Skip to Main Content
Auckland Transport

Myths and misconceptions about speed Myths and misconceptions about speed

The setting of speed limits on our roads can be an emotive issue but there is only one objective – and that is to make our roads safer for motorists and pedestrians.

There are many myths and misconceptions about the speed at which we drive – here are a few for you to consider:

"Speed isn't a problem, bad drivers are."

Even the most skilled drivers make mistakes, and most drivers understand New Zealand's roads can be challenging. Good speed management gives drivers the cues they need to judge the safe and appropriate speed for the road they're on.

"Defining a vulnerable road user."

A vulnerable road user is anyone not in a vehicle. People walking, people on motorised twowheelers (motorcycles, mopeds and light mopeds) and people cycling are referred to as vulnerable road users because of their ‘unprotected’ state.

"Going a few kilometres faster or slower doesn't make any difference to safety."

Actually, it does. Speed is the difference between a correctable mistake and a fatal error. Every extra km/h increases the likelihood of someone being killed or injured in a crash. Regardless of what causes a crash, speed always plays a part.

"Slowing down will make it take ages to get anywhere."

Not necessarily. Research has shown driving at a speed appropriate for the road is likely to only result in a very small increase in travel time. Other factors, such as lights, traffic, and intersections have a much greater effect on travel time.

Infographic detailing the potential impact on journey times if speed limit is lowered

Trips reducing the maximum speed from 100km/h to 80km/h on a 10km length of road showed travel time increases ranged from 30 to 48 seconds.  For local trips reducing the maximum speed from 50km/h to 40km/h showed travel time increases ranged from 11 to 42 seconds difference.

If the maximum speed limit around a typical town is 50km/h, your average journey speed is between 26km/h and 33km/h. Safe and appropriate speeds actually result in significant fuel savings.

"Modern cars are safer and better, so there's no need for us to drive slower."

Cars may have evolved to go faster, but humans haven't. Our bodies feel the force of a crash the same way they did when the first car was invented. While modern cars have better safety equipment, NZ's fleet is relatively old. Half the cars on the road lack even basic safety features, like stability control or side airbags. Even the best technology won't stop another car crashing into you.

"Reducing speed limits is revenue gathering for the Police."

Police do not retain any of the money from infringements; the money goes to the Government. Collection of infringements comes at a much more significant cost to issue notices including police time and energy. Police would be delighted not to have to issue any infringements, as this would show everyone was driving safely and not putting themselves or others at risk. This would see deaths and serious injuries on our roads significantly reduced. Police would happily not collect any revenue if it meant people drove at safe, suitable speeds for the conditions.

"It’s the road not the speed limit that needs changing.”

All roads are not created equal nor are the risks necessarily identifiable by a driver, and people do make mistakes. Travelling the right speed for the risk on the road can help minimise the impact of a crash. Speed is the difference between a correctable mistake and a fatal error. Even good drivers can hurt others if they are involved in a crash travelling at the wrong speed for the road and conditions. To engineer existing roads to a higher standard would cost the district billions of dollars, and result in limited benefits, if any.

AT Death and Injury
*Survivability rates vary significantly based on a number of factors and scenarios. AT takes a preventative approach with respect to the survivability of our most vulnerable road users. Data taken from Research Report AP-R560-18 published in March 2018 by Austroads - the Association of Australian and New Zealand Road Transport and Traffic Authorities.

"Its overseas drivers that cause the problems, they don’t know our rules and roads, locals know the roads well."

New Zealand drivers crash at a much higher rate than our visitors. Over the five years from 2012-2016, 6.2 percent of fatal and injury crashes involved an overseas driver, and not all overseas drivers involved in those crashes were at fault. Many of the countries that tourists come from have better engineered roads than us, with more finely tuned speed limits, and as such tourists are quite often just driving at the safe and appropriate speed for the engineering of the road. New Zealand drivers are used to driving faster on those roads as they are familiar through day-to-day journeys, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that those speeds are safe and appropriate for the engineering of the roads. Mistakes happen to everyone, even well-seasoned locals, but a mistake shouldn’t result in death or serious harm.

