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The brakes go on in speed-cut plan

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' started by Iffracem, Jun 2, 2005.

  1. Despite Tas having nearly half the road toll of last year, our wonderful beaurocrats, thru their polititian mouthpieces, are trying to lower ALL speed limits in Tas...

    The brakes go on in speed-cut plan


    TASMANIA'S speed limits will be slashed statewide under a radical overhaul proposed by the State Government yesterday.

    Country road speed limits will drop from 100km/h to 90km/h, highways from 110 to 100km/h and remaining 60km/h zones will become 50km/h zones.

    If the plan comes into force, the Brooker Highway speed will cut to 70km/h and there will be 40km/h zones passing all education institutions.

    Some 100 speed zones will drop to 60km/h and unsealed rural roads will have 40km/h slashed from their speed limits, to 60km/h.

    Infrastructure Minister Bryan Green said two years of work into speed zones, crash statistics and international research supported the sweeping changes.

    Mr Green opened the proposal to public comment yesterday.

    He said hundreds of lives and an estimated $12 million would be saved every year from the ground-breaking reforms.

    "A number of options are presented for each of the 12 areas of possible change," Mr Green said.

    "But the areas that will have greatest safety impact are changing
    rural roads to 90km/h and changing the remaining 60 zones to 50.

    "The number of Tasmanian lives saved from these initiatives could be similar to the impact caused by the introduction of seat belts in 1973 and speed cameras in 1992.

    "The reforms proposed have the potential to reduce the deaths on our roads, but we want to know what Tasmanians think about the ideas before we go ahead and do anything."

    Mr Green said all roads couldn't be five-star.

    "As much as we`d like to, we can't improve every road in the state to five-star standard."

    He said half of the fatal crashes last year and one-third of casualty crashes were in 100km/h zones. The next worst figures were in 60km/h zones.

    Mr Green said outstanding results from the 50km/h zone changes confirmed benefits.

    In the first year there were 63 fewer casualty crashes than the previous year. In the second year there were 143 fewer.

    A leading accident researcher has praised the speed-cut plan.

    Ian Johnston, director of the Monash University Accident and Research Centre, said evidence worldwide was clear that reductions slowed drivers.

    Professor Johnston, who appears on road safety ads screened in Tasmania, said all drivers knew there was a "tolerance" level before they would be booked -- behaviour that had to be taken into account.

    "In urban areas the result is very powerful. The Victorian experience is extremely clear-cut. It reduced from 60 to 50 and reduced the tolerance and there was a dramatic difference," Prof Johnston said.

    "People know they don`t get prosecuted much below 70 in a 60 zone, they see driving at 67 as behaving legally.

    "When you reduce the limit, everybody's behaviour changes. The bad drivers drop back too."

    He said only fully-divided dual-carriageway highways deserved a 110km/h limit.

    "The blanket 100 on the rest is generally speaking too high: 90 is much better."

    But Prof Johnston said a high quality road with a low limit would hurt credibility.

    Royal Automobile Club of Tasmania chief engineer Doug Ling criticised the plan as a knee-jerk reaction.

    Mr Ling said many accidents were a result of people driving too fast for the section of road or conditions -- even if they were under the official limit.

    He said reducing 80km/h to 70km/h on the Brooker would reduce the capacity of the highway, which was high standard.

    "For people who drive above the limit, dropping by 10 will have no effect on them. The Government also should be using more advisory speed signs," Mr Ling said.

    "It's about having safer drivers in safer vehicles on safer roads, a total systematic approach. We don't believe more enforcement and greater fines will modify people's behaviour.

    "We believe this is sending the wrong message. People should be driving safely for the conditions."

    Road Safety Task Force chairman Paul Hogan said reducing 100km/h zones was vital.

    "Certainly this package does have the potential to influence a reduction in the road toll, there's no question about that," Mr Hogan said.

    For info, Brian Green is the minister in charge of roads, Paul Hogan is (IIRC) the head of the dept Transport, an otherwise nice bloke.

    Personally I agree with Doug Ling, It'll only impinge on the law abiding (read majority) of road users. Flogs who speed beyond their limits dont care what the sign says.

