Road safety week: Be smart about your speed

by Anonymous Author

Go at the right speed for the right conditions is the message the AA would like drivers to take on board this Road Safety Week.

Road Safety Week is an annual event highlighting the need for New Zealand to do more to reduce deaths and injuries on our roads. The focus this year is on speed.

“When people think about crashes involving speed they normally picture someone driving dangerously fast and breaking the speed limit,” AA motoring affairs general manager Mike Noon said. “But there are a lot of crashes every year where a driver was within the limit but going too fast for conditions.

“The speed limit on a road is the fastest speed you should travel on it in good conditions so sometimes people need to go slower than that to be safe.” When a road is wet or visibility is poor are two obvious times when slowing down makes sense, but there are other conditions that people often overlook.

“Different roads have different risks. Driving on a motorway with a median barrier has much less risk than driving on an undivided rural road with a ditch running alongside it yet they both may have a 100km/h limit,” Mr Noon said.

“It also makes sense for people to slow down if they are driving near a school at the start and end of a school day. “It’s really just about drivers using common sense and adjusting their speed to fit with what is happening on the road around them.” 

He says the emphasis on this Road Safety Week should be even greater considering that New Zealand has seen its road toll stop falling in recent years. Since a record low of 253 deaths in 2013 there have been three years in a row of increasing road deaths and the first four months of 2017 have continued that tragic trend. “As a leading campaigner for New Zealand road safety, the AA is very concerned that more and more Kiwis are being hurt and dying in crashes.”