Submit on the draft Setting of Speed Limits Rule - closes Thurs 11 July 2024

The Government has released its draft Setting of Speed Limits Rule, which rolls back many of the changes made under the previous Government that were designed to make our roads safer for everyone by reducing vehicle speeds. We know that slower vehicle speeds save the lives of pedestrians, so this move is disappointing. Read this article about the impact expected in Auckland alone.

However, there are measures in the draft Rules that could be strengthened to make them more effective, and so we encourage all our members and supporters to submit on the consultation. It closes on Thursday 11 July. Here is information about the consultation.

If your submission is based on your experience as a pedestrian where you live, or the experience of pedestrians in your region, that's likely to be effective.

In policy terms, here are three things you may like to highlight:

Variable speed limits around schools: The draft Rule calls for variable speed limits around schools, with reduced speeds to be in place between 8am and 9.30am and between 2.30pm and 4pm on any day on which that school is open for instruction.

Yet anyone who lives near a school will know that students often come and go, for legitimate reasons, at other times throughout the day. What's more, enacting variable speed limits is much more expensive for Councils. There's a very good case for these speed limits to be permanent, not variable -– or at the very least, for them to apply between 8am and at least 4.30pm on school days.

Safety and public acceptance: Rather than following the science that shows lower speeds greatly reduce deaths and serious injuries, the draft Rule sets up a loose criterion of "public acceptance" of reduced speed limits – which is likely in turn to lead to a series of local political battles. How about we rely on the evidence instead? Here is some evidence.

Urban streets with significant numbers of pedestrians and cyclists: Table 3 in the consultation document says that a speed limit of 40 km/h can be set for main streets, residential and neighbourhood streets with significant levels of pedestrian and/or cycling activity –but those streets would be a whole lot safer for pedestrians and cyclists if that speed was reduced to 30 km/h.

A helpful guide for submissions

Climate Club has created a submission guide for people to use - thanks, Climate Club! You can read the guide here.

Please make a submission by 11 July 2024

Whether they're a young child walking to school, an adult walking to improve their health and well-being, or an elderly or disabled person who can't cross the road in a hurry, all pedestrians deserve to be safe on the roads.

This Rule should be amended to make us all safer, not put more of us at risk.

Tim Jones, President, Living Streets Aotearoa


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About Us

Living Streets Aotearoa is the New Zealand organisation for people on foot, promoting walking-friendly communities. We are a nationwide organisation with local branches and affiliates throughout New Zealand.

We want more people walking and enjoying public spaces be they young or old, fast or slow, whether walking, sitting, commuting, shopping, between appointments, or out on the streets for exercise, for leisure or for pleasure.

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