Sunshine Coast Black Dog Ride 1 Dayer defend agenda rural may
Black Dog Ride 1 Dayer

Set rural speed at 70km/h, says world study

Rural roads without a median barrier should have a 70km/h speed limit, according to new report by the International Transport Forum that studied data from 10 countries including Australia.

The report found in all 10 cases that crashes, injuries and fatalities decreased when speed limits were dropped and speed camera use increased.

According to a scientific formula, it shows that every 1% increase in average speed results in a 2% increase in all injury crashes, a 3% rise in fatal and severe crashes and 4% more fatal crashes. 

It not only recommends the 70km/h rural roads speed limit, but also 30km/h in city streets with high pedestrian use and 50km/h on urban roads.

Their recommended speed limits are based on the “Safe System” principles that speed should be set “at a level that humans can survive without dramatic consequences in case of a crash”.

The report also notes that “lower driving speeds generally improve citizens’ quality of life, especially in urban areas”. They also reduce emissions, fuel consumption and noise, it says.

Reducing speed limits on rural roads to 70km/h may be understandable in some densely populated countries.

But in our sprawling nation, it would bring our transport system and our economy to a halt.

It would also sound the death knell for motorcycling.

Australian case studyMCCNSW Steve Pearce submission to Ombudsman over Oxley highway speed rural

The Australian case study is based on data from 1997 to 2003 where urban speed limits dropped from 60km/h to 50km/h (except in the Northern Territory) and speed camera use increased.

It found that the mean speed decreased by 0.5 km/h, while the total number of crashes decreased by 25.3% and the number of persons injured by 22.3%.

There were differences between states:

  • NSW mean speed reduction of 0.5-0.9km/h resulted in a 22% casualty crash reduction;
  • Victoria 2-3km/h reduction resulted in a 12% reduction;
  • Perth 0.3km/h led t a 21% drop;
  • Regional Western Australia 3km/h – 16%;
  • South Australia: 3.8km/h and 2.1km/h drop on unchanged arterials ed to a 23% crash drop; and
  • Queensland there was no relevant crash data for the 6km/h mean speed drop.

The study also found that the reductions in the proportions of vehicles exceeding 60, 70 and 80km/h speed limits were more substantial than the reduction in mean speed.

It accredits this to strong enforcement of urban speed limit reductions.

No doubt the authorities will be quoting this survey endlessly as they camp down further on speed limits and ramp up the use of speed cameras.

Victorian Assistant Commissioner Doug Fryer is also likely to cite this report in his bid to reduce speed limits on unsealed Victorian roads.

Covert camerasKiwi fixed speed camera satellite rural

The study also suggests that covert speed cameras are most effective in cash reduction, based mainly on statistics from Victoria which leads the country in speed camera revenue:

Looking at severe crashes, the covert use of mobile speed cameras in Victoria, Australia, has been shown to be very effective in reducing injury crashes and fatal outcomes (Cameron and Delaney, 2008). Recent research has also shown that only 7% of injury crashes in Melbourne are now attributable to high-level speeding, compared with 24-34% in other Australian major cities where mobile cameras are operated less effectively (Cameron, 2015).



  1. The oppression we now suffer in the name of safety as a result of living in an over-protective society is causing social problems to worsen. They are trying to stop us from getting a natural ‘high’ by doing exciting things, like having fun with our motorcycles. Instead, young people are increasingly turning to chemical ‘highs’ from illicit drugs and alcohol. These things cause much more death, incapacity and other social problems than motorcycles.

  2. If any politician in Australia advocated a 70 kph speed limit on rural roads he would be laughed out of town & voted out of office so fast his feet wouldn’t touch the ground. Maybe the speed limit should be 70 mph (112 kph).

  3. Please get me off this planet it’s just getting to silly, lets just go back to having a person walking and waving a red flag in front of the Motorcycle/car just like the late 1890’s-early 1900’s. to warn oncoming vehicles and pedestrians.
    Of Feck me.

