Re: Perfectly safe != speed
What utter crap!
Jeez, I get utterly sick of people in New Zealand, including the government and Police making this kind of statement when it is just not true.
Exceeding the limit is NOT an accident waiting to happen - provided it is done judiciously. Travelling at the speed limit under all circumstances can be much more dangerous.
I have driven in most of Europe, a lot of North America and a fair few other countries as well, and our roads are up there with most of the others, and sometimes exceeding some of those countries you mention. (proviso .. some roads excepted - same as most countries as well)
Having returned in the last 3 years from an extended stay in the UK, I can tell you that what causes accidents is not speed, but crap driving and stupid police enforcement which is having the reverse effect to what they want. A tolerance of 4 kph over the holidays, which incidentally did not do anything for the road toll, as compared to last year. All the low tolerance does is cause drivers to spend more time watching their speedometer rather than the road as they should be doing. Not only that, it is dangerous as they have instilled the concept that you must NEVER under any circumstances exceed the speed limit, which is rather mixed messages, as if people attempt to overtake a slower driver while following the rule, they finish up taking an absolute age to complete the manoeuvre. When I was taught to drive the idea was that when overtaking you spent as little time as possible on the wrong side of the road, so you put your foot down to get past, then slowed back down.
When they are producing television adverts which show someone driving on a straight road with no other traffic on the road (apparently) doing 105 kph (just 5 kph over the legal limit - that is 3, yes just 3 mph) and then someone pulling out of a side road, causing an accident and then making out the guy doing 5 k over was in the wrong, (he states "I was over the limit, it's my fault!") I'm sorry that is just absolute rubbish. The cause of the accident was the idiot pulling out of the side road. The advert pulls in a lot of emotion as well, as the idiot pulling out says that he has his kid in the car (this discussion is held in a time paused moment just before the cars collide) and "I made a mistake". Yup, YOU made the mistake - not the guy on the road doing a mere 5 kph over. I defy ANYONE to be able to tell whether a car coming towards them is doing 5 kph over or under the limit.
Ditto the ridiculous ad showing a woman exceeding the urban speed limit by a small amount and then having her hit someone who (according to the ad) ran out in the road literally a cars length in front, without looking. With the scenario they show, even someone doing just under the speed limit would not have had a chance of stopping either.
How are they allowed to produce and show such blatant propaganda which doesn't even have the dubious merit of showing something accurately.
BTW we had some visitors from the UK over Christmas who travelled around a bit and were thoroughly impressed with our roads. Most of ours are far wider than B roads (and even some A roads) in the UK. They weren't that impressed with the general driving standards however.