Police focus is on ensuring people are driving safely and to the conditions.
Police enforce speed limits set by central and local government. We use a range of tools including mobile and fixed safe speed cameras, radar and laser speed detection devices, high visibility patrols and traffic stops.
Police decisions about speed enforcement are based on evidence. You might feel safe driving a few kilometres over the limit but extensive research from New Zealand and overseas shows a small increase in speed raises the crash risk for all road users.
In general, the speed limit for cars on main rural roads and motorways is 100km/h, and 50km/h on urban roads – unless signs say otherwise. However, driving safely means driving to the conditions. ‘Conditions’ doesn’t just mean the weather – it includes the road you’re on, the roadside around you, traffic conditions, your vehicle and load, and even you – for example, are you tired or on medication that affects your driving?
Driving faster than the posted speed limit is illegal. Police have the discretion to issue you with a speeding infringement notice (speeding ticket) if you drive at any speed over the limit.
Enforcement when overtaking
Police understand the frustration caused by slower drivers who speed up when entering passing lanes, but this does not create an excuse or mandate for exceeding the posted speed limit. While police take a more pragmatic approach when enforcing speed on passing lanes, the few seconds saved passing an irritating vehicle are simply not worth the risk.
- Safe speed cameras
- Infringement notices and fees
- Speeds and speed signs (NZ Transport Agency website)
- Penalties for speeding (NZ Transport Agency website)
- Effects of speed in crashes and analysis of crash risk for the Christmas holiday period (report published December 2013)