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Land Transport Rule: Setting of Speed Limits 2021 consultation

We are consulting on a proposed new rule enabling an improved approach to speed management planning on New Zealand roads, called the Land Transport Rule: Setting of Speed Limits 2021.

Speed is a major contributing factor to deaths and serious injuries on New Zealand roads. In the event of a crash, regardless of cause, the speed of impact is the most important determinant of the severity of injuries sustained and the probability of death.

On 11 November 2019, Cabinet agreed to the wider Tackling Unsafe Speeds package, which comprises:

  • introducing a new regulatory framework for speed management to improve how speed management changes are planned for, consulted on and implemented
  • transitioning to lower speed limits around schools to improve safety and encourage more children to use active modes of transport
  • adopting a new approach to road safety cameras (also referred to as ‘speed cameras’) to reduce excessive speeds on our highest risk roads.

The proposed Rule includes:

  • requiring all road controlling authorities that are territorial authorities (including Waka Kotahi) to include their proposed speed limit changes and safety infrastructure treatments (including proposed placement of road safety cameras) for the coming 10 years into speed management plans
  • regional transport committees will coordinate input from road controlling authorities in their region to create and consult on a regional speed management plan, aligning with the regional land transport planning process
  • giving the new Director of Land Transport (within Waka Kotahi) the responsibility for certifying regional speed management plans
  • establishing an independent Speed Management Committee to certify the Waka Kotahi State highway speed management plan, and to oversee the information and guidance on speed management Waka Kotahi (as regulator) provides to road controlling authorities (RCAs)
  • introducing a new process for setting speed limits outside of speed management plans, and for road controlling authorities that are not territorial authorities
  • requiring all speed limits, other than temporary speed limits, to be entered into a national register to give legal effect to all speed limits, other than temporary speed limits. Waka Kotahi (as regulator) will be the Registrar of the register
  • requiring road controlling authorities to reduce speed limits around:
    • urban schools to 30 km/h (variable or permanent speed limits), with the option of implementing 40 km/h speed limits if appropriate
    • rural schools to a maximum of 60 km/h (variable or permanent speed limits)
  • introducing a target of 40% of school speed limits to be reduced by 30 June 2024, and all remaining speed limits by 31 December 2029.

Once signed, this proposed Rule will replace the Land Transport Rule: Setting of Speed Limits 2017.

Why are we consulting?

Consultation on this proposed Rule is being carried out to ensure legislation is sound and robust, and the Rule development process takes into account the views of, and impact on, those people and organisations affected by the proposed Rule.

This consultation has two parts:

Read the overview carefully and consider the effects the proposed Rule would have on you or your organisation. You can also read about the process for making rule changes.

Subject to the approval of the Minister, the proposed Rule is expected to come into effect later in 2021.

What are we seeking your feedback on?

Waka Kotahi welcomes your comments on the proposed changes set out in this overview and in the draft of the proposed Rule.

When you provide your feedback, it would be helpful if you consider and comment on the following:

  • What impact would the proposals have, and on whom? Waka Kotahi is particularly interested in your comments on any costs (to you or to your organisation) of implementing the proposals.
  • Would any groups or individuals be disadvantaged by the proposals, and how?
  • Would any groups or individuals benefit from the proposals, and how?
  • Are there any implementation or compliance issues that would need to be considered?

Wherever possible, please provide examples to illustrate your point.

How to make a submission

You can send your submission via the relevant online submission form or email rules@nzta.govt.nz

  1. Speed Management Plans and Speed Management Committee
    This submission form contains questions relating to the use of speed management plans and the new independent speed management committee.
    Feedback for Speed Management Plans and Speed Management Committee(external link)

  2. Use and lodgement of speed limits
    This submission form contains questions relating to the use of emergency, temporary, variable, 70 and 90 km/h speed limits, the use of the Register of Land Transport Records and the application of speed limit areas.
    Feedback for use and lodgement of speed limits(external link)

  3. Speed limits around schools
    This submission form contains questions relating to the specific targets for safer speed limits around schools, use of variables speed limits, the consideration of roadside development and RCAs having the ability to designate rural schools.
    Feedback for speed limits around schools(external link)

  4. Other proposals
    This submission form contains questions relating to time periods speed limits will remain in place for, minimum signage and length requirements, and the use of mean operating speed.
    Feedback for other proposals(external link)

When are we consulting?

Public consultation runs from Friday 23 April and ends at 5pm on Friday 25 June 2021.

Consultation documents

Summary of proposals (overview) of the proposed rule [PDF, 2.6 MB]

Setting of the Speed Limits 2021 Rule consultation draft for review [PDF, 465 KB]

Questions and answers [PDF, 177 KB]