Faster toll roads

AA Motoring Affairs general manager Mike Noon says the AA supports the higher speed limit. Photo / File

The AA says it is pleased to learn the NZ Transport Agency has decided the Cambridge section of the Waikato Expressway and Tauranga Eastern Link toll roads will both have a 110kmh speed limit from mid-December.

AA Motoring Affairs general manager Mike Noon says the AA supports the higher speed limit for both because they have been designed to a much higher safety standard than most other New Zealand roads — so the limit is appropriate.

Motorways and expressways have fewer crashes per kilometre travelled than any other type of road. They account for 17 percent of vehicle kilometres travelled but only 3 percent of fatal and serious crashes, and there has not been a fatality on either of the new roads.

“From a survey in August 2017, raising the limit to 110kmh on our safest roads was supported by 79 per cent of AA members,” he says.

“New Zealanders expect speed limits that sensibly reflect a road’s risk and these are two of the safest roads in the country, so it makes sense to raise the speed limit on these roads.”

However, he cautions that this is not the case for all of our roads, and some older roads have limits that are too high. Over time, speed limits on these less safe roads are likely to reduce.

The two roads that will have 110kmh limits are multi-lane highways, with a number of safety features including wide shoulders and median barriers to separate oncoming traffic as well as barriers on the left to prevent vehicles running off the road. The new limits are consistent with speed limits on roads of the same quality in other countries around the world, including Australia.

“The AA would like to remind drivers that speed limits are not a target. The speed limit is the maximum speed you can travel in ideal conditions and in some situations you will find that you need to drive significantly slower than the posted speed limit.

“Because these two roads have at least two lanes in each direction, people should not feel they have to travel at 110kmh if they are not comfortable at that speed or if conditions are poor.

Heavy vehicles and cars towing will continue to be limited to 90kmh so the new limits do not apply to these vehicles.

The AA says it is pleased to learn the NZ Transport Agency has decided the Cambridge section of the Waikato Expressway and Tauranga Eastern Link toll roads will both have a 110kmh speed limit from mid-December.

AA Motoring Affairs general manager Mike Noon says the AA supports the higher speed limit for both because they have been designed to a much higher safety standard than most other New Zealand roads — so the limit is appropriate.

Motorways and expressways have fewer crashes per kilometre travelled than any other type of road. They account for 17 percent of vehicle kilometres travelled but only 3 percent of fatal and serious crashes, and there has not been a fatality on either of the new roads.

“From a survey in August 2017, raising the limit to 110kmh on our safest roads was supported by 79 per cent of AA members,” he says.

“New Zealanders expect speed limits that sensibly reflect a road’s risk and these are two of the safest roads in the country, so it makes sense to raise the speed limit on these roads.”

However, he cautions that this is not the case for all of our roads, and some older roads have limits that are too high. Over time, speed limits on these less safe roads are likely to reduce.

The two roads that will have 110kmh limits are multi-lane highways, with a number of safety features including wide shoulders and median barriers to separate oncoming traffic as well as barriers on the left to prevent vehicles running off the road. The new limits are consistent with speed limits on roads of the same quality in other countries around the world, including Australia.

“The AA would like to remind drivers that speed limits are not a target. The speed limit is the maximum speed you can travel in ideal conditions and in some situations you will find that you need to drive significantly slower than the posted speed limit.

“Because these two roads have at least two lanes in each direction, people should not feel they have to travel at 110kmh if they are not comfortable at that speed or if conditions are poor.

Heavy vehicles and cars towing will continue to be limited to 90kmh so the new limits do not apply to these vehicles.

Your email address will not be published. Comments will display after being approved by a staff member. Comments may be edited for clarity.

Poll

  • Voting please wait...
    Your vote has been cast. Reloading page...
    Do you support the $6 million proposal for Rugby Park, which includes synthetic turf, an athletics track, additional sportsfield, all-weather sports pavilion and conference/function centre?