Public consultation has closed on a bylaw which has the potential to save dozens of lives.
Auckland Transport has received 11,007 submissions on its proposal to reduce speeds on some 700km of high-risk roads around the region, 90 per cent of these are in rural areas.
AT Chief Executive, Shane Ellison says Auckland is facing a road safety crisis with a 78 per cent increase in deaths and a 68 per cent rise in serious injuries since 2014. Nine people have died on New Zealand roads today in three crashes.
“The old adage that speed kills, is absolutely, and tragically, true. Lowering speeds and working with Police to enforce those limits is a proven tool internationally to be one of the easiest and most effective interventions available.”
Mr Ellison says it’s particularly pleasing that a number of submissions have come from organisations representing large sections of the community, such as District Health Boards, universities and school Boards of Trustees, the AA, Victim Support and Local Boards.
“We also received many submissions from people wanting their local street or neighbourhood to have speeds lowered. While those areas were not the focus for this proposal, we will certainly take them into account in the future.”
Submissions are currently being analysed and those who have requested will present to a Hearings Panel of AT Board members and senior executives later in April.
If adopted, the speed limit changes will come into effect in August this year.
The 10-year $700 million road safety programme is designed to focus not only on speed but to also up-spec our roads to Safe System standards. The Government and Regional Land Transport Plan have identified safety on our roads as their #1 priority. Keeping in line with this, Auckland Road Safety partners (AT, the Transport Agency, NZ Police, ACC) have identified a number of actions to improve Auckland road safety outcomes in the short term including:
- Improved Safe System road safety governance structures and knowledge transfer.
- Speed management, technology and enforcement of safe driving behaviours. This includes having all 12 red light cameras operating at the same time. Over the next five years, the number of cameras in place will increase to 42.
- Safety engineering investments at high-risk intersections and road corridors.
- Mass action safety improvements for vulnerable road users.
- Ensuring Safe System design improvements through Capital, Maintenance and Renewals programmes.
- Support for increased Auckland Road Policing activities and further investment in technology.
Speed isn’t the only lever we’re using to bring down high rates of deaths and serious injuries to zero. We will be investing in making our roads and roadsides safer, working even more on our existing education and outreach programmes and working closely with NZ Police to enforce.