Speed Limit Survey

Central Government has placed a focus on reducing crashes on our roads, not only by investing in road safety improvements, but also ensuring ‘safe and appropriate’ travel speeds.

Take the survey Of course the ‘safe and appropriate’ speed will vary for different types of roads, depending on their main use and characteristics.

Both Nelson City and Tasman District are starting work on reviewing the current speed limits that are in place.

For speed limits to be effective, they need to be underpinned by community support and understanding.

That’s why we want to hear from you. Please take the time to complete an online survey. It’s your chance to tell us what speed limits you think are safe and appropriate on our different road types.

You can also download the survey (2.6MB PDF) and return it to us using the locations below.

This feedback will help us as we review our speed limits. There will be a formal consultation process to follow if speed limit changes are proposed for specific roads.

Please complete the survey by Friday 14 June 2019. If you would prefer to complete a paper copy of the survey, they are available at the following locations and can be returned there once completed.

  • Nelson City Council Customer Service Centre, 110 Trafalgar Street, Nelson.
  • Elma Turner Library, 27 Halifax Street, Nelson.
  • Nightingale Library Memorial, 2 Beach Road, Tahunanui.
  • Stoke Library, 35 Putaitai Street, Stoke.

Local Statistics

crash types 2013 18

Effects of speed

Available data for our roads shows that excessive speed was a causative factor in around a quarter of fatal or serious crashes. However, speed is a risk factor for absolutely all accidents, ranging from the smallest fender-bender to fatal accidents.

Studies have definitively shown the very strong relationship between speed and road safety. In fact, there is no other risk factor that has a more powerful impact on accidents or injuries than speed. While it may be possible to offset the impacts of higher speed to some extent by introducing other road safety measures, a reduction in speed will almost always improve road safety.

The number of fatal and serious crashes on our roads has been increasing over the past five years.  We’re hoping to change that by setting speed limits that encourage drivers to select “safe and appropriate speeds” for each road environment and function.

Road crash movement categories

The crash data for our fatal and serious crashes shows the most common movement types.

urban crash movement categories


  1. Crossing / turning
  2. Pedestrian versus vehicle
  3. Lost control / head on

Our urban roads can be very busy and include a lot of different activity including pedestrians, cyclists, and busy intersections often creating complex scenarios for drivers. The survivability of car versus pedestrian or even car versus car (side impact) is affected by speed – at 50km/h a pedestrian has a 20% of surviving a vehicle impact; at 30km/h the survival rate increases to 90%.

rural crash movement categories


1. Bend-lost control / head-on

Our rural roads are varied, some are scenic and enjoyable to drive but they can also be dangerous and unforgiving. Our roads typically are narrow, have unforgiving curves and have many hidden hazards.

None of our roads have extensive safety features like the guardrails and safety zones that are being added to some state highways.

Our communities have a role to play in assessing the risks of these roads and help encourage drivers to select safe and appropriate speeds for each road environment.

Take the survey