Re­duced speed limit ‘cor­rect’

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - KRIS DANDO

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.

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