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Old 2009-07-17
NMA Reporter NMA Reporter is offline
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Exclamation Australia: Deaths Go Up After Speed Limits Imposed

Article: Australia: Deaths Go Up After Speed Limits Imposed

NT fatalities chartUp until 2007, rural roads in the Northern Territory, Australia had no speed limit. Claiming that speed limits were essential to saving lives, the state government imposed a 130km/h (80 MPH) limit on the Stuart, Arnhem, Victoria and Barkly highways and a 110km/h (68 MPH) speed limit on all other roads, unless otherwise marked lower. Despite the best of intentions, however, the number of road deaths actually increased 70 percent after the change -- despite worldwide drop in traffic levels (view chart).

"Our roads are safer, vehicles are safer, paramedics more skilled, drought affected roads are dry, the public have never been more aware of speed limit enforcement, penalties have never been tougher," RoadSense founder Harry Brelsford explained. "These factors should have driven the road toll lower than before. They have not, it is rising. Clearly more of the same is not only not working, it is killing people."

The Australian motorist rights group compiled the latest road fatality data provided by the Northern Territory Police. In 2006, the last year without rural highway speed limits, the road toll was 44. Last year, with speed limits on all roads, the death toll grew to 75 (view data, 400k PDF). The proliferation of speed cameras throughout the country has also increased the level of hazard faced by motorists.

In all of Australia, the death toll decreased by nearly a third between 1989 and 1996 -- without automated enforcement. In the next eight years following the introduction of speed cameras, 1997-2004, fatalities only dropped ten percent. Between 2005 and 2007, the death rate began to skyrocket.

"A major reason for the failure of the policy is the extreme focus on the dangers of above the limit travel to the exclusion of nearly all other risk factors," Brelsford said. "This implies that traveling below the speed limit is safe, leading to complacency, inattention and increased fatalities. Additionally, the current policy of hidden speed cameras has actually impaired driver awareness through adding to an increasing list of dangerous distractions."

RoadSense advocates setting speed limits at the 85th percentile speed, or the speed at which the vast majority are comfortable traveling. The group suggests that government efforts would be better directed at the 98 percent of accidents that happen while traveling at or below the posted speed limit. Source
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Old 2009-07-18
Streaker Streaker is offline
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Default A twist of the wrist

If any of you are avid bikers, you might recall that title is one of the most popular books for bike riding.

In it the writer explains that if I give you $100 to spend going through a corner, how would you do it? Brake for the corner $30, keeping the bike on line $40, changing gears for the corner $10, when to apply throttle after apex $20. You have spent your $100. Now what happens when the front wheel starts to slide or the rear spins, you don't have change to cover the costs.

Maybe you wonder where I am going with this, but I believe with the intro of the speed limits people are starting to spend their dollars watching for old smokie and their speedometers more, thereby leaving less dollars to actually drive safely in reserve.

Where the diffrence between a good driver/rider comes in is that he always has 'change' in reserve to deal with what ever happens, but a poor driver spends it all just trying to drive. If you watch Indy cars or F1, those drivers will get tank slappers at 200mph plus and still manage to catch it because they got 'change' left in reserve, where us mere 'mortals' would be spending all ours just trying to adjust to that speed.
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