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Lack of speed limit signs up to Northbourne RL/Speed Camera

By Sgt.Bungers 29 November 2009 40

So I’m sick of writing directly to our Minister for Transport (Stanhope) every time I find what I view as a major flaw with something on ACT’s roads… I’ll still be doing that in this case, but thought I’d rant on here as well.

Northbound traffic on Commonwealth Avenue is now greeted with a sole 60km/h speed limit sign just before they enter city circle. This is where the speed limit now drops from 70km/h. The speed limit sign is a class C sized sign, ie: one of the smallest, and is placed on the median strip (right hand side of the road) immediately before the road bends to the left.

I first noticed this about a week ago and for some reason recalled that there were repeater signs before the red light/speed camera at the Northbourne/Barry Drive intersection. Today I confirmed this is not the case. In summary; there is only one small speed limit sign advising drivers of a drop in the speed limit, which is then enforced by a speed camera up the road. This speed limit sign is placed on a section of road with 5 lanes going in one direction (4 straight ahead lanes including cycle lane, 1 exit lane for London Cct), and is placed on the right hand side of the road, immediately before a left hand bend… hence drivers will be looking to the left, not the right.

Not *that* big a deal for seasoned Canberra residents who know the limit drops to 60 there, but what about interstate tourists? Is this adequate warning? IMHO, no, it’s pathetic.

Does the ACT Gov really want people driving cars to slow down as they approach a section of Northbourne Ave with heavy pedestrian traffic? Apparently not. If they did, there would be large size A or B speed limit signs (plural) where the limit drops, and “60” painted in each lane. There would be repeater signs as drivers come out of City Circle, and there would be further repeater signs leading up to the speed camera.

IMHO, every time this or any other speed camera catches a person breaking a speed limit, it has failed to do it’s job. That person has not slowed down.

I do not condone people exceeding the speed limit. However a far, far more deplorable practice than drivers exceeding a speed limit, is a local Road Authority apparently making the most piddly, absolute minimum of an attempt to advise drivers of a drop in a speed limit, then rigorously enforcing that speed limit with a speed camera. It is 100% revenue raising.

What happens when a person is booked by any speed camera? They loose demerit points and get a fine of course. Easy, pay up, be done with it, learn that the government is out to get your money… unless that person is on the dole, in which case the fine could be an entire weeks income. Unless of course you’ve nearly maxed out your demerit points, or are on a probationary licence… in which case you loose your licence, possibly lose your sole source of income, end up bankrupt… all because of ACT GovCo’s incompetence at maintaining speed limit signs.

If our toy government really believed the bullshit they spurt about “speed” being the biggest killer on our roads, then they would make every attempt to advertise and make every driver 100% aware of what a speed limit is on any given road and the boundaries of that speed limit. They do not.

Appalling, utterly appalling.

Off to take some photos, write to the CT, and once again, fire off another letter to Stanhope.

Hooroo.

What’s Your opinion?


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40 Responses to
Lack of speed limit signs up to Northbourne RL/Speed Camera
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eh_steve 4:07 pm 24 Dec 09

“All of the aformentioned measures can be found in other states on sections of road where drivers will have to slow to below 100km/h for the first time in a few hours…”

Really? Have you ever driven into Melbourne? There are so many speed cameras on the way in, without any signs put up, let alone flashing amber lights. On the Ring Road there is a Maroon bridge with Maroon coloured cameras, and they have speed cameras behind bridges and signs, facing in a direction that they cn only get your rear number plate. Difference is that Victorians don’t seem to have the whiney attitude that the Government needs to hold your hand or make it easier for people to speed on their roads.

FFS, if you need flashing amber lights (which cost how much?) to realise it is 80 there, get off the road, and if a sixty sign that has 1.8 km (according to google earth) of straight road in front of it isn’t enough, then again, gett off the road. If they wanted to be really sneaky, wouldn’t it go on the left hand side, as most of the fast drivers travel on the right hand side of the road?

How’d you go writing to the CT with this? Perhaps the fact that even they didn’t pick it up is some indication of how valid your complaint is.

Sgt.Bungers 9:44 pm 02 Dec 09

taco said :

The one that annoys me is the speed camera coming into Canberra from Sydney.
I’ve been past it a few times now and I swear the first you know that the speed limit has dropped is the big warning sign for the camera, which is luckily a long way off and gives you plenty of time to slow down before actually passing the camera

But that’s what we get for re-electing an incompetent government

The CT reported that’s the most profitable camera in the ACT as well… brilliant for catching first time tourists to the ACT! Is gaining $230 from a tourist really worth them choosing not to return to Canberra again out of spite?

