Speed Speed

Speed is the single biggest road safety issue in NZ today. The faster you drive the more likely you are to crash and suffer injuries.

No matter how skilled a driver you are, speeding puts you and other road users at risk.

If you exceed the speed limit you risk licence suspension or a fine. Fines range from $30 to $630 for more severe infringements.

Reduce your risk of being in a speed-related crash

  • Treat the speed limit as the most you can travel at on a road in perfect conditions. 
  • If the conditions change (rain, poor visibility, winding roads, heavy traffic), alter your speed. 
  • Judge the safe speed for the conditions. 
  • Look out for potential hazards on the road. The faster you travel on a road, the more likely you are to miss these. If you're speeding, you'll travel further before you react and brake.  
  • Drive defensively. Expect the unexpected and do not get distracted. 
  • Up-skill yourself with a defensive driving course. 
  • The greatest risk period for young novice drivers is in the first 6 months of solo driving. Parents play a crucial role during this time.

Find out more about teaching young drivers.

How speed affects road safety

As your speed increases:

  • The distance you need for stopping increases.
  • You'll be going too fast if you meet an unexpected change in road conditions.
  • Other road users may misjudge how fast you're travelling.

How AT prevents speeding on roads

AT uses traffic-calming measures to:

  • Slow down traffic. 
  • Improve the living conditions for residents.
  • Improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists
  • Provide a safer road environment around schools.

Traffic-calming measures can include:

  • Narrower traffic lanes - extending the sidewalk, adding bollards or planters, or adding a bike lane or parking.
  • Curb extensions - narrow the width of the roadway at pedestrian crossings.
  • Chokers - curb extensions that narrow the roadway to a single lane at points. 
  • Chicanes - create a horizontal deflection causing vehicles to slow as they would for a curve. 
  • Allow parking on one or both sides of a street. 
  • Speed bumps. 
  • Speed humps. 
  • Speed tables - long flat-topped speed humps that slow cars more gradually than humps. 
  • Speed cushions - a series of three small speed humps that slow cars down but allow emergency vehicles to straddle them so as not to slow response time. 
  • Raised pedestrian crossings and raised intersection. 
  • Pedestrian refuges or small islands in the middle of the street. 
  • Median diverters - prevent left turns or through movements into a residential area. 
  • Changing the surface material or texture (for example, the selective use of brick or cobblestone). 
  • More give way signs.
  • Converting one-way streets into two-way streets. 
  • Converting an intersection into a cul-de-sac or dead end. 
  • Boom barriers - restricts through traffic to authorised vehicles only. 
  • Closing of streets to create pedestrian zones.

Find out more about traffic-calming devices in the AT Code of Practice (Chapter 8).

For more information

Contact Auckland Transport