More Speed = Less Crashes
And today on 'Only in New Zealand' we discuss a new phenomenon, more speed = less crashes!
Yes, you read that right! A recent increase to the speed limits of two New Zealand highways has seen no fatal crashes occur on the respective stretches of road ever since the new limit was put into place. How about that!
For a country with such a small population, New Zealand has a rather high road toll with a little less than 200 people dying on the roads last year. The Transport Association estimates that 87% of highway speed limits are too high for the conditions.
So, the government trialed a new higher speed limit on a couple of roads between Auckland and Tauranga where the limit has been increased from 100 to 110km/hr and great news! Ever since this change which was over 18 months ago, there have been no fatal crashes on this stretch of road. However, despite these incredible developments, the transport authority is proposing to lower the speed limits for the most dangerous roads at the moment. Transport Forums are heavily opposed to this as they say it would "slow the economy down". These two stretches of highway were picked for the trial as they are among the safest in the country so naturally, their already low road tolls have been eliminated completely.
Though many people blame high speeds for crashes on roads, there are two other opposing viewpoints. One is that NZ roads aren't really that good/safe in comparison to say, the highways in Germany, England or other developed nations. Secondly, V8 Supercars legend Greg Murphy believes that rather than blaming the roads and the speed, it is the driver training that should take the blame as he believes poor driving skills and generally unsafe driving is the main factor behind the large death toll. I don't know about you but I wouldn't argue with 'Murph' especially when it comes to driving ability.
So what can we gather from this? Well, (as long as all drivers are trained well) the speed limit should be raised to 150 and then we'll have no crashes at all. It's a win win. (I'm only joking)
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