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What is the National Speed Limit Register (NSLR)?

The National Speed Limit Register (NSLR) is being developed to provide a modern, GIS-enabled, central source of all fixed speed limits for roads in New Zealand. This development is being led by the NZ Transport Agency, together with road controlling authorities (RCAs) around the country.

Why is a NSLR needed?

Currently, speed limit data across the country is not stored and published in a consistent way. A new register is needed so that all speed limit data is held in one place that will be a single source of truth.

The register will enable the data to be accessed by the public and by third party vendors (such as map providers like Google). It will also enable organisations responsible for speed management to more easily comply with the Setting of Speed Limit Rule and Speed Management Guide.

Speed limits, and communication of those limits to road users, is core to road safety. Speed limit data is used by the public, enforcers and increasingly by intelligent systems in vehicles. The register will make it easier for people to access and utilise that data.

How will the NSLR benefit me?

The register will it easier for the public to find speed limit data as a single source of truth.

The benefit for RCAs is that it will make it easy to update and share speed limit data. Additionally, administration times responding to public data requests will be reduced.

When will the register be live?

The register is expected to be live at the end of 2020, after all New Zealand speed limit data has been uploaded.

Do RCAs have to use the NSLR?

Under the Land Transport Rule: Setting of Speed Limits 2017, each RCA is required to maintain a register of all fixed speed limits under its jurisdiction.

While current legislation doesn’t require RCAs to use the NSLR, the NSLR is being developed to accommodate expected future legislative changes that will require speed limits to be recorded in it for a for a speed limit to be legally enforceable. 

RCAs are strongly recommended to move to the new register as soon as practicable. This will ensure they are well positioned for mandating of speed limits to be in the NSLR.

We are working with RCAs to migrate their data and train people to use the system. RCAs will find it quick and easy to update and share speed limit data once their data has been migrated to NSLR.

How will the public and other data users access the register?

Speed limits will be made available in interactive maps for use by the public. For organisations or individuals that would like to use the data in their own systems, we will provide data in commonly used formats for import. RCAs will have login access to update speed limits on roads in their jurisdiction.

Will this register change how speed limits are set?

No. The project does not address or affect speed limit setting processes. The Speed Management Guide [PDF, 7.4 MB](external link) remains the resource for guidance on that process.

What is the timeline for implementation of the NSLR?

The NSLR is being developed from September 2018 through to end of 2020. It is being rolled out to RCAs in two phases:

  • RCAs in the RCA reference group between July-November 2019
  • Remaining RCAs – November 2019 through to end of 2020

The register will be ready to be made publicly available at the end of 2020 after all RCA speed limit data is uploaded and a quality review process completed.

What is the RCA reference group?

We are working with a group of representative RCAs which are early adopters of the NSLR.  These RCAs are trialling speed register conversion and subsequent use of the register to manage their speed limit records.

FAQs specific to RCAs

What do RCAs need to do to change to the new register?

All current speed limit data and information about the associated bylaws needs to be migrated to the NSLR. This process differs depending on each RCA's current processes and the format of each current register. We are working with each RCA to make it as easy as possible.

When does each RCA need to migrate their data?

If an RCA is a member of the RCA reference group, the Transport Agency is working with them from July to November 2019 to migrate their data.

After November 2019, RCAs not in the reference group will be supported to migrate their data before the end of 2020.

See the timeline for implementation of the NSLR.

Why is there a quality review by the Transport Agency?

Under the Setting of Speed Limits Rule 2017, RCAs are already required to notify us of all upcoming speed limit changes. Responsibility for the actual process of setting of the speed limit and outcomes of that process remain with an RCA.

This quality review is a final check to ensure the process used by RCAs to set the speed limit is correct, including that any Agency approvals that may be required are in place, and that the speed limit being entered into the NSLR is legally enforceable.

However, ultimately the RCA is responsible for the accuracy of all speed limits entered into the NSLR.

Do RCAs need to geocode their data?

If an RCA’s speed limits are already geocoded, that’s great.  If they are not, we’ll working with them to geocode their data as part of the data migration.  There is no need for RCAs to have geocoded data beforehand, and there is no need for RCAs to engage any third party to help.  If third parties are engaged, there may be commercial limitations on the use of the data they help with, and we would not be able to use that data and would need to recreate it directly from the bylaws (see Why do I need to sign a contract to be part of the RCA reference group).

What should RCAs do about new and upcoming speed limit changes that are occurring between now and when the register becomes available?

We will work with each RCA to ensure that migration of their data to the speed limit register occurs at a time when their speed limits are up to date wherever possible. Once speed limit data has been uploaded, RCA's will receive training on how to record new speed limits directly into the register. 

What will RCAs have to do once the register is set up?

Once an RCA's data is migrated to the register, speed limit data will need to be updated as bylaws change. Updating data in the register will be easy.

The specific functionality of the system, and how data will be updated by RCAs, is currently being designed. Full training will be provided.

Will RCAs receive any support to help change to the new register?

Yes. We will provide RCAs with support to migrate their data to the new register and training will be provided. We will work through with each RCA exactly what support might be required.

How should RCAs engage with people and organisations who want access to their speed data?

Under the Setting of Speed Limit Rule, RCAs are required to keep a register of existing speed limits and make that register available. 

To ensure an RCA won’t need to maintain two registers, if a speed limit request is received by an RCA which has already migrated its data, the RCA can use the speed limit details in the register to response to the request until the NSLR is complete and publicly available.

When the register becomes publicly available, all New Zealand speed limit data will be published via the NZTA Open Data Portal which will provide the ability for all interested parties to view and download the speed limits anywhere in New Zealand.

Will speed limit data be able to be extracted out of the register?

Yes, there will be the capability to extract speed limits in a wide range of commonly used formats, including those used in GIS systems.

What is the RCA reference group?

We are currently looking to form a group of representative RCAs to act as early adopters of the NSLR. This will include trialling speed register conversion and subsequent use of the register to manage their speed limit records.

How will we keep RCAs up to date with progress of the NSLR project?

Updates will be provided on the Transport Agency's website. The Transport Agency may also attend relevant forums and conferences.

Who can I 

contact if I have any questions about the NSLR?

Please email NationalSpeedLimitRegister@nzta.govt.nz

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