New 50Kph Speed Limits in NSW
This is a very little circulated law that is coming in for NSW. You may have seen it tucked away at the back of this Sunday's paper. I only found it by accident.
50 km/h default urban limit
The speed limit for urban streets will become uniform across NSW from Saturday 1 November 2003. For more than 95 per cent of the population of NSW, there will be no change to current urban speed limits because 50 km/h already applies. For these areas, the change in the urban default simply means that if you are in a built-up area* and don’t see a sign, the speed limit is 50 km/h.
This follows favourable results from the 50 km/h trial in NSW and the widespread voluntary adoption of 50 km/h as the limit in predominantly residential streets. Reports from the trial found reductions in both speed and the number of crashes.
The reduced speed limit has strong community support and is in line with the recent adoption of a national 50 km/h default urban speed limit.
The 50 km/h speed limit will apply to all built-up areas* across NSW.
If you're travelling on a road signposted at 60 km/h or higher, the 50 km/h default limit will apply as soon as you turn off that road on to any road without a speed sign. Reduced speed limits at school zones, road works and other special areas still apply.
Speed limit signage on roads that will remain at 60 km/h have been upgraded to assist motorists and all the 50 km/h signs erected under the voluntary 50 km/h scheme will gradually be removed because the 50 km/h default urban limit law will make them unnecessary.
The 50 km/h default urban limit is part of a nationwide strategy to reduce the incidence of injury and death due to motor vehicle crashes. International and Australian research shows that even small reductions in vehicle speed can reduce both the number of deaths and the severity of injuries resulting from road crashes.
A car travelling at 50 km/h has a stopping distance 10m shorter than a car travelling at 60 km/h. In residential areas this is a significant difference - enough to save a life or avoid serious injury if a child suddenly runs onto the road or a vehicle unexpectedly reverses out of a driveway.
A 50 km/h speed limit on residential streets has been shown to have little impact on travel times in built-up areas.
1997: Local government and the RTA implemented a three-month trial of a 50 km/h urban speed limit in 26 NSW local government areas.
1998: The Minister for Roads invited all NSW local governments to implement 50 km/h speed limits throughout their local government areas with all implementation costs, including signage and advertising campaign costs, funded by the RTA.
As part of this implementation a second, extensive independant evaluation was conducted by ARRB Transport Research Limited from June 1998 to April 2000 to determine the effectiveness of this road safety initiative. NRMA Limited conducted an analysis of crash insurance claims.
2002: Almost 85 percent of NSW local governments voluntarily implemented a 50 km/h urban speed limit, and over 95 per cent of the NSW population live in an area that has already implemented a 50 km/h urban speed limit.
2003: 50 km/h default speed limit will apply on all streets in built up areas*, unless otherwise signposted, from Saturday 1 November 2003.
* Note: A 'built-up area' refers to an area where there are buildings on the land next to the road or there are street lights along the road with a spacing of 100 metres or less for a total length of at least 500 metres or if the road is shorter than 500 metres, for the whole length of the road.
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