Views sought on new approach to setting speed limits


The Land Transport Rule: Setting of Speed Limits 2021, which is now open for public consultation, aims to improve the process for setting speed limits and planning for safety infrastructure on New Zealand roads.

The proposed changes will improve the way Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency and councils plan and implement proposed speed management changes, giving communities better long-term visibility of proposed speed management changes on local roads and state highways in their regions and across the country.

The changes proposed by the Rule would require Waka Kotahi and regional transport committees to produce detailed speed management plans every three years, setting out all proposed changes over a 10 year period, including planned changes to speed limits as well as details on planned infrastructure improvements and the potential use of safety cameras on high risk routes.

Waka Kotahi’s speed management plans would cover proposed changes for state highways, while regional transport committees’ plans would cover proposed changes for local roads.

Waka Kotahi Director of Land Transport Kane Patena says producing and consulting on the plans every three years will give local communities the opportunity to provide regular input to Waka Kotahi and to councils on the safe management of roads in their regions and neighbourhoods.

“The current process for making changes to speed limits, through local bylaws or a gazetting process, can be a lengthy, complicated and often difficult process for communities to engage in. The changes proposed in this rule aim to make the process simpler, more effective and more transparent for everyone,” Mr Patena says.

The rule also aims to improve safety outside schools by requiring speed limits around urban schools to be reduced to 30km/h, or to a maximum of 40 km/h where appropriate, and to a maximum of 60 km/h around rural schools.

“We want everyone to get where they’re going safely on New Zealand’s roads, whether they’re driving, cycling or walking.

“Waka Kotahi is committed to delivering Road to Zero, the government’s road safety strategy for 2020 to 2030, which aims to reduce deaths and serious injuries on our roads by 40 percent over the next 10 years, and has a long-term vision of a New Zealand where no-one is killed or seriously injured on our roads. 

“Along with making improvements to the safety of roads and roadsides, improving the safety of our vehicle fleet and promoting safer road user behaviour, safer speeds are a fundamental element of a safer road transport system for everyone.

“New Zealand’s roads vary hugely, in geography, traffic volumes and the types of vehicles that use them. Speed limits need to reflect these unique factors and the specific risks of each road.

“We need safer speed limits that better protect all road users, particularly on high-risk roads and around schools. Local communities know the roads in their areas well, and we’re keen to hear their views on the changes proposed in this Rule,” Mr Patena says.  

Public consultation ends Friday 25 June, 2021. To find out more about the Setting of Speed Limits Rule and to share your view, go to:

For further information on the Tackling Unsafe Speeds programme or New Zealand’s Road to Zero road safety strategy, go to:

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