Speed limits too high on most roads: NZTA

The NZ Transport Agency is working to identify which roads should have lower speed limits.
The agency's Mega Map's risk assessment tool suggests only 5 percent of the open road should have a speed limit has high as 100kmh.
The NZ Transport Agency has estimated that 87 percent of speed limits on New Zealand roads are too high.

The agency's online risk assessment tool, Mega Maps, uses a range of factors such as crash history, road conditions, surrounding land use and traffic volumes to calculate an ideal speed.

The NZ Herald reported this morning that Mega Maps suggests only 5 percent of the open road should have the current 100kmh speed limit, and in most cases a speed of 60-80kmh should apply.

And for most urban areas, Mega Maps suggests the safe and appropriate speed would be 30-40kmh

The Mega Maps tool is used by NZTA and councils as a guide for deciding on new speed limits.

Road Transport Forum chief executive Nick Legget said with the government wanting to crack down on the road toll, he's concerned speed limits could drop across the country.

Mr Leggett said that would severely restrict the movement of freight and the productivity of New Zealand's economy, as well as having a major impact on the everyday lives of drivers.

Last month Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter said the government's Vision Zero road safety plan seeks to drop the number of road deaths by half in the next decade and one tool was to reduce speed limits.

"We wouldn't have a blanket reduction," Ms Genter said.

"What is important is that we're going to focus on the most dangerous roads, revising them to have a safe and appropriate speed limit, and making it easier for local councils to get a safe and appropriate speed limit."

Mr Leggett said the suggestion of lowering speed limits was about slowing New Zealand down and potentially making it a lot less productive.

"The speed limit is 90 for trucks, and the worry for us is you make that 60 you are making it much much harder for the New Zealand economy to be productive for people to be able to move their goods around the country - and the economy will suffer."

New Zealand's population was too small to be able to subsidise public transport as other countries do, so it relied on roads.

"What we've seen in the last couple of years is a de-funding of the roading budget," he said.

He said speed was one factor in safety - and backed lowering the limit on dangerous spots - but said New Zealand should prioritise improving the quality of the roads.

Comments

No, the driving standards are too low. Get rid of the idea that everyone should be allowed to drive and make the driving test a real test.
Instead of slowing everyone down, make the useless drivers walk. Driving tests need to include skid tests, so that when things start to go wrong, they can be fixed. Anyone who hits the brakes at the first sign of a skid should be banned from driving until they learn how to drive properly.
Make the penalty for drunk driving the loss of the right to drink alcohol, 1 year first offence, life for a second offence.
Driving while using a phone should result in everyone in the car losing their phones instantly and permanently, with no opportunity to retrieve data.
That is if your aim is to save lives and not just look like you're doing something.

"The agency's online risk assessment tool, Mega Maps, uses a range of factors such as crash history, road conditions, surrounding land use and traffic volumes to calculate an ideal speed", So nothing about peoples driving skill (or lack of) causing those crashes then ....

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