FAQs on Road Risk

​What is speed management?

Speed management involves continual and consistent assessment of our roads, and how people use our roads, to figure out how to reduce risk and make them safer for everyone.

Is this all about reducing speed limits?

The Council is using the NZTA Speed Management Guide to contribute to safer and more efficient travel. Applying the combination of data and local insight means this might result in road improvements, speed limit changes or no change at all; the Guide helps to prioritise where to make changes to ensure key road risks are being addressed.

What is the Speed Management Guide?

The Speed Management Guide has been developed by the NZ Transport Agency and outlines a new approach to managing speed that is based on the function of the road and safety risk for all users. Using new technology and data gives us the tools we need to review our road network and engage constructively with our community about proposed changes.

How will the Guide benefit Hamilton?

Using the Guide will help the Council improve road safety and network efficiency in our city. It will mean the decisions we make about speed are well-informed, accurate and consistent. It also has an emphasis on community engagement which means local knowledge about roads can be tapped into right from the start.

Won't speed changes cost me time?

Not necessarily. New research shows going faster doesn't save as much time as we think. Waiting for lights to change, traffic to move or other drivers, as well as different road conditions mean total travel times don't vary much — even if you drive 10 km/hr faster. For drivers a speed change may mean a few seconds of travel time, but for people on bikes or pedestrians in the area it could mean a safer environment.

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. Many of the roads in our city have a variety of users, eg people on bikes, pedestrians and school kid's scootering, and not just people driving vehicles. Good speed management ensures drivers have the necessary cues about the safe and appropriate speed for the road and for the conditions. As well as looking at speed we also look at potential roading improvements, road user education and awareness campaigns while working collaboratively with our partners such as the NZ Police. This way we approach road risk in a holistic way, rather than just focusing on one issue.

Why have a variable lower speed limit outside some schools, not a permanent lower speed limit?

Schools are built on all kinds of roads and some of these roads support a permanent lower speed limit and some do not. Where a road is designed to be a major or minor arterial and is not primarily residential it makes more sense for the lower speed limit to only be in place when school is beginning and ending, and there are lots of pedestrians around. If a school is in a residential area where there are going to be more pedestrians and people on bikes then a permanent lower speed limit might make more sense, especially to the road users and residents in the area.

Page reviewed: 24 May 2017 12:33pm