  4. Taking as an example victoria the population has gone from 3.5 million in 1970
    to over 6 million in 2017 ..Meanwhile the road toll has dropped from 1,016 in 1970
    to 255 in 2016..Yes thats right DROPPED by around 75% and thats not taking into account
    the population has nearly DOUBLED…Now more policing and more fines based on very dodgy figures…Not the entire 255.. Only the ones in which speed was the main factor? Sounds like reverse engineering to keep the sorely needed revenue from fines flowing…its like heroin to junkies.

  5. Where’s the crash data for NT? If the limits there didn’t change, then there should be no reduction, I’m guessing there was a reduction which would mean other factors influenced the numbers rendering their point invalid.
    I hate articles like this that cherry pick data to push an agenda.

    1. I have actually researched how some of these “findings “ come into being,
      An individual or organisation with an agenda looks for publications from somewhat respected sources and looks for the ones that support their agenda and cite those prominently, if there aren’t enough to make their position look strong enough they will include reports or publications that at least don’t contradict their agenda or talk in such gobbledygook that anyone who try’s to read them will just get confused.
      The funny thing about a lot of these reports is that they are usually based off other reports each citing each other to bolster themselves up but really they are worse than a house of cards. Often out of hundreds of studies reports and research projects there are only a few where anyone actually did some genuine research.

  6. If you research how some of these statistics are calculated you will wonder how they haven’t been able to turn lead into gold yet because they seem to be able to turn bullshit into meaningful data.
    Fatal accidents can occur at speeds as low as thirty kph and even lower depending on the vehicle and the people involved. Just look at the number of children killed and injured in driveways. Lowering speed limits and increased enforcement has actually been proven to increase the number of accidents and fatalities and reduced enforcement and increased speed limits have lead to a reduction in accidents and fatalities according to numerous studies based on real data not a survey of dubious reports.

    1. The report found in all 10 cases that crashes, injuries and fatalities were completely avoided by never leaving the house. As a result, to avoid injury or death, the government is recommending everyone stay indoors, preferably curled up in the fetal position.

      1. News flash
        Hundreds of people are dying from suffocating on cotton wool
        Police are now issuing fines for non compliant swaddling materials and failure to buckle up in bed
        Getting out of bed is now the second highest cause of fatalities after Sleeping authorities are considering a ban on sleep entirely.

  7. I read a recent story that estimates if all road speed limits were reduced to 10kph, there would be a 95% reduction is road deaths. If they also implement a system where you must insert your credit card into your car before it starts and it automatically deducts speeding fines as you drive, there is the added bonus that it will lift a country’s revenue so far all politicians can afford a 100% increase in there salaries.

  8. If a Govt implemented this it would help cure the unemployment problem as well,
    1. They could employ someone on a bicycle to ride in front of the car to warn fellow motorists!!!
    2. They could advocate the use of horses as a means of transport. Cheaper to run; free fertiliser for gardens; no pollution; more employment (farriers, saddlers, equine vets, etc), return to larger alotments in urban areas to graze the horse, reduced stress on travelers as no traffic jams!!!
    Any of this sound vaguely familiar??

  9. Huh! Ok. I propose a new study, all politicians and their families form a trial group to test the effectiveness of the new laws, where they alone are subject to a 100 times the proposed fine. Lest run it for about 10 years, and see if it works.

  10. A 0.9 km/hr reduction in average speed resulted in a 22% drop in fatalities? Come’on surely the methodology used here is seriously flawed and other factors contributed to this. That claim is just not credible.

    And again it just another bunch of claims that focus solely on the severity factors in accidents, not the causal factors. We are rapidly developing a road safety strategy that says accidents, for what ever cause, are okay as long they happen under the speed limit.

    The most common type of accident (by a country mile) are nose to tail. Messages about tailgating and maintaining a safe distance? Crickets. Let alone any meaningful enforcement. Same with failing to give way, poor lane discipline and adherence to traffic lights (unless there are cameras). One only has to spend time watching dash cams videos to see why accidents happen. Speed has little to do with it in most cases only determines how bad an accident is.

    Lastly, as I have said here before, while our system treats all vehicles as equal from a speed point of view, regardless of stopping distance or weight, its easy to see that current road safety strategies use science very loosely.

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