"Lowering the speed limit to 30 km/h in Auckland city centre and other town centres."

Auckland Transport is currently investigating lower speeds of 30km/h in Auckland city centre which aligns with Auckland Council’s City Centre Masterplan. We are also looking at introducing 30km/h in some town centres. This will be finalised for consultation as part of the speed management bylaw later this year. Generally, the city centre zone under consideration is within the motorway boundaries.
The investigation will determine the precise locations for the start of the lower speed limit and what physical changes we would need to implement. While the city centre accounts for 2.2 per cent of Auckland’s death and serious injuries, it has a significant number of people walking and cycling. 84% of all crashes involve vulnerable road users. Or in other words, while Auckland city centre accounts for 0.6% of the total network, in 2017, it accounted for 4% of the total deaths and injuries (serious and minor).

"Different speed limits proposed for roads that once had similar speed limits."

Historically speed limits were set based mainly on the land use. Urban areas defaulted to 50km/h, rural areas defaulted to 100km/h, and there was some limited scope to apply 80km/h and 70km/h to urban fringe areas.
Central government have updated the legislation for setting of speed limits and under the new speed management approach while 50km/h and 100km/h are still the default values there are options to set speed limits based on the nature of the road rather than just the surrounding land use. In the case of rural roads this allows the adoption of speed limits of 80 or 60 where the roads are not designed to operate safely at 100. In extreme cases such as narrow, winding, unsealed roads, 40 km/h may also be considered as a rural speed limit.
The roll out of lower speed limits will occur gradually across the network. Key criteria for selecting which roads to treat first include:

  • Routes with high crash rates (where speed reduction could be expected to give the best crash reductions).
  • Routes where the road conditions/geometry already encourage most drivers to drive at a lower speed and aligning the limit with the lower speeds will help to make speed limits more credible.

Read more myths and misconceptions about the speed limit bylaw on OurAuckland website.

If you are experiencing family violence, don't worry, the information within this pop-up won't appear in your browser's history.

enter
Privacy policy

We’ve made asking for help safer than ever.

Join us in standing up against domestic violence and making more places of refuge across the internet.

If you, your business or your agency want to have The Shielded Site tab on your site we’ve made adding it very easy.

Click here to find out more. (WARNING: this will take you away from our shielded portal.)

NEED MORE ANSWERS

If you are living in fear in your relationship or in your family, there are so many ways we can help you right now. You won’t be turned away even if you don’t have children, a NZ visa, or money. If you still have more questions have a read below and contact us when you’re ready.

I’m ready to talk now.

You can call our 24-hour support and crisis line on 0800 REFUGE (733843). Or, if you prefer, you can click here and contact us discretely through our contact form and we will email you back as soon as possible.

What will I do for money?

There are a number of benefits and allowances you may be eligible for if you are a victim of domestic violence in New Zealand. We can help you better understand your options once you make contact.

I haven’t been beaten up, can Women’s Refuge still help me?

We support women who have experienced any form of domestic violence: verbal, psychological/emotional, sexual, and financial as well as physical. In fact, psychological/emotional abuse is the most common form of domestic violence.

How much does it cost to stay?

Women's Refuge support and advocacy services are free. In the safe house, rent is usually charged once your financial situation is sorted out. Safety is our main concern. You won't be turned away if you don't have any money.

How long can I stay in a safe house?

Some women only stay a night or two, while others stay for weeks. You can talk with the advocates at your local refuge about how long you think you need to stay to ensure your safety.

I don’t live with my partner, but he is abusing me. Can you still help me?

Yes, you don’t have to be living with your partner to experience domestic violence and you can still call us.

What happens if I haven't got any clothes or food?

