On the Move

Speed an important factor in achieving safer roads for all

Image of cars driving across the Pukete Bridge

Hamilton City Council is reviewing its speed management plan to align with the ‘Safer Roads for All’ vision, and ensuring the plan is both up-to-date and nationally relevant.

The Hamilton Speed Management Plan, which Council adopted in 2019, is being reviewed to meet new guidelines released by Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Agency. The changes – which are being introduced in 2022 – will improve how road controlling authorities plan for, consult on, and implement, changes to speed management.

“Speed management is about more than just speed limits,” said Council’s Acting City Transportation Manager, Robyn Denton.

“It requires input from the community, policy makers, engineers, educators and the police to educate, encourage and influence road users to adopt safe and appropriate speeds.

“Speed plays an important role in road safety and is something Council strives to manage effectively, especially as our city continues to grow.”

The changes will see councils moving away from a bylaws-approach to implementing speed management plans certified by Waka Kotahi. It also includes using a national speed limit register to capture the legal information enforceable by New Zealand Police.

“Hamilton is leading the way in this regard, given we already have a speed management plan in place that works alongside our speed limit bylaw. By completing this review, we are just ensuring that our plan is compliant and ready for Waka Kotahi’s certification process,” said Denton.

From a city perspective, changes to the plan will also include a proposed programme of works for the next few years to help support and enforce safer speeds, particularly on new roads and in preparation for the 30km/h speed limit rollout around schools.

Input from the community on proposed changes to the plan is welcomed, and Hamiltonians can share their thoughts before Friday 1 April. Importantly, this review does not include the setting and changing of speed limits, as these are controlled by the Hamilton Speed Limit Bylaw.

“If our speed management process shows a need for a speed limit change, a legal process must be followed. We will always consult with stakeholders and the community before approving a change to the bylaw’s register of speed limits,” said Denton.

“We want everyone who calls Hamilton home, or visits our city, to be safe on our streets. We have adopted a Vision Zero philosophy for road safety, and through encouraging more drivers to travel at appropriately safe speeds, we can achieve a reduction in deaths and serious injuries on our city’s roads.”

Feedback on changes being made to the Hamilton Speed Management Plan is being welcomed now and will close Friday 1 April 2022. You can have your say here.

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