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GDE 80 km/h speed limit – not compliant with AS 1742.4

By Sgt.Bungers - 11 October 2011 71

gungahlin drive

I’ve written up an article on the GDE, and why the 80 km/h speed limit along much of the road from Mitchell to the Glenloch Interchange arguably does not comply with AS 1742.4 2.1.2(b). Read on below if interested.

“The extension to Gungahlin Drive (The Gungahlin Drive Extension, or GDE) has recently been completed. The new road will be a vital link between Canberra’s north and south. The completed road is of very good, near freeway quality, with no at grade intersections, give way/stop signs, traffic lights or private entrances.

The road had originally been designed to have a 90 km/h speed limit. However, the final road has been opened with a very unrealistic 80 km/h speed limit. With no intersections, any motorist attempting to travel the 9 km road at 80 km/h will inevitably slip over the speed limit by accident from time to time… some motorists will decide the speed limit is ridiculous and choose a speed that they perceive to be safe. The A.C.T Government decided to implement the 80 km/h speed limit after “following concerns about a lack of consistency of speed limits along the route

This surprised me, as never before this comment have I witnessed anything to suggest that the A.C.T Government is at all concerned about consistency along any route, street, or in any area. Plenty of examples of inconsistent speed limits can be found throughout this website. Canberra Avenue speed limits and speed limits throughout Campbell and Russell are perfect examples of inconsistent speed limits rife throughout the A.C.T’s road network.

Consistent speed limits is something that I am arguing for throughout the A.C.T, however implementing “consistent speed limits” does not mean putting the same speed limit along an entire length of road, despite the road type changing radically along its length. The northern end of Gungahlin Drive has frequent round abouts, is next to children’s playing fields, has a single carriageway, yet has a limit of 80 km/h… identical to speed limit on the near freeway grade of the Gungahlin Drive extension.


View Larger Map

This attempt by the A.C.T Government to employ consistent speed limits in the A.C.T has resulted in one of the most inconsistent speed limit situations Canberra has ever seen!

Thanks to the unrealistic speed limit, the A.C.T Government is guaranteeing that plenty of motorists will break the law, either unwittingly or intentionally. This is proven in this video:

Australian Standard 1742.4 Section 2.1.2 (b) states, that on any given stretch of road… “The speed limit shall not be so low that a significant number of drivers will not be able to understand the reason for it and hence tend not to observe it.” As per the above video, it’s quite apparent that nobody respects, or obeys the speed limit. Thus arguably rendering the entire 80 km/h speed limit on the Gungahlin Drive Extension, not compliant with Australian Standards.

Other roads in the A.C.T that have 80, 90 or 100 km/h speed limits are either of significantly lower quality than the completed Gunahlin Drive Extension, or are in an environment that should have a lower speed limit. For example, Gundaroo Drive. With a plethora of chaotic roundabouts, bus stops, traffic lights, lane merges, all within close proximity to residential areas, has an 80 km/h speed limit. Photo below:

[/caption]

Owen Dixon Drive is another example of a road with an 80 km/h speed limit, despite having bus stops, intersections, and houses immediately adjacent to the road.

In summary:

Given the above facts, I’m struggling to see how the decision to implement an 80 km/h speed limit on the Gungahlin Drive Extension (a limit which does not comply with AS 1742.4 2.1.2(b)) was not made to increase the revenue that the A.C.T. Government will make from speed camera fines.”

http://actroads.org/archives/1096

What’s Your opinion?


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71 Responses to
GDE 80 km/h speed limit – not compliant with AS 1742.4
powerpuffpete 10:50 am 11 Oct 11

I agree with others that you make a good case but unfortunately the video fails to demonstrate which drivers comply and which do not comply with the speed limit (it only proves that 100 % of cars that over-take you exceed the limit because you are driving at 80 km/hour).

Your strongest argument I think is that previously a 90 km/hour limit had been announced which means that drivers may be expecting the limit to be 90 rather than 80.
It is odd that some of the busiest roads which are designed for high-speed travel end up being 80 and some of the more precarious roads allow the same limit.

What is the point in introducing an extension if the travel times between North and South will only be marginally improved?

If point-to-points are being introduced already, it’s obvious that a 10 km reduction in the original speed limit is an attempt to raise revenue and book frustrated drivers. Threepaws – We all want drivers to drive safely and abide by the law. That’s the whole point of this post. Fines don’t prevent all speeding.

Watson 10:48 am 11 Oct 11

I kind of get where you’re coming from. It’s somewhat annoying to drive slower than seems necessary.

What I don’t get is why anyone would make such an issue about saving 45 seconds. That is the difference between driving 80 and 90kph on a 9km stretch of road.

jake555 10:47 am 11 Oct 11

I hope the argument isn’t time saved, because you’re looking at a whole 45 seconds difference over the 9km stretch.
 
