NZTA proposes speed limit changes for Northland highways

Source: 1News

Waka Kotahi NZ Zealand Transport Agency is looking to slash the speed limit on the Northland highway network from 100km/h to 80km/h.

The proposal comes after the Government cancelled plans to build a four-lane corridor to improve roads between Auckland and Whangārei.

Signs on State Highway 1 in Northland.

NZTA wants to reduce the number of serious crashes in the region after another horrendous holiday road toll.

But lowering the speed limit may also have its downsides on certain roads across the country.

Trucking company owner Stan Semenoff told 1News, "We'd have to adjust our pricing, time is a cost to us and the consumer will always end up paying."

However, NZTA's Steve Mutton said, “Our prime focus is the over 800 people that have died or been seriously injured over the corridors over the last ten years and by reviewing our speeds and making them safe and appropriate its something we can do now and we can save many lives."

Northland Chamber of Commerce CEO Steve Smith said slower road speeds means more traffic and more expensive transport costs for businesses.

But accidents are also costly. The Ministry of Transport puts the average social cost of a fatal crash at just over $5 million and a serious injury at $1m.

NZTA says it'll work with what it's got and a decision will be announced next month.