Mike Stevens | Aug 15, 2012

Motorists travelling through regional centres of Victoria will soon benefit from a speed limit overhaul designed to limit confusion.

Announcing the changes today, Victorian roads Minister Terry Mulder said the most significant change will be the removal of 80km/h buffer zones on the edge of rural towns and cities.

"The 80km/h buffer zones were originally intended to help drivers gradually slow down from 100 km/h to 60 km/h as they approached a built-up area," Mr Mulder said.

"VicRoads believes drivers only need to be warned that they are approaching a 60 km/h zone, allowing them to slow down at their own pace."

Mr Mulder said that some 80km/h buffer zones will be maintained in areas where driveways exist, allowing residents to safely enter and exit their homes.

A list of locations where the changes are to take effect has been released.

Areas include Heyfield, Yallourn North, Morwell, Tyers, Wunghnu, Kialla, Porepunkah, Murchison, Rutherglen, Baddaginnie, Wallan, Bendigo, Alfredton, Haven, Irymple, Maddingley, Glenorchy, Winchelsea and Queenscliff.

New rules will also be introduced to guide the location of 40km/h zones across the entire state.

"Some metropolitan councils have implemented 40 km/h speed zones in certain areas, but we believe there needs to be uniform guidelines so that all municipalities have a framework to determine where and when these zones are appropriate," VicRoads' David Shelton said.

"Some areas have high levels of pedestrian activity but only at certain times of the day, for example, at school drop-off or pick-up times or at night in restaurant precincts."

Mr Shelton said the speed limits could be reduced to operate only during peak times.

A review of existing 90km/h and 70km/h zones is also planned, with the outcome likely to see most of those zones phased out.

"We will review each of the areas with 90 km/h or 70 km/h speed limits on a case-by-case basis," Mr Shelton said.

"We recognise that at some locations, 70 km/h or 90 km/h is the appropriate speed limit, and for now, many 70 km/h and 90 km/h speed limits won't change."

The changes are the result of a review by the Speed Limit Advisory Group, which includes VicRoads, Victoria Police, Monah University Accident Research Centre and insurer RACV.

The review welcomed input from members of the community, and around 600 submissions were received.


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