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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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Speed Limits and Roadworks
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Postalgeek 6:20 pm 11 Jun 10

PrinceOfAles said :

Keep the 40km/h zones all the time I reckon. At least it gives everyone a bit of consistency with regards to knowing what the speed limit is. Most people whinge about the speed limit changing too often on any given stretch of road as it is.

It also gives the cyclists a chance to get done for speeding.

glennmatthew 6:04 pm 11 Jun 10

On the topic of Barry Dr, even during peak-hour this morning cars were flying down while there were guys working.

On the bright side, it stopped the moment I got to a car doing about 34km/h and I slowly (for the duration of the roadworks) overtook them doing 38km/h. I don’t like sitting right on the speed limit, see.

cranky 5:44 pm 11 Jun 10

There ARE major discrepencies with how these limits are applied. Compare the non-roadworks, (but 40K limited) at the Canberra Hospital, with the rubbish pickeruppers who patrol the various roads right up to the verge, with nothing more than a ‘men working’ sign to alert motorists.

Most major roadworks are behind crash barriers/armco. 40K has been applied to Lanyon Drive, Hume, when, as a result of the roadworks, the road is arguably safer for workmen and motorists than before the roadworks began.

Speed limits should apply when necessary. Not at all times, and not in areas where work is not taking place.

Jim Jones 1:43 pm 11 Jun 10

Tooks said :

Thoroughly Smashed said :

Ahh, the righteous indignation I incur from following drivers when I presume to travel at signposted roadwork speed limits. I should record some of the facial expressions one day.

Oh and also what WMC said above. If the limits are left in place while no work is going on it’s 1) because that’s what the guidelines require; and 2) usually for your own safety.

It really is sad how some people get so worked up when driving, isn’t it? Driving must be so stressful for them. Meanwhile, I’m relaxed, listening to some tunes, while idiots swerve in an out of lanes to get that one car length in front of me.

+1 – Nothing like laughing your head off at some bozo going absolutely freaking mental because he can’t figure out a way to go faster than the car in front of him.

Tooks 12:33 pm 11 Jun 10

Thoroughly Smashed said :

Ahh, the righteous indignation I incur from following drivers when I presume to travel at signposted roadwork speed limits. I should record some of the facial expressions one day.

Oh and also what WMC said above. If the limits are left in place while no work is going on it’s 1) because that’s what the guidelines require; and 2) usually for your own safety.

It really is sad how some people get so worked up when driving, isn’t it? Driving must be so stressful for them. Meanwhile, I’m relaxed, listening to some tunes, while idiots swerve in an out of lanes to get that one car length in front of me.

Thoroughly Smashed 11:24 am 11 Jun 10

Ahh, the righteous indignation I incur from following drivers when I presume to travel at signposted roadwork speed limits. I should record some of the facial expressions one day.

Oh and also what WMC said above. If the limits are left in place while no work is going on it’s 1) because that’s what the guidelines require; and 2) usually for your own safety.

Aurelius 11:22 am 11 Jun 10

I’ve never seen so much roadworks in this city. If they dig up most of the major roads now, what are they going to dig up in 2012 just before the election?
What are the local authorities thinking?

Woody Mann-Caruso 9:19 am 11 Jun 10

I’ve got no problem with driving/riding at 40 when road works are taking place. What shits me is when these limits still apply after hours and at weekends when no work is being done.

And they usually are, typically by covering the signs with a sack. When they’re not, it’s because there are still changed traffic conditions ahead, workers or not. Christ, I nearly had an aneurism working that out.

As the excellently-named PrinceofAles points out, if they put it up and down you’d come over all flustered and complain that it’s too hard to keep track of what speed you’re supposed to be doing. We might even see the old chestnut about how looking at your speedo occasionally causes crashes.

PrinceOfAles 5:18 am 11 Jun 10

Keep the 40km/h zones all the time I reckon. At least it gives everyone a bit of consistency with regards to knowing what the speed limit is. Most people whinge about the speed limit changing too often on any given stretch of road as it is. Maybe putting in some great big speed humps might help too.

edlang 10:57 pm 10 Jun 10

wrt the Barry Dr roadworks, the lanes are narrow enough that I feel uncomfortable driving entirely adjacent to another car. A staggered formation (and speed) seems to work best, and I think most drivers follow suit.

bd84 9:13 pm 10 Jun 10

sexynotsmart said :

54-11 said :

I’ve got no problem with driving/riding at 40 when road works are taking place. What shits me is when these limits still apply after hours and at weekends when no work is being done.

