Who Sets Speed Limits?
The responsibility for setting of the speed limits rests with the Road Controlling Authority, which is Horowhenua District Council for all local roads in our district or New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) in the case of state highways.
Speed limits are set in Council’s ‘Land Transport Bylaw’ by resolution of Council
What are the Standard Rules and Guidelines for Setting Speed Limits?
Speed limits and speed limit settings are required to comply with the Land Transport Rule ‘Setting of Speed Limits 2017’, which was introduced into law in 2017.
The Land Transport Rule ‘Setting of Speed Limits 2017’ is part of the Government’s Safer Journeys Strategy which is aimed at reducing the number and severity of crashes on NZ roads.
The Safer Journeys Strategy is implemented through a series of action plans which allocate responsibilities to transport sector partners such as road controlling authorities.
NZTA’s new ‘Speed Management Guide’ released in late 2016 and online 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.
What is the Purpose of a Speed Limit Review?
As part of the safer journeys approach to road safety, we seek to set speed limits on our roads that are appropriate for the road conditions and environment on a given length of road.
Over a period of time the critical parameters for the establishment of a speed limit may change, so it is important for speed limits to be periodically reviewed to ensure the speed limits for a particular road is appropriate and accurately reflects the safety risk to road users.
When reviewing speed limits they must undergo specific criteria in accordance with the NZTA’s ‘Speed Management Guidelines’, be recommended and approved by Council and go through a round of public consultation before new speed limits can be applied.
How are Speed Limits Set?
The fundamental principle in setting speed limits for a particular length of road is that the established speed limit should reflect the road safety risk to the road users while maintaining the ability of people to easily get to their destination.
Key factors that are taken into consideration in the establishment of speed limits include crash history, road function, road use, roadside development, road characteristics, adjoining roads, traffic mix and the presence of vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians, motorcyclists and bicycle riders.
Other factors may also include the number, type and frequency of driveways and intersections which indicate potential conflict points. These potential conflict points are considered because they allow vehicles to turn across traffic where there is the chance of a severe ‘t-bone’ type crash occurring.
Will there be a Speed Review for Urban Roads?
Yes. We will be working on Stage 2- Urban Roads once we have completed and implemented Stage 1.
How do I Request that a Speed Limit be Reviewed?
You can suggest a review of a speed limit at any time. It is best to put your request in writing and send it to Horowhenua District Council.