Waitakere welcomes new speed limits powers
12 March 2004
Waitakere welcomes new powers to decide speed limits
New government legislation to allow local councils to decide on residential speed limits in their area is being welcomed by Waitakere City Council.
That power will be handed to councils next month, where currently it rests with the. Land Transport Safety Authority.
The Council’s Environmental Management Committee chair, Penny Hulse, says the first step will be to work with rural schools that have already expressed concerns about the speed of passing vehicles and look at introducing 40km per hour speed zones in those areas.
Through Deputy Mayor Carolynne Stone, Waitakere City had previously lobbied Local Government New Zealand to give councils the ability to set the 40kmh speed zones in school areas.
Cr Hulse says the Council will also be looking to address the concerns of residents, particularly those in rural communities, who have petitioned the Council to lower the speed limit in their area.
“Until now, speed limits were set by a single national formula, according to factors like housing density and proximity to schools, so we were almost powerless to effect any change,” she says.
“The national formula also meant other factors that make driving at 100kmh dangerous, like the curvature or narrowness of a road or natural hazards, weren’t taken into consideration. Consequently, we’ve had terrible crashes on some of our rural roads, such as Candia Rd in Swanson, which just aren’t suited to 100kmh speeds.
“As a council, we really welcome this as a way to work more closely with our communities to make our increasingly busy roads safer. We believe they are best able to judge what speed limits are the most appropriate for their area.”