Have you ever been driving and realised that you are unsure of the speed limit for that particular part of the road? I have, many times.
For most of 2008 & 2009 I traveled weekly between Auckland and the Bay of Islands and on occasion I went South to Hamilton, Coromandel and Rotorua.
Nearly every time I traveled there were road works happening on one or more sections of the highway.
Where there were road works sometimes the temporary signposts varied from 30 kph to 70 kph. It wasn’t unusual for there to be two speeds within the same section of roadworks and on one occasion the same stretch of road with 30kph on one side and 50kph on the other and both these signs facing the same way.
I recall a number of times when I was driving through an area at 80 kph and then realised the speed limit was 100 kph. The reverse happened a few times too. I hadn’t noticed any sign to suggest the limit had changed. It’s probable that there was a road sign but on a long trip it’s easy to be distracted as the scenery changes and then the sign gets missed.
This got me thinking and wondering if there could be a better way to signpost our roads. I think there is.
Why not colour code sections of the highway? Or, more accurately, colour code, speed zones. I realise the road can’t be colour coded when it is being dug up or repaired but it can still be signposted with colour coded signs.
The rest of the highway could easily be colour coded, by changing the colour of the centre line, by introducing a pattern to the centre line such as 2 white one yellow or by painting the actual speed between the dashes of the centre line.
Then every stretch of highway will be clearly marked and the change of speed zone will be in-your-face obvious.