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Government considers 40km/h limit in residential areas

Ian Bushnell 7 February 2018 64

Kill the speed? Government considers reducing speed limits in residential areas.

Reducing the speed limit in residential areas to 40km/h may be on the table as part of Government plans to curb road accidents caused by speeding in the ACT.

The ACT Government has commissioned the Monash University Accident Research Centre to conduct an evaluation of the road safety camera program, including a community survey on the enforcement of speeding laws in the ACT.

Minister for Road Safety Shane Rattenbury said the respondents would be asked about how fast they think people should be allowed to drive without being booked for speeding and how they would feel if the speed limit in residential areas was reduced to 40km/h, among a range of other topics.

“I know this a topic everyone has an opinion on and now is the chance to have your say,” Mr Rattenbury said.

“The evidence is clear—speeding remains a serious cause of death and injury on our roads. We want to know about the community’s awareness of, and attitudes to, our efforts to curb these dangers—and how we can continue to deter people from speeding and running red lights.”

Associate Professor Stuart Newstead from the Monash University Accident Research Centre stressed the importance of community feedback for the evaluation.

“Understanding the ACT community’s knowledge of, and reactions to the road safety camera program is vital to understanding whether the program is delivering the best road safety outcomes for the ACT and to potentially improving the program in the future,” Associate Professor Newstead said.

The community survey is the first stage of the evaluation which has been designed and conducted by Monash University. It takes 5-10 minutes to complete online and answers are all anonymous. The survey is available online at and closes on 30 March 2018.

A full list of camera sites and operational logs is also available on the Government’s open data website

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64 Responses to Government considers 40km/h limit in residential areas
Kerry Jackson Kerry Jackson 8:24 pm 07 Feb 18

Yes 40. Suburban streets are just driveways really, for locals to reach their houses so let’s slow down. Safer, quieter

Jenny Bolin Jenny Bolin 8:48 pm 07 Feb 18

If people don't obey the speed limits now, will lowering them really make a difference?

    Mark Johanson Mark Johanson 9:53 pm 07 Feb 18

    True, more funds for more Police on the roads and in our society in general. Would be interested to actually know what minimum Police staffing levels are of an evening in Canberra.

    Vic Franklin Vic Franklin 10:09 pm 07 Feb 18

    Not to the hoons speeding around my suburb at all times day and night! Put some actual speed control measures in place.

    James Forge James Forge 10:01 pm 08 Feb 18

    Vic Franklin Adding police will fix that lowering a speed limit won't. If the speed limit was doubled to 100 they would still hoon around

Corey Karl Corey Karl 8:51 pm 07 Feb 18

Are the deaths and injuries caused by accidents in suburbs, or on motorways and major roads ???? Sounds to me like a reason to park vans on the side of the road and make some money !!! To catch bad drivers, you need more unmarked cars driving around !!! Hard to spot, and the police use their discretion as to who is being dangerous or otherwise !!!

    Martin Miller Martin Miller 9:35 pm 07 Feb 18

    For young children its in the suburbs between 50 -60km/h . In Europe 30km/h is the standard for residential streets

    Judith Scerri Judith Scerri 10:46 pm 07 Feb 18

    Martin Miller Europe's residential roads are very different to ours and therefore should not be compared. There are hardly any children out on the street these days, but if there were in mine, I would slow down, as I'm sure the majority of road users would.

    Matt Donnelly Matt Donnelly 8:20 am 08 Feb 18

    Martin, 50-60kmh is the speed the vast majority of drivers on Australia’s residential streets are going, and since kids tend to play on residential streets, it’s the speed drivers are most likely to collide with children at.

    Drop the speed limit from 50-60kmh to 40-50kmh, and the most common speed at which cars are travelling when they hit children will switch from 50-60kmh to 40-50kmh.

    Martin Miller Martin Miller 10:17 pm 09 Feb 18

    Judith Scerri Not that different! really !

    Martin Miller Martin Miller 10:17 pm 09 Feb 18

    Matt Donnelly Don't understand!

Suzanne Raison Suzanne Raison 8:52 pm 07 Feb 18

What about tailgating. What happened to the three second rule.

Alan James Alan James 9:05 pm 07 Feb 18

Without better enforcement this will be ignored as much as the current limits and it will create more pollution and motorists who will become even more desensitised to speeding.

Geoff Killen Geoff Killen 9:05 pm 07 Feb 18

5 people. Five. What do you think is going to change with a 10km/h drop?