    I'm for introducing compulsory pre-learners and proficiency courses for ALL road users, just like we bike riders have to do.

    Polticians, Beaurocrats and farking Academics.... wankers each and every one
  2. the guy who wrote that policy recommendation would be dreading 'Punch a Wanker' day.
  3. Yet another reason to get across there one more time before this bullshit's implemented. Certainly proves that 2-heads can produce more crap than Bracks and Co.
  4. Pr!cks. Same thing as Steve Tax here in Vic tightening tolerances on speed limits - tighten the laws to make more law breakers = more revenue from fines. Its happening everywhere....

  5. They all go to the same school... all labor, all pollies, all think that the sun shines out of Ian Johnston's arse.

    They're also thinking of tollways to "fix" traffic issues on the major feeder roads into and out of Hobart. That'll really hurt, as the "southern outlet" is the only viable road south out of Hobart, and will effectively catch all southern commuters, the fastest growing area of the state. Fark I hate pollies, beaurocrats and academics.

    We used to be immune to the stupidity of the northern states, looks like we're catching up fast. Only good news is most of the traffic police are OK, they only target the dangerous tools and don't worry too much about the "incidental" speeders. No doubt that'll change.

  6. I'd like to see the detail of that.

    This year's Vic road toll is slightly above last year's, IIRC (by a statistically-insignificant amount).

    I wonder what the "dramatic difference" is in? Certainly in the number of people being booked for trivial speeding offences, but not in driver/rider behaviour - unless you count a fixation on one's speedo.

    I don't see any drivers actually driving more thoughtfully, considerately or carefully as a result of the "60 to 50" change in Vic. No fewer people are dying, so the change has achieved what exactly?

    I should say that in my view, in many cases the previous 60 limit for suburban streets was too high and 50 is better. But in other cases 60 was quite ok and should have remained.

    Round my way we have several streets that have dropped to 40 on a permanent basis - just because they contain a school. By all means drop the limit to 40 during school hours (and spend some money on flashing lights), but a 40 limit at 3am is just stupid.
  7. Even though most of the traffic cops are ok, they will not have a choice if the governing body says you will book people for 3km over the limit and the limit is then dropped.
  8. I agree here. 40 limits are a great idea to keep the kids safe, and I'm happy to abide by them during school in/out times. But permanent speed reductions limits are a joke.
  9. The first place I saw 40 km/h limits during school drop-off and pick-up hours was in Vancouver.

    It seems to work very well there - they have yellow flashing lights on the signs to indicate when the limit's in force, and people seem to obey it.

    There's an article in the current issue of Royalauto (a dreadful rag generally) querying the implementation of the 40 km/h school zone limits here. Raises some good points.
  10. I am becoming disillusioned lately, in fact very negative in outlook.....

    I dunno if it's age or what, but I rarely seem to see any good news, rational (let alone inspired) leadership, or even simple respect for others.

    I wonder if there is anywhere in the world where common sense and sanity prevails? Where politicians know the reasons they exist, journalists report un-embellished fact, academics actually work to improve society, and beaurocrats strive for better services for the public they serve.

    I doubt it.......

    I think it might be safer if I stay off the bike until the mood changes :(

  11. I regret living in a country where drivers are too moronic to drive at a safe and sensible speed all the time, regaredless of what the speed LIMIT says.
  12. In a recent study it's been proven the roads will be a safest if the limit was a blanket 30kph (predicted to become law by the end of the century). This is because it would not be worth driving anymore, people will just stay at home or perhaps walk.

    Accidents caused by other factors (drunk, drugged, old or just plain bad drivers) will not be effected by the new 30kph limit. The bureaucrats are working hard on this anomaly and will get back to us at a latter date.
  13. One day, will will rise up and crush the speed limits of this country. If the govt keeps it up, it will become a real election issue that could see whole govts kicked out of office.
  14. It cracks me up, everytime some pollie goes on about the road toll.
    Let me start by saying, I understand it is terrible to lose anyone in a traffic accident and do not for one moment demean the strength of emotions that are felt by losing a friend or a loved one in an accident but...(there's always a but)
    What is the road toll per year? - about 1000 people Australia wide (admittedly they shouldn't happen). So we loose about 0.005% of population due to road deaths (admittedly there are also the seriously injured, permanently injured as well) How much money does the government pour in to trying to get these figures lower? - billions. But what are the following number of people that are lost every year to i) breast cancer, ii) prostate cancer, iii) bowel cancer, iv) heart disease, v) alcoholism vi) drug use etc? I would hazard a guess that everyone of the above would kill more Australians per year than road deaths but a smaller amount of money is spent on these compared with road deaths.

