The speed limit for over 50 roads in the Tasman region may be changed, thanks to a council speed limit review that was undertaken this year.

After public consultation between September and November, a hearing panel has recommended to the Tasman District Council that it revise speed limits on several roads across the region, with 485 submissions made by the public. Out of these submissions, 375 supported the proposed changes that have been recommended in the consultation document.

The council initially asked in September 2018 if the public believed changes to the speed limit should change on roads to reduce serious crashes. The council received suggestions on 46 roads across the region that people thought needed a change.

In May this year, the council undertook a community speed limit survey, asking the public what speed limits are safe and appropriate for different types of roads.

Of those surveyed, 81% said that a speed limit of less than 100km/h is safe for narrow sealed roads, while 91% said the same about unsealed roads. Data has shown that excessive speed was a factor in 32% of fatal or serious crashes in the Tasman region between 2014 and 2018.

The council says that road safety in the Tasman region, and across the country, has deteriorated over the past three years. Around 76% of Tasman residents thought that speed limits should be tailored to the road type, rather than a blanked 100km/h for rural road and 50km/h for urban centres.

One road that has had a proposed speed limit change is River Terrace Rd. The hearing panel has recommended to the council that the speed limit on the rural Brightwater road be reduced from 100km/h down to 80km/h. The consultation document identified this road as one of the top 10% death and serious injury saving sections.

“These are the sections in our region that are expected to generate the greatest savings in death and serious injury if speed management measures are implemented,” the report says.

The council will consider the recommendations made by the panel this December. The proposed changes can be found on the local roads speed limits review 2019-2020 on the council website.

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