Tim Cole Tim Cole 9:09 pm 07 Feb 18

Last I checked, most of the ACT fatalities were not in suburban 50 zones...

    Brendan O'Loughlin Brendan O'Loughlin 9:14 pm 07 Feb 18

    You are right- it’s a small % of cases. But wouldn’t want facts to stop more revenue raising.

    Martin Miller Martin Miller 10:25 pm 09 Feb 18

    So your more concerned about getting a fine than someone dying by being hit by a car??

    Tim Cole Tim Cole 10:38 pm 09 Feb 18


    To answer your question, no. I'm fully supportive of the 40 zones in the town and group centres, but there has been no justification to lower the default limit from 50.

Jane Barratt Jane Barratt 9:16 pm 07 Feb 18

Reading this as some idiot is hooning around the streets of Gordon...!

Paal Burnett Paal Burnett 9:49 pm 07 Feb 18

Please god no! Next they will not want us to have 4th or 5th gear. Coz we drive too fast. Mind you our omissions will be higher if the do.

Kip Deveson Kip Deveson 9:52 pm 07 Feb 18

The are very few accidents in suburbs at 60km or below. Dropping it to 40 is pointless. In that case why not make it 3km and encourage everyone to walk instead as it is faster?

The 50/60 limit is fine, used with a bit of common sense.

Peter Drady Dradrach Peter Drady Dradrach 9:57 pm 07 Feb 18

This is just another ploy to get more cameras

Aiden Howlett Aiden Howlett 10:02 pm 07 Feb 18

Really, I'm already going 40 on most residential streets anyway because of the restricted width of newer roads and other obstructs on older ones. No need to go any faster, you'll get there at the same time anyway.

    Lin Van Oevelen Lin Van Oevelen 6:59 am 08 Feb 18

    It really depends on how you define residential streets though. I go under 50 in most "side streets", but I will go a consistent 50 on the streets that lead out of the suburb.

Paul Irving Paul Irving 10:10 pm 07 Feb 18

Speed would less of an issue if cars were more than 10m apart at 60-100kmh. Tailgating is a bigger issue with insurance company

evidence to show it.

Gay Robertson Gay Robertson 10:18 pm 07 Feb 18

People speed now, how is reducing the speed limit going to stop them? I'm not sure I see the logic in this...

    James Forge James Forge 10:09 pm 08 Feb 18

    More money raised from bigger speeding fines would be the ONLY reason.

Ben Roberts Ben Roberts 10:47 pm 07 Feb 18

Won't make a difference where I am. The current speed limit is ignored by hoons and the AFP does nothing to help get something done (or find the culprits even when you get number plates)

Geoffrey John Randal Geoffrey John Randal 10:50 pm 07 Feb 18

There must be some way to arrive at a holistic view for traffic management. Speed is one factor. Another is how to facilitate safe and rapid transit. Also the balances between private and public transport and the place of cyclists and pedestrians.

Tammy Wolffs Tammy Wolffs 11:24 pm 07 Feb 18

Before expressing an opinion, I'd want to know how many people were killed or seriously injured by drivers doing 50km per hour in residential streets?

    Jon McLeod Jon McLeod 9:54 am 08 Feb 18

    I agree. But I'm a lot lazier than you. I'd just Google information in the public domain on the relationship between vehicle speeds and road trauma. But I'd have to get up the energy to reach my keyboard. Nah.

    Tammy Wolffs Tammy Wolffs 10:32 pm 09 Feb 18

    That's over 10 years, across the whole of Australia.

Christopher S Tuckwell Christopher S Tuckwell 6:59 am 08 Feb 18

What are the statistics? What roads have had the fatalities?

Lin Van Oevelen Lin Van Oevelen 7:09 am 08 Feb 18

It's a pretty good survey. I disagreed with the 40kph suggestion, but agreed with more speed checking in residential streets.

We very regularly have speed vans on 50kph in our suburb for some reason and it actually prompted me to change my bad habit of not braking or gearing down on the downhill bits when I drive out of the suburb. It's a cheap solution and if it's planned well can be quite effective, I think. Though obviously it wouldn't deter occasional visitors. Or the hoons I heard tearing through our suburb late last night.

I think the 40kph limits in town centres have been a good idea though. But also pretty useless if they never try catch those that ignore them.

BethandTrevor Reid BethandTrevor Reid 7:29 am 08 Feb 18

Make whatever laws you like but unless you enforce them they are pointless.

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