Mega Maps is the NZTA’s online risk assessment tool, it uses a range of factors such as road width and stereotype, shoulder width, roadside hazards and alignment to calculate the safe and appropriate travel speed. It has suggested that only 5% of the open roads should have the current 100km/h speed limit, and in most cases a speed of 60-80 km/h should apply. In addition to this, for most urban areas, the tool suggests the safe and appropriate speed would be 30-40 km/h.
In a series of interviews, Nick Leggett CE of the Road Transport Forum has made the following comments:
“The Government wanting to crack down on the road toll by dropping speed limits across the country is concerning. There has been no consultation with the Road Transport Forum on this and the statistics presented don’t give the full picture of what’s happening on our roads.
Reducing speed limits would severely restrict the movement of freight and the productivity of New Zealand's economy, as well as having a major impact on the everyday lives of all drivers, not just truck drivers. This would slow New Zealand down both literally and economically.
The speed limit is 90km/h for trucks, and the worry for us is you make that 60km/h you are making it much, much harder for the New Zealand economy to be productive, and for people to be able to move their goods around the country. The majority of freight still travels by roads and as a trading nation we need to get goods to ports to meet global market demands.
Of course safety has to be the number one priority on our roads. But speed isn’t the cause of 75 percent of accidents, according to Government statistics. Let’s focus on the most dangerous 10 percent of roads, as well as all the other causes of accidents. New Zealand should prioritise improving the quality of the roads. Instead what we have seen in the past couple of years is a de-funding of the roading budget. The state of roads is a contributor to their safety, along with speed, and driver behaviour, including the use of drugs.
Slowing down our country, its productivity and the livelihoods of Kiwis, for a marginal safety benefit, is ideological politics and not good sense.
Posted on Thursday 6th June 2019
87% of speed limits on New Zealand roads are higher than is safe - estimates NZTA Mega Maps tool
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