A 50 km/h default urban speed limit for Australia?
Submission Date: 2001
The National Road Transport Commission commissioned MUARC to prepare an evaluation report assessing the national impacts (costs and benefits) of reducing urban speed limits as part of a proposal to allow national reconsideration of a 50 km/h default urban speed limit in the Australian Road Rules. This paper reviews available data from each of the separate Australian trials and proposals to reduce speed limits below the national default of 60 km/h on local urban roads. Based on these data, estimates of the national impacts of lower speed limits on urban local roads have been developed in terms of costs and benefits, road safety and community impacts of lower local speed limits. Estimates of the national impacts of extending lower speed limits to urban collector and arterial roads currently controlled by the default urban speed limit are also presented. The paper identifies and assesses options for the way in which lower speed limits are implemented, based on the range of approaches taken in the separate trials and proposals in individual jurisdictions.