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The deadly cost of Transport Agency’s inaction

The deadly cost of Transport Agency’s inaction: another 8 deaths this week

Communities and councils around the country are demanding safer speed limits to reduce road deaths and trauma, but the New Zealand Transport Agency is failing to take action.

“From Southland to Northland, we’re see communities across New Zealand pleading for safer speed limits,” says transport planner Bevan Woodward. “These communities know 100km/h is too fast for their rural roads and that lower speed limits are the most cost-effective and immediate solution to the appalling carnage on our roads.

However, NZTA is failing to respond to these communities and ignoring its own analysis that 87% of our road network has speed limits that exceed the safe and appropriate speed.

Whereas NZTA used to tell us ‘the public aren’t ready for safer traffic speed limits’, they are now telling communities that they will only address the top 10% of New Zealand’s most deadly roads and that 100km/h is the default for rural roads.

NZTA is a road building agency that prefers to solve road safety issues by “engineering up”, which means road widening and straightening. The “engineering up” approach is important and useful, but it is also very expensive and takes time. With road trauma a daily occurrence, we can’t wait for NZTA to “engineer up” New Zealand’s rural road network.

Our communities are bearing the dreadful cost of NZTA’s inaction on safer speed limits for our rural roads. The research[1] is clear that 80 km/h speed limits on rural roads results in significantly less crashes, deaths and serious injuries.

NZTA needs to show leadership and in partnership with the NZ Police implement the safer speed limits sought by communities across New Zealand.”



[1] Speed and Crash Risk report: https://www.itf-oecd.org/sites/default/files/docs/speed-crash-risk.pdf

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