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Call to keep an eye on speed changes

At least one resident is pleased with the upcoming lower speed limit outside his house on SH2.

Zane Edhouse has seen countless instances of dangerous driving and near misses on the northern approach to Featherston and has fought for years to improve safety and policing in the 70kmh zone.

“There’s a lot of bloody idiots coming through, doing double the speed limit at times, overtaking all the cars, and on the wrong side of the road,” he said.

“It’s not just one or two cars, it’s thousands going through here every day.

“We’ve lost three animals on the road in the four years we’ve lived here due to speeding.”

But while Edhouse welcomes the new limit of 50kmh in front of his home – due to kick in on Friday, January 27, along with other reductions along SH2 – he’s convinced motorists will continue to speed past unless policing standards improve.

“You’ll find there will be no significant change whatsoever because the police presence on the roads in Wairarapa is absolutely pathetic,” he said.

Edhouse has called the police almost daily for years to report dangerous driving past Boundary Rd but said he has only seen about six cars get tickets in all that time.

“Rain or shine they don’t slow down for nothing. And they won’t slow down without a speed camera or more police.”

Acting road policing manager Senior Sergeant Matt Fitzgerald said police will be prioritising deployments in Wairarapa, but they will initially take a softly-softly approach to enforcing the new speed limits.

“With any speed change, police’s educational approach is adopted to give motorists time to get familiar with these changes,” he said.

“We expect people to drive safely within the legally posted speed limit and, depending on the conditions, that may be slower than the limit.

“Police will be maintaining a highly visible presence in the Wairarapa community and motorists can expect to see police patrols anytime, anywhere,” he said.

Although Edhouse believes 50kmh is the correct speed for Featherston’s northern entrance, he disagrees with the open road speed being reduced to 80khm, like the majority of Wairarapa residents who submitted to NZTA during consultation about the changes.

Flynn Nicholls
Flynn Nicholls
Flynn Nicholls is a reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age who regularly writes about education. He is originally from Wellington and is interested in environmental issues and public transport.

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