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Speed Limits and Roadworks

By glennmatthew - 10 June 2010 52

With so many major roadworks still happening in the Territory, I wanted to bring up the topic of speed limits.

I had the pleasure of driving 40km/h along the Barry Dr roadworks, to have cars fly past me doing 60+. I checked, and sure enough everyone except for myself committed an offense worth at least 3 points and a few hundred dollars. This seems to happen at every set of roadworks I’ve travelled through in Canberra, especially GDE during non-peak hours.

So what’s the point? And why do I feel as though I’m creating a traffic hazard, because I get tail-gated and abused, when everyone else is committing an offense? (By rights, a P-plater doing 70 in these zones should have their licence suspended for 3 months.)

I support and agree with the protection of our workers, by sticking to the 40km/h limits through their workplace. Would it be feasible to revert these sections to something “more reasonable” during non-work hours, such as 50 or 60km/h?

What does everyone else think of this issue?

What’s Your opinion?


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52 Responses to
Speed Limits and Roadworks
troll-sniffer 10:56 am 10 Jun 10

Until guvmnts wake up to the psychology and introduce meaningful roadworks speed limits that revert to something less draconian at the cessation of work, the population will continue to treat roadworks speed limits with the derision they deserve. It’s no good bleating about it, you can’t change a way a large section of the population think, no matter how high and mighty you sit on your hobby horses.

I tend to treat draconian roadworks speed limits with the contempt they deserve unless I see evidence of actual work in progress, in which case I will often slow to well under the 40km/hr limit while passing real people doing real roadworks.

And as for the assertion that occasional campaigns by the coppers do anything more than slap a road tax on the unfortunate few… get real. I have been doing a sensible but illegal speed through unattended roadworks for 40 years and have never been caught.

It’s high time the guvmnt employed a few psychologists to work alongside road engineers to point out the kind of situations where rational human behaviour cannot be overridden by a simple application of legislation. In doing so they would make their remaining legislation much more meaningful and likely to be observed.

Frank_Jones 10:54 am 10 Jun 10

Shouldn’t a roadworks sign actually mean that there is work being done?
I’ve been driving past the Glenloch for months now and not much has changed and I barely see any workers or work being done. Just a couple of people standing around pointing at all the potholes that have been developing in the road.

I’m still convinced that the enforced speed limit signs are just another way to raise revenue, and the actual roadworks are just being used as a front for the operation. Thats why it is taking so long to be completed.

Why is it that the Belconnen mall expansion can take less time to build than a couple of bridges that have been taking months.

Cover the signs up when there is no work being done, increase the speed limit to 60 or 70 in non-working periods. Its probably easier for the workers to cover up a sign or change it to a higher speed sign when they finish, than asking people to slow down to 40km/h.

Keeping left is too hard to do, and indicating for more than 3 seconds also seems to difficult to do when changing lanes. And all you people that seem to think they are the best drivers in the world by doing the speed limit, you are probably the people that hog the right hand lane, which is why you see all the people zooming around you.

Holden Caulfield 10:40 am 10 Jun 10

smithy said :

The reason for the speed limit in the zones is the workmen who are next to the road.

Think of it like this, how would you like some rocket scientist like JJ driving within 2 to 3 meters of your work desk at 70+ Kph.

It is not hard to guess what his mind is focused on, the fact it is not hard.

Erm, I think you’ll find JJ was actually agrees with abiding by the posted speed limits. Perhaps you should go home and see if you can find your humour module.

That aside, your point is valid for roughly 8 hours a day. For the other 16 hours when there are no workers on site, well, often times it does seem absurd to be required to slow to 40km/h (as an example) if OH&S is the only reason. Of course, sometimes the road itself can be pretty knackered during the work, as we’ve seen with the London Circuit works of late.

