New speed limits to improve safety on State Highway 79


New speed limits are being placed on State Highway 79 north of Geraldine to improve residents' safety on the outskirts of the South Canterbury town.

Substantial residential development north of Geraldine has meant it is no longer appropriate for the 50km/h speed limit to begin just north of Templar Street, says the NZ Transport Agency’s State Highway Manager Colin Knaggs.

“The local community has strongly supported the speed limit extension, along with the Police, AA and Timaru District Council. The 50km/h speed limit on State Highway 79 will be extended north by more than 500 metres, well beyond the area where residential development has occurred,” he says.

“This will help to improve the safety of residents, pedestrians and cyclists using this section of highway.”

He says lower speed limits are being introduced in appropriate areas as part of the NZTA’s Safe System approach to road safety. “We are aiming to reduce deaths and serious injuries by taking action in four key areas - safe roads and roadsides, safe vehicles, safe road use and safe speeds.

“The NZTA is making significant investments in safety improvements on the region’s roads, we are working with police to promote safe driving through advertising and enforcement and we are encouraging motorists to buy the safest vehicles they can afford.

“In addition to our investment in safer roads and roadsides and promoting safer driving, we are also looking to lower travel speeds and set speed limits that are more appropriate for the function and level of safety on a particular road,” Mr Knaggs says.

“Increasingly, this will see road users' travel at speeds that are specific to each road; recognising the different environments that exist as is the case for the new speed limits set for north of Geraldine.”

The 50km/h speed limit at the southern end of the town will not change.