Highway Speed Limits are Too Low for safety


Does Speed Kill or does Speed Damage your Wallet?

The news stories of ‘stupidity fueled crashes’  brand regular drivers that break the speed limit as deviant criminals. That’s unfair and crazy.
Motorists are being fined on safe sections of roads, often straight, sometimes without another car in sight.

It’s all wrong.

If you hear on the news that someone was booked in the 100kph zone for doing 120kph, do you think they were crazy and should be locked up? Years ago when the open highway was not speed restricted, 120kph often felt like a safe cruising speed. With modern cars and highways it feels even safer but our speed is locked into a nice round number. 100kph.

There are statistics around the world to show that RAISING the speed limit has increased driver concentration and REDUCED the accident rate.

“After multi-year studies, Utah has raised a number of its highway speed limits to 80 miles an hour (128.7kph). They cited the same reasons of safety as the now-famous ‘Speed Kills Your Pocketbook’ documentary. Linked at the end.

“4 State Legislatures Voted to Increase Speed Limits This Year” click here to read more.

I’m not saying we should go as fast as we want,

or drive at speeds that endanger other road users,

just that we should have realistic speed limits on open highways.

The British Columbia Ministry of Transportation Posted Speed Limits and  Speed limit Setting Practices Spring 2003 suggests-

The normally careful and competent actions of a reasonable person should be considered legal.

A speed limit should be set so that the majority of motorists observe it voluntarily and enforcement can be directed to the minority of offenders.

A speed limit should seem too fast for a majority of users or it is not a maximum limit.

Generally the posted limit should be set near the 85th percentile speed.

The British Columbia Ministry of Transportation might seem like a strange department to quote if you don’t live in BC, but the 85th percentile method is suggested in the US Dept of Transportation PDF . Click Here. And I expect that speed limiting system is more widespread than just BC and the USA. It certainly is logical.

I’ve often pointed out that we’re locked in to a speed limit which is a round number – 100kph, that is only 62.13mph. In Europe and many US states the maximum speed limit is 70mph, which is 112.6kph.

112kph would be an improvement, but really there are many roads where you can drive at 120-130kph when it feels safe.

You don’t HAVE to drive at 120-130 -140kph.

You should always drive at a speed that feels safe. This speed is different for every person.

The British Columbia speed limit setting document is a blueprint to to set far more accurate speed limits than we have at present.

If the speed limit was 130kph 0r 140kph, you can still drive at 93kph, as many do, but it would make overtaking much safer being able to go up to 130kph legally.

Driving long distance at 120-140kph would keep drivers more aware than the ridiculously slow blanket 100kph speed limit that we have at present.

Link to ‘Speed Kills Your Pocketbook’-  this documentary has many valid points, and see the cop with a speed gun ranting about how everyone is breaking the speed limit, but he’s in an advisory speed area with a yellow sign, the speed limit signs there are white and in fact no-one he gunned was breaking the speed limit!!
Oh, ignore the inane attempts at humour in the documentary! there is a lot of good info there.

Sign the Wheels Australia Petition, click on the image

Speed damages your wallet

Australia it’s time to act! After years of traveling in the slow lane, we need a higher speed limit. Welcome to our campaign: a crusade designed to increase the limit to 130km/h on our best highways, thus leading to less fatigue-related crashes. BUT WE NEED YOUR HELP! Sign our petition HERE: http://bit.ly/Wheels330 and SHARE this post to spread the word. Make your voice count!



One Response to “Highway Speed Limits are Too Low for safety”

  1. John says:

    I totally agree, the limit of 100 is too slow for modern cars, any car built after a certain date should be able to travel faster, and older vehicles that are not safe should have individual limits placed on them to ensure safety is maintained. 130 on an open multi lane split freeway (dual carriageway as otherwise known which is what most of our freeways are these days. 100 should be the limit on two way undivided roads, with 110km being on rural A grade roads and 130 on remote roads (this IS already how it is in the NT and it works well getting between areas with nothing but 2-300kms of desert).

    Trucks should still be limited to 100, however they should be able to go 110 when overtaking and only whilst in the right hand lane, this would enable trucks to overtake quicker, so that other road users can get past, rather than truck A doing 99 and trunk B doing 100 overtaking, taking 2kms to get past. additionally, trucks should NEVER be able to use the right most lane on roads over 80km/h with 3 more more lanes, it is annoying to see 3-4 trucks side by side blocking traffic, as they want to slightly overtake for the next 5kms, wait behind the other truck until it passes the first and then overtake and be courteous to other road users!

    Finally, all city freeways/motorways should have variable speed limits sides for the entire road, with traffic management monitoring traffic, this allow for faster (100-130) than usual speeds on motorways, with the ability to slow the speed when traffic is heavy or an incident occurs, this means roads like Sydney’s M5 which has a speed limit of 80, can be increase to 110-120, and during peak hours and heavy traffic slow gradually back to 80 and then increased as the traffic thins out, this would also make people more likely to avoid peak hour if they can, as a 30min trip at 80km/h, which can be 60-80min in slow traffic, may take around 20mins at 120km/h.

    Many reasons to increase the speed limits which would make sense, but Governments are too busy rorting free travel and helicopter flights to care about updating traffic laws for safety.

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