UNSW recommends lower speed limits

Back in the day, residential and city streets pretty much all carried a 60km/h speed limit.

In the past 20 years or so though that limit has been reduced to a fairly standard 50km/h.

Now there’s a push on to have areas classified as having high pedestrian activity reduced even further.

A University of NSW study is recommending reductions from 50, down to 30 to 40km/h.

We’re talking areas such as a city CBD, shopping strips along roads in suburbs and country towns, as well as roads around schools and sports venues.

The researchers say the speed reduction would save lives with their preference being a 30km/h speed limit.

Why so low? Well it might seem like common sense, but it was found the slower a vehicle is traveling the less likely a collision with a pedestrian will cause fatal injuries.

The analysis found that risk of a fatality reaches 5% at an estimated impact speed of 28km/h, 10% at 36km/h, down from 50% at 57km/h.

And they say the lower speed limits bring an additional bonus – the driver of a car moving at a slower speed was found to be more likely to spot a pedestrian on the road ahead than when travelling at 50km/h.

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