A leading Victorian police officer has called for the speed limit to be dropped on all unsealed country roads following a string of deaths around Ballarat.
Speaking on radio station 3AW, Assistant Commissioner for Road Policing Doug Fryer said on Friday lowering the speed limit from 100km/h to 70km/h would help prevent serious crashes.
His comments come amid fierce debate in Ballarat about whether to cut the speed limit on Remembrance Drive after a spate of fatal crashes along the tree-lined avenue.
Assistant Commissioner Fryer said he was concerned about 100km/h speed limits along unsealed, gravel roads littered with potholes.
“(100km/h) is the maximum, not the recommended,” he said.
“But there are some people who still – because the limit is 100km/h – will push that.
“For me, I don’t travel anywhere close to that on an unsealed road.
“I was out on one a couple of days ago and for me, it was about 65-70km/h absolute maximum.”
This year, 102 people have died on regional Victorian roads, compared to 74 lives lost across metropolitan Melbourne.
Country driving was also dangerous as trees were often close to the roadway, Assistant Commissioner Fryer said.
“You travel these unsealed 100km/h roads, you’ve got gum trees that literally form part of the road right on the side,” he said.
But RACV’s manager of roads and traffic, Dave Jones, said a 100km/h speed limit could be suitable on some roads across western Victoria.
“I think (speed limits) should be on a case-by-case basis,” he said.