Not in the fast lane for change

Wangaratta Chronicle - - News -

SAFETY re­mains a fun­da­men­tal con­sid­er­a­tion when ex­am­in­ing speed lim­its.

And ac­cord­ing to var­i­ous au­thor­i­ties, that is why a mooted 140kph speed limit for the Hume Free­way isn’t plau­si­ble - atleast for now.

Wodonga City coun­cil­lor Tim Quilty’s call for the higher speed has cer­tainly en­gaged the pub­lic, and in do­ing so, raised var­i­ous points of view about how we per­ceive travelling on one of our coun­try’s busiest free­ways.

Peo­ple have quite rightly high­lighted the ad­vance­ments in mo­tor­ing tech­nol­ogy to en­hance car safety, and the fact that higher speed lim­its work in other coun­tries.

But you can­not com­pare our dou­ble-laned Hume Free­way to multi-laned au­to­barns in Europe - they sim­ply aren’t the same.

And while many peo­ple do cruise the free­way in new, safety en­hanced ve­hi­cles, more than ca­pa­ble of 140kph, many oth­ers don’t.

While your ve­hi­cle may be ca­pa­ble of the higher speed, it is ul­ti­mately the vari­ables - be it a driver’s ca­pa­bil­i­ties, the con­di­tion of the free­way and com­po­si­tion of traf­fic, and the ad­di­tional dan­gers of stock and wildlife - that add weight to why a 140kph limit is un­lik­ley to find any trac­tion.

At a time when speed is such a sig­nif­i­cant fac­tor in road crashes, trauma and deaths, it’s hard to see the speed limit rise above 110kph.

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