Granted, there are lots of crashes on that roundabout from people misjudging their speed. However, other measures the Gov could’ve opted for instead of the camera… “80 Ahead” signs before the 80 zone… flashing amber lights built into the 80 speed limit signs… flashing amber lights built into the symbolic round about warning signs… electronic display warning drivers of the roundabout ahead, activated by sensors in the road… significantly larger “reduce speed now” signs…

None of this is special. All of the aformentioned measures can be found in other states on sections of road where drivers will have to slow to below 100km/h for the first time in a few hours… not the ACT though, our Gov picks the far more expensive option of the speed camera, first cab off the rank. Why? Surely there’s nothing to be “gained” from doing so…

taco 4:11 pm 02 Dec 09

The one that annoys me is the speed camera coming into Canberra from Sydney.
I’ve been past it a few times now and I swear the first you know that the speed limit has dropped is the big warning sign for the camera, which is luckily a long way off and gives you plenty of time to slow down before actually passing the camera

But that’s what we get for re-electing an incompetent government

mooo_cow 8:50 am 02 Dec 09

What gets me most of all is the lack of have standard signage before the speed cameras. You drive down the parkway, and you get hit with huge blue signs saying speed camera ahead and confirms the speed limit to 100km/h. This seems to be the standard practice across the ACT and NSW for fixed speed Cameras. That is three big blue signs before you go past the Camera. This might even be part of the Australian Standard for signage. Now, I understand that they are red light and speed Camera’s in one unit and there might not be a standard for how it is to be signed. Thou, having one black and white sign instead of 3 standout blue signs would have most likely been a decision the Government would have made, not in the interest of ensuring people stick to the speed limit through the intersection and not run the risk of running a red light, but rather to ensure people are being caught and raising revenue.

My only question is this, would a Judge agree with the fact that if your caught exceeding the speed limit, and the fixed speed camera is not appropriately signed, would you get off. As if there are rules for fix speed cameras and if the government is not sticking to those rules when operating the devices that are also there to protect the public interest of giving the public a fair go.

sloppery 11:13 am 01 Dec 09

I wonder what would happen if I was doing 50km/h in reverse? Is there a law stating which direction the car should be pointing when driving in traffic?

Ceej1973 10:03 am 01 Dec 09

Although I doubt it is written in any ACT or ARR (road rules), when I am in doubt, when travelling in suburban Canberra, I do 60km/h where there are generally centre road markings, or as stated above, 50km/hr unless otherwise signposted if I do not see road markings. So far it has generally worked for me. As for non-suburban areas, well I am just as lost as others as it varies so wildley across ACT on feeder and arterial roads.

Sgt.Bungers 7:58 am 01 Dec 09

bd84 said :

50kph only applies in suburban streets i.e. normally those with no line markings in residential areas. On all other occasions you obey the speed limit of the sign you last proceeded past until you’re otherwise advised by a new sign (common sense also applies).

Actually the way the law is written, 50km/h applies on every road unless signposted otherwise. Turn onto a new road, you must assume it’s 50km/h until you pass a sign advising otherwise. Fair enough, works well when the speed limit signs advising “otherwise” are overt and in abundance on arterial roads.

Not so great on places like Athlon Drive, where if you turn onto it from Drakeford Drive there are no 80km/h signs for 500 metres.

Now imagine you’re an interstate tourist, first time ever on Athlon Drive. Do you travel at 50km/h on this 4 lane arterial, as ACT Law says you must, until you pass another sign? Or do you apply common sense and assume the speed limit is somewhere between 60 and 90km/h, as is the inconsistent case on other arterial roads in the ACT. Let’s hope they don’t assume it’s 90km/h or they may be fined (or as they’re “speeding”, may cause a crash.) And heaven forbid they don’t assume it’s 60 or 70km/h, as they’re likely to be run off the road by other drivers, who may feel it is warranted to risk lives due to 5 seconds of their day being wasted.

Case in point… this quote is from usenet aus.cars a few years back… the poster was an interstate tourist who turned off the GDE onto the Barton Highway, heading towards Northbourne Ave… at that point the ACT Gov had installed the speed camera just south of the GDE/Barton interchange, but not installed any speed limit signs prior to the camera. Quote: “Combined with the usual ACT absof**kinglutely woeful absence of limit signs, I passed this pile of s**t while wondering WTF the limit was.” There are now of course the large delightful signs leading up to the camera, advising of the limit and warning of the camera. However, you have to wonder why, in response to too many drivers exceeding the speed limit on that stretch of road, the ACT Gov opted for the far more expensive option of installing a speed camera, before opting for the far cheaper, and logical option, of ensuring there was at least ONE speed limit sign leading up to that particular stretch.

50km/h unless signposted otherwise, unless not signposted otherwise, unless common sense applies, unless enforced otherwise.

Mr Waffle 10:55 pm 30 Nov 09

Very Busy said :

Perhaps the ACT Government’s budget for road signage has all dried up. Maybe they can’t afford those massive “DRIVE N TEXT U B NEXT” signs as well as speed limit signs. This is just our wonderful ACT Government getting its priorities right!!!!?

