LRCA submits that the SH30 speed limits should be lowered to 60kph from Moose Lodge to the Eastern end of Hongi’s Track to mitigate the significant dangers faced by road users. This will reflect the current road signage speed recommendations and the safety needs of the populated areas.
LRCA welcomes the opportunity to make this submission to Rotorua Lakes Council and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency’s timely review of Rotorua district speed limits. The accident statistics for SH30 between Tikitere and Hongi’s track show an alarming increase in serious accidents in recent years with 13 serious accidents and 4 deaths in the last 3 and a bit years.
Unlike other main lake side roads in the district the road along the shore of east Rotoiti stands out as an exception which has not had it’s speed limits lowered through it’s dangerous and populated areas to improve safety.
Currently the speed limit for State Highway 30 is 100kph between Moose Lodge and Ruato Bay, 80kph from Ruato Bay to Tapuaeharuru Bay at the eastern end of Rotoiti and then 100kph through Hongi’s Track.
Road users of State Highway 30 between Moose Lodge and Hongi’s Track face numerous road and roadside dangers.
Where there is limited population multiple hazards exist - such as sharp corners, rockfalls, slippery road in icy and wet conditions, unforgiving borders either through large drop offs directly into the lake or into substantial tree trunks. The highway is peppered with signs warning that corners / windy road should be driven at 45kph, 55kph and 65kph, that it is slippery in icy or wet conditions and that drivers should watch out for rockfalls and pedestrians.
The road warning signs in these areas make it clear that driving at 60kph or less is advised and driving at 100kph is dangerous!
In the populated areas, difficult roadside access to the highway, an assortment of sports and community organisations including a junior school, less manoeuvrable vehicles such as large truck & trailer units and vehicles with boats and caravans in tow, and pedestrians and drivers who may not be familiar with highway’s dangers all combine to create a lethal cocktail!
Again 60kph is far more appropriate than the current 80kph to protect the safety of the public who should expect to enjoy the beauty of the lake and its community in safety.
The 2 serious accidents in the last month, one in which a person was killed and another in which a truck and trailer rolled blocking the road for 16hrs, serve to reinforce the need for change.
Typical Supporting Comments From Those Who Have Registered Their Support
"As a teacher for years I have watched our kids run across the road to get to the kura on the main road. Trucks speed through here, cars overtake on the corners, its difficult to turn into our driveway. Its ridiculous and its time for a change. For our kids so they can bike and walk safely”.
"Trucks need to slow down around schools and sports facilities ! This would be a welcomed change to keep our communities and kids safe".
"This is an matter to resolve. As well as the speed limit changes appropriate for the windy sections of the highway, there are issues on straight sections where dangerous overtaking occurs frequently, e.g. the section in front of Te Whakareia Marae at western end of Gisborne Point, where speeding overtaking endangers motorists, motor cyclists and pedestrians. This should have no passing markings given it is a residential area".
"It is of upmost importance that this speed limit be dropped to 60kph as area has become more populated, access to and from properties have very limited visibility, school in area with young children, families are using footpath to walk and access local dairy and reserves plus many towing vehicles some very large accessing boat ramps. There is also an increase of cyclists using highways. Huge trucks use this highway with many far exceeding current speed limit".