Tony O'Kane | Aug 18, 2009

THE OPPOSITION COUNTRY LIBERAL PARTY has proposed that the 130km/h speed limit set in place by the Northern Territory's incumbent Labor party be dropped on certain highways in the Territory's road network.

The Opposition will debate a motion in the Legislative Assembly today, arguing that a removal of speed limits will actually lower the NT's road toll.

The party wants to see the 130km/h limit removed on the Stuart, Victoria and Barkly Highways by September 1, except in areas of road works or poor road quality.

In 2006, the year the 130km/h limit was introduced, 44 people died on NT roads. In 2007 57 were killed in road accidents, and in 2008 a total of 75 motorists perished.

Opposition Transport Spokesman Adam Giles says that allowing motorists to increase their speed would lower trip times, thus reducing fatigue-related fatalities.

"Labor's decision to bring back speed limits on the roads was politically motivated and hasn't been backed up by any scientific proof," Mr Giles told the ABC.

"As someone who lives in Alice Springs, I'm a fully aware of the tyranny of distance within the great Territory and I am aware of the long journey's that we face and the effects of fatigue when driving these vast distances."


However, Chief Minister Paul Henderson has accused the Country Liberal Party of being unscientific in its reasoning.

"There is no evidence in place to show the faster you drive the safer you are," Mr Henderson said.

"Reducing the road toll has been a very significant priority of Government. We've made tough decisions and, touch wood, the road toll is down."

The Northern Territory's road toll for 2009 presently stands at 17, significantly less than the 45 deaths recorded in the same period last year.

[ABC News]


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