Speed limits to be imposed on Australia's 'unlimited' roads

SL65

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For drivers on Northern Territory roads, the days of hitting the accelerator and forgetting the speedometer are over.


Clare Martin's Labor government announced it would introduce a 110kph speed limit on all open roads, following the release of damning statistics by an expert taskforce.

The NT is the only place in Australia, and one of the few places left in the world, which has no speed limits and no demerit points, introduced in most Australian states in 1969.

But now the territory will toe the line.

Along with speed limits, the government will introduce a demerit system, heftier fines, a gradual roll-out of red light cameras and a greater police presence.

"We've taken the tough decisions needed to reduce the number of people killed," Ms Martin told reporters in Darwin, citing figures released to the public two weeks ago.

A road safety taskforce found three times as many people were killed on NT roads than elsewhere in Australia, per capita, with one person dying and nine seriously injured every week.

It also found 48 per cent of fatal crashes in NT were alcohol-related, and a study of eleven Darwin intersections during one month last year showed that 2,613 cars ran red lights in a single day.

While the government said it had adopted all 21 of the report's recommendations, there is one concession.

Four main highways - the Stuart, Arnhem, Barkly and Victoria - will have limits of 130kph.

"I believe this is sensible and workable," Ms Martin said.

"We do have long roads to travel in the territory and we must do it safely ... (but) open ended speed limits for the territory will end."

The CLP tried to introduce a 130kph speed limit and demerit points a decade ago but were forced to drop the plan because of widespread public opposition.

It was now time to "create a safer territory", Ms Martin said, as she avoided questions about a potential political fall-out.

"I can't accept a situation where one territorian dies every week on our road," she said.

"What we want in the territory is a safe culture on the road and we don't have that ... and I won't make any apologies."

Punters aren't happy.

Talkback radio was flooded with calls from irate drivers, who see unlimited speed restrictions as the hallmark of a relaxed life in the Top End.

"Bureaucrats imported from draconian southern states are trying to destroy the Northern Territory's unique lifestyle and heritage," protest group No Speed Limits says on its website.

Opposition leader Jodeen Carney said she would scrap the changes if elected.

"Broad measures like introducing a speed limit and demerit points for traffic offences fails to deal with the root causes of road fatalities in the Territory," she said.

Speed limits will be introduced in January. The demerit system will be introduced mid-way through 2007.

Source


So by the time I get my full licence, I won't be able to make a roadtrip to NT and 'open the taps' like Aussie's have always been able to up there :sad:

130km/h limit isn't bad but still....

I say those angry motorists should vote for Opposition leader, Jodeen Carney, as she will scrap the new changes!
 

SV

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I say those angry motorists should vote for Opposition leader, Jodeen Carney, as she will scrap the new changes!

x2 :tease:

Id like to see if there is a dramatic change in accidents in NT after they bring these laws in. I doubt it, but we'll see.
 

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:cry: :cry: But, but, I haven't had a chance to drive those roads yet...

Seriously though - this won't make the slightest change to their road toll, I mean I wonder how many of the fatal accidents are occuring at above 130? I'm guessing a very very small number.

I'd be very interested to know what other measures are being put in place - when alcohol is involved in almost half of fatal accidents there better be some bloody harsh punishments being brought in to curb drink-driving. But then I don't suppose measures like that generate the same sort of self-congratulatory media orgasm that chanting the 'Speed kills' mantra does... *sigh*

<bangs head against wall>
 
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watto

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Oh bugger.

Ah well, there can't be that many cops patrolling the Stuart Hwy, can there?

Do they realise how much tourism money they'll lose? So many car companys did high speed hot weather testing up there. tut tut tut.
 

andyhui01

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x3 I would like to see if the road-toll actually decreased after the limits are put in. If they are saying that road deaths are alcohol related, what has that highway from Alice Springs to Darwin got to do with it? I think a person driving up that stretch has to be pretty damn alert if he's going to do it pedal to the metal.

