The setting of speed limits on our roads can be an emotive issue but there is only one objective – and that is to make our roads safer for motorists and pedestrians.
Whatever your opinion on how fast people should drive on our roads, there is one fact that is undeniable – and for this fact we quote our Road Safety Co-ordinator Megan Jolly: “Speed will determine the seriousness of the outcome of any crash.”
There are many myths and misconceptions about the speed at which we drive – here are a few for you to consider:
“Reducing speed limits is revenue gathering for the Police”
Police do not retain any of the money from infringements; the money goes to the Government. Collection of infringements comes at a much more significant cost to issue notices including police time and energy. Police would be delighted not to have
to issue any infringements, as this would show everyone was driving safely and not putting themselves or others at risk. This would see deaths and serious injuries on our roads significantly reduced.
“It’s not the speed; it’s the idiots not driving to the conditions or the rules”
While poor driving behaviour has resulted in crashes, more are a result of mistakes and even the most experienced “perfect” driver among us drops the ball sometimes. Whether late for a meeting or work, or late dropping the kids off/picking
up from school, everyday pressures can influence our driving behaviour and result in us making driving errors. These mistakes shouldn’t result in loss of life or serious injury and the speed you are driving by far has the greatest influence
on the severity of a crash, and it could be the difference between life, death or serious injury.
“If speed limits are reduced, my travel time will dramatically increase and cost me more”
Research has shown driving at a speed appropriate for the road is likely to only result in a very small increase in travel time. Other factors, such as lights, traffic, and intersections have a much greater effect on travel time.
Trips reducing the maximum speed from 100km/h to 80km/h on a 10km length of road showed travel time increases ranged from 30-48 seconds. For local trips reducing the maximum speed from 50km/h to 40km/h showed travel time increases ranged from 11-42 seconds difference.