80kph: Top speed for JAG

1962 3.8 Mk2 Jaguar

It was all so predictable. From the moment Julie Anne Genter got the Associate Minister of Transport role, a speed limit reduction to 80 km/h was a given.

“It is only for the most dangerous roads,” she witters on. Mark my words, SH2 will be 80km/h from Tauranga to the Bombay Hills. Much of the Waikato will likewise be clobbered.

After around 8 pm, SH2 between Auckland and Tauranga is empty. It is possible to sit on 100 km/h all the way (except the 90/70/50 km/h areas of course!) and never catch another vehicle. There are very few ‘nasty’ corners which might catch one out, it is a perfectly safe road. This lame-brained decision will ensure that boredom sets in about 3 km from the beginning of the journey as you tootle along at 80 km/h.

All the extra time that deliveries will take, all the extra hours that truckies will have to be paid for will result in higher consumer prices. All the extra trucks that will be required because the required number of return trips can no longer be completed in a working day will add to congestion. All these unintended consequences will not help to reduce poverty. All because JAG hates cars. It will not affect her; she flies to work.

It will be impossible to pass anyone without breaking the law. It is bad enough now at 100 km/h with ‘safety’ cameras strategically parked at the end of passing lanes.

Variable speed limit roads seem to work okay when the limit is adjusted for weather or traffic conditions but simply screwing down the open road speed 24/7 is the response of idiots. Quote.

[…] Ms Genter said it was “no secret that many of the posted speed limits are not a safe speed limit to travel at” on New Zealand roads. […]

Asked if lowering speed limits would be a brave move, Ms Genter said people will understand.

“I have a slightly different view. I actually think there are lots of New Zealanders and a lot of visitors to New Zealand who are driving around on our roads who would be much happier with a more appropriate speed limit,” she said.

“It’s actually less stressful to drive on a road when you’re able to travel at a safe speed limit and not be under pressure to travel at a faster speed.

“There will be a percentage of the population, a minority, who aren’t happy with this. But I actually think there’ll be a silent majority who are quite in favour and say, actually, it’s the right thing to do.”[…] End quote


Time to move out of your cycling infested bubble, Ms Genter. If you think that the majority of the motoring public are going to be happy with open road limits of 80 km/h, then I have a bridge to sell you. (Comes complete with median barriers, side barriers, wider shoulders, wider centre lines and rumble strips.)

No one forces anyone to travel faster than they are comfortable with. There is no pressure. If the stream of traffic is moving faster than your capabilities, then pull over and let them pass. Very simple.

And do you know what else Ms Genter? The road toll will not be affected by this idiocy and Vision Zero is pie-in-the-sky with New Zealand roads, drivers and tourist numbers.

To lower the road toll, build proper roads: like the 110 km/h, zero fatality, Tauranga Eastern Link.