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NT 1000km at 130km/h & still alive

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' started by razorcat, Jun 20, 2013.

  1. #1 razorcat, Jun 20, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2013
    Article in today's Age newspaper

    [I hope I've put this thread in the right area, and I haven't double posted and I've used the right font];)


    1000km at 130km/h - and still alive

    Certain roads in the Northern territory have a speed limit of 130km/h.
    Driving at higher speeds can be done safely, as I learnt this month in northern Australia.
    I recently drove and passengered for almost 1000km at speeds of up to 130km/h during Drive's 17,000km around Australia road test.
    It was done in the Northern Territory, where many of the main highways are limited to 130km/h, a speed that would earn me a serious fine and potentially lead to a loss of my licence in some states.
    Opponents and some 'experts' will point to the different roads in the Northern Territory.
    They're wrong. Some roads in Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia are the same, with the similar hazards, road surfaces and traffic flow.
    And the Hume Highway between Sydney and Melbourne is in many parts a safer stretch of road, albeit with more traffic.
    Despite being out of step with other states, the Territory's law makers acknowledge the wide open spaces and sometimes long straight stretches that can comfortably be travelled at higher speeds. Prior to 2007 the Territory had some highways with derestricted speed limits; when the 130km/h limits were introduced the road toll actually increased.
    Given the vast distances, travelling at higher speeds is a great way to get places - and, contrary to the message we're fed, higher speeds doesn't automatically equate with more funerals.
    But even with that limit there are times where you'll need to travel well below the sign-posted speed. At night, for example, the wildlife that chance their lives on the road make it prudent to slow down.
    And some sections of road - especially the Victoria Highway in the west of the Territory - have some windy and bumpy sections, meaning 100 or 110km/h is more suitable.
    With almost no warning signs on corners on the main freeways it means driving in the Northern Territory relies on that fast diminishing skill of judging the conditions.
    It's a skill on the wane in most parts of Australia with many jurisdictions effectively encouraging to drive to a road sign.
    It's not helped by the grossly inadequate driver training in Australia.
    Teaching young drivers how to park and manoeuvre in tight city streets is not preparing them for the very real dangers of freeway driving and avoiding a crash.
    That's a separate discussion altogether.
    • Agree Agree x 7
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  2. Comments are dominated by sane people. Always refreshing to see.
  3. Either that or you've gone mad.
  4. TAC obviously aren't doing their job if the masses think that 130 could be safe. Maybe they need more funding. :bolt:
    • Funny Funny x 2
  5. Eh?
  6. I saw this weeks ago as NT is looking at removing the 130 speed limit. Also travelling at 130 won't loose ya licence in a 110 zone. Travelling at 90 in a 50 zone will loose a licence so I don't see what that was about.

    Bring back the cannon ball run (y)
  7. The big point they still miss is that the NT build better wider roads with wide open maintained verges. Until the turkeys in charge of the vast southern waste lands stop calling rural goat tracks main roads and build and maintain them properly, as long as you keep cramming them full of caged morons, your speed limits will continue to drop, while those of us who are lucky enough to not live in a nanny state will continue to drive at speed like the beer swilling loonies that we are.

    Yep, that should offend the stupid....
    • Like Like x 2

  8. Honestly I don't see speed limits on main highways being particularly relevant on the bike. The most enjoyable riding in Victoria is on the rural goat tracks. Long distances on main highways are when you want cruise control, climate control, a decent stereo and cupholders. (Don't tell me - you have those on the BMW? ;) )

    Having said that, I used to find 130-140 km/h a comfortable speed to be driving on the long straight roads in WA when I lived there - a good compromise between excessive fuel consumption and making progress - and a lot of highways in Victoria are built to similar standards.
  9. Are you going to speak for all states with that statement? Guess again.
  10. #13 Nightowl, Jun 20, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2013
    Thanks @razorcat, makes for a refreshing change.

    Some consequences of this state’s (Vic) narrow, zealous focus on speed is that people fail to understand the concept of “limit”, fail to understand what driving to conditions means, and (questionable) driver competencies are increasingly eroded.

    For example, the ring rd has recently reverted back to 100 after all the new roadworks/improvements. Some people have been so conditioned to the limit of 80, and making sure they stick to that limit (tap-tapping the brake lights) that now hear them complaining 100 is “too fast/too dangerous” on the vast expanse of new, improved sections.

    Has nothing to do with speed, everything to do with social engineering, conditioning, proliferating incompetence.

    Personally I think speed advisories instead of speed limits would be more productive (limits for residential and built up shopping zones though).
    Fancy that, all the energy invested into enforcing limits getting redirected back into raising driver competencies, with things such as not weaving into other lanes while fiddling with gps, or tailgating, actually enforced; social conditioning on selecting a lane that reflects personal competence instead of the righteous “I’m doing the limit, to hell with everyone else” etc
    But hey, I also happen to think Vicroads/TAC regos should reflect the size of road real-estate the ever-increasing size of commuter vehicles use, in my area 4wd+SUV’s (male & female drivers) are the worst at managing their vehicles.

    If people were free to choose, I wonder what speeds the majority would default to and what lanes (given multi-lane options) they'd choose.
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  11. If think the comments posted are unusually sane, perhaps it's you that joined their ranks, rather than a sanity level shift.

    It's notfunny when I have to explain it! Damn you!

  12. And? If your going to say I'm wrong prove it so I know for future reference.
  13. oh FFS can't we JUST for ONCE discuss the issues and not have a slanging match?
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    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. And ON TOPIC

    The Hume should be raised to 120-130 kmh in some stretches with variable speed signs so that the conditions dictate the speed not some artificial rule. the Geelong Freeway should be raised to 110-120 as it is 3 lanes wide for crying out loud, again with variable speed signs according to the prevailing conditions.
    Same for peninsula link and the eastern link, Same for the Calder highway and the Princes highway to Warragul and beyond.
    Same for the westgate freeway and the Monash in quiet times, speeds should be increased to 100 kmh which is what the majority of people do in quiet times.

    common denominator? VARIABLE SPEED SIGNS.
  15. Unfortunately, the debate has become limited to the conception of latent crash energy. MUARC has convinced the authorities that crashes are inevitable, which to a certain extent they are. So they have concluded that the only option is to reduce the severity of injuries is via a gross reduction in the energy involved in crashes - by lowering speeds across the board.
    Riders have a different perspective because we know that any speed beyond a fast foot-sprint is potentially deadly to us, so we learn other ways to reduce impact energy. Most of them are employed only after a risk is identified. Car-centric researchers in this country simply do not understand that there are many options for reducing crash energy other than than just going slower everywhere.
    Until we get a far less simplistic approach to the research, (or break MUARC's stranglehold) we will keep getting pressure from authorities to reduce speeds down to pre-mechanical levels.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  16. Here it is
  17. oh jeez lol