Safer Speeds = lower speed limits

If road speeds were limited to 0 there would be no accidents. With speed limits up 100 kph there are quite a few accidents and deaths and injuries. If road speeds were decreased there would likely be fewer accidents and deaths. So how low should they go?

RNZ:  Speed limits reduction proposal wins local support, National Party criticisms

Local leaders are backing reduced speed limits, and Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter is rejecting the National Party’s claims that reduced speed limits would put brakes on the economy.

It follows the revelation from a New Zealand Transport Agency tool, Mega Maps, that the speed limit on 87 percent of roads is higher than what is deemed the safe travel speed.

It suggested the speed should be as low as 60km/h on some open roads, and 30km/h or 40km/h in cities.

Cities across the country have already reduced or are looking to reduce speed limits.

According to the National Road Carriers Association, 95 percent of export fruit, 86 percent of export wool and 85 percent of export dairy products are carried by our trucks on the roads.

National’s transport spokesperson Paul Goldsmith said the economy relied on the movement of freight so any slowing of speeds could cost the country.

“Having a strong productive economy enables us to invest in many other areas which helps improve the quality of life and wellbeing of New Zealand so before you make dramatic changes to speed limits right across the board you have to think these things very carefully through.”

The government has given no indication whether it will reduce all speed limits, and it has rejected claims a slower network will make it less efficient.

“We don’t have more efficient roads when we have lots of fatal crashes on our roads – that slows down traffic as well so the idea that travelling at 10km/h faster, 20km/h faster on narrow, dangerous, windy roads is somehow better for the economy is completely ridiculous,” Ms Genter said.

“Travel times aren’t as affected by minor changes to the speed limit as they may think. I actually think that both the National Party and the Road Transport Forum are being incredibly irresponsible in this debate – both of them signed up to the speed management guide in 2016 and if they’re really saying that hundreds of New Zealanders should continue to senselessly die and be seriously injured on our roads for no good reason, I think that would mean they’re very out of touch with the majority of New Zealanders.”

A new road safety strategy for 2020 onwards is due to be put out for public consultation, which may include lowering limits on some high risk roads.

The current strategy: Safer Speeds Package

The Safer Speeds Programme (Safer Speeds) is New Zealand’s new approach to speed management under the Safer Journeys strategy.

One of the Safer Journeys goals is to reduce the number of speed related crashes by 2020. While the road toll is significantly lower today than it was in 2010, there are still too many people dying or being seriously injured on our roads.

In 2015, speeding was a contributing factor in 93 fatal crashes, 410 serious injury crashes and 1286 minor injury crashes. These crashes resulted in 101 deaths, 496 serious injuries, and 1,831 minor injuries.

Safer Speeds recognises that the transport environment is changing, with better infrastructure and technology available to manage speed to improve safety outcomes and promote network efficiency. Safer Speeds provides a long-term approach to manage speed on the road network to support both safety and economic productivity.

Roads can also be made safer, but that’s expensive. How much should we pay to make roads safer? Or would it be more cost effective to just reduce speed limits?

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28 Comments

  1. But is there a problem? This chart shows road fatalities dropping per 10,000 vehicles.
    https://www.transport.govt.nz/mot-resources/road-safety-resources/road-deaths/annual-number-of-road-deaths-historical-information/
    You have to scroll to the bottom for the appropriate chart.

    Reply
    • duperez

       /  6th June 2019

      There is a problem. Suggesting that road fatalities dropping per 10,000 vehicles means there’s not a problem would be a problem. There are accidents where incidents are not caused by stupidity, lack of driving ability or some other factors out of human control, but it’s likely most deaths are avoidable.

      Not just avoidable because the highways aren’t flash enough. Would a high quality six lane highway North Cape to Bluff mean no deaths on that road?

      Reply
      • I would suggest the proposed solution to the issue is out of proportion to the problem.

        Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  6th June 2019

        Probably if it had median barriers. Short of people jumping out of cars at 100 km/h. You will never stop that.

