Drivers divided over motorway speed cuts

As many Kiwis prepare to head away for an Easter break, research shows motorists support the lower speed tolerance during holiday weekends - but are less accepting of it at other times.

A survey by Horizon Research has found more people approve of the lower speed conditions than oppose them as the 4km/h reduced speed threshold is rolled out from Easter to Anzac weekend.

Of the 3104 surveyed, 42.6 per cent supported police lowering the tolerance to 104km/h during holidays, compared to 30 per cent who did not.

But New Zealanders were divided over whether it should be lowered outside holidays, with 42.6 per cent supporting it, compared to 37 per cent against.

There was strong opposition to increasing the tolerance above 110km/h and more than half did not want it year-round or outside holiday periods.

Horizon Research principal Graeme Colman carried out the survey in February. He said resistance to the 104km/h speed tolerance would lift if the authorities extended it to the rest of the year.

AA general manager of motoring affairs Mike Noon said one of AA's biggest concerns was lowering the threshold below 10km/h on passing lanes and motorways.

"At this stage we would not support the tolerance being permanent. We do support it over holidays and we think part of the effectiveness of that and other parts of the campaign ... is the fact it's special and it's not all the time."

The results

42.6% support 104km/h tolerance during holiday periods

30% opposed 104km/h tolerance during holiday periods

42.6% support 104km/h tolerance all year round

37% opposed 104km/h tolerance all year round

54.1% opposed 110km/h tolerance increased year round or outside holiday periods

20.7% supported 110km/h tolerance increased year round or outside holiday periods

Source: Horizon Research

- Nikki Preston of the New Zealand Herald

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