I think you have a point, they still haven’t replaced/cleaned up that sign, it’s said “DRIVE N SEX” for at least the last month…

bd84 8:47 pm 30 Nov 09

50kph only applies in suburban streets i.e. normally those with no line markings in residential areas. On all other occasions you obey the speed limit of the sign you last proceeded past until you’re otherwise advised by a new sign (common sense also applies).

The majority of speed signs in Canberra are the regular size, the ones on Commonwealth Ave are on both sides of the road and at decent heights you can to see them easily. I don’t really see how you would get above 60 in that area anyway. I didn’t think it was possible to get through any set of those lights without stopping at a red light.

p1 7:57 pm 30 Nov 09

pierce said :

Given that we were talking about northbound cameras on Barry Dve / Northbourne, I was thinking more about the CBD part of the drive as a space that couldn’t seem like a 70 zone. Suburban sts maybe but there?

Plenty of roads like it in the county faster then 60. Sure, at 5pm on a weekday, when you catch every set of lights it seems slow, but try driving through at 3am on a wednesday morning catching all greens. 60 would seem pretty slow.

JC 7:30 pm 30 Nov 09

Funky1 said :

pierce said :

Didn’t the Northern end of Northbourne used to be 70km/h just after you passed the Dickson lights? Or is all of Northbourne now 60km/h? Like p1 said above, big, wide, 3-lane main road could easily be percieved as having a higher limit to a visitor.

If I recall all of Northbourne used to be 70km/h, maybe it was just north of Barry Drive. It changed to 80km/h heading north near Southwell Park.

JC 7:28 pm 30 Nov 09

ChrisinTurner said :

The whole of Northbourne is now 60 m/hr – ever since several pedestrians decided to die rather than cross at the nearest intersection.

Nop. It has been 60km/h since they put the bike lanes in. Nothing to do with pedestrians crossing the road. Ironic considering they narrowed the road to mae room and now the bikes their own lane. If anything being segregated you would think the speed could go up, not down.

georgesgenitals 6:28 pm 30 Nov 09

damien haas said :

hang on a minute, i thought that speeding in a car killed people – are you now telling me that walking in front of a speeding vehicle instead of using a pedestrian crossing causes death ?

i need to reevaluate all i have ever been told about road safety by the social engineers.

You reckon that’s crazy, even a pedestrian stepping out in front of a vehicle that ISN’T speeding can get killed!

Better put more speed cameras in.

pierce 5:24 pm 30 Nov 09

Given that we were talking about northbound cameras on Barry Dve / Northbourne, I was thinking more about the CBD part of the drive as a space that couldn’t seem like a 70 zone. Suburban sts maybe but there?

damien haas 4:20 pm 30 Nov 09

hang on a minute, i thought that speeding in a car killed people – are you now telling me that walking in front of a speeding vehicle instead of using a pedestrian crossing causes death ?

i need to reevaluate all i have ever been told about road safety by the social engineers.

el 3:39 pm 30 Nov 09

ChrisinTurner said :

The whole of Northbourne is now 60 m/hr – ever since several pedestrians decided to die rather than cross at the nearest intersection.

They still do even with the lower speed limit IIRC.

ChrisinTurner 3:28 pm 30 Nov 09

pierce said :

Didn’t the Northern end of Northbourne used to be 70km/h just after you passed the Dickson lights? Or is all of Northbourne now 60km/h? Like p1 said above, big, wide, 3-lane main road could easily be percieved as having a higher limit to a visitor.

The whole of Northbourne is now 60 m/hr – ever since several pedestrians decided to die rather than cross at the nearest intersection.

Very Busy 2:11 pm 30 Nov 09

Perhaps the ACT Government’s budget for road signage has all dried up. Maybe they can’t afford those massive “DRIVE N TEXT U B NEXT” signs as well as speed limit signs. This is just our wonderful ACT Government getting its priorities right!!!!?

smeeagain 2:03 pm 30 Nov 09

pierce said :

What kind of fool would think that a road in the middle of a city could possibly be more than 60 km/h?

This is exactly the kind of commonsenseless whinging that leads to us having more patronising “nanny-state” warning signs on every available surface.

The kind of fool that drives regularly in Sydney or Melbourne, where there are plenty of houses on two and three lane roads that have 70kmh (or more) limits.

Funky1 12:45 pm 30 Nov 09

pierce said :

What kind of fool would think that a road in the middle of a city could possibly be more than 60 km/h?

This is exactly the kind of commonsenseless whinging that leads to us having more patronising “nanny-state” warning signs on every available surface.

Didn’t the Northern end of Northbourne used to be 70km/h just after you passed the Dickson lights? Or is all of Northbourne now 60km/h? Like p1 said above, big, wide, 3-lane main road could easily be percieved as having a higher limit to a visitor.

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