Speed limits all over the place around the airport

Sgt.Bungers 2 January 2011 45

An open letter to the ACT Government (also emailed directly to government and opposition transport ministers. Their responses will be posted here.)

Speed limits around the airport vary between 60km/h, 70km/h, 80km/h. Currently, speed limits can vary on the same stretch of for vehicles heading in different directions. Speed limits can be different for motorists travelling in the same direction along the same stretch of road, depending on how they’ve entered the road.

The ACT Government has the most speed cameras in the country per capita on our roads, we are more policed than any other people when it comes to the speed limit. We have just had the second worst road toll in a decade… we are still bombarded with “slow down” “obey the speed limit” “if only motorists would just get the message”.

Yet despite this high level of enforcement, and high level of education, the ACT Government appears to have absolutely no quality assurance process when it comes to the final and perhaps most important stage of setting a speed limit… putting up speed limit signs.

The included map is a rough guide I’ve put together showing the speed limits around the airport as currently signposted. As you can see, in three locations, the speed limit is different for different directions of motor vehicle traffic on the same road. In all three of those locations, the road is a two way, undivided road.

If a person driving a motor car mistakes the speed limit to be something other than signposted, they’ll receive a monitory penalty, be awarded demerit points, possibly lose their licence, their job, their home, receive a criminal record… then penalties can be severe.

When ACT government employees or contractors are careless when it comes to installing speed limit signs, or fails to verify a posted speed limit is consistent… what is their punishment, if any?
A government who is complacent when it comes to building and signposting roads, is going to encourage complacency among drivers.

Suggestions for ACT Gov:
• Immediately fix the signage around the airport so that speed limits are consistent and not changing up to 6 times in 4.5km (as is currently the case for westbound traffic travelling along Pialligo Ave)
• Audit your speed limit signage quality assurance process. How did this particular scenario happen and why?
• Investigate the viability of changing all speed limits on roads around the airport to 70km/h. Including:
o Majura road past Brand Depot.
o The top end of the Monaro Highway and Morshead Drive.
o The brief ~200m 80km/h zone at the south eastern end of the airport on Pialligo Ave.
o Fairburn Ave from ADFA to the War Memorial (most motorists appear to travel at 70km/h on this road, there are no driveways or access points along most of it.)

More consistent road safety and speed limit signage standards that are clearly thought out, are more likely to be respected and obeyed by an intelligent population.

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45 Responses to Speed limits all over the place around the airport
vg vg 8:32 am 05 Jan 11

“There are lots of hints that you’ve put on this site over time that you used to be a police officer.”


“The number of drivers who get pinged for speeding is not an accurate indicator of whether the majority of drivers speed.”

Bollocks, it is the best indication

“Secondly, where did you get your stats from?”
From someone who produces statistics.

There are many simple solutions to prevent tailgating. Don’t be scared homey

georgesgenitals georgesgenitals 7:00 am 05 Jan 11

“What is all this talk about me and Police uniforms?”

There are lots of hints that you’ve put on this site over time that you used to be a police officer.

ppd ppd 10:25 pm 04 Jan 11

vg – The number of drivers who get pinged for speeding is not an accurate indicator of whether the majority of drivers speed. This may shock you but many (most?) people actually slow down when they see a speed camera (fixed or mobile). And they’re not hard to spot, in my opinion. Perhaps those people who you mention who haven’t been fined are able to spot police cameras, or have concealed having been fined, or don’t speed much… Secondly, where did you get your stats from? Just for verification…

Going to work this morning, abiding by the limits, I was tailgated on every road. vg – I’m afraid you’re unobservant or deluded, or perhaps both. It’s a fact easily observed on any road outing – MOST ACT DRIVERS SPEED. I don’t know, perhaps most Aussie drivers speed, but here I’m just talking about what I’ve observed.

EvanJames – I agree with you about the ACT authorities’ incompetence in promptly fixing potholes, eroded road shoulders, etc. – so many dodgy patch-jobs, many more problems unfixed.

georgegentital (#28) – I agree. I think we’ve established vg’s arguments are nonsensical.

vg vg 9:31 pm 04 Jan 11

What is all this talk about me and Police uniforms?

Sonja Sonja 9:11 pm 04 Jan 11

I’m with GG. I used to work in Deakin and I live in Ngunnawal. Cruise control @ 80 was my friend… and I got horribly tailgated as a result.

On the motorbike, not following the limits at all, I had no issues.

Our speed limits are indeed moronic in a lot of places, but they are the law, and we are obliged to follow them.

Dragon Dragon 7:27 pm 04 Jan 11

“I think you’ll find that’s complete bull. The majority of ACT drivers adhere to the speed limit, exemplified by the % that actually get fined for not doing so. If most ignored them then statistically 51% of more would be fined each year, which doesn’t happen.”

Really vg? Are we talking about the same city? From my own observations, a large majority of people exceed the speed limit (by around 5-15 km/h) on certain roads, at particular times during the day. This certainly doesn’t mean everyone all the time, and it depends on the road in question.

I’m well aware that the faster you go, the more severe the impact (in the event of an accident). However that being said, compared to similar roads in NSW, some of the speed limits in the ACT are unsuitable for the road conditions and/or inconsistent (in my opinion).

georgesgenitals georgesgenitals 4:47 pm 04 Jan 11

VG, when you drive around in your own car, out of uniform, do you really think that the majority of Canberrans don’t speed? Do they almost all stick to 80km/h in the 80 zones?

