Posted Speed Limits: When is the maximum posted limit not the recommended?
Submission Date: May 11, 2017 Journal
Suggested Citation: Fryer, D. (2017). Posted speed limits: When is the maximum posted limit not the recommended? Journal of the Australasian College of Road Safety, 28(2), 59-60.
Towards Zero 2016//2020 Victoria’s Road Safety Strategy sets a long term vision of zero deaths and serious injuries on our roads and a target of less than 200 deaths by 2020. Research tells us that country road users are three times more likely to be killed and 40 % more likely to be seriously injured than drivers in metropolitan Melbourne (Victoria Police, 2014). That 3 out of 4 country fatalities involve older model cars speaks volumes about modern-day “safer cars”. Accordingly, our aim is to reduce road trauma and create safer roads by working closely with our road safety partners and the community to embed the Safe Systems approach; Safer roads, Safer speeds, Safer road users and Safer vehicles.
In 2013, Victoria achieved a record low Lives Lost of 243. This is in direct contrast to 1970 when 1061 lives were lost. The introduction of the mandatory wearing of seat belts, random alcohol / drug testing, fixed / mobile safety cameras and reduced speed limits in built up areas, central Melbourne, shopping strips and school zones combined with improved road infrastructure and vehicle safety have contributed to road trauma reductions.
In 2012, Victoria Police piloted and subsequently implemented the Speed Tolerance Enforcement Program (STEP). STEP aims to shift community attitudes and beliefs around speeding; to have the community see the posted speed limit as essentially the limit, thereby enhancing compliance and removing the concept of de-facto speed limits. During the initial pilot, low level speed enforcement increased by 144% and overall speed enforcement by 27%, equating to an additional 4442 motorists being penalised for speeding (Victoria Police 2016).