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NZ Transport Agency has blood on its hands

Another tragedy on our roads and another outpouring of grief and despair. The added tragedy is that such horrific fatalities could be largely prevented by the NZ Transport Agency through safer speed limits.

NZTA knows that the occupants of vehicles in a head on collision at 100 km/h are likely to die. They also know the same collision at 80 km/h will likely see the occupants survive.

However NZTA chooses not to implement safer speed limits of 80 km/h or less on its network of undivided rural roads.

This is in spite of NZTA’s recent analysis that found that 87% of our roads do not have the safe and appropriate speed limit. Furthermore, NZTA says it will only look at the most dangerous 10% of roads for safer speed limits and to make the process more difficult, any proposal to implement safer speed limits must be approved by NZTA’s Board of Directors.

One of the four pillars of the internationally proven safe system for road safety is safe speeds. This typically means 80 km/h on undivided rural roads which would result in the estimated saving of 200 lives per year in New Zealand.

Until NZTA chooses to adopt safer speed limits on our undivided rural roads, then it will have blood on its hands as New Zealand’s horrific road fatalities occur again and again.

Issued by Bevan Woodward, Transport Planner.

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