk intersections and roads across New Zealand. Through these safety improvements, Waka Kotahi aims to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads.
In addition to safer speeds, Emma Speight says Waka Kotahi is making safety improvements on State Highway 2 between Masterton to Carterton.
“Construction on this project is well underway, and includes roundabouts at Ngaumutawa Road, Norfolk Road, and East Taratahi/Wiltons Road; road widening, new signage, and flexible safety barriers.”
The new speed limits begin from Friday, 27 January 2023. In construction areas, the temporary speed limits around worksites will remain in place until work is finished. Contractors will then replace speed signs with the new relevant ones.