100km/h limit ‘would save lives’

Headshot of Shannon Verhagen
Shannon VerhagenSouth Western Times
South West Regional Road Group chairman Peter Robinson.
Camera IconSouth West Regional Road Group chairman Peter Robinson.

The chairman of a South West road safety group has echoed RAC’s call to reduce the top speed on regional roads from 110km/h to 100km/h.

Thirteen people have tragically lost their lives on WA roads this year, 11 of whom were on regional roads and four were in the South West. South West Regional Road Group chairman Peter Robinson said a reduction in the top speed would help stop that number from climbing.

“I think it would be a fantastic move, saving families from the loss of a loved one or having to care for a loved one that has been seriously injured for the rest of their life,” he said.

“According to long-term data from Monash University’s Accident Research Centre, a reduction of 10km/h across our maximum speeds will lead to a decrease in the number of people who are killed and seriously injured on our roads.

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“That’s evidence, not opinion.”

He said changes should not just be at the top end of the speedometer, applauding the move to reduce speeds on the main streets of Boyanup, Donnybrook, Balingup and Bridgetown from 50km/h to 40km/h.

“It’s not just at 110km/h that it’s really important,” Mr Robinson said. “The human body is not designed to withstand much more shock and impact than falling from a tree. If you’re hit by a vehicle at 30km/h, you’ll likely be seriously injured, but there’s a reasonable chance you won’t die. Once you start climbing to 40km/h, 50km/h, 60km/h, there’s an exponential increase (in the chance of being killed)”.

He said it would be “big change and change is often resisted” and it was important to get the community on board with these sorts of decisions.

Mr Robinson said while it might take people’s journeys longer, it was more economical with fuel, would cause less vehicle wear and tear and ultimately, would help save lives.

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