Making sure the speed limit is appropriate for the conditions is an important part of a safe roading network, so we’re reviewing the limits across Tasman District.
In September 2018 we asked if you believed changes to the speed limit on any roads you use would help reduce serious crashes. We received 46 suggestions for local roads where you thought road users would benefit from a speed limit change.
Central government has also placed a focus on reducing serious injuries and deaths associated with crashes on our roads, not only by investing in road safety improvements, but also ensuring ‘safe and appropriate’ travel speeds.
Of course the ‘safe and appropriate’ speed will vary for different types of roads depending on their main use and characteristics.
For speed limits to be effective, they need to be underpinned by community support and understanding. That’s why in May 2019 we undertook a community speed limit survey. The survey asked what speed limits you think are safe and appropriate on the different types of roads we have across our region.
Eighty-one per cent of you told us a speed limit less than 100km/h is appropriate for our narrow sealed rural roads and 91% told us a speed limit less than 100km/h is appropriate for our narrow or winding unsealed roads.
Available data for Tasman District Council roads shows that excessive speed was a causative factor in 32% of fatal or serious crashes between 2014 and 2018. However, speed is a risk factor for absolutely all accidents, ranging from the smallest fender-bender to fatal accidents.
Studies have definitively shown the very strong relationship between speed and road safety. In fact, there is no other risk factor that has a more powerful impact on accidents or injuries than speed. While it may be possible to offset the impacts of higher speed to some extent by introducing other road safety measures, a reduction in speed will almost always improve road safety and reduce harm.
The number of fatal and serious crashes on local roads has been increasing over the past six years.
Crashes on these road types are happening at increasing numbers.
As a result, we are proposing to change the speed limit on four sections of our Primary and Secondary Collector Roads and 13 low-volume rural roads.
We have identified 41 rural roads which we think should have a 50km/h or 60km/h speed limit due to rural-residential development and eight speed limit reductions for other reasons.
You can find the full list of roads and proposed speed limit changes in the consultation document.