Your Council

Kāpiti Coast District-Wide Speed Limit Review – Stage 2 (2019)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Answers to frequently asked questions relating to the February 2019 Stage 2 Kāpiti Coast District Council, NZTA joint Speed Limit Review. If you have a question that is not answered here, or on our main web page, please email us at speedlimits@kapiticoast.govt.nz.

Click here to download a printable version.

Stage 2 consists of rural roads and three village shopping centres

Please note that our main web page and the survey document also have detailed information on the rationale for the recommendations for change on each road that is part of the Stage 2 2019 review.

Does this review include the roads on the old SH1 which is being replaced by the expressway ?

No. At the moment the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) owns these roads and is responsible for setting their speed limits and any other modifications needed. They will be reviewing the current limits of these roads as part of their State Highway 1 revocation – a project that will see parts of what is now State Highway 1 become local roads and handed over to the Council. 

Who sets speed limits?

The responsibility for setting of the speed limits rests with Kāpiti Coast District Council for all local roads in our district, and NZTA in the case of state highways. Kāpiti Coast District Council’s speed limits are set in accordance with the Council’s Speed Limits Bylaw law.

Why the focus on rural roads?

Car crashes on rural roads make up a high proportion of serious road crashes in New Zealand.   By international best practice speed limits on New Zealand’s rural road were not taking into taking into account the safety of the road environment.  However, government recently changed the way speed limits were set to better reflect the safety of the environment. This change was done as part of NZ road safety initiatives. So for example: 

  • a road that is narrow and winding, or a rural area with small clusters of housing is to have a 60 km/h speed limit,
  • a road that is straighter and wider is to have an 80 km/hr speed limit.

The speed limits on our rural roads were set under the old requirements and as a result many need changing to comply with the new requirements.  The decision was also made that it was important speed limits on our rural network were set in the same way for consistency – so that a motorist driving across our district finds all rural road speed limits set the same.  

Why are you doing the review in stages?

Because of the large number of rural roads in Kāpiti, we found it necessary to carry out our district-wide review in two stages. Stage 1 was completed 2018, and we are now consulting on stage 2 (this stage). 

What is the purpose of a Speed Limit Review?

As part of the safer journeys approach to road safety, we are setting speed limits on our roads that are safe and appropriate for the road conditions and environment.

Speed limits need to be reviewed from time to time to keep up with changes such as in housing, and in the road and roadside.  When reviewing speed limits they must undergo specific criteria in accordance with the NZTA’s ‘Setting of Speed Limits Rule’, and go through a round of public consultation then be recommended and approved by Council before new speed limits can be applied.

Aren’t you just trying to lower speed limits to gather revenue?*

No. We’re using local knowledge and data to make sure we’ve done everything we can to make your roads safer. Sometimes this means road improvements - so it’s safer at the current speed limit. Sometimes it means lowering the speed limit. In a few cases, speed limits could be increased. The aim is to make sure roads have travel speeds that match the risk.

Speed isn’t a problem, bad drivers are. Why aren’t you focusing on them?

Even the most skilled drivers make mistakes, and most drivers understand New Zealand’s roads can be challenging. Good speed management gives drivers the cues they need to judge the safe and appropriate speed for the road they’re on.

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 user, roadside development, road characteristics, adjoining roads, traffic mix, and the presence of vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians, motorcyclists, bicycle riders and horse 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 a chance of a severe ‘t-bone’ type crash occurring.

Why lower a speed limit at all – we’ve managed fine with the speed limit as it is?

Lower permanent speeds are needed to reduce the number of crashes and resulting deaths and serious injuries. Lower speed limits also reduce the amount of time a road is closed due to crashes and reduces inconvenience to drivers. The proposed speed limits are recommended by the NZTA as being safe and appropriate for that type of road. 

Going a few kilometres faster or slower doesn’t make any difference to safety*

Actually, it does. Speed is the difference between a correctable mistake and a fatal error. Every extra km/h increases the likelihood of someone being killed or injured in a crash. Regardless of what causes a crash, speed always plays a part.

Slowing down will make the journey take ages to get anywhere*

Not necessarily. Research shows that going faster doesn’t save as much time as we think. Waiting for lights to change or traffic to move means total travel times don’t vary much, even if you drive 10 km/h faster.

Why are 70 km/hr speed limits not included?

The legal requirements for speed limits (the Setting of Speed Limits Rule 2017 (The Rule)) has changed so that setting a new 70km/h speed limit is no longer an option. Some of the speed limits are to be dropped from 100 km/h to 60 km/h, this seems a big drop? While this sounds a lot, our data shows the proposed speed limits reflect the average speed traffic travel over the length of road in question. Indeed, on some roads the travel speeds are a lot lower than the proposed speed limit.

Why also include 30 km/h for village shopping centres? And why for only three centres?

The request for 30 km/h through three of our village centres came from the community. We assessed these centres and concluded that a 30 km/h speed limit would be appropriate and would further be consistent with the 30 km/h speed limit we currently have at other village locations – namely Paraparaumu Beach and Ōtaki (Main street) shopping centres.

Why not include lower speed limits around schools?

The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) are currently reviewing safety around schools and we await completion of the review before considering any reviews.

How do I request that a speed limit be reviewed?

You can suggest a review of a speed limit at any time.  It’s best to put your request in an email (speedlimits@kapiticoast.govt.nz) or in writing to Kāpiti Coast District Council, Private Bag 60 601, Paraparaumu 5254.

Will there be any further reviews?

Yes, there will, but we have no set time frame for these.

When will the speed limit changes for Stage 2 be implemented?  

We expect changes to be implemented mid-year 2019 – but we will keep you posted on the website.

What happens next?

Once consultation is complete we will prepare a report for Council making recommending on speed limit changes that take submissions into account. Council will decide on the proposed speed limits in April 2019, and we would expect to implement these changes between May and June this year.   For more information, check out our website here at http://www.kapiticoast.govt.nz/speedlimits.

 

* These questions and answers are sourced from NZTA https://www.nzta.govt.nz/assets/Better-Conversations-on-Road-Risk/Talking-about-road-risk-April-2018.pdf