News release: NZTA leadership on safer speed limits required to reduce the road toll.

The quickest fix to reduce our road toll is to adopt safer speed limits. Whilst 100 km/h is appropriate for motorways and wide, straight highways, it is generally unsafe for the remainder of our rural roads.

“The NZ Transport Agency’s introduction of an 80 km/h speed limit on State Highway 1 through the Dome Valley, north of Auckland, demonstrated how a safer speed limit immediately resulted in a dramatic saving of lives1” says transport planner, Bevan Woodward.

Andy Smith of Living Streets Aotearoa says “An urban speed limit of 50 km/h is often the reason our streets are unsafe for people walking, cycling or using mobility aids. Cities that adopt 30 or 40 km/h speed limits for their urban streets have significantly improved road safety whilst enabling more people to choose the healthier transport modes.


Despite the clear evidence that reduced rural and urban speed limits significantly improve road safety whilst having negligible impact on travel times, NZTA has been reluctant to reduce speed limits. This is largely due to a fear of political backlash but it’s time NZTA showed the necessary leadership to save lives.”


Patrick Morgan of Cycling Action Network says “Safety is no accident. Safer speed limits give New Zealanders more transport options for getting about. We encourage NZTA to learn from overseas successes, and move quickly to implement safer speed limits.”


Lucinda Rees of NZ School Speeds says “With the road toll of school children mounting, we set up a petition GO DUTCH AND STOP CHILD MURDER asking the future Minister of Transport to make roads safer with some simple and cost effective measures such as safer speed limits around schools. The response has been overwhelming support and to many “a no brainer”. New Zealanders are clearly tired of the rising road toll and keen to change the culture of our drivers.”

Media contacts:

Patrick Morgan, Cycling Action Network Mobile: 027 563 4733

Andy Smith, President, Living Streets Aotearoa Mobile: 021 474 740

Lucinda Rees, NZ School Speeds Mobile 021 073 2827

Bevan Woodward, Transport Planner, SkyPath Trust Mobile: 021 122 6040


Background information:

Movement is a national initiative to improve road safety by national organisations concerned for the safety of people getting about on foot, by bike or using mobility aids. Improving NZ’s road safety will deliver on a wide range of beneficial outcomes, such as a healthier society, greater transport options for people to choose from, less traffic congestion and reduced pollution/emissions.

Movement is focused on three key areas:

  1. Smarter spending - greater investment to provide high quality facilities for active transport

  2. Sensible speeds – safer traffic speeds around schools, shops, community facilities and on narrow rural roads

  3. Safe Space – more pedestrian crossings, safe driveways, minimum passing distances for cyclists.

Movement is endorsed by Living Streets Aotearoa, Cycling Action Network, SkyPath Trust and NZ School Speeds.

1 In the three years prior to lowering the SH1 Dome Valley speed limit from 100km/h to 80km/h in December 2007, there were a total of seven fatalities, in the three years after, there have been a total of two fatalities.


Release Date: 
Wednesday, 11 October, 2017