Speed kills. And if it doesn't kill it certainly causes more crashes and more serious injuries than anyone needs. The sense of danger that the speed of traffic creates also contributes to putting people off walking (and cycling). This is especially so for children whose parents view the roads as too dangerous for them to get to and from schools and other places under their own steam.
The risk of death and serious injury increases very rapidly above 30 km/h. This is the speed the WHO recommends in areas where there are many pedestrians or where the risk to pedestrians is particularly high, such as at schools, shopping areas and near retirement villages.
Although some cities in NZ are adopting lower speed limits in these places they are still a small minority. It needs to be made much easier to make the change. There needs to be nationwide lower speed limits in these places so that drivers get a consistent message about what is an acceptable speed.
We are assisting to make this a reality, joining with traffic professionals, elected representatives and community advocates to encourage the Ministry to make nationwide lower speed limits a key part of its Safer Journeys Strategy implementation plans.
Click here for the European Campaign