Mornington Peninsula Shire’s two-year trial of 80 kilometre per hour speed limits on 38 Shire-managed, high risk sealed rural roads has now commenced.
Many of these roads, which until now have been 100km/h and 90km/h, have a significant crash history and high crash risk, including: narrow lanes, large trees close to the road, table drains, and poor sight lines.
The trial is only for Shire-managed high risk sealed rural roads and does not affect any Peninsula arterial roads, such as: Peninsula Link, Moorooduc Highway and Westernport Highway.
The installation of new speed signs, including electronic message boards notifying drivers of the change, is now operating across the 38 roads.
This trial is a great step towards making our roads safer, especially as we tragically are Victoria’s worst municipality for road trauma so far in 2019. This trial is timely as we head into our busy summer period.
Over the past five years, there have been 165 casualty crashes on our local rural sealed roads.
This year alone, we have had 14 deaths and over 100 serious injuries – seven of these deaths were on these high risk sealed rural roads. This is in comparison to last year where there were two deaths. Any death is far too many.
In recent history, there has been a high instance of single vehicle crashes on Peninsula roads. By travelling 10km/h slower, you reduce your risk of being seriously injured or killed in a crash by 20 and 30% respectively.
To obtain a similar outcome by improving road infrastructure through widening roads and installing safety barriers would require the removal of thousands of trees - devastating the natural environment where these roads are situated.
While speed is not always the cause of a crash, the speed of a vehicle at impact will always determine how severely people are hurt as a result.
Shire-managed roads on the Peninsula are typically in very good condition, however even with perfect roads, drivers will make mistakes. Research shows that reducing the speed limit will reduce the frequency and severity of crashes and ultimately contribute to saving lives.
The impact on travel times is minimal. The longest stretch of road in the proposed trial is Browns Road (12km), where the new speed limit of 80km/h adds less than a minute to a journey (according to field tests).
The majority of the roads under the proposed trial are less than a quarter of the length of Browns Road, therefore the impact on travel times along these roads will be insignificant.
Roads part of the Safer Speeds Trial
Download: List of roads part of the Safer Speeds Trial(PDF, 67KB)