Busted: 5 myths about 30km/h speed limits in Australia

From Matthew McLaughlin -The Conversation

Photo Credit: Matthew McLaughlin, provided to The Conversation: Published: May 20, 2021 5.56am AEST

Introducing 30km/h limits is one of a suite of measures available to governments to bring about six compelling co-benefits to society: road safety, physical activity, air quality, liveability, equity and economic benefits.

All Australian states and territories should urgently introduce 30km/h speed limits to create streets that are safe, accessible and enjoyable for all.

Image credit: Matthew McLaughlin

Need more convincing?

Read the full article by:

  • Matthew Mclaughlin PhD Candidate, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Newcastle
  • Ben Beck Senior Research Fellow, School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University
  • Julie Brown Associate Professor, School of Medical Sciences, UNSW, and Program Head, Injury Division, George Institute for Global Health
  • Megan Sharkey Urban Studies Research Scholar, University of Westminster, and Adjunct Lecturer, UNSW Sydney

Their research is not based on heresay, but has solid facts to support their conclusions.

How to solve this?

The difficulties for Councils to introduce trial 30km/h streets or local areas are manifold, and are held back by the perpetuation of the above five myths.

In Victoria at least, a particular problem is the centralisation of decision making (power?) within the Department of Transport (DoT) such that Councils don’t have the delegated authority to change speeds on local streets.

Councils have the authority and resultant authority over most other factors affecting the use and appearance of local streets. Why not speed limits?

Our laws and regulations in Victoria, and possibly in other states too, need to urgently change to enable Councils to have more say about what happens on their local streets.

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