Motorists are calling for a major rethink of speed limits – including raising the top limit to 110kmh on the safest motorways.
The Automobile Association, which represents 1.3 million drivers, says a move to 110kmh should become a priority after this year’s election.
It also wants limits reduced on highways that are not equipped to handle 100kmh traffic, such as the steep and winding Rimutaka Hill Road.
AA motoring affairs general manager Mike Noon said too many “inconsistencies” had crept into New Zealand’s speed zones, which was confusing well-intentioned drivers and seeing them get caught for speeding.
The association wanted fair, consistent and predictable speed limits across the board.
If some motorways had been designed for 110kmh traffic, then the limit should reflect that, he said.
But it should apply only to flat, straight stretches of motorway with two lanes in each direction, a median barrier and good shoulder space. “It won’t be an enormous amount of roads,” Noon said.
I agree. 110 km/hr is a common speed limit overseas for well designed motorways. The speed limit should reflect the road conditions.
National road policing manager Superintendent Carey Griffiths would not be drawn on whether speed limits should go up or down, but said they needed to reflect the risk and functions of a particular road.
Featherston man Nick Burt, who drives the Rimutaka Hill Road about four times a week, favoured scaling back the speed limit there to 80kmh.
You’re crazy if you drive that road at 100 km/hr. I agree it should be lower, as should the road to Makara.