Setting speed limits

Orange cones placed on road for roadworks.

We are a Road Controlling Authority and are responsible for setting speed limits on our local roads. When we set speed limits, we have to follow a range of national standards and rules. We also need to consider the needs of the local community.

A key aim in setting speed limits is to reduce serious injury and fatal crashes while maintaining an efficient road network. This enables us to set safe and appropriate speed limits that better match the road environment.

All speed limits on local roads are now identified and set in a National Speed Limit Register (NSLR). This Register provides a single national source for all speed limits. The National Speed Limit Register (NSLR) can be viewed online:

National Speed Limit Register (NSLR) (nzta.govt.nz)

Setting speed limits

When we review a speed limit, we are required to follow a process that is set out in the Land Transport Rule: Setting of Speed Limits 2022.

To comply with this new rule, there are some things we must do, including:

  • producing a Speed Management Plan that sets out how we will make our roads safer for all road users.
  • lowering the speed limit to 30kph outside most of our schools (permanent or variable). For some rural schools, the speed limit must be 60kph or less.
  • Waka Kotahi (NZTA) must certify our Speed Management Plan to ensure that it is consistent with the National Road to Zero Road Safety Strategy and National Speed Management Guidance.

In setting new speed limits, we must consult Waka Kotahi (NZTA), the Police, the Automobile Association (AA) and local communities. We are also required to consider a wide range of other matters such as:

  • the average speed that people are driving on the road now (this is often much different to the actual speed limit)
  • crash risk
  • the surrounding land-use
  • what the road is used for (does it connect rural communities or is it an area where people stop)
  • the geometry of the road
  • whether the road is sealed or unsealed.

Ideally roads with a similar look and feel to them should have a similar speed limit, no matter where you are in the district, region or country.

Review of speed limits

We are reviewing speed limits in the Whangārei District in a staged process. We are focusing on areas where the evidence indicates that changing the speed limit will have the greatest impact on reducing fatal and serious harm crashes and improving overall road safety.

Speed limit reviews