The recent 80kmh speed restriction between Bell Block and Waitara, and closure of passing bays in between is an admission by Transit NZ that it has failed completely - again - in its duty to provide a safe roading network for the Taranaki region.
Stating the reason that it wants to decrease accidents, deaths and injuries is commendable. But Transit NZ, here's a thought - why not build safer roads, intersections and passing bays in the first place. Are our lives not worth it in the Taranaki region?
New worksafe legislation may be an issue here for Transit NZ. How can it raise the speed limit back to 100kmh and re-open now closed passing bays if it already knows that roads are dangerous? This new legislation states that if any person knowingly or by action or inaction contributes to accidents resulting in injury or death, they will be subject to the severe legal penalties. Dangerous roads just might meet this legal criteria.
Our local MP appears to have gone both invisible and silent over this roading issue (must be another election coming up soon). Taranaki, as a region of New Zealand, has 4 per cent of its population and contributes 7 per cent of its GDP. Yet it receives nothing for its efforts in terms of safer roading.
How about we reduce the speed limit on all dangerous roads to, say, at least 50kmh - might as well make the whole Taranaki region safer while we're at it. A permanent 50kmh speed limit for all Taranaki roads. Then Transit NZ won't have to spend any of our taxes and our fuel levies on any roading in the Taranaki region at all.
Problem solved. (Abridged.)
DUNCAN JOHN REID
- Taranaki Daily News
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