Victorian Speed Limit Review

Information Update

January 2013

IPWEA will be running workshops in February 2013 for local government to provide input to the new Speed Zoning Guidelines.  Attendance and input from traffic engineers in local municipalities is strongly encouraged to influence and shape the new guidelines.

RECENT ANNOUNCEMENT BY MINISTER

VicRoads has recently undertaken a holistic review of speed limits in Victoria.  Over 600 submissions were received from the community and stakeholders, including those from 18 local councils, RACV, MAV, the Safe Speed Interest Group, Victoria Walks, schools, lobby groups, community groups, motorcycle groups, bicycle groups, business owners and individuals.  VicRoads also consulted with key stakeholders including the Speed Limit Advisory Group, which includes IPWEA, TAC, Victoria Police, Department of Justice, MAV, ARRB and MUARC.

In August 2012, the outcomes of the Victorian Speed Limit Review were announced by the Minister for Roads, Terry Mulder MP.

The 12 key outcomes of the Review will be delivered by VicRoads, in close consultation with local municipalities and key partners, from 2012 to 2016. These outcomes will simplify speed zoning in Victoria, make speed limits easier to see and understand, improve speed limits in pedestrian areas, and help road users to understand and comply with speed limits.

VicRoads is currently updating Traffic Engineering Manual Volume 1 Chapter 7: Speed Zoning Guidelines and VLimits to reflect the outcomes of the Review.

IPWEA will be running workshops in February 2013 for local government to provide input to the new guidelines.  Attendance and input from traffic engineers in local municipalities is strongly encouraged to shape and influence the guidelines.

KEY CHANGES TO SPEED LIMITS

Speed Limit Changes at Sites Nominated by the Community and Stakeholders

The individual speed limit changes are underway, with more changes to be made this year and in 2014. VicRoads will be maintaining close contact with municipalities where speed limit changes are being made.  If you are unsure about changes in your municipality, check the interactive map (www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/SpeedReview) and speak to your VicRoads representative.

Changes to the Speed Zoning Guidelines

VicRoads is updating Traffic Engineering Manual Volume 1 Chapter 7: Speed Zoning Guidelines and VLimits to reflect the outcomes of the Review.

This will remove the 70km/h and 90km/h speed limit options from the guidelines, and update the guidelines for pedestrian activity areas to focus on when and where the risk of pedestrian crashes is high.  This includes reviewing 40km/h strip shopping centres, 40km/h local areas, 50km/h rural town centres and other areas with high pedestrian activity.

IPWEA are running workshops in February 2013 for local government to provide input to the new guidelines.  Attendance and input from traffic engineers in local municipalities is strongly encouraged to influence and shape the new guidelines.

Following the workshop and consultation with key stakeholders, draft guidelines will be developed.  The final guidelines will be completed by the end of June 2013.

Current Program – 80km/h Buffer Zones

VicRoads is replacing 80km/h ‘buffer zones’ on the approaches to rural towns with ‘60km/h Ahead’ signs.  At some locations this will mean that the 60km/h speed zone is extended, and at other locations the 80km/h ‘buffer zone’ may be extended to provide an 80km/h speed zone that meets VicRoads guidelines.  An initial program is underway to review existing 80km/h buffer zones on selected key routes, and each location will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.  VicRoads will be in close contact with all municipalities that are affected by this change.

Current Program – Sign Clutter

An initial program is underway to review ‘sign clutter’ along key routes in Victoria.  This program includes all signs, and includes close consultation with all sign owners.  VicRoads will be in contact with all municipalities involved in this program.

Upcoming Program – 70km/h and 90km/h Speed Limits

VicRoads will no longer be approving new 70km/h or 90km/h speed limits.  VicRoads will coordinate programs in the 2013-14 and 2015-16 financial years to review existing 70km/h and 90km/h speed limits on the road network, with the long term vision of gradually phasing out existing 70km/h and 90km/h speed zones.

Upcoming Program – Regulatory Speed Limit Signs and Advisory Speed Signs

In 2014-15 and 2015-16, VicRoads will undertake a program to review locations where both regulatory speed limit signs and advisory speed signs (such as those below curve warning signs) are visible to road users at the same time.  The signs will be relocated to remove the uncertainty that the two speed signs can create for road users.  The interaction between signs should always be considered, especially when speed signs are installed, replaced or relocated.

Upcoming Program – ‘End Speed Limit’ Signs

VicRoads is keen to provide clear information on the applicable speed limit to all road users.  For this reason, the ‘End 80’ and ‘End 60’ signs that are currently in place on the outskirts of rural towns will no longer be installed on sealed roads. VicRoads will undertake programs from 2013 to 2016 to replace these signs with regulatory speed limit signs.  Please note that the ‘End Speed Limit’ signs are still acceptable on unsealed roads where conditions may change at any time.

Upcoming Program – Council-Owned Collector Roads

Most collector roads across Victoria are currently configured with a 50km/h speed limit.  There are some locations where the collector road provides a major traffic carrying function, accommodates a significant traffic volume and has little or no pedestrian and cyclist activity.  In 2015-16, VicRoads will be formally inviting local councils to identify these roads with the opportunity to increase the speed limit to 60km/h if appropriate.

New Technology – Intelligent Speed Assist (ISA)

ISA devices provide in-car speed limit information to drivers, meaning that the applicable speed limit is visible to the driver on any road in Victoria at any time.  VicRoads will be developing a strategy and increasing awareness of ISA in 2013 to 2015.

Community Awareness about Speed Limits – General Information

The submissions to the Review identified considerable community confusion around speed limits.  VicRoads will coordinate awareness and education campaigns in 2014 to 2016 to improve road user understanding about speed limits.

Community Awareness about Speed Limits – Specific Locations

There are a limited number of locations on the road network where the speed limit is considerably less than road users expect.  This is particularly prevalent on the freeway network within metropolitan Melbourne where the speed limit has been reduced from 100km/h to 80km/h due to the lack of emergency shoulders, restricted sight distance and crash histories.  In line with the aims of the Review, VicRoads will be installing information plates at these locations to inform road users of why the speed limit is lower than expected.  These information plates will be limited to locations with exceptional circumstances only.

WHAT CAN COUNCIL DO?

IPWEA Workshop

The best way to directly influence the new Speed Zoning Guidelines is by participating in the IPWEA Workshop.  The workshop will focus on ideas, issues and solutions for the 40km/h pedestrian zones, and removing the 70km/h and 90km/h speed limit options.  This is a key opportunity for traffic engineers to shape the new Speed Zoning Guidelines.

Prepare for the Changes to 40km/h Pedestrian Activity Areas

It is not too early to think about residential areas, strip shopping centres and remote school crossings.  Do you have areas with high pedestrian activity that would benefit from a 40km/h speed zone?  The guidelines will be complete on 30 June 2013, at which time you can check the criteria with the details of your site and start to prepare an application to VicRoads if you have an appropriate location.

Prepare for the Changes to 70km/h and 90km/h Speed Zones

Start to think about the roads with 70km/h and 90km/h speed limits in your municipality.  How do you envision they may change in the long term?  After the Speed Zoning Guidelines are complete (30 June 2013), start to assess those roads against the new guidelines so that you are well prepared for when VicRoads contacts you as part of its program.  You could even start to submit applications for speed limit changes in the latter half of 2013.

Keep in Contact with your Local VicRoads Representative

Your regional VicRoads representative will be able to answer your questions about when and where speed limit changes are occurring, and what is planned for the coming years.

Have a Look at the Victorian Speed Limit Review Website

The details of the 12 outcomes and an interactive map of the locations where speed limits will change are available at www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/SpeedReview.

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