How much impact will these changes have on travel times across the district?

    They are expected to have a very small increase in travel time across the district.

    Research has shown other factors, such as traffic and intersections, generally have a much greater impact.

    Reducing the speed limit from 100 km/h to 80 km/h on a 10km length of road would add around 30-48 seconds to the journey.

    On a local road, a reduction from 50 km/h to 40 km/h would add around 11-42 seconds over 4km (the length of a typical journey) if travelling at the speed limit. However, due to traffic and other factors, most vehicles average between 26 km/h and 33 km/h in these environments.[1]

    [1] Taken from Waikato District Council Myths and Misconceptions about speed

    Why aren’t roads and driver behaviour being addressed instead?

    Road conditions are constantly assessed in Central Otago and we work with the Police on safety initiatives and trouble spots for behavioural issues. However, speed limit changes are still required.

    It would simply be prohibitively expensive to engineer our existing roads to the higher standard required to maintain safe driving conditions at higher speeds, with limited benefits if any. Even good drivers on the best roads can make mistakes. As our district grows, our streets become busier, and the risk of an incident increases. Reducing the speed reduces the consequences when an accident occurs.

    When attending complaints of speeding from residents in the district, our Roading engineers generally find quite high compliance with speed limits. Although there are exceptions, this implies that driver behaviour is generally in line with set speeds – we have then investigated whether the set speeds are appropriate.

    How are speed limits reviewed and set?

    Speed limits are reviewed using evidence-based risk profiles. These profiles prioritise areas where a lower speed limit will provide the greatest road safety benefits.

    All speed limit reviews must align with Waka Kotahi guidelines to ensure there is consistency across the country. It is important that drivers know what to expect when driving and that these expectations are consistent across different regions.

    In Central Otago we engaged a specialist to provide a high quality assessment that took road conditions, changes due to growth, national guidance, and other factors into account. We then undertook field work to make sure all suggestions make sense on our roads.

    My road is listed for a reduction in speed and I don’t think it should be, what can I do?

    If you disagree with the proposals we ask you to formally submit and will take your suggestions into account.

    My road is not listed for a reduction in speed but it really should be, what can I do?

    The new speed limit proposals identified through this process are considered priority areas where the new speed limits will have the greatest impact.

    If you feel there is a road or area that should be considered, you can record that feedback into your submission and it will be taken into account.

    Outside of this consultation, you can also send a service request to Council to have your street investigated. There are other measures we can take, outside of this bylaw, to assist in calming traffic or addressing driver behaviour.

    The road may also be considered for a future review of the Speed Limits bylaw.

    Why are no streets changing to 70km/h?

    70 km/h used to be a standard speed setting with most speeds set at either 50 km/h, 70 km/h, or 100 km/h.

    National guidance has since changed with a greater range of speed limits in operation. Guidelines also recommend changes be made in 20 km/h steps, encouraging speed zones of 60 km/h or 80 km/h instead.

    Although 70 km/h speed limits are still possible, they are expected to become rarer over time.

    Will this just lead to an increase in revenue gathering?

    Speed limits on all roads are enforced by the Police. Although they will be updated with the process and any changes to the speed limits, they are not involved in setting speed limits.

    Council does not enforce the speed limits and does not obtain any revenue from speed limit enforcement.

    Where can I find more information about how lower speeds increase safety?