Safer Speed Area

Protecting the safety of Hamilton neighbourhoods

Do I have to drive at 40km?

Yes, to ensure the safety of children and other community members it is important that you follow the new speed limit. For more information on how this is beneficial to the community click here.

Is it proven that Safer Speed Areas work?

Yes, research has been conducted into existing Safer Speed Areas and their effectiveness. In late December 2011, the first permanent 40km/h areas were implemented. The results showed that the reduced speed environment meant that residents felt safer in their neighbourhood. To find out more click here.

What is the difference between Safer Speed Areas and the 40km/h variable speed limits around schools?

Both are broadly similar in intent – as they aim to improve the safety of school children and other residents in a defined location. The 40km/h speed limit in the Safer Speed Areas applies at all times of the day whereas the variable speed limits only applied at fixed times when children are entering or leaving the school.

I am a staff member at a school in a Safer Speed Area, what do I tell parents?

The Safer Speed Areas are implemented to improve the safety of their children around other road users. For more information on the benefits of a Safer Speed Area click here.

Will this inconvenience me?

When residents of existing Safer Speed Areas were asked if they found the 40km/h speed limit an inconvenience, 81% of them felt that the speed limit reduction had no impact or did not inconvenience them. For more information click here.

Will I still be able to take side-streets for a faster route?

No – you will still be able to use side-streets, but we are trying to discourage ‘rat running’ and will expect you to travel at a slower speed.  The purpose of the streets included in Safer Speed Areas is primarily to provide access to residential properties.  On those streets whose function is to move traffic around the city, the speed limit will remain higher than 40km/h and we are working to improve the operation of these streets to improve your journey.

Is this just revenue-gathering?

We hope that the 40km/h speeds are followed and there is no need for drivers to be ticketed. If the speeds of drivers are not reduced, then we won’t have communicated our message effectively and we will have to look to providing more information to motorists – either through education or engineering. Our main objective is to keep residential communities safe. Any reference to “revenue-gathering” is incorrect and Council does not have any financial gain through enforcement of Safer Speed Areas. For more information click here.

Where is the funding coming from?

Central government believes strongly that Safer Speed Areas are an excellent investment in community safety. They have agreed to subsidise Safer Speed Area work by 55% in recognition of the savings that will be made in lower injury costs to the nation. The remaining 45% is funded by Hamilton City Council as set out in the 10 Year Plan as project #12021.0.  For more information please visit the New Zealand Transport Agency.