Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 05 Hansard (Thursday, 7 May 2015) . . Page.. 1470 ..
The slower speed environments will improve safety for all road users. Our local neighbourhoods should provide safe and livable areas where individual and communal activities can take place and where the rights of residents and children are not compromised due to the prominence of the motor vehicle.
I and Roads ACT receive many inquiries from members of the public raising traffic concerns about speeding vehicles and safety problems in local streets and requesting something be done, such as the implementation of traffic calming measures. Local area traffic management schemes are a proven road safety treatment to address speeding, safety and amenity issues in residential areas.
They are also a very good example of providing safer road infrastructure in line with the safe system approach. The objectives of such traffic management schemes are to reduce travelling speeds, improve safety at intersections, reduce traffic volumes and discourage rat running by through traffic that should travel on the arterial road network. Improving pedestrian safety is also an objective at certain locations.
To meet these objectives a range of engineering devices can be installed, depending on the road conditions and particular problems that need to be addressed. Examples include roundabouts, the provision of turning lanes or channels, pedestrian refuge islands, raised crossings, speed cushions and other devices. In terms of the current program, Roads ACT is implementing improvements in Kaleen and Wanniassa, including pedestrian refuge islands, speed cushions and improvements to existing intersections.
A new study is also nearing completion. It is examining the traffic conditions in Melba, Evatt and Spence, focusing on Copland Drive. Over the coming weeks the preferred options will be further assessed and developed. Recently implemented measures from our LATM studies are also being evaluated so that further improvements may be considered.
I take road safety, and in particular road safety around our schools, very seriously and consider every proposal to improve safety in detail. The ACT was the first amongst states and territories in Australia to introduce 40-kilometre per hour speed zones in the vicinity of primary schools. These speed zones were introduced in 1985. Since then, safety records around schools in the ACT have been positive and are considered to be some of the best in the country.
Ongoing consultation with parents, students and school administration is undertaken by Roads ACT to continuously improve safety around schools. Improvements can include school crossings, parking restrictions, pedestrian refuge islands and other traffic management measures. Such improvements are already being implemented this year at schools in Turner and north Ainslie and others are underway at schools in Deakin and Yarralumla.
Engineering treatments should also be accompanied by education efforts by the school community and safe road user behaviour by parents who pick up and drop off their children. Our goal should be to have an ACT community that shares the responsibility for road safety. Members of the community are always invited to provide feedback to the ACT government on road-related issues.