Police and locals are welcoming a reduction in speed
limits on 29 Otago Peninsula roads, which will come into effect
on Friday. The changes apply to mainly rural roads and in most
cases will reduce the speed limits from 100kmh to 70kmh.
The Dunedin City Council changed the speed limits for safety
reasons, following concerns from the local community that the
existing speed limits were neither safe nor appropriate given
the use of the road environment.
Otago Peninsula Community Board chairman John Bellamy said
the board was ''extremely pleased'' the lowered limits were
''The key is having speed limits appropriate for areas such
as narrow back roads, and anything to make these roads safer
has to be a good thing.
''We were all pretty aware that some speeds were totally
inappropriate for the area.''
Dunedin area road policing manager Senior Sergeant Phil
McDouall said police welcomed any initiative that could
potentially reduce road trauma.
Over the years, there had been many crashes on Peninsula
roads resulting in fatalities and serious injuries, he said.
''These roads are often used by tourists who mostly drive
large camper vans and are not familiar with the area.''
However, lower speed limits were just one ingredient in the
mix that created safer roads.
''Drivers also need to be mindful of driving to the
conditions and other critical factors that they can control,
including driving behaviour, manner of driving, alcohol and
wearing a safety belt.''
A large part of the area where speed limits are changing will
become a study area as part of a national review of how speed
limits are set. It will be identified with special signs on
all entry points to the study area.
The safer speed area will have a maximum speed of 70kmh,
except for a small section near Larnach Castle, which will
become a 50kmh zone.