Land Transport (Speed Limits Validation and Other Matters) Bill

  • enacted

Land Transport (Speed Limits Validation and Other Matters) Bill

Government Bill

47—1

Explanatory note

General policy statement

The main purpose of the Bill is to promote road safety by urgently addressing the possible invalidity of a number of speed limits.

This will be achieved by validating all speed limit bylaws made by various road controlling authorities in relation to roads for which they are responsible. Recent information has suggested that some road controlling authorities may have made speed limit bylaws under powers that may not have been available to them, or have omitted to comply fully with their bylaw-making powers. In the interests of removing doubt and providing clarity, this Bill validates all speed limit bylaws and confirms that they were made correctly under land transport legislation.

The Bill will also amend the Land Transport Act 1998 and clarify road controlling authorities’ powers to make speed limit bylaws under that Act.

The Bill proposes to—

  • validate speed limits set since 5 April 2004, regardless of whether they may have been set under potentially invalid bylaws; and

  • validate, to avoid doubt, enforcement action in relation to speed limits set by bylaws since 2004; and

  • ensure there is a clear power for road controlling authorities to make a speed limit bylaw; and

  • clarify the procedural requirements for road controlling authorities to make a speed limit bylaw.

Speed limits have an important road safety role. In order to maintain public safety and prevent drivers or riders taking advantage of the speed limit validity question, the Bill will be passed under urgency, without being referred to a select committee, and come into force on the date on which it receives the Royal assent.

Departmental disclosure statement

The Ministry of Transport is required to prepare a disclosure statement to assist with the scrutiny of this Bill. The disclosure statement provides access to information about the policy development of the Bill and identifies any significant or unusual legislative features of the Bill.

Regulatory impact statement

The Department of Internal Affairs produced a regulatory impact statement on 14 July 2015 to help inform the main policy decisions taken by the Government relating to the contents of this Bill.

Clause by clause analysis

Clause 1 is the Title clause.

Clause 2 provides that the Bill comes into force on the date on which it receives the Royal assent.

Part 1Preliminary provisions

Clause 3 states the purpose of the Bill. The purpose is to—

  • remove any doubt about the validity of speed limits set by road controlling authorities (including the designation of urban traffic areas in which roads are subject to speed limits); and

  • protect enforcement action taken under those bylaws; and

  • provide clear authority for the setting of speed limits by road controlling authorities in the future.

Clause 4 defines terms used in the Bill.

Clause 5 defines specified bylaws as bylaws that were made or purportedly made by road controlling authorities on or after 5 April 2004 and before the commencement of the Bill (whether in force or purportedly in force) under the Government Roading Powers Act 1989, the Local Government Act 1974, the Local Government Act 2002, the Land Transport Act 1998, or the Land Transport Rule: Setting of Speed Limits 2003 (the Speed Limit Rule 2003) and that set speed limits or designate urban traffic areas.

Part 2Validations and related amendments

Clause 6(1) validates the specified bylaws and declares them to have been lawfully made and to be and to always have been valid even if—

  • the enactment or enactments under which a specified bylaw was made or purported to have been made did not provide the statutory authority to make the bylaw:

  • a specified bylaw was made or amended using a process that did not comply with the enactment under which it was made or purportedly made or any other applicable enactment:

  • as far as a specified bylaw was made or purportedly made under the Local Government Act 1974 or the Local Government Act 2002, the bylaw was not reviewed by the local authority as required under section 158 or 159 of the Local Government Act 2002 and has been revoked by the operation of section 160A of that Act.

Clause 6(2) clarifies, to avoid doubt, that every speed limit set or urban traffic area designated under a specified bylaw validated under clause 6(1) is declared to be and to always have been lawfully set or designated.

Clause 6(3) provides that no designation as an urban traffic area under section 10.1(1) of the Speed Limit Rule 2003 or speed limit referred to in section 10.1(2) of the Speed Limit Rule 2003 is invalid solely because it was not designated or validated in accordance with section 10.1(7) of that rule before 1 July 2009.

Clause 6(4) provides that a specified bylaw made under the Local Government Act 1974 or Local Government Act 2002 that was revoked by the operation of section 160A of the Local Government Act 2002 must, despite that section, be treated as if it had not been revoked and remains in force until revoked by the relevant local authority.

Clause 7 provides that specified bylaws validated under clause 6 and that are in force or treated as in force at the commencement of the Bill must be treated as if they were made under section 22AB of the Land Transport Act 1998 as amended by the Bill. Clause 7(2) clarifies, to avoid doubt, that the review provisions in the Local Government Act 2002 do not apply to a specified bylaw that is treated as having been made under section 22AB of the Land Transport Act 1998 by clause 7(1).

Enforcement actions

Clause 8 validates, to avoid doubt, enforcement actions in reliance on speed limits set in specified bylaws.

Clause 9 is a savings provision that provides that the Bill does not limit any proceedings that were commenced before the Bill was introduced to the House of Representatives and that expressly challenge the validity of an enforcement action on the grounds that any 1 or more of the circumstances described in clause 6(1)(a) to (c) applied to a specified bylaw or that an urban traffic area had not been designated or speed limit set as described in clause 6(3).

Clauses 10 to 12 make related amendments to the Land Transport Act 1998. Clause 11 amends section 22AB of the Act, which is an empowering provision that authorises road controlling authorities to make certain bylaws under that Act. Clause 12 amends section 22AD of that Act to clarify the applicability of certain other requirements in other enactments relating to the making of the bylaws.