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New 80kph speed limit on a section of SH1

New 80kph speed limit on a section of State Highway 1

A maximum speed limit of 80kph will come into force on Tuesday 11 February on the 6.6km section of State Highway 1 - from Hatfield’s Beach to just south of the Puhoi turn-off - to create a safer driving environment for road users.

Announcing this, Transit New Zealand Regional Manager, Wayne McDonald, said the speed limit was being dropped from 100 kph to 80kph because of the mountainous nature of the terrain, and the many sharp curves, which had resulted in a high crash record for this section of SH1.

He said that most traffic already travelled through this area at speeds of between 80-85kph. On the other hand around 10-15 per cent of motorists travelled too fast, particularly in wet weather, and frequently got into difficulties which resulted in loss of control, head on collisions and fatalities. Accidents studies had shown that the majority of these involved powerful rear wheel-driven vehicles getting into difficulties while trying to negotiate this section of highway at maximum speed.

“We’re simply trying to save these people from themselves and at the same time make the road safer for the majority of motorists who travel at lower, safer speeds. The new speed limit will therefore give the police the ability to address the issue of those motorists travelling at unsafe speeds,” said Mr McDonald.

The 80kph will come into force for a two-year trial period after which it will be decided whether or not to keep it permanently.

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