Northern Territory approves open speed limit

Territory will have an unrestricted speed limit along a 336km stretch of road.

Northern Territory approves open speed limit
The open speed limit on the Stuart Highway will apply to a 336km section of road, but heavy vehicles are excluded.


A long section of the Stuart Highway in the Northern Territory will have a permanently open speed limit for motorists, following a 16-month trial.

Chief minister Adam Giles and transport minister Peter Chandler have confirmed there will be no speed limit on a 336km stretch of the road between Alice Springs and the Ali Curung rail overpass.

Heavy vehicles remain limited by local restrictions in the open speed zone, which set the maximum speed at 110km/h.

The initial trial covered 276km across two sections of road. The extra 60km of road added after the trial will be upgraded before an open speed limit is approved.

Giles says the trial showed drivers took great responsibility for safety.

"The traffic counter data shows there was only a small increase in driver speed in the trial sections, with 85 per cent of drivers travelling between 133 and 139km/h," he says.

"The survey results indicate most drivers are driving to the conditions and believe the upgrades have improved the safety of the road."

There were 11 crashes recorded during the trial, but no fatalities and no indication of speed as a causal factor, Giles says.

There was only one "serious injury" recorded as a result of the crashes, and this incident was deemed to be related to alcohol and non-use of a seatbelt.

Chandler says the upgrade to the 60km will start this month and will include clearing trees away from the edge of the highway, widening curves, and upgrading guard rails, stock fencing, line marking, reflectors and signage.

Chandler says the open speed limit is evidence of the government fulfilling its pledge to give more responsibility to people to behave safely.

"The NT has a unique road network with long distances between towns and low traffic volume. With the expansion of open speed limit zones, we are putting responsibility on motorists to drive to their own capabilities and to the conditions of the road," he says.



Good news for motorists, but heavy vehicles remain limited to 110km/h.

Posted by Owner Driver on Tuesday, 8 September 2015


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