Down with speed say walking advocates

Walking advocates are calling for lower traffic speeds as the most effective way of improving road safety.

The call follows the death of former Air Accident Inspector Ron Chippindale who was struck by a car this morning.

Director of Living Streets Aotearoa, Liz Thomas, says “While we don’t know the exact circumstances of this tragic accident, we know that lowering traffic speeds reduces the frequency and severity of accidents.”

“The message is simple: down with speed for safer roads.”

Councils in New Zealand are heeding this message and introducing low speed zones around schools and in residential areas where the speed limit is 30 km/hr.

Ms Thomas says “We welcome this sensible road safety measure, and call for its wide-spread introduction throughout New Zealand.” If a pedestrian is hit by a vehicle, the severity of their injuries is related to the impact speed. According to Land Transport New Zealand, the probability of death for a pedestrian falls steeply from 70 percent at 50 km/hr to 10 percent at an impact speed of 30 km/hr. Living Streets Aotearoa is New Zealand’s national walking and pedestrian advocacy group.

For more information: Liz Thomas, Director Living Streets Aotearoa, 04 472 8280 or 021 106 4201; Celia Wade-Brown, President, Living Streets Aotearoa, 027 483 6691

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