Reduced speed limits are set to come into force on a notorious stretch of state highway near Tauranga.
The new permanent speed limits from Katikati to Bethlehem will come into effect from Friday, December 11.
Between October and November 2019, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency consulted with the local community and road user groups on safe and appropriate speed limits in an effort to save lives and reduce the number of serious crashes on this stretch of State Highway 2.
Regional relationships director Steve Mutton said this route was one of the highest-risk roads in the Bay of Plenty.
In the 10 years from 2009 to 2018, 27 people died and 77 people were seriously injured in crashes on these roads.
"No crash resulting in death or serious injury is acceptable, so it's important we take every opportunity to address the risk. Speed increases both the likelihood of crashes and the severity of crash outcomes, so a small change can make a huge difference.
"It's great to be able to implement safer speeds ahead of the busy holiday period when we see a significant increase in traffic volumes on our roads," Mutton said.
There are more vehicles, including heavy vehicles, using this section of SH2 than ever before and it's catering to a wide range of competing travel needs including cyclists and school children.
In addition, crashes on this route can cause extensive delays and long detours if there are road closures.
"We're currently making SH2 between Waihī and Ōmokoroa safer by improving intersections and installing roadside safety barriers, widening the road shoulder and putting in a wide centreline," Mutton said.
"These safety improvements are already well underway and, together with the right speed limit, will make SH2 safer for everyone."
"We thank everyone who provided a submission and feedback on the proposed speed limit changes. Together with the community's insights and our technical review we have been able to make an informed decision on these speed limit changes."
• Speed limits to the east of Te Puna, and the rural/urban boundary shift west of Bethlehem, have not changed. Waka Kotahi will re-assess the speed limit through this section in the future if the function of the road changes. For example, because of growth and development changing the way we use the road, or if new cycling infrastructure is constructed.