Two roads intersecting with SH1 in Northland will have lowered speed zones implemented in a move New Zealand Transport Agency says will improves motorists' safety.

The intersection speed zones, where electronic variable speed signs alert motorists on approach, have already been placed at some high-risk intersections on busy rural roads around the country including Pakaraka in the Far North, and SH12 at the intersection with SH1 at the southern side of the Brynderwyn Hills.

Signs typically display a 70km/h or 60km/h speed when sensors detect a vehicle approaching the intersection, or turning right on to the main road.

The lower speed is displayed to warn drivers on the state highway or main road to slow down, to reduce the risk of collision.


Two more are scheduled for Northland's SH1 at the intersections with Mangapai Rd and Shoemaker Rd, south of Whangārei, where traffic on SH1 will temporarily reduce their speed to 60km/h.

NZTA said work at the latest intersections would be completed by the end of July but they would not be officially turned on until the legal gazetting process was completed.
It is compulsory for traffic on SH1 to travel at 60km/h when the signs are illuminated.

Consultation on the sites was held from March 5 to 30 this year.

NZTA documents submissions on the Mangapai site included many supportive comments from people who felt this was a dangerous intersection, and some wrote that they had seen near misses as this intersection.

The Whangārei District Council supported the proposal at this site. New Zealand Police were supportive, noting that it has been demonstrated the system contributed to a reduction of crashes at high risk intersections.

Many submitters called for other changes to be made to this road. The most common of these was the call for a permanent speed limit change, while others included widening the road to four lanes, and putting in a roundabout.

Many submitters on the Shoemaker Rd intersection also felt it was dangerous. One submitter suggested that part of Shoemaker Rd be closed to prevent crashes caused when people drive across SH1.

Feedback on Facebook included comment from Bev Ennis: "More wasted money."


Jason Paraha: "Permanent speed cameras in these intersections speed zones will help as well".

Amy Jones: "They are going to put them in - it's not gonna change anything or make it any safer!"

Greg Smith: "All these 'speed zones' do is criminalise motorists."