Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 01 Hansard (Thursday, 11 February 2010) . . Page.. 294 ..
issue of speed and speeding. I provide no apology for the government’s focus on speed management as part of current and future road safety strategies. As I have said before, speed and speeding is a major road safety problem in the ACT, in Australia and around the world.
The government believes that the concept of extending 40-kilometre-per-hour speed limits to areas of high pedestrian activity has merit as a part of overall speed management measures. I am happy for the government to show leadership, notwithstanding the mixed community views, and pursue this issue further. I do acknowledge the role which the Greens party have played in advancing this issue.
Accordingly, the government’s plan of action in relation to this issue is proposed to be as follows: firstly, I have asked Roads ACT to undertake further research to develop proposed model guidelines, particularly in relation to developing pedestrian and cyclist activity criteria that can be used to identify thresholds for the introduction of a 40-kilometre-per-hour speed limit.
Secondly, I have asked Roads ACT to provide advice on undertaking a pilot project of 40-kilometre-per-hour speed limits in one, or perhaps more, shopping centres in the ACT. This pilot will provide an opportunity to analyse speed and crash data and community consultation results to identify the effectiveness and acceptance of the pilot project. Discussions will be held with the community and traders in the pilot precinct before designs are finalised and also before any works are undertaken.
Thirdly, issues relating to speed management will continue to be a focus as we develop the next ACT road safety strategy to take effect from next year. As part of this, and subject to the outcomes of the pilot project, the government will consider implementing a prioritised program of further 40-kilometre-per-hour schemes across the ACT utilising the ACT guidelines and supporting community consultation and awareness materials.
I thank the Assembly for its interest in road safety and for its motion of 24 March 2009. Ensuring the safety of all Canberrans, including pedestrians, cyclists, drivers and motorcyclists, should be a matter of extreme importance for the community as a whole. In that context, of course, it is a day of great sadness as we are informed that the ACT’s first road death for the year occurred last night with the death of a motorcyclist in Gungahlin.
Reducing speed limits in areas of high pedestrian and cyclist activity is an important road safety issue and worthy of serious consideration. However, the consultation has indicated that this issue generates a range of strong views and is by no means supported by the whole community. Nevertheless, at times, leadership is needed. In the past there have been mixed community reactions to road safety initiatives, such as compulsory seatbelts, child restraints and bicycle helmets. I believe the issue we now confront is potentially of a similar order and does require leadership of the government and of members in this place.
The government is taking a measured approach and is prepared to undertake a pilot project to explore this issue further. The government will continue to give