Speeds slashed for safety

Slow down: The new speed limit to hit eight regional South Australian roads.
Slow down: The new speed limit to hit eight regional South Australian roads.

The Goyder Highway speed limit, from Crystal Brook to Gulnare will be changed from 110 km/h to 100 km/h later this year in a pursuit to reduce casualty crashes. 

The change is being implemented under South Australia’s Road Safety Strategy 2020 which aims at reducing road tolls to zero. 

The Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure identified these roads as having bad crash histories between 2011 and 2015 and rather than taking a blanket approach to all country roads, decided to target those in particular. 

To support their decision, the Department performed a review over the past few years into rural speed limits, involving extensive consultation with local councils and stakeholders right across the state . 

“We have seen an alarming spike in road deaths in recent months, and lowering speed limits is just one of a number of strategies aimed at reducing deaths and injuries on our roads.”

“The State Government remains committed to improving rural road infrastructure and $188 million will be spent to improve and maintain regional roads in 2017/18”, the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure said. 

The move has been quickly criticised by the LGA and Federal Member for Grey, Rowan Ramsey. 

Mr Ramsey says that the action is so typical of the Weatherill Government, he believes it to be a unilateral decision taken with little or no consultation with the people who live in regional SA. 

“I have looked at the casualty figures of those affected roads since and have yet to identify any benefits.”

“However there is certainly a detrimental effect, it takes longer to get everywhere and there have been numerous people complain to me about lower speeds causing concentration to lapse”, Mr Ramsey said.

LGA President, Lorraine Rosenberg supports Mr Ramsey’s stance on the issue and believes that lowering the speed limit may be the quickest and cheapest way of addressing the issue, but it’s not the best long term outcome. 

“If these roads are no longer fit for purpose then we believe they should be upgraded to a suitable standard.”

“Other factors such as time and frequency of travel, infrastructure improvements, vehicle safety improvements and licensing changes are also significant contributing factors that have and continue to assist in the reduction of road fatalities and serious injuries”, Mayor Rosenberg said. 

The Member for Frome, Geoff Brock was contacted yet the call was diverted to the Department of Planning, Infrastructure and Transport.

Liberal candidate for Frome, Kendall Jackson has said that the Member for Frome must explain if he supports this decision to slash speed limits and why there is not more funding for improving our roads. 

No date has been given, yet new signs will be installed by the end of the year.