90km/h = 1.5km every minute, which equates to 9km in 6 minutes.
 
80km/h = 1.333km every minute, which equates to 9km in 6.75 minutes, or 6m 45s.
 
Fair point though, and I understand it’s the principle (or to use a famous phrase –  the Vibe….of it….)

trevar 10:38 am 11 Oct 11

Thanks, Sarge! I agree wholeheartedly with your point, despite your logic being flawed. 80km/h is really about 50km/h slower than would be safe for that road, but nonetheless, my cruise control works perfectly well at 80km/h, and so does my ankle joint, so I have two means by which to comply with our nanny’s ridiculous limit!

threepaws 10:33 am 11 Oct 11

Reprobate said :

threepaws said :

Speeding fines are a choice. Don’t break the law, and you never have to see one.

Sigh.

If you read the article, you would see that Sgt Bungers is not advocating breaking the law, rather that the law (or in this case a speed limit set below the national standard set for this road layout) is an ass. While we should not exceed the posted limit, we can question whether that limit is appropriate.

He does say that people will ‘choose a speed that they perceive to be safe’. If that chosen speed is above the posted limit, then they have chosen to break the law (irrespective of whether they feel the limit is appropriate) and they have chosen to take part in revenue raising if they cop a fine.

Of course, question the limit and good luck to you getting it increased – but just because people do go fast doesn’t necessarily mean they should be able to go fast.

threepaws 10:29 am 11 Oct 11

The fact that so many fines are issued, surely should mean that something needs to change?

threepaws said :

If aren’t sufficiently skilled to stick to the speed limit, please avoid school zones and roadworks for the safety of the children and workers.

Do you believe that roadwork zones should be 40km/hr 24/7 during roadworks?

What about school zones being 40km/hr at 11am when every non-truant student is in school?

Do you believe that in torrential rain, a ‘skilled driver’ should drive at the posted speed limit, rather than using their skills and knowlege of other roadways and conditions, to adjust their speed appropriately?

In order – yes, due to changes in road conditions which may be significant (lane widths, directions etc). To go one step further I think Canada have a good system – speed fines double when workers are present.

Yes, because kids still play outside and not all schools are fenced.

I should have said ‘not exceed the posted speed limit’.

People speed no matter what the limit. If the limit is raised to 90, people will just drive at 100. Hence my opinion that if you choose speed, don’t complain when you cop a fine.

Reprobate 10:12 am 11 Oct 11

threepaws said :

Speeding fines are a choice. Don’t break the law, and you never have to see one.

Sigh.

If you read the article, you would see that Sgt Bungers is not advocating breaking the law, rather that the law (or in this case a speed limit set below the national standard set for this road layout) is an ass. While we should not exceed the posted limit, we can question whether that limit is appropriate.

KeenGolfer 10:05 am 11 Oct 11

Personally I agree that an 80 limit on a fresh dual lane road such as the GDE is too low. However, you lost all credibility by claiming 100% non compliance with the speed limit when your video clearly showed vehicles obeying the speed limit.

dvaey 10:01 am 11 Oct 11

threepaws said :

Speeding fines are a choice. Don’t break the law, and you never have to see one.

I just returned from a 2-week trip to QLD. Almost the entire drive, I found speed limits nicely matching the road conditions, for over 3000km of roadway. Then I arrived back in Canberra, and found myself having to watch the speedo and speed signs, rather than just driving to the conditions (which for the past 3000km has left me slighty under or just on the speed limit). A few little quirks like Parkes Way quietly changing to 80km/hr nearly caught me out.

threepaws said :

Perhaps if Canberra was the type of place where very few speeding fines were issued, your argument would carry more weight. This would indicate that drivers were sufficiently skilled at driving at the posted speed limit under different road conditions.

The thing is, why should drivers have to drive to the posted limit under different road conditions? If the road conditions are significantly different, why shouldnt the posted limit reflect that? As an experienced driver, if a road is in good condition, I drive at one speed, if there is dirt, rain, a steep hill or a sharp corner, I adjust my speed according to the road conditions. The question is, why arent the posted signs doing the same? The fact that so many fines are issued, surely should mean that something needs to change?

threepaws said :

If aren’t sufficiently skilled to stick to the speed limit, please avoid school zones and roadworks for the safety of the children and workers.

Do you believe that roadwork zones should be 40km/hr 24/7 during roadworks?

What about school zones being 40km/hr at 11am when every non-truant student is in school?

Do you believe that in torrential rain, a ‘skilled driver’ should drive at the posted speed limit, rather than using their skills and knowlege of other roadways and conditions, to adjust their speed appropriately?

Jethro 9:59 am 11 Oct 11

threepaws said :

So in a nutshell, people choose to break they law by driving at a speed that ‘they perceive to be safe’, and then complain when they take part in ‘revenue raising’ by copping a speeding fine.

Speeding fines are a choice. Don’t break the law, and you never have to see one.

