Changes to speed limits are to be rolled out through next year, the Minister of State with responsibility for Road Safety has said.
The Government is aiming to cut speed limits on roads right across the country in response to a surge in road deaths this year.
Under the plan:
- The speed limit on rural and local roads is to drop from 80km/h to 60km/h
- In urban and residential built-up areas, the default limit will reduce from 60km/h to 30km/h
- For national secondary roads, the speed limit will fall from 100km/h to 80km/h
Limits on motorways, national primary roads and regional roads will remain unchanged.
Minister Jack Chambers rejected suggestions that reducing speed limits on roads affects 'the totality of people for the sins of a few'.
He told The Hard Shoulder that it is more than just a few people.
"This is very much basing a speed limit review on international evidence," he said.
"We know that, say, two-in-three people when they were pulled [over] by the Road Safety Authority admitted to speeding.
"This isn't a few people; we have too many people across society [who] feel it's socially acceptable to exceed the specific speed limits."
'A much safer baseline'
Minister Chambers said the change is about finding a balance.
"In many instances, people are speeding to then stop their car at multiple sets of traffic lights in very urban areas." he said.
"That's why by setting a much safer baseline we're protecting vulnerable road users, we're protecting people who are engaging in active travel and we want to promote that.
"It is about setting a balance.
"Where you've got a national secondary road which has been upgraded [local authorities] will be able to revise that upward".
On a timeframe for the reduced speed limits, Minister Chambers said every road has to be assessed.
"We've tried to shorten the timelines on this; it took 16 months to produce the guideline the last time this was done, it'll be produced in four months this time," he said.
"That'll be given to local authorities and... through next year, then, local authorities will be working with the taskforce for establishing to assess every road and then rollout the various changes.
"We want to accelerate the timelines and I'll be doing everything to do that through next year.
"Every road has to be assessed," he added.
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