Victoria acts to end speed zone confusion

The number of speed zones on Victorian roads blamed for creating confusion among motorists will be simplified

Ruza Zivkusic-Aftasi | August 14, 2012

The number of speed zones on Victorian roads blamed for creating confusion among motorists will be simplified under sweeping changes to the state’s speed limit system.

The government plans to slash speed zones by removing 70km/h and 90km/h limits. Sign clutter will also be removed on busy roads.

Victorian Transport Minister Terry Mulder says the shake-up comes after a wide-ranging review of speed limits was conducted after complaints that speed limit changes and signs within short distances confused drivers.

The 2011/12 Victorian Speed Limit Review attracted more than 600 submissions from the community, and a number of locations that had unclear signs were identified.

The Speed Limit Advisory Group, which is made of representatives from peak bodies such as the Victoria Police, the Department of Justice, the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) and the RACV, was involved in developing the recommendations.

VicRoads, which visited all the identified locations and consulted with a wide range of stakeholders, will now alter the signage to reflect a consistent and clear approach to speed limits, Mulder says.

VicRoads Executive Director David Shelton says 80km/h signs in buffer zones will be replaced with ‘60 Ahead’ signs, allowing drivers to slow down at their own rate.

Guidelines will also be developed for where and when 40km/h zones are appropriate.

"The changes to speed limits represent a balance between smoothing out travel speeds and the safety of all road users," Shelton says.

Police Chief Commissioner Ken Lay has welcomed the changes. Speaking on radio this morning, Lay says the move is not about collecting revenue.

"The last thing engineers will be thinking about is revenue and speed cameras," Lay says.

"This is about keeping people safe on the road, it’s making it simple and making sure people understand what they should be doing and hopefully that will translate into road safety outcomes," he says.

"I think that there has been lots of views expressed over a long time that speed zones cause confusion, particularly on around road works (and) in country locations, so I think it will make it simpler. I think it will make it easier for the road users to understand what [speed] they’re supposed to be travelling."

Victorian Transport Association (VTA) CEO Neil Chambers says the removal of confusing speed zones will be good news for the road freight industry and general public.

"It’s frustrating and confusing for everybody when there are numerous speed zones in a relatively short space on many roads," he says.

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