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New Zealand’s speed limit is on the lower end of the scale, with police looking to enforce even stricter compliance.



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  • El Diablo

    Time for New Zealand to get in tune with the rest of the world and raise the speed limit to 120.

    • Whitey

      I couldn’t agree more. Our speed limit is ridiculous.

      • George Carter

        But our roads are really, really, really dangerous compared to the rest of the world! At least that’s what the media tells us, ha!

        • corporate refugee

          No, our roads are not dangerous. But our drivers, well that’s a different story.

          • Having grown up and learned to drive in South Africa, the NZ drivers are tame and polite in comparison.

          • Bob D

            True, but at least in SA they know how to pull over and let faster traffic through.

          • FredFrog

            Because if they don’t let the faster traffic traffic through, the faster traffic will run them off the road, or leave them with a few bullet holes.

          • FredFrog

            Hello Roger, it’s the “little” brother of Chris here.

            Yes, Kiwi drivers are tame when contrasted with a certain sector of the driving population in South Africa. Yet, having driven extensively in the UK, Germany and Australia, I can tell you that Kiwi driving standards are, in general, crap.

          • Hi FredFrog (how has the house moving been going?), I can appreciate that, and as my one brother repeatedly points out, Kiwi’s need to learn how to actually overtake.

          • Bob D

            Absolutely right. Do not overtake at 0.2 km/h difference, and then drive for miles right next to the car you’re overtaking, right in their blind spot.

            This I believe is one of the main reasons folk here don’t like to be overtaken – the idiots overtaking have no idea what they’re doing.

            Overtake, move on, let the traffic flow.

          • sheppy

            The speed obsession reinforces this behaviour, as does police and revenue collection vans sitting at the end of passing lanes it’s terrifying!

          • Bob D

            When someone questioned the police Top Dog a while back about how blindingly stupid and unsafe it was to restrict overtaking speeds, he just said “So don’t overtake”!

            Is it any wonder we regard these people with contempt? They are simply not interested in the safety of drivers and their families.

          • sheppy

            Shocking and totally incompetent – he shouldn’t be in the job!

    • cows4me

      Heresy, how can any self respecting extortion racket make cash at such a high limit.
      edit; bloody spelling again.

  • corporate refugee

    I drive on the Northern Motorway from Auckland to Warkworth several times a week. Since the recent reduction of police tolerance for being just over the speed limit the procession of drivers watching their speedo more than the road has got longer and slower and more compressed.
    Also, the number of speed cameras and police cars lying in wait for motorists that creep slightly over the 100k limit has gone up since the tightening up by the police. Co-incidence? And why are these “safety cameras” always on long straight stretches of road which are pretty safe but easy to speed a bit on, and not in more dangerous stretches of road that all but the reckless slow down for?

  • Nebman

    Sorry but I disagree in the strongest possible terms. 99.9% of our roads are simply not up to it – not wide enough, no run off, roadside obstacles, no dividing or median barriers, too tight, etc – I could go on.

    I drive professionally – trust me, as a rule, the “average” driver is not up to going any faster just yet.

    Yes, there are a few long straight roads down south but you’ve already got foreign drivers going too fast on the wrong side of the road killing people – do you want them going quicker?

    And totally aside from all of the above, the bar we set for open road driving skills is so low, it’s abysmal.

    Start with having all vehicles including the trucks, buses, camper vans and yes, trailers, doing the same speed. Remove the differential and things will improve almost immediately.

    • James

      If 99.9% of our roads aren’t up to it then fine – but why not have a 120kmph limit on the 0.1% of roads that are (SH1 extension, SH18, Waikato Expressway etc)? And then ensure that new roads being built are safe enough for 120kmph.

    • Bob D

      Simple solution – all motorways 120km/h. Keep the other roads at 100 km/h unless they’re really good. Many countries do this, it works.

      • johcar

        We don’t have motorways in NZ – too many on/off-ramps too close together.

        Increasing the speed limit would cause even more havoc than the stupid on-ramp lights

        • Bob D

          On-ramp lights are stupid, yes, but I disagree about the motorways. Driver education regarding joining and exiting is all that is needed. I’ve seen it work in many countries.

          For example, don’t join at 50km/h, don’t slow down to walking pace before exiting.

          • johcar

            I don’t disagree at all with any of the driver education comments, however I am extremely cynical about the likelihood of the standard on NZ driving improving when the bar to get a license in the first place is set so low…

            I have driven in the States, the UK, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria and Hungary – all of those places have both better roads and better drivers than we do here, as per kayaker’s comments above.

            NZ drivers are far too lazy/laid back/she’ll-be-right to achieve any improvements in standards without drastic measures being taken.

            And don’t get me started on ‘new Kiwi’ drivers (you know, the ones with the reputation)!!!

          • Bob D

            Sadly, you’re right. Recently my kids all went through their various driving tests. My youngest son battled a bit to pass the new test due to their nit-picky silliness around number of seconds indicating etc., and ended up doing the test three times before he passed.

            On none of the tests did they go on a motorway, despite the testing venue being right next to one, and the new test now being a full hour long.

            He queried this, and they just said they don’t do the motorways, so not to worry about that!

          • PhantomsDoc

            Many years ago I got my licence when I joined the post office (out of school). The public service garage did my training and they were really good, teaching me driving habits I still have today.
            Once I got it, the senior techs at the depot then took me out to check that I could actually drive. One of them gave me un-pc advice that has, unfortunately, saved me on a number of occasions. It was “look out for BYG and people wearing hats”.

            What? BYG?

            Yep, brown, yellow, grey and it’s generally old people that wear hats.

            Having said that, there a a lot of drivers out there now who don’t fall into the above category but do into the crap driver one.

  • kayaker

    We visited France for a mont a few years back and drove everywhere. The speed limit on the autobahns then was 130kph (not sure what it is now). Heavy vehicles had a lower limit.

    Critical success factors: high quality road surface; excellent signage – off/on-ramps clearly marked; no dungers on the road; ample lanes; safety via median barriers; you have to stick to the right lane unless passing; good traffic flow; driver-educated courteous drivers (in the main); plenty of rest stops. I could go on and other WO readers could probably add.

    Do we have all these elements in NZ? Some, not all. We’re not ready for a higher speed limit most of the above are addressed. Most of all, driver skills and education.

    edit: grammar

  • Andy Brown

    I drove in South Korea four years with a Korean licence and the speed limit is 110 on the freeways, not 120.

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