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Due to the high numbers of pedestrians and cyclists using Dunedin’s city centre, speed limits need to be lowered in the central city, the council said in a statement last week.
Council transport group manager Jeanine Benson said lowering the speed limit by 20kmh to extend the 30kmh zone in the city centre would make a significant difference to pedestrian and cyclist safety.
"Behind every one of these statistics is a son, daughter, mother, father, friend or other members of our wider community," Ms Benson said.
"We’re proposing to extend the 30kmh speed limit in the city centre because of the high numbers of people walking, cycling and using scooters.
"If you’re a person walking or cycling and you get hit by a vehicle travelling 50kmh, you have an 80% chance of dying or being seriously injured.
"If we reduce the speed to 30kmh, that risk drops to 10%."
As well as the proposal to drop the speed limit through the central city, six Otago Peninsula town centre roads, and 15 rural roads have been identified as requiring slower speeds.
In the four-year period 2015-19, 28 people were killed and 369 seriously injured and the statistics were getting worse each year, Ms Benson said.
The council is proposing to change its speed limits bylaw to lower speed limits from 80kmh to 60kmh for some high-risk rural roads; to extend the 30kmh speed limit zone in the central city; to introduce a 30kmh speed limit through the Green Island shopping area; to introduce a 50kmh speed limit on Dalziel Rd; and to a 40kmh speed limit through Otago Peninsula townships and on some residential streets.
The proposals follow a speed management review by the council to determine safe and appropriate speeds across its roads.