Victoria’s police commissioner has slammed a Melbourne city council’s “ridiculous” plan to reduce the speed limit to 30km/h on several major roads.
Commissioner Shane Patton said he was “not aware of any evidence” that a drastic reduction in the speed limit on busy city streets is the solution to the growing number of deaths on the city’s roads. the state.
Yarra City Council, responsible for many of Melbourne’s busiest roads, voted on Tuesday to extend its trial of a 30km/h speed limit from Fitzroy and Collingwood to all suburban streets.
The proposal includes Johnston, Nicholson and Hoddle Streets and Victoria Parade – managed by the Department of Transport and Planning.
The decision allows the City of Yarra to begin the trial as early as February 2024, pending approval from the State Government.
Yarra City Council has voted to extend its 30km/h speed limit trial to all suburban streets, including Victoria Parade (above)
Commissioner Patton opposed lowering the speed limit, saying most serious crashes causing fatalities on Victoria’s roads occurred in regional and remote areas, not on congested city streets .
“I just think it’s ridiculous… 30 kilometers,” Patton told ABC radio on Thursday morning.
“I don’t think anyone is going to obey it…it’s ridiculous.”
“I am not aware of any evidence that lowering the speed limit by a further 10 kilometres, so that people cannot get out of third gear if they drive a manual car, can make a difference to road injuries .”
A joint submission to state parliament from the Victorian Government’s Road Safety Partnership has cited research supporting lower speed limits, particularly for pedestrian safety.
The group includes Victoria Police, the Transport Accident Commission, the Department of Justice and Community Safety, as well as the departments of Transport, Justice and Health.
Victoria Police Commissioner Shane Patton (above) called the limit “ridiculous” and stressed that most road deaths occur in regional areas and not on congested city streets.
“A pedestrian or cyclist hit at 50 km/h has a 90 percent chance of being killed on impact, compared to a 10 percent chance of being killed if hit at 30 km/h,” it says. the document.
“Successive studies have shown that 30 km/h is the maximum impact speed for a healthy adult, before death or very serious injury becomes increasingly likely.”
The submission referred to pre-Covid government data which showed, on average, each year two pedestrians were killed in collisions in 40km/h zones, six in 50km/h zones and 15 in 50km/h zones. 60 km/h.
Samantha Cockfield, head of road safety at the Transport Accident Commission, also told a public hearing in August that similar 30km/h speed zones had been adopted around the world “with very great success “.
“Speed is really the underlying problem that we face… with our vulnerable road users and that’s what we really need to start addressing,” she said.
The trial will initially exclude tram routes – including Brunswick, Gertrude and Smith streets – where traffic light and timetable changes are required.
As well as its evidence of success globally, Yarra Council’s review of road crash data over the past five years found a 51 per cent reduction in all crashes and 71 per cent in hundred of serious accidents since the introduction of the 30 km/h speed limit.
If approved by the Victorian Government, the 30km/h speed limit could be introduced by February.
The data shows there were 193 crashes on the streets of suburban Collingwood and Fitzroy.
Victoria Police will hold an emergency meeting later this week in response to a 15-year high number of deaths on Victoria’s roads, which reached 258 on Monday.
Daily Mail Australia has contacted Yarra Council for comment.