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Source: New Zealand Government

The Government is proposing to make it easier for local communities to set safe speed limits around schools to help kids get to and from school safely, Transport Minister Michael Wood said today. 

Michael Wood said he receives correspondence from teachers, parents, local councils and MPs asking for safer speeds outside schools. 

“Everyone would like for our kids to feel safe while walking and cycling on our streets. Safer speeds around schools will help make walking and cycling to and from school a real option for more of our tamariki.                              

“Local communities know their streets best and right now it’s not easy for them to set appropriate speed limits. Speed limit changes are currently made through local bylaws or a gazetting process, which is time-consuming and complicated.

The changes proposed in the draft Setting of Speed Limits Rule 2021, will improve the way Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency and regions plan and implement proposed speed management changes with communities. They would be required to produce speed management plans which set out all proposed changes, including the placement of  safety cameras on high risk routes and infrastructure upgrades over a 10 year period.

“This includes making streets outside schools safer 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.

“There’s flexibility in these proposals and the lower new limits could only apply during school travel periods using variable speed limit signs, depending on what works best for local schools and communities. We want these safer speed limits around schools to be implemented at the most dangerous places quickly, so we’re proposing an initial 40 per cent of changes to be completed by mid-2024 and the remaining by 2030.

“The proposed rule changes  will bring together infrastructure investment decision-making with speed management planning and the placement of safety cameras on the highest risk routes. Plans would then be updated and consulted on every three years, giving communities the opportunity to have an ongoing say into what works best for their streets,” Michael Wood said.

Tackling unsafe speeds is one of the priority actions in Road to Zero, New Zealand’s road safety strategy which aims to reduce deaths and serious injuries on our roads by 40 per cent. Following public consultation, the Setting of Speed Limits Rule will be finalised and is expected to be in place by the end of 2021. 

Waka Kotahi is responsible for reviewing and setting speed limits on state highways, while local councils review and set speed limits on local roads.

The Setting of Speed Limits Rule 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.

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:

www.nzta.govt.nz/speedrule2021

If you would like to find out more about the Tackling Unsafe Speeds programme or New Zealand’s Road to Zero road safety strategy, go to:

https://www.transport.govt.nz/area-of-interest/safety/tackling-unsafe-speeds/

https://www.transport.govt.nz/area-of-interest/safety/road-to-zero/

MIL OSI