Perhaps if Canberra was the type of place where very few speeding fines were issued, your argument would carry more weight. This would indicate that drivers were sufficiently skilled at driving at the posted speed limit under different road conditions.

If aren’t sufficiently skilled to stick to the speed limit, please avoid school zones and roadworks for the safety of the children and workers, and perhaps consider public transport or a bike. I hear Canberra has some wonderful bike lanes…

threepaws… I have crossed to the dark side on this one. I am one of those who is always on here arguing that people should just stick to speed limits and not complain about getting a fine when they choose to break the law.

However, after test driving the new Gungahlin Drive, I honestly cannot see any reason for the 80 zone other than to catch people with the point to point cameras. I know I will never get a fine on it, because I will obey the law and drive at the posted speed. However, to drive at 80 along the stretch of Gungahlin Drive described in the article takes a real conscious effort and you end up having to keep one eye on the speedo the whole time to ensure that you don’t creep over the limit.

I am all for the police enforcing speed limits and I agree with most limits on Canberra roads. I have very little time for people who complain about speed cameras. If you ask me, we should have lots more, particularly of the camouflaged variety – if people know there is a good chance their speed will be secretly checked while they are driving they will be less likely to speed. As it stands, the big white vans on the side of the road are very visible and many people speed with impunity, only slowing down when they see a van.

However, the limit on the GDE and the use of point to point cameras along this section does harm to our cause. It simply helps prove the argument that speed cameras are about revenue raising and not improving road safety. It will add to a further erosion of the respect people have for our road laws. If, like me, you support strong enforcement of road rules and severe punishments for those who break them, you must also support the speed limits being set at a reasonable level.

BicycleCanberra 9:49 am 11 Oct 11

s-s-a said :

Great article, good points and good on you for making such an effort on this.

With the video though, your contention that 100% of the vehicles are exceeding the speed limit is going too far. *Of course* all the vehicles overtaking you are exceeding the speed limit. All of the other vehicles driving at approx the speed limit will not be seen by you except at a relatively static distance ahead (eg the ute ahead of you at 2:40-3:20 and there are a few cars ahead in your 2nd northbound run that are gaining ground on you but only just). Yes 22 cars overtook you, and I agree that the speed limit is stupid, but how many cars used the GDE in that period?

Also agree, good article, and video and yes those overtaking would be 100% non compliant but you have to add in those behind that are compliant. I would totally agree that this road should be 90km/h though there is a difference between to two freeways, Tuggeranong parkway and Gungahlin Drive, the ‘on road cycle lanes’ . You could say the reason for the lower speed limit is the decision to put unprotected cycle lanes on the ‘high speed high volume roads’ when there isn’t along the Tuggeranong parkway.
It doesn’t make much difference to the outcome of the cyclist when hit by a motor vehicle at speeds between 80km/h and 100km/h particularly crossing the exit lanes without grade separation which is the most dangerous part.
Parts of Monaro highway are 100km/h with a cycle lane, (paved shoulder),absolute stupidity by ACT Roads, so you could also argue against that reason.

http://vimeo.com/6271307

Classified 9:42 am 11 Oct 11

Good article, which will no doubt generate some discussion.

shadow boxer 9:39 am 11 Oct 11

I drove it this morning, the traffic cruised comfortably at 90-95 and moved across to the left for the merging traffic without slowing down. Excellent pleasant trip on a nice road.

Didn’t see a single person doing 80, the funny thing is when you turn off into Parkes Way the bit below lake level where the Black ice can form and is quite dangerous for the unaware is signposted 90kph.

Frigging retards…..

threepaws 9:28 am 11 Oct 11

So in a nutshell, people choose to break they law by driving at a speed that ‘they perceive to be safe’, and then complain when they take part in ‘revenue raising’ by copping a speeding fine.

Speeding fines are a choice. Don’t break the law, and you never have to see one.

Perhaps if Canberra was the type of place where very few speeding fines were issued, your argument would carry more weight. This would indicate that drivers were sufficiently skilled at driving at the posted speed limit under different road conditions.

If aren’t sufficiently skilled to stick to the speed limit, please avoid school zones and roadworks for the safety of the children and workers, and perhaps consider public transport or a bike. I hear Canberra has some wonderful bike lanes…

s-s-a 9:19 am 11 Oct 11

Great article, good points and good on you for making such an effort on this.

With the video though, your contention that 100% of the vehicles are exceeding the speed limit is going too far. *Of course* all the vehicles overtaking you are exceeding the speed limit. All of the other vehicles driving at approx the speed limit will not be seen by you except at a relatively static distance ahead (eg the ute ahead of you at 2:40-3:20 and there are a few cars ahead in your 2nd northbound run that are gaining ground on you but only just). Yes 22 cars overtook you, and I agree that the speed limit is stupid, but how many cars used the GDE in that period?

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