Women's Refuge has clothing that you can have. We’ve also got toys and books, formula and nappies. You are welcome to use our emergency food until you get your financial situation sorted out.

Will other people be there?

Safe houses usually have other women, including women with their children, staying there. Refuge advocates are around during the day.

How will I get my kids to school?

The advocates at your local refuge will help you work out transport for your children, or help with changing schools.

Can Women's Refuge help me if I stay in my own house?

Yes, we can provide all the same support and advocacy for you no matter where you choose to live. You may be eligible to access support through the Whanau Protect service.

I'm living in a rural area. Can you still help me?

Yes. Find your local refuge and they will be able to arrange support, advocacy and transport for you.

Can Women's Refuge help around issues with children?

Yes. We can provide support and advocacy around matters to do with custody, access and care.

BEING SAFE ONLINE

The safest way to browse the internet if you suspect your browsing history is being monitored, is to use your browser’s private or incognito mode.

If you suspect your device has been compromised by spyware, then you should use consider using another device as some spyware may still be able to monitor icognito sessions.

To activate a private browsing session, follow the instructions below.

Safari

Open Safari > go to the File menu > select New Private Window

When finished, don’t forget to close your browser window to ensure your safety and privacy.

Chrome

Open Chrome > go to the File menu > select New Incognito Window

Internet Explorer

Open IE > click the Tools button > select Safety > and then click InPrivate Browsing

Mozilla Firefox

Open Firefox > click the menu button ☰ > and then click New Private Window

You should see a message in the new window saying that you are now browsing privately.

When finished, don’t forget to close your browser window to ensure your safety and privacy.

Getting out

The most important thing is for you and your children to get out safely. It is important to know that leaving a violent relationship can be one of the most dangerous times for women and children so it is important to make a safety plan around leaving and keep your plans confidential. Below are some tips to help you make a plan.

  • If you can, pack a bag with bare necessities and important documents that you can leave with someone you trust. Include important documents such as passport, birth certificate, bank account details, driver’s licence, and bank cards and other things like medicines.

  • Know abuser's schedule and safe times to leave.

  • Contact us for guidance or a safe place to stay for you and your children.

Getting help

Thank you

We’ll get in touch with you as soon
as possible.

Oops!

We have too many requests at the moment.

Please try again in a few minutes.

To ensure your safety, set up a new email account that only you have access to. See our ONLINE SAFETY section for privacy tips.

Please enter your name.
Please enter your phone number.
What is the best way of contacting you?
Please let us know how we can help you.

If you’d prefer to talk, call us on 0800 REFUGE.

If it isn’t safe for you to use your own phone, then you can contact us from a friend’s phone or by purchasing a prepaid mobile that you are able to keep in a safe place.

Getting help

Thank you

We’ll get in touch with you as soon
as possible.

Oops!

We have too many requests at the moment.

Please try again in a few minutes.

We warmly welcome all women and their children to access our support, advocacy and crisis accommodation. If you need help or have questions, use our live chat, or contact form to get in touch.

making a plan

The safety of you and your children (if you have them) will be your primary concern. If you’re not ready or cannot safely leave, here are some things you can do to stay safe now.

  • Make a safety plan with the guidance of a refuge advocate.

  • Get yourself a pre-paid phone; keep it charged and safe.

  • Keep photocopies of important documents (passport, birth certificate, bank account details, medical notes, driver's licence, etc) and store these at the home of a supportive friend or family member.

  • Keep a journal of all violent incidents, noting dates and events.

  • If you can, open your own bank account and try to save some money.

  • If you have pets you are worried about, consider them in your safety plan.

Privacy Policy – The Shielded Site Application.

General

In this privacy policy, the terms ‘NCIWR’, ‘we’, ‘us’, and ‘our’ refer to National Collective of Independent Women’s Refuges Inc. NCIWR operates this web application at https://d3f5l8ze0o4j2m.cloudfront.net (‘this web application’).

