Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is keen to hear what people think are the appropriate speed limits on "unique" stretches of the state highway network in Northland.
It is extending an open invitation to join the conversation over the next couple of months about current speed limits and to share concerns and local knowledge about how the roads are used.
"Ensuring we have the right speed for each unique part of our state highway network is key to saving lives and working towards our vision of a New Zealand where no one is killed or seriously injured on our roads," director of regional relationships Steve Mutton said.
"By working to deliver a safe system, we're protecting people by acknowledging that even responsible people can make mistakes on our roads, but that these mistakes should not cost us our lives."
Speed was the single biggest factor that determined if someone survived a crash or walked away unharmed.
"Communities have an important role to play in contributing to discussions about making their roads safer, and we encourage people to give us their feedback. This helps us decide if we have safe speeds on our roads, if a change is required to better reflect how a community uses their roads, where new speed limits could begin or end, and if any other safety improvements might be needed," he added.
The focus on creating safer roads for all New Zealanders was evident in the current programme of works for Northland and into Auckland, the regional package of the New Zealand Upgrade Programme in Northland including a $21.5 million upgrade to high-risk intersections at Kawakawa, Puketona and Rāwene, with significant safety benefits including improved visibility, safer speeds and reduced congestion.
A $792 million four-lane corridor was planned between Whangārei and Port Marsden Highway, designed to significantly improve safety through the inclusion of a continuous centre median barrier, preventing vehicles from crossing the centre line.
Mutton said New Zealand's challenging topography meant state highways were often in unique environments.
"Roads run through narrow gullies, near schools and marae, and through communities. Lowering speeds is often an efficient and effective way to keep motorists and people on bikes and on foot safe. That's why Waka Kotahi is reviewing speeds along nine state highways in Northland," he said.
Local engagement enabled everyone who uses the state highway, those who lived nearby and communities who use the highway to go about their daily lives to tell Waka Kotahi what they thought. It would generate information about how the network was used.
"We're not just looking at how fast we're driving to get from A to B, it's about how we use a highway as part of our daily life. It's about taking a 'whole of system' approach that addresses every part of the system - vehicles, road users and roads," he added.
"Under our speed management programme, we have been identifying roads where safer speed limits will result in the greatest reduction in deaths and serious injuries as quickly as possible, and where we know communities have been calling for change."
Details of community speed review information sessions would be provided over coming months. Formal consultation about any proposed speed limit changes would be the next part of the process, once feedback had been considered.
Formal consultation on any proposed speed limit reductions has yet to begin, but in the Far North Waka Kotahi NZTA is looking at SH1 (Kaitaia to Pukenui), SH10 (Tāipa to Pakaraka), SH11 (Kawakawa to Paihia, and Kawakawa to Whangārei), SH15 (between SH1 north of Kaikohe and Otaika), SH12 (Kaikohe to Ōmāpere and Brynderwyn to Ōmāpere).