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The Hobart City Council is proposing a further 10 roads have speed limits reduced from 60km/h to 50km/h. This follows the reduction of speed limits on a number of CBD roads in 2011.

The story below from The Mercury Newspaper provides some of the background. However, the article is not clear in the statistics provided, as the cause of the accidents on these roads is not provided. Speed may very likely not be the cause at all or not the only cause.

It would be more helpful if the statistics provided more info about speed related incidents. Plus if speed in these instances is excessive (eg. 20km/h over the limit) then it is probable that these drivers will still continue to speed when there is a lower limit.

I am sure that Hobart is not the only city in Australia that is reducing speed limits, but to some extent this reads more like revenue raising than for prevention of accidents. Some of the roads in the list are wide arterial roads.

More Hobart roads will soon have their speed limits reduced to 50km/h.

A further 10 Hobart roads will soon have their speed limits lowered after the success of stage one of the Hobart City Council’s 50km/h speed zone review.

In 2011, 14 roads across the Hobart municipality had their speed limit brought down from 60km/h to 50km/h. A Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources analysis found these reductions have resulted in a 17.6 per cent decrease in crashes. Hobart City Council Alderman Philip Cocker said the crash statistics were a great outcome for the city.

“I think what we’ve got for the first time is actual data that’s showing that there is a real purpose to slowing vehicles around the city,” he said.

“We’ve only done a few roads so far and we’ve already seen a significant decrease in crashes.”

The social cost of road crashes in Hobart is almost $18 million per year.

The 10 roads identified for stage two of three of the council’s review have had crashes that have resulted in five fatalities and 30 serious injuries over the past 10 years.

“Cutting down the speed will certainly make it safer for cyclists and pedestrians,” Ald Cocker said.

“There are some cities that are looking at 40km/h as there is evidence of a graduated scale of survival for pedestrians who get hit depending on the speed at which they’re hit.”

Ald Cocker said the council did not yet have a date for when the new speed limits would come into place as the decision must first be approved by DIER who will put the plan into action.

“One of the things that was very strongly felt by council was that there be consistency,” he said.

“We want to get rid of the chop-change speed limits across the city – the sooner it’s the one speed limit across the city, the better, so people don’t
get caught going from one to another to another.”

10 ROADS GOING FROM 60 KM/H TO 50 KM/H:

  • Argyle St (Burnett St-New Town Rd)
  • Augusta Rd (Elizabeth St-Lenah Valley shopping zone)
  • Augusta Rd (Lenah Valley shopping zone-Creek Rd)
  • Churchill Ave (Primrose Place-Sandy Bay Rd)
  • Creek Rd (Augusta Rd-New Town Rd)
  • Davey St (Southern Outlet-Congress St)
  • Elizabeth St-New Town Rd (Federal St-municipal boundary)
  • Giblin St-Forster St (Augusta Rd-New Town Rd)
  • Lenah Valley Rd (Creek Rd-Girrabong Rd)
  • Risdon Rd (New Town Rd-Brooker Highway)