The NZ Transport Agency will be reviewing speeds limits throughout Southland in 2021-22, agency senior network manager Peter Robinson says.
In Friday’s The Ensign, Mataura resident Tali McLean expressed her concern about the 100kmh speed limit outside her house and called for it to be reduced.
Mrs McLean’s house is one of 23 in a 900m stretch of road on the outskirts of the town where the speed limit is 100kmh before it drops to 70kmh further into the town.
Mr Robinson said changing a designated speed limit involved a consultation process to determine an appropriate speed limit.
This involved receiving input and feedback from the local community and those who used the section of road, to agree on the best solution and any safety improvements which could help, before gazetting the changes.
“The signs can only be amended or relocated once the gazetting is in place.
“Without gazetting, the speed limit is not legal and cannot be enforced.
“Signs cannot just be moved around or placed more than a few metres from the gazetted location if they are to be enforceable.”
The agency’s approach to speed management in New Zealand was to have a consistent and evidenced-based approach.
“The transport agency will be looking at all speed limits in accordance with the setting-of-speed-limit rule and the ‘safe system’ approach, he said.
“Southland is programmed to have this implemented in two to three years’ time. ”
The safe-system approach worked on the premise that even responsible drivers sometimes made mistakes.
The system endeavoured to minimise these errors and reduce the severity of crashes when errors occurred.
The NZTA was aware there was concern about this stretch of road, Mr Robinson said.
“We have had discussion regarding this section of highway with the community board at Mataura.”
In 2017 the traffic counter at Saleyard Rd, Mataura, recorded an average daily total of 6226 vehicles using that section of State Highway 1.