Fewer deaths on Auckland roads where speed limits have dropped

Speed limits could be slashed on more Auckland roads after data revealed a significant fall in deaths where speeds have already dropped.

Generic traffic sign 30km in Wellington.

Fatalities on Auckland roads where speed limits have been reduced since 2020 have almost halved, says Auckland Transport. Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

In 2020, Auckland Transport imposed restrictions on a third of the city’s roads – most going from 50 to 30 kilometres an hour.

At a public meeting last night, programme director Nathan Cammock said there had been a huge change.

“Where we made changes in 2020, what we’ve seen is the fatalities on those roads have halved, or almost halved – they’re down 47 percent, which is a really, really positive indication that these changes are making a really big difference.”

He said that compared to much starker statistics on roads where the speed limits hadn’t changed.

“Fatalities on the rest of the Auckland network have gone up – so the fatalities, the deaths on the network have gone up overall, but the deaths on the roads with the speed limit changes have dropped hugely.”

Cammock said this was a “positive indication that these changes are making an impact for our communities and more of us are coming home to our families”.

Some of the people at the meeting argued the national transport agency Waka Kotahi, and Auckland Transport should forget about speed limit changes and increase safety in other ways.

But Cammock said he disagreed and that speed was a huge factor that had to be considered.

“I don’t think there’s anything else in road safety that makes such a big difference to the number of people dying on our roads than speed limits.

“We’d seen this from overseas, so we are quite far behind many of our peer countries – most of our peer countries to be honest – and we can see the benefit they’ve had from tailoring speed limits, we can see it works, and so we can now also start to see some of the positive results from Auckland.”

Auckland Transport is creating a management plan that will be a blueprint for guiding how speed limits are managed throughout Tāmaki Makaurau.

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