Setting the speed for 2022

by: Alice Balme - Partner

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Disclaimer
The information in these articles is general information only, is provided free of charge and does not constitute legal or other professional advice. We try to keep the information up to date. However, to the fullest extent permitted by law, we disclaim all warranties, express or implied, in relation to this article - including (without limitation) warranties as to accuracy, completeness and fitness for any particular purpose. Please seek independent advice before acting on any information in this article.

The new Land Transport Rule: Setting of Speed Limits 2022 (the 2022 Rule) came into force on 19 May 2022 replacing the existing Land Transport Rule: Setting of Speed Limits 2017. The 2022 Rule was implemented as part of the "Road to Zero - New Zealand's Road Safety Strategy 2020-2030" and sets out the roles and responsibilities of Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, the Director of Land Transport and road controlling authorities for setting speed limits. The new 2022 Rule will significantly change the way speed limits are set in Aotearoa.

Under the 2022 Rule we will see:

  • The introduction of a national speed limit register (NSLR). From 19 May 2022 when the 2022 Rule comes into force, the NSLR will become the legal instrument for setting speed limits under the 2022 Rule, removing the requirement to pass a bylaw to set speed limits. Going forward, in order to be legally enforceable, speed limits must be in the NSLR.
  • Existing speed limits can be carried into the NSLR by the road controlling authority confirming them with Waka Kotahi. Road controlling authorities must use reasonable efforts to ensure existing speed limits are included in the NSLR by 19 July 2022.
  • Revocation of bylaws that previously set speed limits as soon as the speed limits are included in the NSLR.
  • The development of Speed Management Plans (SMP) that will set out the objectives, policies and measures for managing speed on relevant roads for the coming 10 years. Every territorial authority and regional transport committee will be required to prepare an SMP and they must be reviewed every three years. Regional Councils must assist with the preparation of SMPs.
  • A move towards setting safer speed limits around all schools by the end of 2027. Schools will be grouped into two categories to determine the appropriate speed limit for their surrounding roads. The 2022 Rule requires road controlling authorities to have 40% of school speed limit changes completed by 30 June 2024, with the remainder completed by 31 December 2027, and these changes must be built into speed management plans.
  • The formation of a new Speed Management Committee that will review the Waka Kotahi state highway SMP and oversee the information and guidance on speed management provided by Waka Kotahi to all road controlling authorities.
  • A new MegaMaps spatial tool that shows the NSLR and the One Network Framework. MegaMaps collates base information such as road function, speed limits and land use, to calculate road safety metrics and infrastructure risk ratings, and identify safe and appropriate speeds. Speed limit data from the National Speed Limit Register will also be included in MegaMaps once it is available.

The NZ Transport Agency is expected to release the Speed Management Guide: Road to Zero edition (the Guide) very soon. The Guide will help road controlling authorities to make informed, accurate and consistent speed management decisions in their communities as well as providing guidance on how to set speed limits under the 2022 Rule.

As we transition to the new 2022 Rule there are some things Territorial Authorities and Regional Council’s should be thinking about, including:

  • Recording speed limits in the NSLR by 19 July 2022
  • Revoking bylaws that become redundant following speed limits being recorded in the NSLR.
  • Ensuring delegations are updated to reflect the new process for setting speed limits and delivering on the other requirements of the 2022 Rule.
  • Commencing preparation of SMPs under the 2022 Rule framework. While no time limits have been set by the Transport Agency for preparation of these plans, we can expect that they will be coming.

If you have any questions about the new 2022 Rule or what it requires you to do, please contact a member of our Local Government team.

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Disclaimer
The information in these articles is general information only, is provided free of charge and does not constitute legal or other professional advice. We try to keep the information up to date. However, to the fullest extent permitted by law, we disclaim all warranties, express or implied, in relation to this article - including (without limitation) warranties as to accuracy, completeness and fitness for any particular purpose. Please seek independent advice before acting on any information in this article.