I’m simply asserting that this is not the case based on my own daily commute.

Could you comment on the differences on how many drivers you witness speeding (even 5km/h over the limit) when driving the cop-mobile versus your own car?

vg vg 4:30 pm 04 Jan 11

“I suspect that during the times you have been driving around in your blue uniform, you have been witnessing the observer-expectancy effect.”

What are you talking about?

I often drive around in my own car, as I have since about 1984 in Canberra

vg vg 4:24 pm 04 Jan 11

Au contraire Troll Sniffer. I just appreciate that laws and similiar are designed to constrain the idiocy of people such as yourself.

I can guarantee I’m also far more highly trained a driver than you

EvanJames EvanJames 4:13 pm 04 Jan 11

Very true in my observation, GG. When doing the speed limit, I am tailgated. If cops suddenly appear, the tailgating suddenly ceases. If tailgater gets a chance to overtake, they disappear into the distance. They are clearly speeding (not that I care and I’m glad they’ve gone).

Those security guard people who drive around in cars with AFP plastered all over them are useful in that regard. People stop tailgating when they see them.

Jim Jones Jim Jones 4:06 pm 04 Jan 11

That’s right troll-sniffer, being an intellectual rebel is all about whining about speed limits.

Those of us who manage to drive within the speed limits are just so many blind human worms in the manure of life that thrusts forth such blossoming intellectual flowers as yourself.

It’s only your wonderfully mental freedom that gives my life any meaning.

This or you’re just a pretentious wanker attempting to justify your own indignant self-righteousness through gratuitous displays of conspicuous stupidity.

georgesgenitals georgesgenitals 3:00 pm 04 Jan 11

Actually, I’ll retract my smart-assery about the observer-expectancy effect. It’s simply that people tend to be more careful to do the right thing when they know the cops are around.

georgesgenitals georgesgenitals 2:56 pm 04 Jan 11

@vg #24: My experience in enforcing speed limits is irrelevant. I drive Hindmarsh Drv, Adelaide Ave and Monaro Hwy most days. Unless there is a speed camera around, Adelaide Ave and Hindmarsh Drv (over the hill) is 85km/h in the left lane 90-95km/h in the right. Monaro Hwy traffic exceeds the speed limit by a similar percentage.

Please not, I’m not passing judgment here. I’m simply saying that the majority of ACT drivers do not adhere to the speed limit.

I suspect that during the times you have been driving around in your blue uniform, you have been witnessing the observer-expectancy effect.

troll-sniffer troll-sniffer 2:51 pm 04 Jan 11

I am actually quite jealous in some ways of people like Jim Jones, T1G3R, vg. To be able to lead your life as a sheep, as part of a bleating flock, slavishly following ‘orders’ from above because they “must make sense or they wouldn’t be laws would they”. Never thinking a little deeply and laterally that perhaps the ‘experts’ haven’t actually got it right, that there’s something they’re missing from human behaviour and psychology, that the system as it stands is proving ineffective beyond a certain point that we appear to have reached.

Then again, I’m not really jealous, I like to think freely and outside the narrow confines of whatever the governement decides I should accept as gospel. All you sheep just keep on grazing the paddocks of mediocrity, if that’s your style good luck to you.

Jim Jones Jim Jones 1:54 pm 04 Jan 11

If you find speed limit signs confusing, then you should not be driving, you should be licking windows at the back of the bus.

T1G3R T1G3R 12:53 pm 04 Jan 11

I have to disagree with the whole thing. The sign posts are set by the conditions of the road and if its built up or not. It makes sense to me, I drive around there everyday and don’t have a problem with it. It really cant be that hard. I reckon the more you complain they’ll eventually just make everything a sign speed limit of like 60!

vg vg 11:58 am 04 Jan 11

“Have to disagree there vg – try driving up Adelaide Ave any weekday morning when the cameras aren’t out. Practically noone does 80km/h. Same goes for Hindmarsh Drv, especially uphill.”

And your experience in enforcing the speed limits of the ACT?

EvanJames EvanJames 10:13 am 04 Jan 11

The road through Campbell used to be 80 km/hr. Then some ADFA cadets crossing the road to get to/from their sports oval failed to do it without being hit by a car, and that is when the limit changed to 60. You’ll notice it goes to 80 once you have passed ADFA (heading East).

I do 70 around the airport, it seems the safest thing to do. The number of speed limit signs between the new road there and Queanbeyan is amazing. The stretch of 100 gets smaller and smaller. If you are trying to travel from Queanbeyan to Canberra along that in the morning, however, you are most likely to be sitting at a standstill looking at the 100 km/hr sign. The new traffic lights at Fairbairn, plus rat-runners coming in from the Oaks Estate Road, have that road backing up well into town along Yass Road.

The competance of the ACT roads people is highlighted by how often they have to re-do roadwork. Surface patchings, repeat offender pot holes, intersections that have to be re-engineered after major work, roads that have to be done again (Gungalin Drive) because the design doesn’t work, road work that results in traffic snarls and block-ups.

They seem to get it wrong more often than get it right.

la mente torbida la mente torbida 9:27 am 04 Jan 11

ps: allows a driver to concentrate on the road rather than the signs

la mente torbida la mente torbida 9:26 am 04 Jan 11

I like the trials being run in Europe…removal of all signs…replaced by “Drive Safely”

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