But yea, honestly, I'm not too worried about that, I have only been on that highway from Alice Springs to Darwin once and all I have to say is a cop won't stop anyone from speeding, you'll be able to spot them miles and miles away, the road is perfectly straight... and also, I don't know about holiday seasons but when I went there with my family about 3-4 years ago in an off-peak season (early sep), there were barely any cars there, so any undercover cop/normal cop can be easy to spot :lol:

I guess thats so much for my plan for getting a couple of friends who can rent cars to rent 2 VE Commodores when Avis starts renting them out instead of the VZ one and taking a drive up to Darwin next year :(
 

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Road Safety Statistics said:
Appendix 1: Tables - analysis of crash statistics, Table 9: Speed - fatalities and serious injuries.

In the period between 2000 and 2005, there were a total of 299 fatalities, of which 50 were speed related (17%). There were 2696 serious injuries, of which 371 were speed related (14%).

In the period, 19 fatalities occurred in unlimited areas (38% of speed-related)), whereas 31 occurred in limited areas (62% of speed related).

Of the speed related serious injuries, 113 occurred in unlimited (30%) and 258 (over double) occurred in limited (70%).

Logic concludes that the majority of speed-related accidents occur on roads where a speed limit is imposed.

Lets take this a bit further shall we. Of the 299 fatalities, only 6.3% of speed related fatalities occurred in unlimited, whereas 10.3% of speed related fatalities occurred in limited.

Of the 2696 serious injuries, only 4% of speed related serious injuries occurred in unlimited, whereas 9.5% of speed related serious injuries occurred in limited.

Oh, and serious injuries means a trip to hospital, not necessarily life threatening.
 

SL65

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In the period, 19 fatalities occurred in unlimited areas (38% of speed-related)), whereas 31 occurred in limited areas (62% of speed related).
So based on that - 7 people have been killed on unlimited roads under "speed related" circumstances. I don't quite understand how those fatalities can be labelled "speed related" if they are on unlimited roads but anyway - they are imposing state wide speed restrictions on these unlimited roads for 7-deaths....
 

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So based on that - 7 people have been killed on unlimited roads under "speed related" circumstances. I don't quite understand how those fatalities can be labelled "speed related" if they are on unlimited roads but anyway - they are imposing state wide speed restrictions on these unlimited roads for 7-deaths....

Because speed is the easiest to controll with modern tin cops.
 

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So based on that - 7 people have been killed on unlimited roads under "speed related" circumstances. I don't quite understand how those fatalities can be labelled "speed related" if they are on unlimited roads but anyway - they are imposing state wide speed restrictions on these unlimited roads for 7-deaths....

"Speed related" would mean the authorities believe the vehicle's speed was a factor in causing the accident - which of course may or may not mean a vehicle was travelling in excess of the speed limit if there is one. So you can have a speed-related accident where there is no speed limit if the speed you were doing has played a part in causing the accident.

Where these stats tend to fall down though is the distinction between speed *causing* the accident, and speed merely determining the severity of the impact - they're two very different concepts, however that's something our media, governments & police forces don't seem to be able to understand. Nor do they seem to want to tackle the *reasons* for someone travelling at a speed that has caused an accident (where that is the case) or is excessive for the conditions - oh no, far easier to just ring the highways with speed cameras, generate a bunch of revenue and beat us all with a stick... hmm yeah, that'll fix the problem...
 

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^hmm, so by looking at those stats, the number of people dieing in the unlimited area is already lower than the limited area? That is an interesting statistic which makes sense, if you have a road, ie. Stuart highway, if there are people doing the speed limit 130 and people still doing ~180kph, it would make a crash more obvious as the person who is doing the speed limit somehow always assumes that everyone is going at that speed they just drive irresponsibly. Whereas, if you let someone drive at a speed he/she thinks they are comfortable with, they will be much more alert of the surroundings as they know there will always be cars much slower or much faster than them.
 

flyingfridge

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there's so little up there, if you did fall asleep at 250 kph, which is doubtful, adrenaline tends to take care of that, but if you did, you just bounce accross a couple of sand dunes. Thats it. This is pointless beuracracy.

NTers, VOTE LIBERAL TO GET THE TOP END BACK TO THE WAY IT SHOULD BE!!
 

