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AT’s Safer speeds a step change for NZ

Safe speed limits are survivable speed limits and this is what AT has endorsed in its step change decision today. This decision is a landmark that sets the scene for a new focus on road safety in New Zealand.

Transport Planner Bevan Woodward says “AT’s decision represents a fundamentally different way of setting speed limits. Rather than the tradition policy of setting speed limits using the efficiency orientated defaults of 100km/h and 50km/h for rural and urban roads, AT has embraced the philosophy that speed limits must be the survivable limit for the victims of crashes. Based on the most common serious crash types, this means a maximum of 80km/h on undivided rural roads where two vehicles are involved in a head on, and 30km/h where a vehicle collides with a pedestrian or cyclist.

AT recognises that no matter how well drivers are trained and the rules all enforced, all drivers have the potential to make mistake. This may be a moment of inattention or a lapse in judgement which causes a serious crash, but it should not result in death. Safe speed limits are survivable speed limits and this is what AT has endorsed today.

The AA and National Party’s view that we mustn’t slow vehicles down to save lives has been considered and dismissed. The benefit of fast traffic has been outweighed by the benefits of safe traffic. Not only will this result in in less deaths and serious injury, but it means more people can choose to walk and cycle, a healthier population, more liveable communities and a decrease in traffic, air pollution and carbon emissions.”

Andy Smith, president of Living Street Aotearoa congratulates Auckland “on lowering speeds to make roads and streets safer for people using them. We all walk and lower speeds means that vehicle crashes will kill less people."

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