INDEPENDENT NEWS

Safer speeds for Northland roads

Published: Tue 16 Jul 2019 04:35 PM
The NZ Transport Agency is asking people what they think about the speed limits on three stretches of state highway in Northland as it strives to make the roads safer for everyone who uses them.
The three roads that the Transport Agency is seeking feedback on are:
• State Highway 1 between Moerewa and Kawakawa
• State Highway 10 between Awanui and Taipa
• State Highway 11 between Haruru and Puketona
Between 2009 and 2018, there were 167 crashes on these roads with six people killed and 13 seriously injured. People in communities along the way have told the Transport Agency they want lower speed limits on these stretches of state highway.
The Transport Agency’s Safe Network Programme Director Tim Crow says that as well as reducing speeds in high crash areas, it wants speed limits that reflect the risk on the road and will reduce the likelihood of serious crashes.
“The speed limit is the maximum legal speed that you can travel at on a road in perfect conditions. However, road conditions are rarely perfect and to drive safely, motorists have to look out for changes in traffic and road conditions and the weather.”
“Speed increases both the likelihood of crashes and the severity of crash outcomes, regardless of what causes a crash.”
“At the drop in sessions we’ll share technical advice on what is a safe and appropriate speed for a road. We’re also looking to better understand how people use the roads and what other factors might ultimately influence the speed limits.”
“Local knowledge and experience of using our roads is very useful information and we value feedback from residents and communities about the speed limit changes they would like to see.”
“We need to bring communities along with us by having open and honest discussions about the impact of speed, listening to people and understanding different perspectives, so that when a decision is made to change a speed limit people understand why and the benefits of the change being made.”
The speed reviews are part of the Safe Network Programme, delivering safety improvements on high-risk routes across New Zealand to make roads more forgiving of people’s mistakes. The programme focuses on safe roads and roadsides, safe and appropriate speeds, and safe rail level crossings.
The Transport Agency is investing $1.4 billion over three years to upgrade over 3300km of New Zealand’s most dangerous rural state highways with improvements like safety barriers, wide centre lines, rumble strips, better signs and safer speeds.
“No matter what causes a crash, speed can be the difference between walking away or being carried away. Speed also reduces the time you have to react to a mistake, yours or someone else’s.”
You can find out more at four community drop-in sessions:
• Wednesday 24 July 4pm to 7pm
Four Square, 71 Gillies Street, Kawakawa
• Thursday 25 July 4pm to 7pm
Twin Pines Manor, Haruru Falls, 342 Puketona Road, Haruru
• Friday 26 July 4pm to 7pm
Pak ‘n Save, 111 North Road, Kaitaia
• Saturday 27 July 10am to 1pm
Countdown Waitangi, 9 Puketona Road, Paihia
Feedback is open until 4 August and can be provided at www.nzta.govt.nz/northland-speed-reviews
A formal consultation process will follow the engagement period.
Plan ahead for a safe, enjoyable journey. Keep up to date with:
• Traffic updates: nzta.govt.nz/traffic
• Facebook: facebook.com/nztaakl
• Twitter: twitter.com/nztaakl
• Journey planner: journeys.nzta.govt.nz
• Phone: 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49)

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