Main Roads WA says it does not support an across the board speed limit reduction on undivided roads in rural areas, despite calls from a leading road trauma researcher.
Monash University’s Accident Research Centre’s Max Cameron said speed limits on rural roads across WA needed to be cut from 110km/h to 90km/h to help to reduce the State’s road toll.
He said existing limits were too high for roads that were often poorly maintained and unsafe.
“We need to come to grips with the idea that the traditional 110km/h limit on any rural road is just not acceptable, ” Professor Cameron said.
“When you take into account the travel time and costs of reduced speeds and the enormous road trauma benefits, it tells me a speed of 90km/h by cars on rural undivided roads is the maximum you should be doing.”
He said to achieve the speed reduction such roads should be enforced by point-to-point average speed cameras and by greater use of mobile speed cameras to create a risk of being detected speeding anywhere at any time.
But Main Roads WA said it would not support an across-the-board reduction and lowering speed limits would not necessarily solve all perceived safety problems.
Acting traffic management co-ordinator Brian Watson said experience demonstrated arbitrarily imposed speed limits which were too low were not respected and actual operating speeds remained at the same levels unless extensive and continued enforcement was undertaken.
Main Roads continues to monitor and review speed limits to ensure they remain appropriate, he said, particularly in relation to growth of roadside development and traffic density.
Mr Watson said speed zones in and around Biddle and Commonage roads were being reviewed in conjunction with the City of Busselton.
Busselton Senior Sergeant Steve Principe also did not support an across the board reduction, but acknowledged there were a few roads in the district that needed to be looked at, mostly because of the narrow nature of the thoroughfares.
He singled out Ludlow-Hither green Road as being particular hazardous.
Dunsborough acting Sergeant Rod Macalister said the onus was on the driver to judge the condition of the road and their driving capabilities when travelling on such roads.