ACT Government will start work on implementing new 40km/hr speed limits for 18 local shopping centres, first flagged in November, as soon as this week.
Announcing the move, Minister for Roads and Parking Mick Gentleman said all the new speed limits would be in place by April.
The 18 local shopping centres include Amaroo, Calwell, Charnwood, Chisholm, Conder, Curtin, Dickson, Erindale, Hawker, Jamison, Kaleen, Kingston, Kambah, Kippax, Manuka, Mawson, Wanniassa and Weston.
The move builds on the implementation of 40km/hr speed limits in parts of Civic, Belconnen and Tuggeranong town centres in June 2013.
Work will begin this week on changing the speed limit at Kingston, Manuka, Weston, Curtin, Kambah, Calwell, Charnwood, Kaleen and Wanniassa.
Mr Gentleman said the community had been consulted on the changes, and Roads ACT recieved 274 online responses and 12 written submissions.
"The feedback received indicated there was majority support for the selected precincts," Mr Gentleman said.
He said the measure was to protect pedestrians and cyclists.
"Research indicates that the introduction of a 40km/h speed area can significantly reduce the risk of death for vulnerable road users," Mr Gentleman said.
Police had been concerned about Canberra drivers rat-running through local back streets.
In one case last year a Chapman man, 22, was caught driving 102 km/hr in a 40km/hr school zone on College Street in Bruce.
Opposition Transport spokesman Alistair Coe said any decision to reduce speed limits needed to be based on proper risk-based research.
"Whilst the objective of making our roads safer is worthwhile, reducing speed zones can give a false sense of security as compliant drivers adhere whilst dangerous drivers may simply disregard the new speed limits," he said.
"The zones must be limited to the immediate area around shops and known pedestrian areas.
"Otherwise, poorly placed 40 zones could be deemed unreasonable and risk being disregard by many motorists."