Specification for Traffic Signals

Submissions for this consultation is now closed. 

The Signal New Zealand User Group (SNUG) and the NZ Transport Agency has developed these guidelines to assist traffic signal asset owners, design consultants and suppliers capture the maximum benefits from the newer technologies available, and to provide a best practice guideline.

Use of this document in its current release form is strongly encouraged.

Feedback may be directed to: P43Feedback@nzta.govt.nz

The document may be updated periodically during this interim release period.

The feedback period will close on Monday 26 October 2015, after which the final document will be prepared and released.


About the P43 Specification for Traffic Signals

Traffic signals are a significant asset for many road authorities including the Transport Agency (through its Highways and Network Operations group). 

Traffic signal engineer

To assist traffic signal asset owners, design consultants and suppliers capture the maximum benefits from newer technologies; the IPENZ group SNUG and the Transport Agency has developed the P43 Specification for Traffic Signals.

This document builds on the significant effort that the SNUG members have put into this area of asset ownership and operation.

The SNUG and the NZ Transport Agency are aware that there is a plethora of new equipment being promoted in NZ from overseas and wish to  provide a level of consistency around its use and to manage the standards to which it should meet, and under which it is used and maintained.

This standard is intended to provide asset owners, design consultants and suppliers guidance. It is not intended to be prescriptive or to hinder innovation. Each RCA is able to amend the specification should a particular clause not be appropriate. The guideline is based on both experience and international best practice.

Consultation document

View P43 Specification for Traffic Signals [PDF, 4 MB]

Questions and answers

The following information provides the answers to some common questions. If you have additional questions regarding the interim guidelines please send a message to: P43Feedback@nzta.govt.nz.

Who developed the draft specification for Traffic signals?

The specification was developed by a working group set up by the SNUG subgroup of IPENZ.  The working group included representatives from the Transport Agency, Auckland Transport, Christchurch City Council, signal design consultants and suppliers.  Many of the members represent New Zealand on the SNUG Committee.

What is the purpose of these guidelines?

The aim of the specification is to provide a clear direction in Traffic Signal equipment procurement, installation and maintenance.

Overall, the intent of the document is to ensure that traffic signal equipment is supplied and installed to a consistent and suitable standard.

What is the scope of the guidelines?

While this specification is intended to encompass the best practice for the supply and installation of traffic signals throughout the country, it is recognised that individual Road Controlling Authorities (RCA) will have their own specific requirements. Therefore, this specification needs to be read in conjunction with the Regional Special Conditions to P43, as produced by the local RCA in which the work is being undertaken.

It has been written for wide application including local authority roads.

What is the relationship between P43 and NZS 5431 :1973?

NZS 5431:1973 is old and out dated. There are many things within NZS 5431 that are no longer relevant, and have since been included in other standards, guidelines or specifications. As such it is intended to revoke NZS 5431:1973 once P43 Specification for Traffic Signals has been adopted. On the whole P43 Specification for Traffic Signals covers all the required specification / standard elements contained within NZS 5431:1973.

In respect to other AS/NZS standards, P43 Specification for Traffic Signals includes reference to many of these and where necessary indicates where there is a departure from said standard for any particular reason.  P43 expands on the standard by clearly defining those parameters considered appropriate for current traffic signal best practice with a goal of achieving safe consistent installations.

There are some useful sections in NZS 5431:1973 around warrants that we still use, what will happen to these?

It is anticipated that future documents will be developed to fit alongside P43. It is felt that details around warrants etc. would be better suited in such a document.

Will these guidelines be mandatory?

The expectation is that these guidelines will be used as best practice guidance for traffic signal projects requesting funding assistance from the Transport Agency and any exception will need to be justified.

Individual RCA’s will be able to specify their own specific requirements for their local network. Therefore, this specification will need to be read in conjunction with any such Regional Special Conditions to P43, as produced by the local RCA in which the work is being undertaken.

It is hoped that Regional Special Conditions will be brief. The SNUG committee will regularly review the various Special Conditions to see if there is any common ground and to determine if amendments to P43 are required.

What are the expected benefits for asset owners and network users?

As the guidelines are implemented, we expect to see the following benefits:

  • Reduced maintenance costs
  • Improved quality of installation
  • Improved safety outcomes with less outage
  • Improved consistency across New Zealand

Who do people contact if they have questions about the document?

Email any questions to:P43Feedback@nzta.govt.nz

Who is responsible for implementing the specification?

These specification will be applied by road controlling authorities (local councils and the Transport Agency’s Highways and Network Operations group) and their supply chain (design consultants, suppliers and installation contractors) when planning, designing, installing and maintaining signal assets.

When does the specification come into effect?

The specification and guidelines may be used immediately. There may be minor amendments and additions, but these will not affect the core elements of the document.