+1

Agreed here too, if there is no work being conducted and no danger from changing road surfaces or conditions the signs should be covered up. They finally have done this for the Canberra Hospital construction site on Yamba Dr when there is no road works at all and no danger outside a few hours per day. They now need to get the contractors doing the Glenloch work to remember to take down their 40kph signs outside of work hours.

People who speed in school zones have no excuse and should be shot, particularly in the ACT where signs a covered in school holidays.

54-11 7:57 pm 10 Jun 10

JJ, the law is clear – you can drive any speed you like under the limit but as soon as you start impeding other drivers, you need to pull over and let them pass as soon as you can (and that statement comes from a copper).

There are so many Canberra drivers who are quite happy to be pig-ignorant and become a menace on the road. Most people know the law but just can’t be bothered pulling over.

arescarti42 7:55 pm 10 Jun 10

Jim Jones said :

You’ll pop a neck vein while driving one day and have a crash and then I’ll end up snorting coffee through my nose while laughing at your hideously difigured corpse as I pass it by on my way to work (maybe doing a couple of k’s under the speed limit as a final ‘f%ck you’). And no-one wants that … except for me.

Wow. That absolutely made my day JJ.

I’m with you all the way on that one.

Punter 7:43 pm 10 Jun 10

The reason for speed limits in roadwork areas is for more than the safety of roadworkers, they are also to account for drivers to react to any changed traffic conditions, be it changes in lane paths, changes in road surface, even changes to road closures. These are often in place long after workers have gone home. I can’t understand why people are so impatient? It takes about 90 seconds for a car to cover 1 klm at 40 kph. How long is the average roadworks?

Two weeks ago I saw a car driving south in the north bound lanes in the Glenlock beacause the turnoff to William Hovell was over shot. The road toll cold have +1 had some spanner with his foot flat rounded the bend to confront this debarcle. Fortunately, those on the road were driving far beyond their own front bumper and a collision was avoided.

sexynotsmart 6:46 pm 10 Jun 10

54-11 said :

I’ve got no problem with driving/riding at 40 when road works are taking place. What shits me is when these limits still apply after hours and at weekends when no work is being done.

+1

Blingerific 6:19 pm 10 Jun 10

Speed limits, as for all road rules in the ACT, are purely advisory…

54-11 5:42 pm 10 Jun 10

I’ve got no problem with driving/riding at 40 when road works are taking place. What shits me is when these limits still apply after hours and at weekends when no work is being done.

The reason for the limit is worker safety and that’s a very good thing. But when safety is no longer an issue, then the restriction MUST be lifted.

As noted above, if in place 24/7 unnecessarily, then the restriction loses credibility.

Jim Jones 3:14 pm 10 Jun 10

glennmatthew said :

On this topic, I’ve noticed a few people claiming that driving too slow is illegal (see the comments on the second page). So I trawled through General Traffic Offenses to try and find more information about exactly what is an offense.

The only things I could find are, Keep Left, not obstructing traffic and something about 80km/h in a right-hand lane. We get told to slow down when it’s raining, or the traffic conditions simply warrant a safer speed.

Anyone know what the deal is regarding that?

There are rules against obstructing traffic, but this has nothing to do with ‘driving too slow’ (unless you’re doing something ridiculous like 40kph in a 100 zone).

The people whining about other people ‘driving too slow’ are almost certainly the same people who drive in a constant apoplectic rage, neck veins throbbing, because someone is doing 76kph in an 80 zone when it’s pissing down with rain and visibility is almost zero, or something equally asinine.

Seriously, people, relax. You’ll pop a neck vein while driving one day and have a crash and then I’ll end up snorting coffee through my nose while laughing at your hideously difigured corpse as I pass it by on my way to work (maybe doing a couple of k’s under the speed limit as a final ‘f%ck you’). And no-one wants that … except for me.

glennmatthew 1:29 pm 10 Jun 10

On this topic, I’ve noticed a few people claiming that driving too slow is illegal (see the comments on the second page). So I trawled through General Traffic Offenses to try and find more information about exactly what is an offense.

The only things I could find are, Keep Left, not obstructing traffic and something about 80km/h in a right-hand lane. We get told to slow down when it’s raining, or the traffic conditions simply warrant a safer speed.

Anyone know what the deal is regarding that?

BimboGeek 1:06 pm 10 Jun 10

Very Busy said :

if there is a bus ahead of you, you MUST get infront of it at all cost, even if the bus is keeping up with the traffic.

I blame Northbourne Av, it’s the one place where buses truly suck for the flow of traffic. It’s only a problem during peak hour but it’s truly horrendous when it’s happening. Drivers obviously remain traumatised at all other times.

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