How fast is too fast? It's all in the hands of the wheelholder, generally, but our esteemed Government seems to think that dropping open-road speed limits is going to save Kiwis -- and visitors -- from dying on our roads.
In a Weekend Herald report last Saturday, Transport Agency road safety director Ernst Zollner said lowering the speed limits in open road areas would save lives.
The general open-road limit of 100km/h did not allow for dangerous things such as trees and trenches along rural roads, he said.
This is the next step in the cotton-wool wrapping of New Zealand drivers, as opposed to tackling the root of the problem -- drivers themselves.
There is a tendency to think that slowing people down is going to save the world, but I'd strongly disagree with this. There are already speed advisories on corners that are deemed dodgy -- why not settle for these, or simple warning signs to tell drivers of potential hazards?
Changing limits all over the shop is simply going to confuse drivers, give revenue-gatherers more sweet spots to lurk in wait for those who are more than a few clicks over the limit, and endorse the thinking that we're not good enough drivers to cope with trying conditions.
And -- especially given recent events with tourists -- when New Zealanders visit overseas and find themselves in, say, 130km/h zones in Italy, or the Northern Territory of Australia where the limits have been dropped (again), how are they going to cope? If someone has been spoon-fed information rather than driving to road and weather conditions instead of becoming a competent driver in the first place, they're never going to leave the bunny run.
There are areas that are great on a dry, or still, day, but when the wind blows or there's a bit too much liquid sunshine things get very difficult. If drivers are incapable of reading the environment they may as well catch a bus. Wake up, Ernst and co, please, for the sake of genuine driver safety, not this weak approach.
•Do you agree with the proposed changes? Let us know below or facebook.com/DrivenNZ