LNP speed limit review nothing new

Another day, another tired old thought bubble from the LNP. 

After giving rogue towing operators the green light in Parliament on Tuesday, the opposition have now turned their attention to speed limits, with not a cent of investment to back it up.  

Their call for a review into speed limits across Queensland is nothing new – reviews happen all the time with the help of multiple government agencies.

The Department of Transport and Main Roads has conducted more than 100 speed reviews in the past year, and if those conducted by local governments were included, the figure would be expected to run into the thousands.

Acting Main Roads and Road Safety Minister Steven Miles said it was ludicrous for the LNP to be talking about increasing speed limits when they failed to spend one cent on upgrading one of South East Queensland’s busiest roads, the M1.

“By contrast, last week we announced the Pacific Motorway upgrade between Mudgeeraba and Varsity Lakes was a step closer with construction on an early works package starting,” MR Miles said. 

“This idea to increase maximum speeds to 120 or even 130 on the M1 won't help congestion because the biggest cause of congestion isn't the need to go faster, it's crashes and incidents. 

“That's why during the Commonwealth Games we will be reducing maximum speeds on the M1 because we know it will reduce incidents and therefore reduce average travel times overall.

“This bizarre thought bubble from Tim Nicholls won't improve congestion but could cost lives.” 

An independent review conducted in 2015 on 30km of the M1 south of the Logan Motorway showed a speed limit increase of 10kmp/h would increase crash risk by 20% (or some 1200 incidents per year). 

It also showed travel time savings off peak were small - less than two minutes over that distance - and for large parts of the day the average travel speed on the motorway was less than the current 110 km/h due to the high volumes of traffic. 

The report recommended the implementation of variable speed limit signs to ensure that at times of high congestion the significant increase in risk for vehicles approaching the back of slow moving traffic could be mitigated and traffic flow improved. 

It found there was not an overall economic case for increasing the speed limit when the travel time benefits were assessed against the capital upgrades required and increase in crashes and likely fatality rate. 

Mr Miles said changes to speed limits were supported when speed assessments, which considered road design, condition and usage, indicated a change would improve safety.  

“Speed has been the major contributing factor in an average of 56 fatal and 988 serious injury causing crashes each year during the past five years, state wide,” he said.

“The Palaszczuk Government is focused on people’s safety, not political point scoring.

“We are getting on with M1 upgrades after negotiating a significant $500 million funding deal with the Federal Government and will continue to keep road safety front and centre.”

 

ENDS

Media contact, Dominic Geiger 0447355565

Source: The State of Queensland (Department of the Premier and Cabinet)

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