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”
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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.
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:
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.
- The Gungahlin Drive Extension was designed to be safe with a speed limit of 90 km/h.
- The decision to install point to point speed cameras was made prior to the GDE opening, and thus prior to any valid traffic studies being able to be conducted.
- The decision to implement a speed limit lower than that which the GDE was designed for was made prior to the road opening, prior to any accident history, in the name of “consistency” despite inconsistent speed limits being rife throughout all of the Australian Capital Territory.
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.”