This privacy policy explains how we may collect, store, use, and disclose personal information that we collect and that you provide to us. By using this web application you acknowledge that we may collect, store, use, and disclose your personal information in the manner set out in this privacy policy.

Collection of personal information

We may collect personal information from you when you use this web application, for example when you make a request for contact on this web application.

You may decide not to provide your personal information to us. However, if you do not provide it, we may not be able to provide you with access to certain information or services. For example, we may be unable to make contact with you if you do not provide us with your contact information.

Automated collection of non-personal information

When you visit this web application, we will not add traceable elements (such as cookies, sessions, and usage monitoring software) to your browser or device.

Use and disclosure

We will not use or disclose your personal information except in accordance with this privacy policy or the Privacy Act 1993. We may use your personal information to:

  • assist in providing information and services requested by you;

  • communicate with you

Your personal information will only be made available internally for the above purposes. We will not disclose your personal information to third parties. We will only use or disclose personal information that you have provided to us, or which we have obtained about you:

  • for the above-mentioned purposes;

  • if you have otherwise authorised us to do so;

  • if we have given you notification of the intended use or disclosure and you have not objected to that use or disclosure;

  • if we believe that the use or disclosure is reasonably necessary to assist a law enforcement agency or an agency responsible for national security in the performance of their functions;

  • if we believe that the use or disclosure is reasonably necessary to enforce any legal rights we may have, or is reasonably necessary to protect the rights, property and safety of us, our customers and users, or others;

  • if we are required or permitted by law to disclose the information; or

  • to another entity that carries on the business of operating this web application.

Storage and security

All personal information collected on this web application is collected and held by NCIWR. We will endeavour to protect your personal information that is held by us from unauthorised access, use, disclosure, alteration, or destruction.

Third party service providers

This website may be hosted by one or more third party service providers (‘service providers’) who enable us to provide this web application. You acknowledge and agree that any personal information that may be collected on this web application may also be held and used by our service providers on our behalf. Any information collected will be securely sent and securely stored on a server.

Third party websites

This web application may be hosted by websites operated by third parties. We are not responsible for the content of such websites, or the manner in which those websites collect, store, use, or distribute any personal information you provide. When you visit third party websites from hyperlinks displayed on this web application, we encourage you to review the privacy statements of those websites so that you can understand how the personal information you provide may be collected, stored, used, and distributed.

Right to access and correct

You may request access to, or correction of, any personal information we hold about you by contacting us as follows:

Email:info@refuge.org.nz
Post:Privacy Officer
NCIWR
PO Box 27-078
Marion Square
Wellington 6141

To ensure that the contact information we hold about you is accurate and current, please notify us of any changes to such information as soon as possible.

Contacting NCIWR

Any emergency relating to domestic violence should be directed to 111 for New Zealand Police assistance.

If you request assistance through this website, we will endeavour to respond as soon as we can. If you require advocacy services phone 0800 REFUGE or 0800 733 843 to talk to a refuge in your area within New Zealand. All member refuges of NCIWR are listed on our main website (www.womensrefuge.org.nz). If you do visit the Women’s Refuge Website, please note that it is a traceable site so we recommend you use the online safety tips found on this web application to visit www.womensrefuge.org.nz safely.

Advocacy services are available at member refuges. Your call and information will be treated in confidence and privacy.

Changes to our privacy policy

We reserve the right, at our discretion, to alter this privacy policy at any time. Changes to this privacy policy will take effect immediately once they are published on this web application. Please check this privacy policy regularly for modifications and updates. If you continue to use this web application or if you provide any personal information after we post changes to this privacy policy, this will indicate your acceptance of any such changes.

This privacy policy was last updated on 6 October 2015.

If You’re In
Immediate danger
CALL 111 IMMEDIATELY

If you fear for your safety:

  1. Run outside and head for where there are other people.
  2. Ask someone to call 111
  3. If you have children take them with you if you can
  4. Don't stop to get anything else
Close