Speed limits under review in East Waikato and Bay of Plenty

In News3 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineOctober 8, 2021

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is seeking public feedback on speed limits in Te Poi, Matamata and Tauranga as part of its review on state highways around the region.

State Highways 24, 29 and 29A in East Waikato and Bay of Plenty are under the spotlight after being identified as roads where safer speed limits could make a big difference in preventing deaths and serious injuries.

Between 2010 and 2019, 28 people died and 118 were seriously injured on these roads.

“We’re working toward a future where no-one is killed or seriously injured in road crashes in Aotearoa New Zealand,” Waka Kotahi director of regional relationships David Speirs said.

“Lots of change is needed to get us there but there is one thing we can do that will make a huge difference immediately – making speeds safer on our roads.

“The speed of a vehicle at impact is the single biggest factor that determines if you or someone you love walks away from a crash.”

In the past, Waka Kotahi has heard concerns about the speed people are travelling on these roads and through the local communities.

“Engaging with the community helps us understand how people feel about current speeds in the area, including on roads around their local school, marae, business or workplace,” Speirs said.

This information helps when deciding if a speed limit change is the best thing to do to improve road safety, where new speed limits might begin or end, and if any other safety improvements might be needed. The feedback also helps decide if and what speed limit changes will be formally consulted on.

“We’d like people to tell us about places that are hard to get to or from, how safe they feel crossing the highway or letting their children walk or cycle to school in certain areas, and if there are any other sites or information that we need to be especially aware of,” Speirs said.

“Reviewing speed limits is something we can do to prevent avoidable deaths and help us to achieve our Road to Zero target to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads by 40 percent over the next 10 years.”