Mathman 10:40 am 10 Jun 10

The police were booking people speeding through the roadworks at Glenloch Interchange yesterday mid-morning.

lrende01 10:27 am 10 Jun 10

I’m starting to think there must be a few pages in the ACT road rules books that say that the 40km road work speed limit does not apply to ACT residents, that merging lanes means speed up and push in, and that the keep left unless overtaking signs are only for the out of state drivers to take notice of.

I have been counting cars (easy to count them when they are all rushing past you and no one is behind you), and have found that on average 1 in 15 cars drive under 60ish km/hr in road work zones. About 1 in 6 of these below 60 are driving around 40.

I’ve been tempted to talk to a couple of people at traffic lights about the reason for the speed limit. Almost everyone seems to be thinking of themselves only here!

Pyke 10:19 am 10 Jun 10

I really think that leaving the 40km/h signs up even when there is no safety risk dilutes how seriously I take them in general… the sign that cried wolf. When there is work happening, though, I keep disciplined.

arescarti42 10:12 am 10 Jun 10

Woody Mann-Caruso said :

3. Whether or not other people get caught shouldn’t have any bearing on whether you continue to do the right thing or not. Don’t let the f*ckers drag you down to their level.

I’ll have to agree with you on that one.

Doc Dogg 9:58 am 10 Jun 10

Having moved to Canberra in the summer I was shocked at how fast everyone drives here, especially in school and construction zones. I sit on the speed limit everywhere I go and it never ceases to amaze me the number of cars that overtake me just to get to the next set of traffic lights 3 seconds faster.

Where I come from the speed limit around schools and construction is 25km/h so going 40km/h seems fast to me already, but I was travelling down Ginnindera Dr the other day and people were overtaking me going at least 70km/h…the road workers were yelling at them as they drove past to slow down.

smithy 9:55 am 10 Jun 10

The reason for the speed limit in the zones is the workmen who are next to the road.

Think of it like this, how would you like some rocket scientist like JJ driving within 2 to 3 meters of your work desk at 70+ Kph.

It is not hard to guess what his mind is focused on, the fact it is not hard.

Woody Mann-Caruso 9:46 am 10 Jun 10

1. Police do patrol these areas – I watched them grabbing people at the Canberra Hospital constuction zone last week.

2. People who speed through these areas probably speed elsewhere too – they’ll get caught eventually.

3. Whether or not other people get caught shouldn’t have any bearing on whether you continue to do the right thing or not. Don’t let the f*ckers drag you down to their level.

Grail 9:36 am 10 Jun 10

I’m happy to let them at it these days. One of them will end up killing someone, there’ll be a fifteen second piece on the news about the dangers of speeding, and the rest of the community will continue in their attitude of, “won’t happen to me”. Or perhaps some hoon will come off the road and scrape their racing plastic on the edge of the tarmac, at which point there’ll be an inquiry and tougher legislation regarding signage and barriers in construction zones.

Remember, this is Canberra post-80s. It’s all “me me me” and “what about my entitlements”. Noone cares about responsibility or watching out for your mates anymore. We laugh at the Dali Lama and his silly ideas of being unselfish and living with other people’s interests in mind.

georgesgenitals 9:36 am 10 Jun 10

Jim Jones said :

Slowing down makes your penis shrink back into your body irreversibly – never forget this.

Thanks for sharing so the rest of us don’t have to learn the hard way.

Jim Jones 9:31 am 10 Jun 10

Slowing down makes your penis shrink back into your body irreversibly – never forget this.

arescarti42 9:17 am 10 Jun 10

So what’s the point? – people weigh up the extremely small personal benefit to them of going 30km/h faster with the extremely small probability that they will get caught by the police.

Over 250 metres of roadworks, by travelling at 70km/h rather than 40km/h you would shave a whopping 9.6 seconds off your 15-25 minute commute, which shows how much people think they will get caught.

I think it would be reasonable to adjust the speed higher during non work hours. It is probably simpler to just say 40 at all times though.

georgesgenitals 9:02 am 10 Jun 10

The cops definitely police these sites. I’ve seen them at various roadworks quite a lot over the past few months.

Of course, they can’t be everywhere.

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