Rarangi resident fights for speed limit drop

Dog-owner distraught after car runs over pet

HEATHER SIMPSON
Last updated 08:56 01/09/2014
Kelly Webster and Shiloh Walsh
ANTHONY PHELPS/FAIRFAX NZ
DANGER ZONE: Pam Neal with beloved family pet Lily who was run over by a car. Neal said speeding drivers on Rarangi Rd were turning it into a drag strip.

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Speeding motorists are turning a rural road into a drag strip with family pets being run over and speeding cars narrowly missing pedestrians, a resident says.

Pam Neal urged motorists to slow down after her beloved dog Lily suffered serious injuries when she was hit by a car and left on Rarangi Rd yelping in pain.

Motorists saw the 100kmh limit on the long, narrow road as a target and people put their foot down, Neal said.

While she was out horse riding, a car was so close it grazed her horse whip.

Lily, a 2-year-old Maltese Australian Silky cross, was knocked down at 9.30am on Friday, August 17.

Neal was at home when she heard loud yelping coming from the roadside.

"I raced out there at the speed of light. Lily was trying to crawl but couldn't get up on her legs."

She had broken two legs, suffered a dislocated hip and had cuts to her feet.

A vet in Blenheim was unable to treat her serious injuries and a surgeon at Christchurch has put a pin in her hip.

Neal faced a veterinary bill of nearly $10,000.

The speed of some cars on the road was horrendous, she said.

"All I can say is, shame on you for not stopping," Neal said. "To that person, she was just a dog but to me she is far more. I accept that she shouldn't have been anywhere near the road, but she has legs and will use them, just like a small child could.

"This time they hit a dog. Next time it could be a child. I wonder if the driver would be able to find the brake pedal if it was a child on the road.

"Come on drivers, slow down, 100kmh is not a target. Please stop using Rarangi Rd as a drag strip."

Increasing housing development in the area meant there was more traffic on the road.

Neal had reported poor driving behaviour six times to police.

The speed limit was 100kmh but she wanted it cut to 70kmh.

"For a rural, narrow road it is too much."

The road had three stop areas for school buses. A petition had been submitted to Marlborough Roads for the speed limit to be cut but a speed reduction had not been considered. "This year I have had enough," Neal said.

Marlborough Roads manager Frank Porter said speed limit bylaws had been reviewed.

A 70kmh zone was in place at Rarangi Beach Rd but 100kmh was appropriate for open road on Rarangi Rd, he said.

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- The Marlborough Express

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