        Reply
    • Duker

       /  6th June 2019

      The data doesnt show that at all. Theres been a steady fall thats stopped and now an uptick

      – Im sure They didnt dare show the numbers for 2016, 2017

      Reply
      • The data for 2016 is there. Data for 2018 forward might be unreliable given that the 2018 census was a mess.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  6th June 2019

          Dead people don’t fill out censuses.

          The fact that there are now fewer deaths per capita is a red herring. The people are still dead.

          Reply
  2. Alan Wilkinson

     /  6th June 2019

    Regulatory idiots at it again. Most NZ roads have no single safe speeds. Some bits are slow and some are fast. Accidents mostly happen on the slow bits or otherwise by bad overtaking on the fast bits. Most crashes already happen below the speed limits. Most that happen above them are due to crazy and often alcohol or drug impaired driving. The single most effective intervention is median barriers to prevent head on crashes.

    Reduced limits will mostly reduce productivity and increase traffic fines.

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  6th June 2019

      Ah the bogey man of reduced productivity –
      But some high accident areas have had a speed reduction for some years now
      SH2 after leaves SH1 and heads towards Coromandel ( those rich pricks hurrying for their baches)
      SH1 north of Wellsford

      The trouble with nationals RONS is while they have spend money a a few areas, the road toll behind their back was shooting up in others. Bridges cut the budget for Police Traffic enforcement, it wasnt a freeze it was a big cut.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  6th June 2019

        Reduced productivity is simply a fact and immediate consequence. A cost benefit analysis without it is meaningless. Also the cost of life values used in most of these justifications have no basis in reality, just numbers plucked out of imaginations.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  6th June 2019

          The extra time taken on a slower, safer trip is surprisingly small. I can’t see it greatly affecting productivity.

          My stepfather used to ask people what they did with the extra few minutes that they’d saved by going faster.

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  6th June 2019

            The slower trip isn’t safer since you are exposed to all the risks of the road that you can’t control for longer.

            What do I do with the time saved? Have a nice meal and a rest. Have more time with family or friends. Avoid peak traffic jams. Take the dogs for a walk before dark. Live better. Silly question.

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  7th June 2019

              You’d have to be going at a great pace for a long time to save enough time to do those things.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  8th June 2019

              Auckland – Bay of Islands is my commute.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  8th June 2019

              How far is that ?

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  8th June 2019

              3 – 4 hrs depending on traffic

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  8th June 2019

              But how far is it ?

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  8th June 2019

              About 250km.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  8th June 2019

              How do you save enough time on that to have a meal and the other things you claim to do with the time saved by fast driving ?

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  8th June 2019

              If it takes 3 hrs instead of 4 there is ample time saved.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  8th June 2019

              Why not go all out and do it in 2 ?

              Then you’d save 2 hours. Or put your foot down and go 250 the whole way and do it in an hour ?

              Even 160 kph would get you there in really good time.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  8th June 2019

              I’d settle for a motorway to Whangarei. Whangarei to Puhoi is the slowest sector.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  8th June 2019

              Why should the taxpayer have to pay millions so that you can save a bit of time ? How selfish.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  9th June 2019

              The taxpayer doesn’t. Car and truck owners do and are happy to pay the tolls when offered a choice as 90% of the traffic opts for the tolled motorway Orewa to Puhoi. The only selfish people are those trying to stop this.

  3. 2rich2

     /  6th June 2019

    I notice to date that there has been no correlation with the French issues and there green vest brigade going ballistic for the last six months.
    Trigger of this backlash in France was, Increase tariffs on fuel, lower speed limits, install additional speed cameras. Obviously the agenda is being set by others we are just following it. France is backtracking hugely. There current Government is no longer wanted by the populace. See the EU elections for confirmation of this. To be seen if we have a similar backlash to the French with the same policies enforced on us. Or if we just accept it as ok that our poor subvert and know there place.

    Reply
  1. Safer Speeds = lower speed limits — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition

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