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Australian Standard 1742.4, why does the ACT ignore it?

By Sgt.Bungers - 19 August 2011 52

After looking forward to a call the deputy chief minister this morning to have a brief and healthy debate about speed limit signage in the ACT, I was surprised to be cut off almost immediately.  I asked the question, and then was told by Andrew Barr that he had been advised that the ACT does comply with Australian standards, boom!  Case closed.  Call over.  Aww, no fun 🙁

Australian Standard 1742.4 is a 30 page document outlining how speed limit signs should be put up.  How speed limit zones must be implemented.  Minimum lengths of zones.  That kind of thing.  Unfortunately the document is copyrighted, so I cannot post it up in its entirety.  The standard was developed by committee MS-012, which the ACT’s TAMS was a member of

Being interested in the topic, I invested in a copy of the standard and read it through.  I am nothing short of appalled at the lack of compliance with the Australian Standard that can be found on our roads here in Canberra.

In an attempt to raise awareness of this and force a change, I have started a website, www.actroads.org, which outlines dozens of examples of speed limit signage and speed limit zones in the territory that flat out do not comply with Australian standards.

Roads like Commonwealth Ave… 50,000 vehicles per day, a mobile camera approved road, yet the southbound carriageway has absolutely zero speed limit signs that comply with the standard.  A brand new 70km/h sign was installed last week on the median strip for traffic on the southbound carriageway.   The sign is a size A sign.  AS1742.4 states that size A signs shall only be used on minor urban roads where speed limits are 60km/h or below.  The sign blatantly does not comply with the standard.

The ACT has the most fixed speed cameras per person in the country already.  We have more speed cameras to come later this year, thanks to the installation of average speed cameras on Hindmarsh drive.  Am I the only one who believes that the current situation of huge levels of enforcement of speed limit zones that do not comply with national standards is simply not appropriate?  Not fair?  Dangerous?

I can understand that normal people will not find road infrastructure terribly interesting.  However this is something that affects everybody.  All motorists have their speed checked several times a day in the ACT.  All motorists drive through dozens of speed limit grey areas every day in the ACT.

Speed limits are an important part of overall road safety, yet gross complacency on the government’s part when it comes to implementing them, will lead to gross complacency when it comes to motorists obeying them.

What can I do to make this issue news?  What can I do to embarrass the ACT GovCo to pick up their act?  Suggestions?

What’s Your opinion?


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52 Responses to
Australian Standard 1742.4, why does the ACT ignore it?
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nanzan 6:48 pm 27 Mar 18

Where oh where did Sgt Bungers go. I miss his missives and his web site. Did someone shut him down?

Tooks 1:03 pm 01 Sep 11

Can’t say I’ve ever had any dramas with speed signs (or any other sign) in Canberra. I couldn’t tell you how big a sign is meant to be. As long as I can read it, that’s good enough for me.

Jivrashia 12:08 pm 01 Sep 11

Holden Caulfield said :

Situational awareness and all that.

First week driving in Canberra, if you’d be bothered to give me a bit of slack. Also I’m four-eyed and the buildings are far from the road such that I couldn’t identify their intended purpose.

Also, unlike you, I don’t have that kind of tendency to ogle school grounds.

dvaey 7:40 pm 31 Aug 11

Holden Caulfield said :

Erm, the big school, you know, the one you’ve referenced in your link, didn’t give you any clues that you might be about to approach a school zone? Situational awareness and all that.

I dont know about all colleges, but I noticed that Tuggeranong college has only had 40 speed limits introduced in the last couple of years. When I attended, the whole road in front of the college was 60km/hr (then reduced to 50). Not all schools have school zones, and not all roads bounding schools have those speed zones applied. For example at Melrose/Marist in Woden, one street is reduced to 40 but the other 4 bounding streets vary from 50 to 80km/hr.

As someone whos only speed camera fine was being caught doing 55km/hr along Spofforth St in Holt (2 lane road, wide enough for 6 lanes of traffic, with bushland on the west side), shortly after the speed limit was changed from 60 to 50 with a very small sign, I agree with this review.

