1. Review speed limits on high risk regional and remote roads, in consultation with the community

Responsibility

Commonwealth

States and territories

Local government

Austroads

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Links to other Actions

A, B, D

Why

Australia has relatively high speed limits across much of its road network compared with similar roads in comparable countries. Crash risk is high on many low standard regional and remote roads. Two-thirds of all road crash deaths occur in regional and remote areas, and most of those occur in 100 km/h or higher zones. The road network is very large and in many cases it is not feasible to address this risk with infrastructure improvements alone. Reviews of research have shown that changing the speed of vehicles from 100 km/h to 90 km/h can be expected to produce a 35% reduction in fatal crashes and a 31% reduction in serious injury crashes.

Outcomes by 2020

Increased application (km) of lower speed limits to improve the star rating of regional and remote roads and achieve a reduction in fatality and serious injury risk on these roads.

Evidence of stronger community engagement with reduced speed limits.

Case studies assessing the impact of reduced speeds.

Implementation

  • Investigate and implement low-cost options to reflect a lower speed environment, such as consistency of application of curve advisories and gateway treatments, when applying speed reduction as a road safety treatment.
  • Engage with the community on safer speeds, the human tolerance to impact, and the benefits of lower highway speeds in reducing crash risk and the limited effect on travel times.
  • Develop nationally consistent public communication and education messages that can be used by all levels of government to build awareness of safe and appropriate speeds.