The Daily Telegraph - Thursday 17 February 2005
Time to test the limits in speed zones
By SIMON BENSON
The NSW Road Users' Summit will investigate six main reforms. Here SIMON BENSON looks at speed zones
TEN of the busiest roads in Sydney and regional areas -- totalling 275km -- will be audited by the RTA to reduce the number of speed zones.
In response to growing driver frustration, the RTA will target areas it found may have an unnecessary number of varying speed limits.
Last year, The Daily Telegraph identified one journey of 13km -- from Epping to Chatswood West -- where motorists encountered 11 different speed zones.
The first roads to be audited in the lead up to a Road Users' Summit in March will be:
* Victoria Rd from Sydney to Parramatta -- 20km
* Pacific Highway from North Sydney to Hornsby -- 21km
* Kissing Point Rd from Parramatta to Ermington -- 4km
* Pennant Hills Rd from Parramatta to Hornsby -- 16km
* Pittwater/Barrenjoey Rd from North Narrabeen to Palm Beach -- 16km
* Pacific Highway from Doyalson to Swansea -- 23km
* The Entrance Rd from Gosford to The Entrance -- 20km
* New England Highway from Hexham to Rutherford -- 20km
* Illawarra Highway from Yallah to Moss Vale -- 48km
* Great Western Highway from Penrith to Lithgow -- 87km
Roads Minister Michael Costa, who has announced a major road rules review including speed camera fines, said it was an area of great frustration for motorists.
``On some major roads there can be a range of different speed zones over just a few kilometres,'' Mr Costa said.
``That's why I've asked the RTA to begin reviewing this issue ahead of the Road Users' Summit.
``They've already started looking at some of Sydney's busiest thoroughfares to examine how drivers and traffic flows are affected''.
Yesterday, the Government's moves on road rule changes were welcomed by motoring groups but there was criticism about the lack of consultation.
The fine for people travelling up to 15km/h over the limit would be reduced from $130 to $75 to address public perception that speeding fines were more about revenue-raising than road safety.
The NRMA backed a cut in fines but warned extra demerit points could hurt drivers even more during double-demerit periods.
It said it had been lobbying the Government ``for years'' about revenue raising from speeding and other road fines.
The motoring giant also backed the road safety summit.
But the Pedestrian Council of Australia criticised Mr Costa for not consulting with them.
``I don't think this is the right way to go, it's a brand new review with no consultation,'' chairman Harold Scruby said.
Mr Scruby was a key lobbyist on a panel which last year reviewed the fine structure of 1700 NSW traffic fines.
The 10 routes under review
* Victoria Road from Sydney to Parramatta - 20km
* Pacific Highway from North Sydney to Hornsby - 21km
* Kissing Point Road from Parramatta to Ermington - 4km
* Pennant Hills Road from Parramatta to Hornsby - 16km
* Pittwater/Barrenjoey Road from North Narrabeen to Palm Beach - 16km
* Pacific Highway from Doyalson to Swansea - 23km
* The Entrance Road from Gosford to The Entrance - 20km
* New England Highway from Hexham to Rutherford 20km
* Illawarra Highway from Yallah to Moss Vale - 48km
* Great Western Highway from Penrith to Lithgow - 87km
YOUR CHANCE TO ATTEND THE ROAD SUMMIT
The Daily Telegraph will take part in a special road users summit, giving three readers, including one P-plate driver, the chance to attend as delegates.
Readers are invited to make a submission to The Daily Telegraph outlining concerns and ideas on how to make our roads safer.
Make a submission today on speed zones
Email ROAD SUMMIT on: firstname.lastname@example.org
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