The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) is reminding motorists to watch for speed limit changes that will take effect from late November on a number of State Highways around the Waikato Region.
NZTA State Highway Manager Kaye Clark says the changes being introduced are squarely aimed at improving safety, and all have strong community support.
Mrs Clark said the changes were being introduced as part of the NZTA’s ‘safe system’ approach to road safety.
"We’re 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 people to buy the safest vehicles they can afford."
"In addition to investing in safer roads and roadsides and promoting safer driving and safer vehicles, lowering travel speeds on some of our high risk sections of road will help to reduce crashes and reduce the severity of those crashes that do occur. Even small reductions in speeds can greatly reduce the likelihood of a crash occurring and increase the chances of people surviving those crashes that do occur," Mrs Clark said.
The speed limit changes being implemented in the region are:
Mrs Clark says the speed limits on SH25 between Kopu and Thames have also been reviewed. The current 100km/h speed limit between Kopu to Totara will be lowered to 80km/h, and the current 100km/h speed limit between Totara and Thames will be lowered to 70km/h. The NZTA has consulted with the community and worked with the Police, Road Transport Association and the Thames Coromandel District Council to determine the appropriate speed limit for this section of SH25, and the changes will be made before Christmas.
Mrs Clark says the NZTA wants to see a reduction in unsafe speeds; that is, both travelling too fast for the conditions and speeding.
"If we achieve this we will see a reduction in all crashes, not just speed-related ones. The NZTA is improving basic features such as road markings and signage to help road users to identify and understand the speed limit. These changes have been made to better match speed limits to the safety features present on our roads and the mixture of road users. If a road is difficult to read, or if it carries a high level of community activity, and is used by pedestrians and cyclists, then its speed limit should reflect these conditions," she said.
To determine safe and appropriate speed limits, the NZTA has undertaken a rigorous speed limit review process which involved consultation with the Police, AA, Road Transport Association, Local Authorities and working closely with the affected communities. All of the speed limit changes have been through the formal approval process and will take effect once the new speed limit signs are erected.