Leading New Zealand road safety campaigners have joined the growing push for the speed limit be lowered to 30km/h in some areas to reduce the risk of serious injuries from crashes.
The move comes as Auckland Transport currently investigates a bylaw to reduce its speed limit in high-risk areas to protect cyclists and pedestrians.
Caroline Perry from road safety charity Brake New Zealand recently told NZ’s The AM Show that while speed may not be the cause of all crashes, it is always a deciding factor.
“Speed is a factor in all crashes in terms of the outcome of that crash,” she said.
“So whether it’s a cause or not, it’s going to determine whether you’re injured in a crash, whether you’re killed in a crash.”
Perry noted that the statistics have shown that for every 2 km/h reduction in speed there is an approximate 5 per cent reduction in crashes, while also calling for new measures to be brought in to look after vulnerable road users.
“We want to protect them, so that means having our residential areas, our communities, shopping centres at 30km/h so that they can get out and about safely and [it’s also] encouraging more of us to walk and cycle too.”
In Australia the 30km/h trials have already gained momentum with Melbourne’s Yarra Council enforcing a 12-month trial in residential streets across Collingwood and Fitzroy from September.
At the time Yarra Mayor Daniel Nguyen said the trial is about making the roads safer for everyone who uses them.
“We want to make livelier, healthier streets that everyone can enjoy, whether they are walking, driving or riding,” Mr Nguyen said.
“We hope that this trial will help reduce the number of serious injuries, and also bring other benefits including reduced congestion and encouraging more people to choose active transport options, like cycling and walking.”
Do you think lowering the speed limit will help to actively reduce the rate or severity of crashes or are there other measures that should be considered?