PCA Calls for Immediate 50 kmh Default Speed Limit

Sunday 26 May 2002
PCA Calls on NSW Government to Immediately Proclaim 50 kmh Default Urban Speed Limit (DUSL)

The Chairman of the PCA, Mr Harold Scruby, called on the NSW Government to immediately proclaim a 50 kmh Default Urban Speed Limit (DUSL) in NSW.

Mr Scruby said: “Evidence provided by a guest speaker, Dr Don Carseldine of the RTA at Friday’s “MAA Pedestrian Seminar” showed beyond any doubt that a significant reduction in loss of life and a substantial reduction in serious injuries could be achieved by proclaiming a 50 kmh Default Speed Limit.

“While NSW led Australia by being the first state in Australia to undertake a trial 50 kmh USL with 3 local Councils, the NSW Government has since relied upon Local Councils to decide if they wish to participate in the scheme. Victoria, proclaimed a state-wide 50 kmh DUSL in January 2001. The main difference is that the proclamation cost the people of Victoria nothing, while in NSW, there was a requirement to erect 50 kmh sign-posts at the access and egress of every urban street in the scheme. This costs the state millions and millions of dollars and results in general confusion, as motorists are not always clear whether they are in a munipality which has endorsed the 50 kmh speed limit or not.

“Dr Carseldine stated: ‘A recent Victorian evaluation of its 50 kmh USL has demonstrated strong safety benefits for pedestrians … Considering all crash types, there was a 13.3% reduction in crashes on 50 kmh USL roads relative to roads that remained at 60 kmh. Pedestrian crashes on 50 kmh USL roads reduced by 22.2 percent relative to roads that remained at 60 kmh. Fatal and serious injury crashes involving pedestrians at 50 kmh USL roads fell by 46.1 percent relative to roads at 60 kmh.’

Mr Scruby added: “Apart from the pain, grief and suffering, millions of dollars can be saved. The Australian Road Safety Bureau (ATSB) states that: `Around 1,800 people are killed and 22,000 seriously injured in road crashes every year.

  • Road Crashes cost Australians $15 billion every year.

  • The average cost of a fatal road crash is $1.7 million.

  • The average cost of a serious injury crash is $408,000

”The Victorian experience and these statistics demand immediate action. We are hopeful the NSW Government and then all Australian Governments will proclaim 50 kmh DUSLs,’

Mr Scruby added: “It is worthwhile noting that prior to 1960, the DSL was 30 mph, an equivalent of 48 kmh.”

Enquiries: Harold Scruby – Chairman/CEO - (02) 9968-4555 or (0418) 110-011

Click here to download MAA Seminar document (pdf format)
Related Articles:
The Sunday Telegraph 2 June 2002

Evaluation of A 50km/h Default Urban Speed Limit for Australia