Services > Safe Speeds

Speed related crashes are an area of high concern and identified as a continuing road safety issue across the cluster.

As at April 2016 the death toll on NZ roads sits at 109. This time in 2015 there were 111. What are we doing to reduce our road toll?

23% of drivers in New Zealand travel above the 100km per hour speed limit on the open road. Wairarapa is a rural area with many open roads. 

For more statistics see:

5186 tickets issued to drivers speeding in a 50KM/H posted speed limit area (1167 issued in person, 4019 issued by post from speed camera)

Driving safely within speed limits

Many drivers aren’t aware that they can be travelling at the speed limit and still be driving unsafely.

The speed limit is the maximum legal speed that you can travel at on a road in perfect conditions.

However, road conditions are rarely perfect. As a safe driver, you’ll have to look out for changes in traffic, road and weather conditions, and reduce your speed accordingly.

Adjust your speed to the conditions

Traffic conditions

Traffic conditions that you might need to reduce your speed for include:

  • high volumes of traffic on the road
  • pedestrians, joggers and cyclists
  • holiday times when there are lots of visitors on the road
  • parked cars.

Road conditions

Road conditions you should reduce your speed for include:

  •   bumpy or narrow areas on the road
  •   wet, icy or gravel road surfaces
  •   signs warning of hazards such as sharp curves or a slippery surface.

Weather conditions

Weather conditions you should reduce your speed for include:

  • rain, snow and ice
  • wind
  • fog
  • bright sunlight. 


School & Buses

Signs operate on 7 day cycle come on when children are most likely to be travelling to or from school, can also be activated manually during the day if required due to activity at the school.

Current locations: MDC - Lake View School, Solway School, Masterton Primary School, Fernridge School, Mauriceville School, Tinui School, Johnston Street.

Stopping Distances

Faster you go the bigger the mess

Safe speeds are sometimes discussed in terms of ‘survivable speeds’ – the speeds at which a person is likely to survive a crash find out more: Survivable Speeds


Winter Driving in Wairarapa & BeyondWinter Driving in Wairarapa & Beyond

Wairarapa is renowned for its changeable weather. You could drive from Masterton down to Pirinoa and back out to Martinborough and have 3 different sets of weather conditions... which means you should plan and prepare before you land yourself on an icy, wet or even snowbound road. 

  • ›  Call 0800 4 HIGHWAYS  for the latest road conditions - CHECK BEFORE YOU GO

  • ›  Dress for the conditions, carry additional warm clothes and keep a survival kit in your vehicle in case you do get stuck.

  • ›  Ensure your car is roadworthy and keep at least half a tank of fuel in your vehicle in case you get diverted onto another route or you are forced to turn back. GIVE IT A TWIRL


  • ›  Drive slower than you normally would – it only takes a split second to lose control in wet or icy conditions.

  • ›  Avoid sudden braking or turning that could cause you to skid. Accelerate smoothly and brake gently, and use your highest gear when travelling uphill and your lowest downhill.

  • ›  For vehicles without anti-skid braking systems, pump the brake pedal in short rapid bursts rather than pressing long and hard to avoid skidding or sliding.

  • ›  Drive at a safe travelling distance because it takes longer to stop on slippery roads. In winter, especially in poor weather, double the two-second rule to ensure a safe distance between you and the car in front.

  • ›  When travelling in fog, rain or snow, drive with your lights dipped for increased safety. 


    For latest winter driving conditions in your area check our links on our Roading Conditions Page or call 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49)

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