Reduced speed limit ‘correct’
Whitford Brown Ave should stay at 50kmh, Porirua’s mayor says, because figures show crashes on the busy road have dramatically reduced since 2008.
Nick Leggett and regional councillor Barbara Donaldson campaigned in 2008 to have the speed limit on the 70kmh stretch of road reduced by 20kmh. Their push followed two fatal accidents in the preceding two years, one of which was Erebus crash investigator Ron Chippindale.
The 75-year-old Chippindale, who lived in Papakowhai, was struck by a car that was heading up Whitford Brown Ave on February 12, 2008. Henry Lingman, who was 19, was on a learner’s licence, was travelling over the speed limit and lost control of his vehicle.
Lingman pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing death and was given nine months’ home detention and community work.
Figures from NZ Transport Agency show that between 2004 and 2008, besides the two fatalities, there were nine other crashes deemed ‘‘serious’’. Since the speed limit was lowered in 2009 – following a review of the road by Porirua City Council – there have been two serious crashes there.
In a council report in 2008, Whitford Brown Ave was described by Leggett, a councillor at the time, as a ‘‘race track’’. A lower limit was safer for Aotea College students crossing the road, he said then.
Today, he said the only ‘‘noise’’ he had heard about possibly raising the speed limit again was in relation to the high number of speed camera fines.
‘‘Going slower up or down adds a little time to your trip, but those crash stats speak for themselves. ’’
It was recently reported that the camera in Whitford Brown Ave was the most lucrative in New Zealand, snapping more than 15,000 motorists exceeding 50kmh in the first nine months of 2015.
Leggett said that with a righthand turn into The Fjord planned, the need for a safe intersection at the top of the road once the Countdown supermarket is built, and continuing to make the road safe for students and pedestrians, the speed had to stay at 50kmh.
‘‘Going slower up or down adds a little time to your trip, but those crash stats speak for themselves. At 50kmh, it is safer and I’m comfortable with it,’’ he said.
No way should the speed limit in Whitford Brown Ave be increased, says Porirua mayor Nick Leggett.