Holden Caulfield 5:12 pm 31 Aug 11

Jivrashia said :

Finally, does the standard say how far road signs must be apart? I got done doing 60 in a 40 zone (school zone). My argument was that I couldn’t see the 40 sign, which was standing almost immediately (in car speed terms) after the two way sign. Also the trees didn’t help either.
Here’s the location, Phillip Ave next to Dickson college

Erm, the big school, you know, the one you’ve referenced in your link, didn’t give you any clues that you might be about to approach a school zone? Situational awareness and all that.

The school even gives you a helping hand that you might be near a school zone by having a massive DICKSON COLLEGE sign on the side of the building!

I’d say you’re either brave or stupid for owning up to that misdemeanour on RA, haha. Actually, looking Street View image, even taking into consideration for a wide angle camera lens, I’d say it’s more likely to be the latter.

Chop71 4:16 pm 31 Aug 11

Chop71 said :

Having a whinge on Riot ACT is the perfect place to start

The I think you should hit up one of those classy shows like ACA or Today Tonight

Chop71 4:15 pm 31 Aug 11

Having a whinge on Riot ACT is the perfect place to start

stormboy 3:46 pm 31 Aug 11

Really??? I know that RA is the home of the Capital Region Pedant Association but really….

I have been driving in the ACT for 30 years, I’ve been booked before, not because I didn’t see a sign or because the sign was a bit too small, it was because I was stupid enough to CHOOSE to exceed the limit.

All power to you ‘Bungers but what are you going to do after the crusade? I suggest getting a girlfriend.

Jivrashia 2:13 pm 31 Aug 11

Firstly, the use of SHOULDS and MUSTS in a standard.
Must is mandatory. If you miss one ‘must’ you are not compliant. Should is a highly recommended advice and if you do not comply then you’d better have a darn good reason not to, and then sign it off with a waiver proving that you acknowledge it (equivalent to putting your arse on the line).

As to Mr Barr’s answer, you could have asked to see some record showing ACT’s compliance with AS1742.4. Something along the lines of “all decisions pertaining to the ACT roads are checked against the standards before they are implemented” stated in a procedure document would suffice.

Finally, does the standard say how far road signs must be apart? I got done doing 60 in a 40 zone (school zone). My argument was that I couldn’t see the 40 sign, which was standing almost immediately (in car speed terms) after the two way sign. Also the trees didn’t help either.
Here’s the location, Phillip Ave next to Dickson college

Jim Jones 12:15 pm 31 Aug 11

obamabinladen said :

I think that Andrew Barr and the rest of our democratically elected officials need to remember their place in society, they work for the people! I don’t remember voting for speed cameras or mobile speed cameras do any of you? This issue of how “speed signs should be properly put up” is typical of how our elected officials totally disregard the general public and what the majority of people want. Everyone knows that these cameras have nothing to do with increasing safety on our roads, if the government cared about the safety of our roads don’t you think they would have proper speed limit signage? The Governments of this country whether it be state or federal labour or liberal are experts at squeezing the general public, remember we are the people that put them their and our voice needs to be listened to and then acted upon rather than continuously being ignored and shut down IE ANDREW BARR!!!

Didn’t you have a convoy already?

Jim Jones 11:48 am 31 Aug 11

dpm said :

The irony of the website is, as a bit of a crusade against speed cameras, if it is successful and they actually fix all the sinage to std i reckon two things will happen:
1) it won’t make a lick of difference to the speeding fine revenue in ACT
2) all the people who complain that ‘the sign was 5% crooked’, or ‘the sign was 40cm wide instead of 50cm’ won’t have anything to complain about after they are pinged.

I agree entirely.

That said, massive props to Sgt.Bungers for doing something about an issue he obviously feels strongly about (and doing it extremely well). It’s one thing to bitch and moan about something like street signage, it’s another thing entirely to have the gumption to actually tackle the issue intelligently.

johnboy 11:14 am 31 Aug 11

no need to thank us.

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