Push for 30 and 40km/h limit on all Victorian streets
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.