Will we see 30 and 40km/h speed limits widespread in Victoria soon?

A healthy walking advocate charity, Victoria Walks, is campaigning to introduce reduced speed limits across Victoria and the widening of current school zones.

The key targets are shifting the current 50km/h speed limit on local streets down to 40km/h, and from 40km/h to 30km/h in “busy pedestrian areas”, such as shopping strips.

The group states that there is research showing two-thirds of all Victorians want lower speed limits on local streets:

“We know 66 per cent of Victorians support lower speed limits in neighbourhood streets” says Executive Officer of Victoria Walks, Ben Rossiter. “This would make it safer to walk to schools, shops and public transport”.

It also states that it has spoken to road safety experts on the matter: “After consulting road safety experts, we are calling for the default speed limit on local streets to drop from 50 to 40 km/h and 30km/h to be allowed in busy pedestrian areas.”

Indeed, there is also a wider push to introduce 40km/h limits outside of the current school zones, with a thought to rethink what a school zone is.

“Current school zones protect kids who are being dropped off at the school gate, but they don’t do much for children actually walking to school through the wider neighbourhood.

“We need to give kids a fair go at walking to school and their parents some freedom from the school drop off.”

One such road is Punt Road, with the group asking for a 40km/h zone during school times, though this has apparently fallen on deaf ears, according to an emergency doctor at the Royal Melourne Hospital, Mya Cubitt:

“They [kids] have to cross Punt Road, but because the school doesn’t have an entrance on it, the Department of Transport won’t allow for a 40 km/h zone on Punt Road.”

The goal for the healthy walking charity is safety for pedestrians.

“Research has estimated that the risk of death for a pedestrian hit at 50 km/h is more than 80%” adds Rossiter “but at 40 km/h the risk is thought to be less than 20%.”

The reduction in the speed limit of course does not address other growing concerns which include distracted drivers on mobile devices, and the prevalence of drivers on drugs such as cannabis.

The Position Statement from Victoria Walks is available here.


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Alex Rae

Alex Rae brings almost two decades’ experience, previously working at publications including Wheels, WhichCar, Drive/Fairfax, Carsales.com.au, AMC, Just Cars, and more.


  1. Why stop at 30kph? Clearly we want people to stop using their brain. To stop people being educated. To stop people learning from experience. So lets do it properly. Lets go back to the old days where a person used to walk in front of a vehicle to warn others it was coming. Just imagine how many millions of people that would employ, and all getting healthier from the extra walking. The people pushing this idea are so ‘forward’ thinking.

    1. Get the roads down to that pace and we won’t need a car, I can ride my push bike that fast or faster and I can’t lose a license

  2. The above outcome would make politicians ecstatic, because they fully understand that society should pay the cost, no matter what it is, even if it totally bankrupts everyone, if it just saves even one life. That is the very essence of how the political mind works. Save a life, no matter the cost.

  3. How about the pedestrians who dawdle across intersections against red lights, wander on and off the road with total disregard for others, and just simply don’t engage their brain through their mobile phone conversation actually take some co-responsibility!

    1. These people should be rewarded. This is how the world wants to become now. The new AGENDA is to reward people for having no brains or at least not using what they have. The powers that be want CONTROL. So the mindless masses just stay home, off the roads and collect their basic income provided by government. Lower the speeds enough, and its completely eliminates peoples need and desire for a car. This is all very carefully planned. I hope epople understand this. And politicians lap it up becaus eit means they get to SELL a lower death count, and hope for winning the next election, where they get ovrpaid for spending othe rpeoples money. It’s ALL CONNECTED.

  4. Nobody gives a damn about the poor manual transmission owner, with engine over-revving in 2nd gear to gain decent acceleration and attaining lousy fuel consumption accompanied by higher pollution. Oh, of course, we’re supposed to be driving electrics and automatics! 50km/hr should be the only built-up area speed, as it has been on the safest roads in the world for 90 years – the UK’s. Well, maybe I’d allow 30 past schools and ACTIVE roadworks.

    1. Hey Bill..how old are you? Sorry, but you are clearly very much out of touch with whats happening the last 20 years. Manuals are a poor choice now, because they consume more fuel than an auto, and actually perform worse in acceleration. Todays cars have automatics, often with the option of being able to choose gears as well! Clearly the car you drive has serious issues. You do NOT need to over rev a manual in 2nd gear to get traction? May I suggest you take your car to be looked at, or simply sell it.

      And 50kph in built up areas is AGONISINGLY slow. A speed to be mostly ignored frankly.

      Far better we TEACH & EDUCATE our young people. so that one day they can gain wisdom. Wisdom is a long dead concept these days. I shudder to think how children a being taught in schools now. Just look at the US for example. Their education system is in shambles. What should be the smartest people in the world, are actually some of the dumbest. And it is these people who are so easily brainwashed, by the powers that be. Part of whome of the people who keep pushing for lower speed limits.

      You will NEVER see them talk about the devatation slower speeds does to the 99.999% who survive their driving trips and PRODUCTIVITY. I should be driving down the 4 lane M1 for exmaple at SAFE speeds of 150-200kph, in the dedidcated right hand lane, when its not peak hour. But being forced to travel at just 100 or less, it means less time in the office, less time with the family, less relax time. Overall destruction of productivity.

      Sadly, with the complete lack of wisdom in socioety thrse days, you will never see anyone talk about that side of things. So sure, we save 1 life, but in the process destroy productivity for the other 99.99%. Do the math on that !!

      1. Just doing some “math” comparing “agonisingly slow” 50km/h compared with 60km/h.

        I’m rubbish at maths but I think we’re talking about a difference of 12 seconds per kilometre.

