More consistent speed limits will improve Kaiwaka safety

Published: Thu 13 Oct 2016 01:09 PM
13 October 2016 | NORTHLAND & AUCKLAND
More consistent speed limits will improve safety through Kaiwaka
The NZ Transport Agency is proposing changes to the speed limits on State Highway 1 through Kaiwaka township to make it safer for residents and road users.
More consistent speeds are planned to be introduced, replacing the variations and changes that are currently in place, which will mean lower speed limits over a greater stretch of the highway.
“By introducing just one speed limit that is clearly signposted and doesn’t change part way through the township, it’s anticipated that more motorists will know what’s expected of them and are more likely to drive within the limits,” says Tim Crow the Transport Agency’s Network Performance and Safety Manager.
The proposals involve introducing a 60km an hour speed limit from 130 metres northwest of Kaiwaka/Mangawhai Road to 300 metres south of Settlement Road.
This means the current 100km an hour speed limit will be lowered to 60km an hour over a length of 55 metres from the south side of the bridge to the north side of the bridge at the northern end of the township, and the current section of the road with a 70km an hour speed limit will also be reduced to 60km an hour. The area currently 50km an hour will rise to 60km.
Large signs and road markings will also be installed on the road and roadsides at both ends of the town which will more clearly signal and reinforce the drop in speed from 100km an hour to 60km. Repeater signs will be installed every kilometre to reinforce the reduced speed limit.
“We know that reducing speeds and improving safety is a top priority for the Kaiwaka community and the Transport Agency believes these changes will strike a chord with more motorists passing through and encourage them to drop their speeds.”
“This will create a better balance in helping freight and commuter vehicles travel safely and efficiently through Kaiwaka without compromising the safety and amenity of local residents and will help enhance and support the goals of the Kaiwaka Township Improvement Plan.”
This week the Agency installed a sign which displays the speed that vehicles are travelling at to improve visual cues and encourage people to slow down. There are also plans for a pedestrian refuge to be built on the highway near the shops to improve safety for pedestrians.
The changes also support the work of the NZ Police which will be increasing speed enforcement within the Kaiwaka Corridor.
“Encouraging safer speeds and reducing deaths and serious injuries on our roads is a top priority for the Transport Agency and in many cases the consequences of a crash can be significantly reduced or even completely avoided if drivers reduce their speeds.”
What is the process for changing a speed limit?
o Speed limits are outlined in the Land Transport Rule: Setting of Speed Limits 2003. As part of this process the density of roadside development and features of the roadway that contribute to speed are assessed. These guidelines suggested a speed limit of 70km/h would be appropriate for the entire township of Kaiwaka. However the Agency has decided that 60km an hour would be more beneficial.
o An assessment is then carried out against the Draft Speed Management Guide. This suggested a speed limit of 60km/h would be appropriate for the entire township.
o The NZ Transport Agency is now seeking feedback from key stakeholders that include:
Kaipara District Council (including the local community board for that ward);
New Zealand Police;
New Zealand Automobile Association Inc.
National Road Carriers Inc.
o Considering all of the responses received during the consultation process, a recommendation is then made to the NZ Transport Agency National Office for final approval and publishing the change in the NZ Gazette.
o 28 days after the change has been published in the NZ Gazette, the signs must be erected and are legally enforceable.

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