MPs vote against increasing speed limit for overtaking
One MP has proposed raising the speed limit when overtaking in Victoria, but it has been slammed down by other MPs.
VICTORIAN MPs have had their say on a supposed amendment to temporarily allow speeding while overtaking on country roads, voting a resounding 38 to 2 against the change to the Road Safety Bill.
The push to increase speed limits comes from country Victorian Liberal Democrat Tim Quilty who last week added a proposed change to the Bill that would allow road users to legally speed over the prescribed limit when overtaking.
“It’s something that has been a big bug bear of mine for a long time,” Quilty told 3AW radio’s Tom Elliot.
“Getting stuck behind a slow-moving car on these long country highways, there is very few opportunities to overtake. What we’re proposing is temporarily lift [or] waive the speed limit while overtaking on these roads when it’s safe.”
However, the proposed change was quickly quashed by the upper house, with Quilty adding that he coped criticism and scorn from some MPs.
“Last week at about 1 am in the morning we were debating the road safety Bill and I put in an amendment for the upper house, and it was [voted] 38 to 2 against it.
“I would say the chances are not high [of it ever passing], various MPs poured scorn on the idea. I coped a bit of slack over it. I’ll push it again, we have a road safety enquiry coming up in the next few months and I’ll make sure it is one of the things that comes up and is discussed.”
Despite Quilty admitting that he normally speeds to 120km/h to overtake and sometimes up to 140km/h on country highways, the problem, says Quilty, is that lawmakers from the city don’t understand the realities of driving on country roads. That reality being that the longer you sit in the opposite lane because you can’t overtake quickly, the higher the chance of a collision or accident.
“I do 100,000 kays a year on country roads. When I overtake I have taken it up to 140, 120 would be normal, it doesn’t make sense to duck out into that lane with oncoming traffic and stay at the speed limit. You’re reducing the time over there by half or a quarter [when going faster],” he said.
“The problem is our road safety experts are obsessed about speed,” he added.
“I sometimes think the nearest they get to rural country Victoria is when they fly over it to another conference in the city somewhere. I don’t think these people drive on these roads.”
Some of the specifics of the proposal are that the allowed speeding would only be for single lane country highways, and on overtaking lanes but not on dual carriageways. The driver could not be booked for speeding but could be booked for dangerous driving if deemed so by the police.
“The proposal I put up is that there is no speed limit to apply in this situation as such. You can’t be booked for speeding but you can be done for dangerous driving.
“It’s quite clearly safer, and for everyone who drives [on country roads] it is safer. For some reason that doesn’t register with politicians in Melbourne,” he said.