A Northland woman has no regrets about taking matters into her own hands by changing the speed limit signs at a notorious blackspot.

On Saturday night Nicole Roach altered the 100km/h signs on Kapiro Rd, north of Kerikeri, setting a new, albeit unofficial, speed limit of 80km/h.

She had the numbers professionally made on reflective, self-adhesive vinyl and stuck them on with the aid of a stepladder.

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Far North District Council staff noticed the buzz that followed her DIY speed limit change on social media and sent a contractor to change the signs back on Monday afternoon.

While the unofficial speed limit change didn't last long Ms Roach said it had got people talking about safety issues on the road.

"So it did its job, and cars really did slow down. It made a big difference."

It was a pity the council couldn't change the speed limit as quickly as it had removed her signs, she said.

She accepted she risked a fine but said if it helped prevent an accident or saved a life it would be worth it.

Kapiro Rd residents have been calling for a drop in the limit for several years. They say speed has contributed to several serious crashes and endangers schoolchildren, cyclists and horse riders. The once rural road now has many homes and an early childhood centre.

In 2014 residents' requests got as far as a council report before being rejected by a roading engineer, who said a lower limit was unlikely to influence driver behaviour.

The bend where Ms Roach lives has seen 14 crashes in the past 20 years, including a near-fatal earlier this month. Alcohol and speed were behind most fatal and serious crashes on Kapiro Rd in recent years but speed was the main factor at the blackspot, especially in wet conditions.


Fixing the corner or adding a cycle lane to give bikes and pedestrians more space would take time and money, but dropping the speed limit was a quick and easy way to improve safety, she said.

Ms Roach said she had lost a brother and a partner in car crashes "so it rips my heart apart" every time someone was hurt or killed on her road.

The council says it is working with Vision Kerikeri and the NZ Transport Agency to improve safety on Kapiro Rd. They will consider a range of options, not just speed reductions.

Speed limit changes across the district had been on hold while the NZTA developed new guidelines, leading to a backlog of requests.

The council has been asked if it plans to take any action regarding the altered signs but did not respond by edition time yesterday.