Ask Phoebe: Misleading cautions on winding road reviewed

By Phoebe Falconer

Speed advisory signs for corners must end in 5, speed limits in 0

Windy road ahead sign. Photo / Getty Images
Windy road ahead sign. Photo / Getty Images

Travelling west-east from Kopu to Hikuai, one soon comes across a sign saying "winding road 5km". In another 4km there is another sign "winding road 5km". Then the road winds unremittingly for 12km, at which point a sign on the other side facing east-west traffic says "winding road 10km". Apparently of this 16-17km stretch of road, 80 per cent of it is only winding when travelling from a particular direction. And travelling from Kopu to Whangamata, there are corners posted with recommended maximum speeds including 25, 35, 45, 55, 65 and 75km/h, but none for 30, 40, 50, 60 or 70 km/h. Is this a question of policy, or did they buy a lot of 5s on the cheap? Rod Newbold, Highbrook.

The NZ Transport Agency says it will review the signs along this section of the road to ensure that they provide accurate distance advice on the length of windy road ahead. Curve advisory speed signs are designed to give motorists a recommended safe and comfortable speed for travelling around the curve. These signs give an advisory which is different to a speed limit sign which is enforceable.

These signs were first used in New Zealand in 1956. The requirements for curve advisory speed sign placement specify the signs increase in 10km/h increments and always end in 5. Speed limit signs are in 10km/h increments but always end in 0.

What significance is there to the red road surfaces that are appearing throughout Auckland? Margaret Adams, West Auckland.

It's a safety issue. Auckland Transport says the red surfacing is installed to increase drivers' awareness of certain features in the road in order to encourage lower speeds and hopefully reduce the risk of crashes. Red surfacing has been used to highlight the presence of pedestrian crossings, (Victoria St by Elliott St in the city centre), a change in the speed limit (Atkinson Rd, Titirangi at the 40km/h school speed zone), and intersections that have a relatively high crash rate (Willerton Ave/Seabrook Ave & Kaurilands Rd/Glendale Rd intersections).

- NZ Herald

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