http://www.geelonginfo.com.au/readarticle.asp?articleid=13533 BRAKE OCEAN ROAD Tuesday, November 2 CHRISTINE ANTONIOU GREAT Ocean Road motorists will be forced to slow down to 80km/h with a new speed limit to be implemented by the end of the year for the tourist route. The State Government yesterday announced the speed limit between Anglesea and Apollo Bay would be reduced by 20km/h from 100 km/h to 80km/h. The move comes after The Geelong Advertiser's two year long Great Ocean Road campaign - Make it Safe. Transport Minister Peter Batchelor yesterday said the Government wanted to make one of Victoria's great tourist attractions safer. ``We want to make it a safe leisurely cruise rather than a dangerous speedway,'' Mr Bachelor said. ``A 20km/h speed limit reduction will help reduce the unacceptably high casualty crash record along this route. ``Traffic volumes on the stretch between Torquay and Apollo Bay are growing at around five per cent each year. ``Reducing the speed limit will significantly reduce the risk factor, save lives and reduce injuries.'' Seven people have been killed on the Great Ocean Road since 1999 between Anglesea and Apollo Bay, and more than 312 people have been injured. More than a third of people injured required hospital treatment. Mr Batchelor said VicRoads aimed to have the 80km/h speed limit on the 76 kilometre stretch in operation by late November, before the start of the peak tourism season. The slower speed limit will cost motorists less than 10 minutes extra drive time from Anglesea to Apollo Bay. Mr Batchelor also said about 45 per cent of the fatalities on the Great Ocean Road between 1999 and 2003 were motorcyclists and it was not a normal ratio compared to across the rest of the state. ``The terrain of the road makes for exhilarating driving for motorcyclists,'' he said. ``The ratio is inexplicably high because people take risks and get over-excited by the drive, its twisting nature and scenic terrain.'' Mr Batchelor said there had been strong support from local media, council and community groups in favour of the speed reduction. However, he said there was a conflict of interest between some local users of the road and tourists. ``We can't achieve all objectives but locals can either slow down or use the Princes Highway 100km/h route,'' he said. Geelong Province MLC Elaine Carbines yesterday welcomed the speed limit change and said local communities, councils, businesses and tourism associations had been actively involved in recent debate about road safety along the route. ``Many of the suggestions raised by the community are reflected in the package of works recently announced when Surf Coast Shire hosted Community Cabinet,'' Ms Carbines said. The speed limit reduction is in addition to an $11.9 million road funding investment for the Great Ocean Road along an 88 kilometre stretch from Torquay to Apollo Bay.