Victorian school children and pedestrians will benefit from the rollout of more 40km/h zones across the state, as a result of new speed zone guidelines unveiled by the Victorian Coalition Government.
Prior to the release of these new speed zone guidelines, school 40 km/h speed zones could only apply where a school gate directly accessed a road. Yet there are some areas where a high number of pedestrians are crossing major roads, very close to schools, as part of a school day journey. Although such roads may have a supervised school crossing, they have not been eligible for a school speed limit as they did not adjoin a school gate. Consequently there are areas where lower speeds may be required during certain times of the day.
The good news is that under the new guidelines, such roads may now be eligable for a school 40km/h limit at certain times of the day.
This important initiative from Victoria’s Speed Limit Review, will provide lower speeds in targeted areas, to improve safety for pedestrians around schools and shopping/entertainment zones.
VicRoads has developed guidelines for identifying these higher risk locations, taking into account speed, the number of school-aged pedestrians, the number of lanes to be crossed, traffic volumes, the number of heavy vehicles, the crossing type and the sight distance.
Local councils across the state will need to make applications to VicRoads for these speed limit reductions to apply on arterial roads
Under the new guidelines, councils will also get the option of replacing static 40km/h school speed signs with time-based 40km/h zones on their own roads.
The changes also mean 40 km/h speed limits can be expanded beyond metropolitan Melbourne to regional shopping strips with high pedestrian activity.
Information about the guidelines and other actions from the 2011-12 Victorian Speed Limit Review is available on the VicRoads website at http://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/Home/SafetyAndRules/SafetyIssues/Speed+Limit+Review/