A team of researchers in Belfast, Northern Ireland have published a study which claims 20mph (30km/h) speed limits have little effect on road safety.
Around 76 roads in the city which had their speed limits reduced to 20mph were analysed and compared to other roads that kept their 30mph and 40mph limits.
According to AutoExpress, the researchers found that there were “no statistically significant differences” in the long-term rate of crashes or casualties. However, the 20mph roads had less traffic.
So could the same be said for the thousands of roads around Auckland which continue to have their speed limits reduced?
Earlier this year in September, Auckland Transport announced it would be changing the speed limits on over 1600 roads across the city as part of its Safe Speeds Programme.
This includes roads found in town centres like Devonport which are being reduced to 30km/h.
Considering the changes will cost the taxpayer $33 million, is the initiative worth it if there’s no effect on road safety?
That’s not to say that lower limits in some areas like schools aren’t justified. But when our rural roads are constantly getting slower, driver impatience and frustration are sure to have a much more negative effect on road user safety than the lower limits themselves.