The new 50km/h signs on the eastern side of Morrinsville were installed in August 2017 after consultation with the police, Matamata-Piako District Council and other stakeholders. The previous 70km/h speed limit was changed to 50km/h because of the expansion of the Holmwood Park subdivision, and the lower 50km/ h speed limit will make it safer for motorists using the State Highway 26 Holmwood Park Drive intersection. The new 50km/h signs are clearly visible, and are at the location where the road environment changes from rural to urban to enhance the credibility of the speed limit change.
In the previous five years there has been one recorded seriousinjury crash involving a cyclist where the speed limit has been lowered to 50km/h. As part of the speed limit change, the previous 70km/h speed limit across the Piako River Bridge has been increased to the open road speed limit. Our data showed that drivers were often exceeding the previous 70km/h speed limit across the Piako River Bridge, and lowering this speed limit to 50km/h would not seem credible to drivers.
Keeping the shorter length of 70km/h speed limit across the Piako River Bridge was also not possible because it does not meet our minimum length required for a speed limit. In the previous five years there have been no recorded crashes where the speed limit has been increased to 100km/h. Staff from the NZ Transport Agency have spoken to Mr and Mrs Fiolitakis and have already made the following changes:
Added ‘‘50km/h 200m ahead’’ signs
Changed 100km/h signs to ‘‘derestricted speed limit’’ signs Painted no-overtaking lines Added a ‘‘Heavy vehicles please no engine braking’’ sign. The NZ Transport Agency will be monitoring the new speed limit by using road counters to ensure that drivers are complying with the lower speed limit.
Any changes to the location of the speed limit signs will require further consultation and changes to a bylaw.
-NZTA Waikato Transport Systems Manager Karen Boyt