Re: Speed Limited
A very interesting article Johhny here's an excerpt of one taken from wheels ( www.wheelsmag.com.au ) a local magazine.
Removing the open road speed limit on remote highways in the Northern Territory has led to a disastrous increase in road deaths and a sharp upward trend in the toll.
In 2007, the first year of the reduction of the open road limit to 130km/h, the NT road toll increased from 42 (in 2006) to 58, up an alarming 38 percent.
Last year, the bad news continued with the death toll on NT roads increasing again, from 58 (in 2007) to 75, a hike of 29.3 percent.
The 2008 NT road toll of 75 is the worst since 1987.
During the first two-year period of the 130km/h limit, there was an increase of 33 road deaths - or more than 78 percent - says the National Motorists Association of Australia (NMAA).
Up until the 130km/h speed limit was introduced in the Territory on January 1, 2007, against great opposition from road safety experts, the NT road toll was trending downwards.
The open road limit was dumped by a cynical and soft NT Labor Government following a concerted campaign by the usual limelight junkies from down south, and an investigation by a road safety taskforce.
The open road limit was sensible in the NT with its long, straight roads and real prospects of driver boredom and fatigue. Territorians typically travel more kilometres annually than their southern counterparts.
The taskforce had found that 48 percent of deaths were alcohol related. The government acknowledged that drink driving, running red lights and seatbelt offences were the major safety concerns in the NT, and then it went about ignoring its own advice and applying the highway speed limits - 110 on all but the four main highways, which have a 130 km/h limit.
The carnage on the NT roads over the past two calendar years contrasts with the rest of the nation where death trends are largely down.
A general downward trend in road deaths is understandable given the emergence of life-saving features like stability control and airbags/side curtains on modern motor vehicles.
Official figures released in its annual reports by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau show that in 2008 every state and territory except the NT recorded a decrease in road fatalities (the ACT recorded the same numbers as in 2007 - 14).
The NMAA questions how much effort NT authorities put into diagnosing the causes of deaths on the Territory's roads.
"You can't manage what you don't measure," said Gavin Goeldner, a spokesman for the NMAA.
The association is urging the NT government to urgently release detailed statistics regarding the attributed causes of the 2007 and 2008 fatalities, and to highlight black spot regions, so that this alarming trend can be understood and reversed.
The NMAA has always opposed the move to lower speed limits for fear of increased fatigue related crashes.
So there is also proof, recently of the negative impact of speed limits on certain roadways.
We, all of us ALLOW it to happen. I wonder if we made a unanimous gesture of protest by driving at half the posted speed limit (which is entirely legal) in a coordinated manner along highways would it change anything? Imagine the social upheaval if we all obeyed the law? Only on highways mind, that is where the problem lies. Imagine the congestion and the daily revenue loss!