30km speed limit
RACV school speed proposal not low enough

Bicycle Network supports the RACV’s call for lower speed limits outside every school in Victoria, but would like to see it go further with speeds reduced to 30km/h.

RACV has called for roads outside every single school in Victoria to have speed limits reduced to 40km/h at the start and end of school days to reduce risks to children.

While roads outside most schools in Victoria have speed limits of 40km/h at the start and end of the school day, there are 148 schools where the speed limit is reduced to only 60km/h at peak times.

However, to truly reduce the risks to children and severity of potential crashes, Bicycle Network would like all school zones to have 30km/h speed limits.

The probability of someone being killed if hit by a car travelling at 60km/h is more than 70%. This is reduced to about 15% at 40km/h, however if a collision occurs at 30km/h, the probability of death is less than 5%.

“To truly reduce risks to children riding and walking to school we need to drop speed limits to 30km,” said Bicycle Network CEO Craig Richards.

As well as reducing the severity of impact if a crash does occur, lower speed limits can stop crashes from happening all together. 30km/h speed limits also greatly reduce the time it takes for a car to stop if the driver needs to brake suddenly.

“30km/h speeds zones outside Victorian schools will not only improve safety for children, but also create a nicer environment that encourages active transport.”

“The OECD International Transport Forum recommends speed limits of 30km/h in areas with lots of people riding and walking. We shouldn’t settle for a sub-standard speed limit outside schools,” added Mr Richards.

30km/h speed limits in areas where people should be encouraged to ride and walk is a long-term campaign of Bicycle Network.

Lower speed limits can create backlash which stops elected officials from doing the right thing ans instead doing the popular thing.

However, in 2018 City of Yarra in inner-Melbourne introduced a trial of 30km/h speed limits within the block bound by Alexandra Parade, Hoddle Street, Johnston Street and Nicholson Street.

The Thanks for 30 campaign aims to make Yarra streets more liveable and was proposed after research showed that lower speed limits not only increase safety, but also have minimal impact on car travel times.

30km/h school speed zones – how it would work

  • Speed limits outside schools on quiet or residential roads or retail strips permanently reduced to 30km/h
  • Speed limits outside schools on major roads reduced to 30km/h from 8:00am to 9:30am and 2:30pm to 4:00pm on school days. 30km/h zones should be active at least 500 metres before and after the school gates.
  • On roads where the speed limit is usually above 50km/h speed reductions would be staggered to give drivers time to slow down safely.
  • Variable electronic signs that show road users the current speed limit should only be used, rather than time-based signs that rely on drivers to asses the current time of day.
  • Changes matched with an education campaign about the benefits of 30km/h speed limits.

Read more about RACV’s call for 40km/h school speed zones

Read more about the International Transport Forum’s recommendations

See Bicycle Network’s Low Speed Locals campaign

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