Otaihanga Speed Warning

OtaihangaTransport Agency urges drivers to slow down at new roundabout

By Alan Tristram 

After KIN’s story about dangers at the new Otaihanga roundabout on SH1 north of Paraparaumu (see story down page ), the NZ Transport Agency has urged all drivers to slow down when approaching the area.

Mark Owen, Regional Performance Manager for the Agency, says: “Just as a stop sign or a red light is designed to stop traffic, a roundabout is designed to slow down traffic.  Failing to slow down at a roundabout is comparable to running a red light.”
He adds: “Motorists must slow down and give way at roundabouts, irrespective of the speed limit. This is reflected in the road code, and is fundamental safe driving practice.

“Anyone who drives through a roundabout without slowing down is in clear breach of  the road code.
·”We urge motorists to exercise caution and commonsense.”

Overall, he says, the roundabout has greatly reduced the risk of severe crashes arising from motorists being hit at high speed when pulling out of Otaihanga Road.

·Mr Owen adds: “Slowing down at a roundabout greatly reduces the risk of crashes, and we would urge motorists to do so.

“It’s also crucial that motorists indicate at roundabouts as per the road rules. We are aware that a number of motorists are failing to do so.”

But what about a lower limit?

But when asked directly whether the Transport Agency would also install new, reduced, speed signs, the Agency replied:

“A key point of our response is that when people approach the roundabout, they are required to slow down and give way, just as they are for all roundabouts.

 “As such, regardless of the posted speed limit, a legal requirement to lower your speed already exists on the approaches to the roundabout.”