NT Opposition Proposes Scrapping Of Highway Speed Limits

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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Filed under: Safety, speed limit, speed limits, australia, Northern Territory, NT, News, stuart highway

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  • FrugalOne says,
    6 years ago
    I recently returned from there, [5500km in 8 days] i did/nt feel comfortable going over 140kmh [spun it up to 170kmh a few times for fun and to stop falling asleep] the vehicle guzzled fuel at those speeds too, and its real expensive to buy as you might guess.

    Lots of NOTHING out their, but still plenty of wildlife to hit if your not careful, to much overgrowth right next to the edge of the road too, its not well engineered/maintained enough for mine.

    Finding somewhere to stop and camp at night was a real issue, can you believe that!

    Its good that common sense has ruled the roost on this occasion.

    Mark that as one for the little man winning!


  • Morris says,
    6 years ago
    Its nice when governments look at the facts...
  • Kieran says,
    6 years ago
    The QLD Government should follow suit... everywhere I look, speed limits are being reduced in the name of "safety", which is probably having the reverse impact because it just frustrates drivers. However, it's a great source of revenue for dear Anna...
  • Keepleft says,
    6 years ago
    1 like
    QUOTE: “There is no evidence in place to show the faster you drive the safer you are,” Mr Henderson said". (NT ALP).

    Paul Henderson is, to be diplomatic, a dimwit. If this NT ALP genius thinks that under speed derestriction (//), that good people suddenly become routine,- triple-digit, top-speed demons, then he needs his head seriously examined.

    Unlike a speed-limit, speed derestriction is the *ONLY* form of speed-management, that puts the TOTAL ONUS on the road user to always drive at a safe and comfortable speed for the prevailing conditions.

    A speed-limit on the other hand, simply gives people something to drive 'at'. And drive "at it" they will, and often "come what may"!

    I call this "speed-limit conditioning"; - where people will sit at the speed limit, or very near it - routinely, often in heavy fog, torrential rain, in bushfire smoke, heavy traffic.

    Speed derestriction reduces and often eliminates this habitual forming behaviour because the driver is simply not given a km/h reference.

    Now, the panic stricken of society, who fear blood and vomit outcomes in young and inexperienced drivers, can additionally calm themselves by understanding that L, P1 and P2 license holders, DO remain "speed restricted",- WHEN on a speed derestricted length of road; by way of "license conditions", which already stipulate maximum permissible speeds.

    Heavy vehicles also remain speed-limited on a speed derestricted length of road - to 100km/h, by virtue of Australian Road Rule 25(3)(a). Its *not* that hard to understand people.

    It is sadly typical of jurisdictional Labour governments over the last 30 odd years, - to restrict free and safe movement of its peoples on the open roads to achieve god only know what end.

    Nobody likes an idiot who is obviously going too fast, but we get these very few individuals, speed limit or not, and often so in really 'dumb' environments such as built-up areas, where they bring delight to their families by impacting power poles, culverts, embankments, other traffic and persons.

    That has bugger all to do with speed derestriction, but much more to do with approach and attitude.
  • Nelson Nascimento says,
    5 years ago
    I agree with the Government on this one, but are we talking about a two lane Freeway?

    Head on collisions will be super fatal, autobahn style freeway with no speed limits would be great, but 5000km is had to build on.

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