Speed limits in busy suburban centres such as Dickson and Erindale could be reduced to 40 kilometres an hour, following the successful trial of the lower speed limit in town centres.
The ACT government is considering expanding the 40 km/h speed limit precincts after an evaluation showed 72 per cent of people felt pedestrians and cyclists were safer since the introduction of the limits in the Belconnen, City and Tuggeranong town centres.
“The evaluation [also] included comparing ‘before and after’ traffic speeds, traffic volume and crash data as well as gathering feedback from local traders, road users and other interested members of the public,” Minister for Territory and Municipal Services Shane Rattenbury said.
The reduced speed limits were introduced in the Belconnen, City and Tuggeranong town centres in June last year following successful initial trials in the Gungahlin and Woden Town Centres.
TAMS is now looking to evaluate other areas that could benefit from 40 km/h speed limits, and will look at data from precincts classed as “group centres” to guide their decision of where to implement them.
“We’ve got some criteria around 40k zones and basically it’s areas that have got retail frontage and high levels of pedestrian activity and/or cyclist activity, because they’re the groups that really benefit from having the lower speed limits,” Mr Rattenbury said.
“Places like Dickson or Erindale or Weston Creek – Cooleman Court there – Mawson … it’s not the local shops.
“[We’ll look at] what the streets are, what the speed limits are, … the database of incidents, crashes and things like that, and also areas where there’s been informal reports of issues arising.”
Mr Rattenbury said the implementation of safer speed limits in areas with high pedestrian and cyclist activity was in line with national and ACT road safety strategies and “critical to improving road safety for vulnerable road users”.
“Research indicates that a 40 km/h speed area can significantly reduce the risk of death for pedestrians and cyclists if there is a collision,” he said.
“For example, a 10 km/h decrease in speed from 50 km/h to 40 km/h can reduce the risk of death by over 50 per cent.”
Mr Rattenbury said improved safety for all road users could help draw more pedestrian activity to the area.
“They help to create safer and vibrant community areas for Canberra, and help to make it a more sustainable and active city,” he said.