    What I've written might be contraversial and get some people hot on the collar, let me just say that I've lost two people close to me through road accidents and they shouldn't have happened but I still get the feeling that government is treating symptoms not causes.
  15. well said mate. It's about two things - indirect taxation, and public image. When my grampy dies of stomach cancer, there os no 'shock horror' news story. But there is for accidents... and this reflects badly on the govt.

    If the media started following cancer/alcohol/drug deaths as religiously as road deaths, the focus would shift in a nanasecond.
  16. Given getting my car license involved driving around the block and a reverse park I can see why there are so many incompetent drivers out there on the road.. If you don't need to learn how to drive to get your license - for many people they won't.

    An old customer of mine used to offer free advanced driver training to their staff.. Very few took it up - when asked why, most said they weren't interested in learning.. I bet when they next need to handle an emergency brake and swerve or something similar they'll wish they did..

    Perhaps if they used all the revenue from fines to fund tougher (and regular - say every 5 years) licensing conditions for cars and bikes it may make a difference.. Certainly the changes in victoria to make a bike license harder to get dramatically dropped the death rate of new riders..
    (When the govt really wanted to reduce the number of new riders by making it harder and more costly)..

    Ah well.. it'll never happen in this state while we stay so focused on speed... :-(

  17. Quote:
    A leading accident researcher has praised the speed-cut plan.

    Ian Johnston, director of the Monash University Accident and Research Centre, said evidence worldwide was clear that reductions slowed drivers.

    Professor Johnston, who appears on road safety ads screened in Tasmania, said all drivers knew there was a "tolerance" level before they would be booked -- behaviour that had to be taken into account.

    "In urban areas the result is very powerful. The Victorian experience is extremely clear-cut. It reduced from 60 to 50 and reduced the tolerance and there was a dramatic difference," Prof Johnston said.

    Bullshit. The Monash University Accident and Research Centre is the only research facility in the world to produce these results, because they are the only facility to remove the factor of "relative speed" between adjacent vehicles from their studies. Another case of asking the right question to get the desired result.
    The very plain and simple fact is that mortality and serious injury OVERALL has slightly increased in Victoria despite the Monash-inspired draconian measures. It doesn't work, and no other country (except maybe Britain) believes in it either.
  18. Last years pedestrian toll 26

    Current pedestrian road toll 19

    Difference in pedestrian tolls -7

    Difference in pedestrian tolls -27%

    Five Year average 26

    Before the year is out I can see the pedestrain toll come close to equalling or surpassing last years toll.

    What has it acheived? Bracks wont give me the $$$$$ figures :)
  19. Governments targeting the speed limit alone is a cynical ploy.

    We all understand that the majority of accidents are caused by people exercising poor judgement, poor attitued and/or executing poor skills.

    The govt focus on speed reduction for all is an attempt to slow everyone down so they can avoid those who should not be driving. Its clearly the wrong approach. It's just as effective as telling all pilots to fly lower in their planes to lower the aircraft death tolls. It's like cutting off your nose to get rid of a pimple on the end of it.

    People with poor attitudes or poor judgement will still drive aggressively, make the same mistakes.

    I advocate raising the standard required to get a licence. Just being to pilot a vehicle is not enough. It must include roadcraft, education about causes of accidents and so on.

    Folks who spout the mantra 'speed kills' are jerks. Impatience kills, aggression kills, fiddling with your car stereo at 100ks per hour on the freeway kills. Talking on your mobile phone kills, not doing a head check when you change lanes kills.

    If everyone PAID ATTENTION there would be no road toll.