They came for our speed limits but we got them back!

Way back in July 2018 when I was but a mere Guest Poster, I created a post in relation to Vision Zero. In that post I put forward the draconian Vision Zero ethos of drastically lower speed limits. Of course it has all started coming true, and Auckland will see hundreds of lower speed limits put in place very soon.

At the end of that post, I put up the picture above and advised how the Queenstown Lakes District Council had kicked proceedings off with a ridiculous, town wide, 40 km/h maximum speed limit. This was of course in spite of the fact that there are hardly any crashes in the area. I also asked the question: Quote.

I wonder when the ?temporary? signs will come down. I?m picking never.

End quote.

Well I am extremely pleased to let you all know that I was completely and utterly wrong! The entire 40 km/h speed limit has been removed and the 50 km/h limit has been reinstated, because… The QLDC seems to have lied about why they wanted it! Or maybe it was a genuine mistake: you decide. quote.

Safety boss Harry Wilson says NZTA told the council they had three options for introducing temporary speed limits ? road works, unsafe road surfaces or a special event happening.
?Following this, the [council] staff member provided written confirmation that the Arrowtown speed limit was be implemented due to suspected unsafe road surface conditions,? Wilson says. end quote.

From the little bit of research I had done, I knew that it is not legal to put up a temporary speed limit that is within 20 km/h under the original limit, ie. a 50 km/h area cannot have a temporary speed limit of higher than 30 km/h. But I hadn’t expected many of the entire region’s temporary speed limits to be illegal.

And of course the backlash will be rather large. Only a few months ago, the local paper highlighted how well the police were doing with their flash new speed camera van.

A NEW speed camera car on Queenstown roads is behind a staggering increase in the number of people pinged for speeding, cops say.
Police figures reveal the number of speeding tickets dished out in Queenstown skyrocketed 48 per cent between 2015 and 2017.
Police issued 1632 in 2015, and 2423 last year.
More than 6000 speeding tickets were issued in total over the three years.

Police have admitted that any fines found to be invalid will be cancelled and fees refunded. If demerit points have been given, they will be removed from the driver licence record by NZTA.

Sweet, my daughter should be getting at least one speed camera ticket refunded! But the demerit points is the big thing. How many people have lost their licence as a result of the QLDC telling porkies? What about the dozens of people who have lost their licence for driving at more than 40 km/h over the illegal speed limit?

How much reparation will need to be paid to those people? What other negative outcomes have there been? Has anyone, for instance, lost their job because of the QLDC’s fanatical desire to bring in Vision Zero?

Well, I would hope at least one person is in the firing line. The QLDC staff member who signed off on the confirmation that the speed limit reduction was needed due to suspected unsafe road surface conditions should be the first to go.

Also, any and all other councillors who had input into this blatant subterfuge should be next in line for a DCM.

So now the challenge is to find out if the 800 odd speed limit changes in the Auckland area are legal, or whether the Auckland Council are as duplicitous as some others around the country.