Road freight peak body, Ia Ara Aotearoa Transporting New Zealand, is welcoming the current political debate on a rethink of speed limit reductions.
Transporting New Zealand Interim CEO, Dom Kalasih says it’s critical that Government policy takes into consideration safety, environment and productivity, and a scientific, risk-based approach must be used rather than blanket limits on whole roads.
“The current approach is one dimensional and nonsensical,” Mr Kalasih said.
“We’re seeing proposals to reduce sections of road from 100 km/h down to 40 km/h even when engineers have advised the safe and appropriate speed limit is much higher.
“The road network is the workplace of our members so as much as anyone we want a safe network. But variations and inconsistencies like this make no sense and in fact will make it very hard for drivers to have any idea what the speed limit actually is.
“We’ve heard it might cost $30 million to reverse what’s been done but on the flip side, with what’s happening now it could add 15 minutes to a transport operator’s daily travel time, particularly if operating on rural roads,” he said.
With the charge-out rate for a truck and trailer unit at around $200 an hour, the loss of productivity could unnecessarily cost the country an additional $25 million every day with no equivalent gains in safety, said Mr Kalasih.
“We’ve been calling this problem out for a long time now and it’s great to see that there is now a solid political debate about road speeds as we believe we need a sensible rethink of this,” he said.
Additional information about Transporting New Zealand’s policy priorities can be found at https://www.transporting.nz/election-platform-2023