Hamilton Speed Management Plan – add 20 Km/h

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Over the next few weeks there are a couple of important HCC plans that you should make time to submit to. This post focuses on the Hamilton Speed Management Plan. All it ask you to do is answer a yes/no question, and comment if you like; for example, describe a street where the speed limit does not match use. Priority will partly be based on “Places where there is strong community demand for change” (p10).

The Speed Management Plan is a good one. Hamilton’s Vision Zero goal of not accepting any loss of life on our city’s roads is ahead of the Safer Journeys plan that NZTA is still working to. However, I would like to see one line added to Hamilton’s Speed management Plan. The need for this comes from a missing 20 km/h speed limit, which is already commonly used in New Zealand. My suggested line is in Italic bold below, with links to rules already using 20 km/h as a maximum speed. (see the NZ road code and Hamilton’s own Parks, Domains and Reserves Bylaw below)

Hamilton Speed Management Plan: 2019: page 10

4. Speed Management principles – The following principles will guide the application of speed management within Hamilton: [add]

* Within Parks, along shared use paths and at student  bus stops, maximum speed will be 20 km/h (ref: Parks Bylaw)

Hamilton City Parks, Domains and Reserves Bylaw 2019: page 12

“8.4 Vehicle speeds within parks – No person shall drive or ride any vehicle in any park at a speed in excess of 20 kilometres per hour, except where indicated by the council.” 

NZ road code: “If a school bus has stopped you must slow down and drive at 20km/h or less until you are well past (no matter which direction you are coming from)”

Driving tests web site explains: “in case a child dashes across the road … It’s set low because at 20kph almost all pedestrians hit will survive … Children are more likely to run out into the road without looking, and the school bus is a large obstacle that obstructs their view of the road.”

In Hamilton most school students travelling by bus will be using the public service. The case of a person running across the road from a bus stop still exists. One way of reducing the risk or severity of harm in the case of a child dashing across the road from a bus stop is to reduce the speed near the bus, as shown in this 150m-long  20km/h bus zone in Koblenz.

The NZ Post rule around the use of Paxsters is another example that 20km/h is a reasonable and practical speed. Below is a letter from NZTA allowing Paxster post vehicles to use footpaths.

“After careful consideration the NZ Transport Agency has granted [NZ Post] your [Paxster] vehicles and their drivers an exemption from Land Transport Rules

Condition of this exemption:

c) On a footpath the vehicles must be operated at a safe speed for the conditions and must not exceed a speed of 20 km/h: and

d) The operator of the vehicle must give way to all other footpath users”

RNZ May 2015 Electric delivery vehicles for NZ Post

NZ Post’s Risk Assessment talked about footpath speeds of more than 20 km/h being never acceptable.

 “Operators are required to assess local conditions in order to determine a safe speed, such as the presence of other footpath users, obstacles (e.g. rubbish bins), blind spots, high fences, slippery surfaces and reduced visibility. According to Stu Kearns*, travelling at a speed of 15 km/hr may be safe in most instances, speeds of 20 km/hr or more will never be acceptable.”

*Stu Kearns was head of the police serious crash unit in Auckland

Category: News

One comment on “Hamilton Speed Management Plan – add 20 Km/h

  1. What’s missing from the plan is any analysis of the risks at various speeds. I’ve submitted that they should take account of the rapid rise in death and injury to cyclists and pedestrians above 20kph. There’s a good graph of this as Fig 8 of https://www.bikeauckland.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Mackie-Research-Report_Speed-vs-injury-risk.pdf.

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