Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency will seek an initial round of community feedback in the first half of 2021 on plans to introduce safer speed limits along State Highway 2(SH2) through the Hutt Valley.
As well as reviewing the current speed limits, Waka Kotahi will investigate further safety upgrades on SH2 as part of its 2021-2024 programme.
Director of Regional Relationships, Emma Speight says that safer speed limits and safety interventions were needed to reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries on NZ roads.
“While new infrastructure, improved driver behaviour and safer cars can help, one of the most effective ways to prevent deaths and serious injuries is to ensure our speed limits are safe and appropriate for the road,” she said.
“Even the best drivers make mistakes while driving, and a mistake shouldn’t cost anyone their life. No matter what causes a crash, speed is always a factor in the severity. It can be the difference between someone surviving or not. This review is about saving lives and preventing harm to people.
“Over the last year we’ve been working on a technical assessment of safety on SH2 through the Hutt Valley, and will soon investigate and plan other safety upgrades, such as barriers and intersection changes.
“Hearing from the community about proposed changes is an important part of the process, so we will be seeking public feedback online and at community engagement events in the first half of 2021.”
She said the review of speed limits through the Hutt Valley, and further investigation of safety improvements on SH2, were part of an integrated regional approach.
“We have already seen the success of having safer speed limits on SH58. The number of crashes fell by 40 per cent in the first year of safer speed limits, compared to the year before the limits were changed. Now, physical safety improvements are underway to make the road safer again,” said Ms Speight.
“We’re taking into account several major infrastructure projects that are on the way. We know that projects like the new SH2 Melling interchange and the Te Ara Tupua walking and cycling path will improve safety in the long-term, but we’ll also consider safer speed limits in the meantime.”