A new global review into speed and crash risk is calling for 30km/h speed limits in built-up environments where bike riders, pedestrians and motor vehicles mix.
Commissioned by the International Transport Forum for the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the research report looked at the road environments of 10 key countries, including Australia.
In examining the relationship between speed and crash risk, the 82-page report confirmed that vehicle speed has a direct and disproportionate influence on crash occurrence and severity.
Specifically, that a 10 per cent increase in average speeds leads to a 40 per cent increase in fatal crashes, a 30 per cent rise in serious crashes and a 20 per cent increase in all crashes causing injury.
In order to effectively reduce road trauma, the review emphasises the need for governments to take actions to reduce speed and also reduce the differences in speed on our roads.
This recommendation is consistent with Bicycle Network’s ongoing campaign to reduce speeds on local streets to 30km/h.
In working towards a Safe System, the report recommends that 30km/h speed limits are reasonable in built up areas where there is a high volume of people walking and riding bikes.
50km/h speed limits are appropriate in other areas with intersections and high risk of side impact.
Other recommendations include improving infrastructure to compensate if speed limits are to be increased, and using automatic speed control systems (point-to-point speed cameras) as an effective measure to reduce speed.
In 2018, Melbourne's City of Yarra will conduct their own 30km/h speed limit trail in sections of Collingwood and Fitzroy.
Show your support
You can show your support for reducing speeds on local roads to 30kmh in Victoria by completing the Liberal Nationals' Common Sense Road Rules survey.
The survey includes a direct question about support for 30kmh speed zones in inner-Melbourne.
Leader of the Opposition Matthew Guy announced the survey in an effort to give Victorian's a greater say on road rules.
“Victoria needs simpler and safer road rules based on common sense which is why we want to hear from motorists on what they think works ," said Mr Guy.
“Our roads need to be user friendly and that’s why we will listen to road users over bureaucrats."
A number of new road laws were introduced in Victoria in July 2017 as a result of VicRoads' road rules review that included a public survey. Four of the changes related to bike riders.