TO SAY that Victorian speed signage has becoming confusing in recent years is an understatement.
The introduction of school zones and multiple 60km/h, 70km/h and 80km/h zones on the outskirts of regional and rural towns hasn’t had a productive impact on driver behaviour. Many would say the only impact has been to increase fine revenue into state government coffers.
Ballarat hasn’t been immune to the problem.
Many of the routes into our city – such as Alfredton and Sebastopol – are littered with speed variances.
Yesterday, the government announced 80km/h buffer zones will be replaced with ‘60 Ahead’ signs on approaches to rural and regional towns.
The onus, under this new policy will be on drivers to more carefully determine their speed when approaching built-up areas.
The government, for its part, says the changes were not designed to increase, or decrease, fine revenue.
“We will have to wait and see ... whether or not this has an impact in terms of the number of motorists who speed but I can assure you in going down this pathway we didn’t take into consideration what impact this would have on the number of tickets that were going to be issued,” Transport minister Terry Mulder said.
Whether it also has an impact on accident rates is another matter. VicRoads statistics show that a decrease in speed by as little as 5km/h can have a significant impact on the damage or injuries caused by an accident.
Keeping the conversation about speeding high in the community’s mindset is an important step to reducing the road toll.
The Courier, along with dozens of other media companies across regional and rural Victoria is playing its part through the Talk the Toll Down campaign, designed to create awareness of road safety issues. Certainly, our readers have identified changing speed limits as a major issue – and the action the government has taken to reassess signage is a win for the community.
An awareness campaign, backed by changes in driver behaviour, is now vital to ensure the improvements in signage infrastructure result in safer roads for all.