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Why did you have to set a new variable speed limit? 

We want to make roads safer for everyone. Variable speed limits are one way we can help make roads safer for children outside of schools. 

People in the local Kaukapakapa community told us that vehicle speeds outside the Kaukapakapa School are too high, and that students don’t feel safe getting to and from school. We know that children outside of schools are most at risk from speeding vehicles, so a variable speed limit at peak school traffic times will provide a safer road environment around the school. 

The variable speed limit, and the electronic speed limit signs, will reinforce driver expectations of the likely presence of children, and help encourage safe and active travel to school. 

What is the new speed limit around the school? 

The following new variable speed limit will apply from 24 August 2020, during peak school traffic times: 

SH16 Kaukapakapa School Variable Speed Limit Existing speed limit New variable speed limit

SH16 - 190m southeast of Opoto Place to 160m northwest of Opoto Place

The variable speed limit will: 

  • lower the current speed limit of 50km/h outside the school to 40km/h at peak school traffic times
    • 35 minutes before the start of school until the start of school, and 
    • 20 minutes at the end of school, beginning no earlier than five minutes before the end of school 
    • it may also operate for 10 minutes at any other time when there is school-related activity. 
  • be displayed on electronic signs located on SH16 outside the school at 190m southeast of Opoto Place and 160m northwest of Opoto Place. 
50km/h 40km/h

SH16 Kaukapakapa School speed limit map

How were those limits decided?

The speed review process involves a number of steps to help us determine the speed limits we propose at consultation. The first step is completing a technical assessment which takes into account the road itself, the traffic volumes, and the way people are currently travelling on the roads. 

Following the technical assessment, we undertook formal consultation with stakeholder organisations and the public, asking for submissions on any external factors we may need to be aware of when making our decision on the proposed speed limit change. 

The consultation period ran for four weeks. Once it closed, we analysed people’s feedback and used these insights alongside our technical assessment to make our decision. 
For more information about how we reached these decisions, read our consultation summary report.

Consultation summary [PDF, 366 KB]

Learn more about the speed review process

When does the new variable speed limit come into effect and how are you notifying the public?

The new variable speed limit takes effect from 24 August 2020. 

We will notify the public of this change through local advertising (print and digital), on social media, via a media release, and via emails and letters to our stakeholder organisations and our subscriber database. We will also use our Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency website to publicise the change.

People will see the new speed limit signs up from 24 August 2020. 

How does a variable speed limit work?

We can implement a variable speed limit outside a school like Kaukapakapa School under the Land Transport Rule – Setting of Speed Limits (2017) and in accordance with the methodology set out in the Waka Kotahi Speed Management Guide (SMG) and the Waka Kotahi Traffic Note 37 Version 2, which addresses 40km/h variable speed limits in school zones.

This rule allows us to use electronic signs to lower the speed limit from 50km/h to 40/h at peak school traffic times. It may operate for a maximum period of: 
a) 35 minutes before the start of school until the start of school; 
b) 20 minutes at the end of school, being no earlier than five minutes before the end of school; 
c) 10 minutes at any other time when children cross the road or enter or leave vehicles at the roadside. 

When the variable speed limit is active, the electronic signs will display the numerals “40” meaning that the speed limit is 40km/h. At all other times when the sign is blank, the speed limit is 50km/h. 

Are variable speed limits enforceable? 

Yes, variable speed limits are an enforceable speed limit.

What will lowering the speed limit really do?

Less speed means less harm. A small change in speed makes a big difference. Speed affects both the likelihood of a crash, and the severity of it. Even when speed doesn’t cause the crash, it is most likely to determine whether anyone is killed or injured or walks away unharmed. Fewer crashes will also reduce the amount of time the road is closed due to crashes and reduce inconvenience to drivers.

The variable speed limit, and the electronic speed limit signs, will reinforce driver expectations of the likely presence of children, and help encourage safe and active travel to school.

Won’t the new lower speed limits mean my trip will take a lot longer?

As the reduced speed limit will operate only on school days (around 200 days each year), and only during peak school traffic times, any impact on your journey time will be minimal.

Did you consult with the public on these changes?

Yes. In February and March 2020, we formally consulted with the public on the proposed variable speed limit. We received 111 submissions.

Consultation summary [PDF, 366 KB]

Consultation submissions [PDF, 206 KB]