Lowering the speed limit will halve the road toll - expert

Drive 03/04/2018

A new report by the International Transport Forum in Paris has recommended that in order to reduce the risk of head-on collisions, rural roads without a median barrier should have a speed limit of 70km/h, including state highways.

The forum is made up of 59 member countries including New Zealand. 

If implemented, this would mean almost all of New Zealand's roading network would have to have its speed limits reduced, including state highways.

It also proposes reducing speed limits to 30km/h in urban areas where cars share space with cyclists and other "vulnerable road users", or 50kmh in other urban areas.

Bevan Woodward, a transport planner, joined Ryan Bridge and Lisa Owen on RadioLIVE Drive to discuss the recommendations.

Mr Woodward told Drive he “largely” agrees with the idea.

“They present their logic as to why they made those recommendations, and I support that.”

He says the ITF suggests lowering the speed limit because people “can’t survive” head-on crashes at greater than 80km/h.

Airbags just don’t work at 100kmh.

For a government point of view, Transport Minister Phil Twyford joined Drive to talk speed limits, and the just released draft ten year transport policy.

Listen to both interviews in full above.

Drive with Ryan Bridge and Lisa Owen, 3pm - 6pm Weekdays and streaming live on 'rova' channel 9 - available on Android and iPhone.