Mischief007

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x2 :tease:

Id like to see if there is a dramatic change in accidents in NT after they bring these laws in. I doubt it, but we'll see.

We have 100 km/h speed limits on highways. But you can do 120 km/h without getting pulled over. This is also the worst thing you can have. Having people sit in the left lane doing 110 and not moving because they are doing the "speed limit." On my 6 week commute to TO, I hit speeds of 150 to 160 km/h safely. 5 cars in front of me with good distance between each car and 5 cars behind me, also doing the same speed. Nothing wrong. If a cop saw us, he'd pull over the first person or last or a couple, and tell you you're license is gone :(. Even though it is totally safe at that point.
 

chaos386

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^hmm, so by looking at those stats, the number of people dieing in the unlimited area is already lower than the limited area? That is an interesting statistic which makes sense, if you have a road, ie. Stuart highway, if there are people doing the speed limit 130 and people still doing ~180kph, it would make a crash more obvious as the person who is doing the speed limit somehow always assumes that everyone is going at that speed they just drive irresponsibly. Whereas, if you let someone drive at a speed he/she thinks they are comfortable with, they will be much more alert of the surroundings as they know there will always be cars much slower or much faster than them.

Keep in mind that there are probably a lot more roads with speed limits than those without, so it would be natural that they have more accidents. A better number would be the number of accidents per capita.
 

WheatKing

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and a study of eleven Darwin intersections during one month last year showed that 2,613 cars ran red lights in a single day

obviously darwinians are evolving.. from collision detection to collision avoidance

with only one death and 19 injuries per week, despite 18,000 cars (per week) running red lights.. i'd say that's some pretty damn good driving!

All hail our higher evolved darwinian motorists.
 
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klutch

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Typical response by a government in an attempt to reduce deaths due to alcohol and carelessness in cities...impose a speed limit on the highways!
 

SL65

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This is also the worst thing you can have. Having people sit in the left lane doing 110 and not moving because they are doing the "speed limit."
Yeah that is really bad. They are the people who should be pulled over because they are a danger to everyone on that stretch of road. The reality is - some people drive faster than others and provisions should be made for that, like sticking to the correct lane for example.

I think Andy was telling me that in Malaysia, cops pull over people for lane hogging. NSW is starting to do that since last year...
 

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I hate people that think they are above the law and try and slow others down by staying in the fast lane. You end up with situations like rolling roadblocks where every lane is filled with some pillock doing 100 in their Kia Carnival. You give them a brief flash of the lights as a request to move over, and they take it as a personal insult, brake testing you on occasion.

The reasons why autobahns in Germany work is that everything runs like clockwork. Everyone keeps to the right UNLESS they are overtaking. Even Ferraris doing 240 still move over. It works, everyone gets where they are going on time, and everyone's blood pressure remains stable.
 

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^I actually also think that is what causes accidents most of the time, if everyone is giving a clear lane to for cars who are faster regardless of whether he is going double the speed limit or just half the speed limit, it would be a very safe highway... and yea, Magnet, lane hogging happens everywhere, as SL65 said, in Malaysia, cops have started pulling people over for lane hogging at 110kph because it is too dangerous as we have buses in Malaysia doing 110 and staying on the fast lane... And if you say you were trying to slow the guy down because he was speeding, all the cop will say is then it would be my job to slow them down, you're job is to drive on the highway safely and lawfully which obviously you were not doing.
The situation has improved slightly in Malaysia, but lane hoggers will and always exist.
 

BlaRo

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and yea, Magnet, lane hogging happens everywhere, as SL65 said, in Malaysia, cops have started pulling people over for lane hogging at 110kph because it is too dangerous as we have buses in Malaysia doing 110 and staying on the fast lane... And if you say you were trying to slow the guy down because he was speeding, all the cop will say is then it would be my job to slow them down, you're job is to drive on the highway safely and lawfully which obviously you were not doing.
The situation has improved slightly in Malaysia, but lane hoggers will and always exist.
I wish they'd do that in America, but we're too busy concentrating on our hamburgers.
 
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