• Drop the 100km/h limit to 80km/h between Taumatamakuku Settlement and Kawakawa, including the Three Bridges.
• Drop the 70km/h limit to 50km/h between Mac's Prime Meats and Leaity St in Moerewa.
• Drop the 100km/h limit to 80km/h between Puketona and Haruru.
• Drop the 70km/h limit to 60km/h within Haruru.
• Drop the 100km/h limit to 80km/h all the way.
The speed limit on sections of three Northland state highways will be dropped from 100km/h to 80km/h if a proposal by the nation's roading authority goes ahead.
The NZ Transport Agency is calling for feedback on its plans to cut the speed limit between Taipa and Awanui on SH10, between Puketona and Haruru on SH11, and between Moerewa and Kawakawa — including the infamous Three Bridges — on SH1.
NZTA safe network programme director Tim Crow said seven people had been killed and 28 seriously injured in 289 crashes on those sections of highway in 2009-18.
"Speed increases both the likelihood of crashes and the severity of crash outcomes, regardless of what causes a crash."
People living along those highways had told NZTA they wanted lower speed limits, so the agency was holding a series of drop-in meetings to gather feedback before starting formal consultation.
The current proposals only affect the Far North but speed limit reviews in Whangārei and Kaipara districts are expected to follow at a later date.
The proposals have had a mixed reception with some Northlanders saying lower speeds can't come soon enough while others believe they will lead to frustration and more crashes instead of fewer.
One place where locals have long called for a lower limit is Kawakawa's Three Bridges. The three-humped bridge is narrow, has poor visibility, is subject to fog and flood, and borders an urban area, yet the limit is 100km/h.
Kawakawa fire chief Wayne Martin said crashes on the Three Bridges were ''usually quite bad''.
''With the road being so narrow, if people aren't used to it they hug the centre line. That's when you get crashes.''
Another danger was that fog or the bridge's humps could hide traffic queues, and at 100km/h drivers didn't have time to stop.
However, Martin wasn't convinced of the need to reduce the limit on the rest of SH1 between Moerewa and Kawakawa, where the brigade was rarely called out to crashes.
Far North District councillor Kelly Stratford, who hails from Kawakawa, said the current Three Bridges limit was ''just ridiculous''.
Some motorists really did drive over the bridges at 100km/h, giving them no chance to slow down before entering the town.
Kawakawa Business Association, Te Mirumiru Early Childhood Centre, the local police advisory group and the fire brigade had all lobbied for a speed limit cut, she said.
She also backed a speed reduction as far as Taumatamakuku, which had many houses and kids waiting for school buses every morning.
Any reduction, however, needed to be backed up with better monitoring, for example by fixed speed cameras.
Stratford said lower speed limits would inconvenience some motorists.
''But it's about reducing crashes and fatalities, and I know what's more important.''
She urged people to also have their say on stretches of highway which weren't included in the proposals. SH11 between Haruru and Paihia, for example, was not included even though it had many pedestrians and a high-crash area at the bottom of Kaipatiki Hill.
Northland MP Matt King said he supported speed limit reductions where they made sense, but not the nationwide reductions the Government was pushing for.
''We should be spending money instead on improving roads and four-laning,'' he said.
He backed a lower limit on the Three Bridges and along increasingly built-up Puketona Rd, while within Haruru — with its Watea estate, rest home and industrial area — he suggested a 50km/h limit.
However, he didn't see a need for a reduction on the rest of SH1 between Kawakawa and Moerewa, and said ''a big no'' to an 80km/h limit between Taipa and Awanui.
''There's big long stretches of straight road and the road's relatively good. That's nuts,'' he said.
Northland Regional Transport Committee chairman John Bain said it was a shame NZTA didn't bring Northland's left-behind roads up to highway standard.
''But if a road isn't fit for purpose at 100km/h, rather than have someone killed or maimed, 80km/h may be the best solution so families don't get that dreadful knock on the door.''
Meanwhile, Kerikeri businessman Peter Heath was concerned reduced limits could lead to more, not fewer, crashes.
''Rather unbelievably, NZTA tells me it doesn't collect data about speeds involved in road traffic accidents. How, then, does it know that reducing the speed limit in this spot is going to prevent accidents?''
Heath said lower limits could increase driver frustration, leading to reckless behaviour and greater casualties.
''I live in hope that NZTA knows what it's doing,'' he said.
The speed reviews are part of NZTA's Safe Network Programme, a shift from trying to prevent crashes to making roads more forgiving when drivers make mistakes.
The agency is spending $1.4 billion over three years to upgrade 3300km of highways with safety barriers, wide centre lines, rumble strips, better signs, lower speeds and other improvements.
• The community drop-in sessions are at Kawakawa Four Square, 4-7pm, July 24; Twin Pines Manor, Haruru, 4-7pm, July 25; Kaitaia Pak 'n Save, 4-7pm, July 26; Waitangi Countdown, 10am-1pm, July 27. Feedback can also be given at www.nzta.govt.nz/northland-speed-reviews until August 4.
• An earlier version of this story stated there had been 167 crashes on those three stretches of highway in 2009-18 with six deaths and 13 people seriously injured. Incorrect figures were supplied by NZTA.