Piako Post - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS -

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

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