        I think the Poms have got it right with 30MPH in built up areas and a nominal 70MPH on the Motorways and A roads (but they allegedly add 10% plus a bit more for speedo error). I was a regular visitor to UK. pre Covid and frequently drove in the middle lane of a motorway at an indicated 80 MPH while being overtaken by streams of traffic in the right hand lane.

        You see plenty of police cars but they’re mostly part of that stream of traffic doing the overtaking 🙂

        1. If I am not mistaken, the suburban streets in Australia don’t even come close to the ‘streets’ in the UK, where they are barely wide enough to fit one car. Still a replica of desing of 100+ years ago.

          And we had highways in th eold days of 110kph+. Now though we have modern cars with enormous levels of safety, 4 lane motorways, with not traffic lights or side streets to worry about, nor even oncoming traffic. This is a QUANTUM difference, and one of the key reasons death rates have declined. It started with the introduction of the seat belts. But politicians purpsoely ignore all that, because their brain is only capable of operating at its most basic one dimensiaonl level…WE MUST SAVE A LIFE…no matter the cost. Well, cost to you and me, not them. They see it as a way to win their next election. That’s it. That’s the dept hof their thinking.

          We MUST stop allowing poiliticians to make key life decisions for the rest of us. They have proven time and time to be incompentent. The system is massively flawed if we let it keep repeating.

      2. Manuals are not a poor choice if, like me, you buy them because you like changing gears yourself and regard it as part of the pleasure of driving. There’s a widespread misconception that people only choose manuals because they think they provide better acceleration or fuel economy.

        1. You are 100% correct Brian. None of the younger brigade today will ever likely experience a manual and the enjoyment it can offer. And while modern cars do offer the ability to change your own gears via the auto shifter or paddles, they still dont offer the proper flexibility. I think only the Nissan 370zx for example upblips the revs automatically when changing down.

          Still, the convenience the modern auto provides is tough to beat.
          I can for example, after flipping to 1st, flaw the accelerator, and change gears without having to worry aobut a clutch, and without missing a beat. The gear change all happens in microseconds on the better cars.

  5. Perhaps it’s time to ban the car completely and require everyone to walk. We should also ban push bikes, skate boards, scooters, blades and running because they’re all too fast. Banning the car will create problems but we’ll get by.

    1. Ban taxpayer funded vehicles supplied to politicians who come up with these silly ideas and are paid way above average remuneration to be silly?

  6. At some point, we need to revert back to making people responsible for their own actions. Instead, our cotton wool pollies are making road safety the sole responsibility of car manufacturers, walking the responsibility of local councils and common sense the responsibility of no-one. Encourage better driving with incentives, put multiple-time drink drivers in jail; put joy riders in jail; Stop penalising the majority in an effort to protect those who don’t think, don’t care and don’t ever hold themselves responsible.

    1. Jonny, Putting people in jail is a waste of time. They only learn new tricks. Most leave jail and reoffend. Jail time COSTS the consumer a bomb.
      The laws need to be completely rewritten. People need to feel their crimes where it hurts most…in their hip pocket. And not through fines that never get paid. But make them work…dock their pay. If you steal a car and trash it, then the thief must pay the owner back the value of the car, and pay another 100% penalty…all through forced labour, and docking their pay. No option to not work and get Job Seeker. No Free Medicare until the money is all paid back. As things stand now, thiefs just get away with it, and nominal time in jail if caught. Its a complete joke.
      Or here’s another option…get caught stealing a car, and chop off a finger (along with the $$ penalties mentioned above). People will relate to that far more than the ‘fear” of getting free board and food! Watch when the crims leave court…they are just laughing at the system. The judges haven’t got a clue much of the time.

  7. Surely a speed limit of 10 kmh would be better and for every vehicle to have a traffic controller with a red flag walking in front or riding a pushbike to warn pedestrians?


  8. They’ll have kids on pushbikes breaking the speed limit! Will the cops book them for speeding? Or will they be exempt?

    Let’s see them sort out the legal issue of kids on bikes exceeding their ludicrously low speed limits!! If they drop them any lower, they’ll have to book joggers!! The cancel culture riddled Victorian Govt can suck eggs!

    When did the Vic Govt figure out that Toorak Rd needed a 40kmh speed limit? Shortly after they opened the TOLLWAY into the city??

    The trouble is that 100% of the responsibility for pedestrian accidents is dumped on motorists. Let’s see the Vic Cancel Culture Govt intro and enforce ac few laws AGAINST PEDESTRIANS. Using a phone whilst crossing a road. Using a phone with earphones. Failing to look both ways before crossing a road. Running across a road. Crossing a road in an unsafe manner. Issue 12 points to pedestrians and use a demerit system to cancel one’s Walker License for the recalcitrants. Ah yes. Ludicrous I know. But if it’s good for the gander, it’s good for the gooses who step out in front of oncoming cars.

  9. There’s one thing that never changes with politicians. Their lust for power. Look at the way they trample on each other for the top job.

    If the populace is organised it can stop dumb laws. Take a leaf out of the Shooter’s Party manual. Start a Motorist’s Party. Draw voters away from the “Duocracy” Two Party System. Force sensible changes for motorists. For a start, increase the speed limit on high quality highways such as the Hume to 120kmh. And ENFORCE a minimum error tolerance of 5kmh before issuing speeding fines. Fines are revenue raising. Every time our short sighted pollies crash the economy into the side of a mountain, they persecute motorists by issuing fines for 62kmh in 60 zones etc. Just to bail their Govts out of financial disaster. Let’s see if this happens after the COVID debacle.

  10. What, 66% of who ?
    we have 6 driving Adult in our house and NONE want to see any slower than we have.
    We all agree that 50k in streets and 40% school zones is perfect, any slower and you stop concentrating on driving.

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