Purpose of the Review
Council is undertaking Stage 1 of a district-wide review of speed limits on rural roads. Stage 2 will look at urban speed limits.
The overarching purpose of this review is to ensure that safe and appropriate speed limits are set on Council’s roads, thereby enhancing the safety of the district’s road network. By reducing the speeds it reduces the severity of crashes so that there are less fatalities and serious injuries.
The review also aims to establish consistent speed zones, minimising frequent changes to speed limits, so the public knows what to expect and to avoid confusion.
Once the appropriate speed has been established for each road, and following the completion of public consultation, the Speed Limit Schedules in the Land Transport Bylaw will be updated.
Horowhenua District Council, as the road controlling authority, is responsible for reviewing and setting speed limits for all roads under its jurisdiction.
Reviewing and setting of speed limits must be in accordance with the Land Transport Rule ‘Setting of Speed Limits 2017’, which was recently signed into law and forms part of the Government’s Safer Journeys Strategy.
Launched in 2010, the Safer Journeys Strategy is designed to guide New Zealand's efforts to improve road safety from 2010–2020, with the vision of “a safe road system increasingly free of death and serious injury”. The strategy is implemented through a series of action plans which allocate responsibilities to transport sector partners such as road controlling authorities.
To help Councils set the correct speed limits the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) developed the ‘Speed Management Guide’ which it released in late 2016 and an online Risk Assessment Tool. The guide and risk assessment tool fulfils part of the ‘Safer Journeys Action Plan’ and sets the criteria for determining and implementing safe and appropriate speed limits for road networks. The aim is to create national consistency and credibility for road users with speeds that reflect the road environment, nature and use of the road, road safety and roadside development.
Reviewing Speed Limits on our Rural Roads
Under the old rules for setting speed limits, all rural roads were 100km/hr unless certain stringent criteria could be met allowing the speed to be lowered; this approach has led to occurrences of inconsistent and inappropriate speed limits that are not safe for the road environment and conditions. There is also growing public demand and expectation for safer speeds.
The review is being undertaken in accordance with the government’s Safer Journeys Action Plan and NZTA’s Speed Management Plan, to bring about a greater level of credibility and consistency to the speed limits in our district.
Speed limits should be consistent through areas where roads have similar characteristics, taking into account such things as roadside hazards, development, traffic, and alignment.
Community Engagement and Formal Consultation
Until the end of January 2019, Council invites the community to take part in a survey to share your views regarding safe and appropriate speeds for our rural roads. If you want to take part in the survey, click on the link on this page.
In February 2019, following the completion of the initial survey, the Council will undertake more formal consultation where the public can make submissions on the proposed changes to the rural speed limits.
By law, the following parties are required to be included in the formal consultation:
- Local communities considered to be affected
- Any adjacent Road Controlling or Territorial Authorities that are affected
- The Commissioner – Ministry of Transport
- The Chief Executive of the New Zealand Automobile Association
- New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA)
- NZ Police
- Any other organisation or user group that is considered to be affected
Have your say on appropriate speed limits on rural roads
This survey will be open until 1 February 2019. Please note if you do not have access to a computer you can come into the Customer Service Centre where the customer service team can assist you on one of our computers.