Page 1469 - Week 05 - Thursday, 7 May 2015

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The major component of the $1 million program this year is an upgrade to the intersection of Captain Cook Crescent and Jerrabomberra Avenue in Narrabundah, which will receive new traffic lights. Engineering measures will also be implemented at the John Cleland Crescent and Coulter Drive intersection in Florey, on the Tuggeranong Parkway between Cotter Road and Forest Drive, and at the Tharwa Drive and Duggan Street intersection in Calwell.

While the black spot program is a very useful mechanism for addressing safety and crashes in specific locations, Roads ACT also proactively examines the potential risk of crashes occurring on the road network and undertakes road safety audits to identify possible improvements to road features.

For example, a road safety audit is currently underway on Canberra Avenue. Work has already recently started on a series of road safety improvements on Yamba Drive in Mawson, O’Malley, Farrer and Isaacs, costing around $315,000. These improvements will ensure that road users can use the roads as safely and efficiently as possible. They include improvements to line marking, barriers and reflectors and maintenance works to the kerb along Yamba Drive.

Achieving safe speeds is also an essential component of the safe system approach. Speeding is still a common factor leading to road crashes and road deaths in the ACT. Yet we still have a general community perception that it is okay to speed. I am keen to simplify, clarify and, where necessary, reduce the speed limits on our roads and encourage motorists to obey them. If motorists do want to speed, there is plenty of opportunity through organised clubs.

The ACT has the benefit of an established and well-designed road system. The overall ACT road hierarchy is determined by the function of the road. In line with this hierarchy, the speed limit on access streets and minor collector roads is 50 kilometres per hour, with major collector roads signposted at 60 kilometres per hour, and arterial roads signposted at 60 kilometres per hour or more. Roads ACT has existing processes for the ongoing review of ACT speed limits and associated signage to ensure that the limits adequately reflect the function and surrounding environment of the road.

Slower speeds provide a safer environment for all road users, in particular our most vulnerable users such as pedestrians, cyclists and schoolchildren. Research indicates that a 10-kilometre per hour decrease in travelling speeds can reduce the risk of death for vulnerable road users by over 50 per cent. The 40-kilometre per hour speed limit was reserved for use in school zones and at work sites. This limit is also now used at town centre and group centre precincts to respond to this research.

The new 40-kilometre per hour speed zones have already been successfully implemented at Canberra’s five town centres. Coinciding with National Road Safety Week, this reduced speed limit is also now in force in our 18 group centre shopping precincts. This is particularly important in town and group centres where there are shared use spaces with increased activity by road users and more complex traffic environments, which can include pedestrian crossings, intersections and on-street parking.

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