Speed tolerance to drop to 4kmh

Last updated 14:30 11/04/2014

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The speed tolerance will drop to 4km for the whole Easter and Anzac Day period, following the success of a police Safer Summer speeding campaign.

This summer's road toll was 42 deaths, 15 lower than the previous summer. The 4kmh limit was in place from December 1 to January 31, the longest period it has yet been enforced.

''Although 42 lives lost is nothing to celebrate, it is heartening that this was the lowest number ever recorded for those two months,'' said superintendent Carey Griffiths, national manager of road policing.

The limit will again be in place from 4pm next Thursday, April 17, till 6am on Monday, April 28.

''This is a logical step given the unusually long holiday period and the fact that many people will be taking the whole 10 days off and travelling in greater numbers,'' Griffiths said.

Mean vehicle speeds dropped by 0.5 to 1.5kmh over summer compared to the same period the previous four years, Griffiths said.

''This doesn't sound like a lot, but when you multiply it over millions of journeys it makes a big difference.

''For every kilometre per hour that we reduce mean speeds, there is a corresponding 4 per cent reduction in fatalities, which is huge.''

Tickets issued by the police over summer show the number of drivers exceeding 110kmh fell by more than half compared to previous summers. The majority of tickets were to drivers breaking the speed limit by 5 to 10kmh.

''While police would prefer not to issue any infringements, the fact that most people were ticketed in the 5-10kmh bracket, and not at higher speeds, indicates that more and more drivers are slowing down,'' Griffiths said.

Last Easter, ACC received around 80 injury claims a day, chief executive Scott Pickering said.

''This included everything from head injuries to limbs smashed or bruised in motor vehicle crashes. We know that the faster you go, the worse your injuries will be if you crash.  So I urge all Kiwis to stick to the speed limit, to stay safer over the ten days of Easter and Anzac Day this year.''

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- The Dominion Post

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