40kph zones spread in Victoria

40 zone genericVictoria has begun extending its 40kph school zones to major roads children cross to get to school to make it safer for pedestrians.

“At present, school 40kph zones apply only where a school gate directly accesses a road,” Mr Mulder said.

“However, there are some areas where high numbers of pedestrians are crossing major roads to get to schools.

“These are the areas where lower speeds may be required during certain times of the day.”

VicRoads’ guidelines for areas with higher risks take into account the speed, number of school pedestrians, volume of traffic and number of heavy vehicles.

The zones will be installed in 50 places.

The guidelines and the 40kph zone extension are the result of the Speed Limit Review.

Melbourne City Council is considering extending the central business district 40kph zone to other inner city suburban places that have a lot of pedestrians, such as roads near schools, hospitals, sporting facilities, parks, railway stations and in residential areas.

Under the council’s road safety plan 2013-17, measures to cut the number of on-street parking spots and reduce road space for cars in favour of pedestrians and cyclists also will be considered.

Transport committee chairwoman Cr Cathy Oke said council’s the priority was to protect vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists, who were involved in 80 per cent of all crashes.

“We’re trying to find measures to reduce those collisions and the data shows you that the slower the car speeds, the greater reduction in accidents,” she said.

Bicycle Network Victoria commented in its online newsletter to members:

“The government’s latest move, while a big step forward, still places Victoria well behind the latest international best practice.

“Most leading cities are now introducing zones equivalent to 30 kph in many areas.  Research shows the best speed for efficient urban traffic flow is under 40 kph.”

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