Push to improve safety

AARON LEAMAN
Last updated 05:00 29/11/2012
Road safety
CHRIS HILLOCK/Fairfax NZ

NEW LIMITS: Eleven speed limit changes will be introduced across Waikato state highways this month – all aimed at improving road safety.

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Speed limit changes will be rolled out across many Waikato state highways this month as roading bosses look to turn around the region's lacklustre safety record.

NZ Transport Agency state highway manager Kaye Clark said the 11 speed limit changes were aimed solely at improving safety.

"We're aiming to reduce deaths and serious injuries by taking action in four key areas - safe roads and roadsides, safe vehicles, safe road use and safe speeds," Mrs Clark said.

"In addition to investing in safer roads and roadsides and promoting safer driving and safer vehicles, lowering travel speeds on some of our high-risk sections of road will help to reduce crashes and reduce the severity of those crashes that do occur."

Mrs Clark said even small reductions in speeds could greatly reduce the risk of crashes happening and increase the chances of people surviving those crashes.

This year the region's road toll sits at 40 - the country's highest.

Last week, NZTA published data showing Waikato's roads remained the most dangerous in the country.

State Highway 1 from Huntly to Hamilton is the country's "riskiest" stretch of highway - with 30 serious injury crashes and 11 fatal crashes in five years.

Mrs Clark said the transport agency wanted a reduction in unsafe speeds, including speeding and travelling too fast for the conditions.

"If we achieve this, we will see a reduction in all crashes, not just speed-related ones. The NZTA is improving basic features such as road markings and signage to help road users identify and understand the speed limit.

"If a road is difficult to read or if it carries a high level of community activity, and is used by pedestrians and cyclists, then its speed limit should reflect these conditions."

NZTA consulted police, AA, Road Transport Association, councils and communities in deciding the new speed limits.

CHANGING SPEED

SH1 at Te Rapa – 80kmh speed limit outside The Base down to 60kmh.

SH1 at the Cambridge south approach – the current 80kmh speed limit at the Shakespeare St intersection reduces to 70kmh.

SH23 at Whatawhata – the current 80kmh speed limit will be extended past Maori Point Rd.

SH25 at Te Mata –- the current 50kmh speed limit will be extended to Tapu.

SH25 at Te Rerenga – the current 100kmh speed limit reduces to 80kmh.

SH25 at the Kuaotunu west approach – the current 100kmh speed limit past Bluff Rd reduces to 70kmh.

SH25 at Kuaotunu south approach – the current 100kmh speed limit past Pumpkin Flat Rd reduces to 70kmh.

SH25 at Wharekaho – the current 100kmh speed limit between Wharekaho (Simpsons Beach) and Whitianga reduces to 80kmh.

SH25 at the Whitianga south approach – the current 80kmh speed limit will be extended past Golf Rd.

SH25 at the Whangamata north approach – the current 70kmh speed limit will be extended past Herbert Drive.

SH29 at Te Poi – the current 70kmh speed limit will be extended further past Stopford Rd.

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- Waikato Times

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