Motorists are urged to watch for speed limits changes at sites on State highway 1 north and south of Balclutha that take effect from next Monday 9 September.
The NZ Transport Agency says the new limits are to improve road safety at these sites and to more accurately reflect changes in the road and surrounding environments, since the existing speed limits were set 22 years ago.
Under the changes, the 70km/h speed limit at the north end of Balclutha is extended approximately 100 metres north of its present site, and the 50km/h zone is being extended about the same distance north to the SH 1 Norfolk Street intersection. On SH 1 south of Balclutha, the 50km/h speed limit now finishes south of Kakapuaka Road and from there, to about 400 metres north of Peggydale an 80km/h limit applies.
Transport Agency Otago/Southland State Highways manager Ian Duncan says the changes are the result of a review of the speed limits at these sites and extensive consultation with the AA, the Police and Clutha District Council.
“The road environment at the sites where the changes are being made is a lot different from the way it was when the current speed limits were established over 20 years ago, with more residential development and vehicle access points on to the highway.”
Mr Duncan says moving to speed limits that take into account the road and surrounding environment is an integral part of the Transport Agency’s ‘safe system’ approach to road safety. If a road is busier, has a lot intersections or pedestrian and cycling activity, the majority of motorists understand the logic of a reduced speed limit and they are more likely to comply with it.
The Transport Agency also works with the police to promote safe driving through advertising and enforcement and encouraging people to buy the safest vehicles they can afford he said.