New safe speed in effect today on SH5 from Rangitaiki to Esk Valley
A new, safer 80km/h speed limit for the 76km winding section of State Highway 5 between Rangitaiki and Esk Valley will come into effect on today.
The top priority for Waka Kotahi is for everyone to get to their destination safely and this will be done through safer speed limits and future safety improvements. Reducing speed limits is the most effective and immediate way we can dramatically improve safety for everyone who uses this road.
We recognise our key partners, and some community leaders want further analysis and evidence that the lower speed limit is appropriate. We are committed to completing an evaluation 12 months after the speed limit has been in place, which will consider the safety, economic and social impacts of the new, safer 80km/h speed limit being introduced on 76km of this 122km section of SH5 between Napier and Taupō.
The decision on the new speed limit was based on a thorough technical assessment of the road, which considered factors like crash history, road environment and speeds that people generally travel at, as well as feedback received during consultation from the general public and stakeholders.
The majority of the feedback from people who submitted their thoughts through the consultation process showed they would like speed limits to remain the same. Concerns about driver behaviour including drug and alcohol use, and quality of the road surface were also shared in submissions. The evidence shows that 100km/h is not safe for this section of road, even for the best drivers.
There are many reasons crashes happen and we need a mix of solutions that all work together to keep people safe. We need everyone making safe choices, in safe vehicles, on safe roads and travelling at safe speeds. Improving people’s skills and deterring risk-taking behaviour are still critical, but this alone will not fix the problem.