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Road designer explains speed limits

Epidemic of reduced speed limits in 2016 fuel economy designer

A former road designer says “safety has nothing to do” with reducing the speed limits and police and governments can change them with no good reason.

The government official cannot be named for job security reasons, but he gave us an example of a recent speed reduction.

“The latest one I’ve done went from 100 to 60. That was then moved back to 80 after a senior Main Roads official was caught speeding in that zone (true story),” he says.  

Reduced limits epidemic

The former road designer’s comments come after a recent article which highlighted some major speed changes. Read the article here.

Over the past few years we have seen speed limits reduced on popular motorcycle roads. They include Mt Glorious Rd, The Great Ocean Rd, The Putty Rd, Bells Line Of Road and The Great Northern Rd.

Riders on Mt Glorious road works designer
Mt Glorious

The most recent changes are in South Australian where they plan to slash eight major highway speeds by 10km/h.

Meanwhile, VicPol wants speed limits reduced on unsealed roads.

Roads and Maritime Services review is also expected soon of the Oxley Highway where speeds could be slashed up to 40km/h.

Oxley Highway speed cameras- Oxley Highway may set safety benchmark
Oxley Highway

Road designer explains

The road designer says roads have to meet certain criteria to handle various speeds.

“We have to meet certain design rules such as sufficient parking room on the sides of roads, falling under max bend radius for the corner itself, and conforming to maximum changes in elevation for that particular road,” he says.

“For instance, quality assurance requirements for a 100km/h road has things in it such as placing a 3m rule over any longitudinal direction of travel and the gap between the ruler and road not exceeding a certain amount.  

“That said, when we tested a bunch of 100km/h roads built previously this measurement didn’t hold up.

“Yes there are rules that need to be met in order to class a road for 100km/h. However local council and or the police can change it for no given reason.”

  1. I’m sure its a lot easier for the police to make a profit when the speed limit is reduced from 100kph to 60kph! Its disgusting that the road professionals who govern speed limits can be over-ridden by police and government! But I’m not surprised.

    Same goes with double white lines. Every road that is resurfaced lately seems to be completed with double white lines even if there are long straights where overtaking is safe and there should be broken lines. Does council have a surplus of white paint they can’t get rid off? I’m sure I know the reason why!

  2. More lame reporting and cop bashing.

    The police do not set the speed limits. The police do not ‘profit’ from speeding fines, in Qld at least the fines are paid to Transport and Main Roads. I believe it is either TMR or the local council that set speed limits, depending on the particular road.

    1. I don’t see “lame reporting”. Senior police at VPol are on record as lobbying for lower speed limits. That is a fact. What these senior officers need to understand is that police are there to enforce the law, not to try and change it.

  3. It seems to me that all state roads departments are infected with the same myopic group-think. Instead of getting people to where they want to go as quickly and efficiently as possible, they insist on “managing” traffic to conform to THEIR targets, zones, and regulations. And what is the end result? – tired, frustrated and irritated commuters, and an economy here in Sydney that is losing billions and grinding to a halt. I’d sack the lot of these chiselers and wasters and replace them with one streamlined national body that would take a sensible approach to speed limits and all other aspects of road travel. As it stands, these morons are choking us to death!

  4. The first dot point is that belief We the Public have to be governed at ALL times as we cannot be let to make our own judgements or their perceived chaos and anarchy will erupt.
    To believe otherwise, means that they the Public Service will be unemployed.

    The second dot point, is that all roads have to perform at the posted speed by all class of vehicles, meaning fully laden B Doubles at times, in the dark and in the rain.
    So there has to be balance at some point between these extremes.

    Tour Buses were banned once from driving Mt Nebo Rd and Northbrook Parkway, Mt Glorious due to Gradients and possible brake failure, but this was relaxed (plea by the Bus Operators) to encourage Tourism (and therefore more Taxes paid).
    To give Motorcyclist’s special exemptions to ignore Our Masters control measures will never happen as the same Masters have the first and final say.

  5. The NSW RMS Centre for Road Safety is a body that is only interested in trying to make sure it survives as a ‘body’; one that continues to have the power to control decisions about NSW roads so the Minister can fall back on an independent ‘authority’ when things go wrong and they need to say they’ve done something.

    I know the team quite well and know for certain they have zero real expertise in actually making any decisions related to their remit, nor do they have any experience or expertise to draw from when it comes to understanding the changes being proposed, or what difference those decisions will actually make if they are implemented. They certainly have no capability to objectively link the cause and effect of anything related to road safety matters.

    They also have zero comprehension when it comes to knowing how to really contribute to making our roads safer. Things like: licencing and training effectiveness, road improvements, or recognising the new vehicle safety systems available and how they contribute to safety or reduce the likeliness of a fatal accident.

    They also love to ignore the very clear evidence that fatigue, slowing speeds and distractions when driving, are making up 88% of all accident statistics. The remaining 12% is related to pure human error, mechanical failures, incorrect signage or confusion, unavoidable accidents, inattention/daydreaming/passengers, vehicle condition, road conditions/weather, and of course, there is speed. But they won’t tell anyone those things because they don’t want to waste that previous message or the effort they’ve gone to in justifying that position when it was always wrong and nothing more than 30+ years of attempting to brainwash the public that speed is bad.

  6. People, that is Governments, Police, Councils and of course ‘people’ just don’t seem to realise that there are consequences to decisions taken. I just watched the video attached to this report made by Doug Fryer from Vic Pol. He was saying – and I paraphrase here – “this road is 100kph, and I’m only doing 70kph and I don’t feel safe travelling faster. Is that what people want?” That is a perfect comment – at least the first part. He CHOSE to go slower because he was assessing risk and making a decision. It is not up to bureaucrats to tell us how to behave or drive.
    It is down to parents, driving instructors and the driver him/herself to understand the consequences of actions like driving at any speed under different conditions, with different vehicles and current roadworthiness. Often the people making bad decisions about the above things will also make poor decisions about adhering to a posted speed limit on bald tyres and bad brakes and drugs and alcohol and seat belts. A sign won’t change behaviour. Only education and proper accountability for decision making will change behaviour. Blaming others after the event for another’s poor decisions is not fair.

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