Home' Horizons : April-May 2010 Contents Changing
EAUFORT Street, Fitzgerald Street
nd Oxford Street are the perfect
ads for crashes: busy arteries where
edestrians dash across between
ommuters and parked cars.
It makes them ideal targets for
peed reduction and Main Roads
WA is using the streets to investigate
ethods of slowing drivers down.
Beaufort Street in Mount Lawley
as the worst record of pedestrian
ashes, with 14 people hit in five
years. While zoned 60km/h, it now
has solar-powered road signs that
drop the limit to 40km/h in peak
Fitzgerald Street in North Perth
has had road cushions installed to
force drivers to slow down through
the busiest pedestrian areas.
Oxford Street in Leederville has
had no road changes, but its speed
limit has been rezoned to 30km/h.
While the changes are still recent,
early results suggest drivers are
taking heed, and lower speeds
should have an impact on crash
numbers, according to Main Roads
WA Manager of Traffic Operations
THIS PICTURE AND INSET: Beaufort Street in
Mt Lawley. ABOVE LEFT AND BELOW: WA Police
and Service Craig Wooldridge.
Preliminary figures show drivers
along key areas of Beaufort Street
have cut their speed between
2 and 7km/h, taking average speeds
to between 45 and 55km/h. On
Fitzgerald Street, where the
physical barrier to speed has been
introduced, speeds have dropped
by 15km/h to 40km/h. No survey
has been done of Oxford Street.
Mr Wooldridge said the method
of targeted speed reductions, eithe
reducing limits in specific areas or
at specific times, could help slow
drivers down but that it isn't a
"The key part of these trials
is to work out what works. Some
treatments might be good in one
location but no good in another
location. We have to narrow down
where they are useful, where
they can be applied, and get
some standards together for local
government and for ourselves as
well," he said.
Another method of speed
reduction being used in suburban
areas involves changing the design
of roads, because it has been found
that when drivers feel a road is able
to sustain faster speeds, they drive
"On the older network some of
the roads are quite wide and quite
long and getting people back to
the 50km/h limit is difficult," Mr
"Some councils are going back
and retrofitting those roads, putting
median strips and roundabouts in to
reduce the speed, but there is a lot
of the old network out there so it
does take time."
In newer areas, this problem is
addressed at the development
"The length of newer roads is
shorter and the configuration is
different so the chance of a driver
getting the speed up as high is
lower," Mr Wooldridge said.
"We have met with developers
early on to get the speeds down
this way, rather than trying to get
the motorist to slow down. We are
trying to get the layout right so that
people naturally travel at the speed
appropriate for that location."
If you would like to have your say
on the subject of speeding you
can send an email to the RAC at
PHOTOGRAPHY: XXXXXXXX XXXXX
WESTERN Australian motorists
believe electronic roadside displays
that show the speed of motorists
as they drive and an increased
police presence are the most
effective measures to reduce the
number of lead-foot drivers on our
roads, according to an RAC survey.
Other measures identified in the
RAC's annual speeding survey were
better education, traffic calming
measures, higher penalties and
more cameras. There was very little
support for an across-the-board
reduction in speed limits.
Two-thirds of drivers admitted
to speeding in the past year, while
one in seven drivers said they often
knowingly drove more than 10km/h
over the limit.
RAC Head of Member Advocacy
Matt Brown said the survey painted
a grim picture of WA's speeding
culture, with only six per cent
saying they never break the speed
"Speed is the major contributor
to deaths and serious injuries on
the road but motorists still don't
seem to take it seriously," he said.
"One of the concerning factors
to come out of the survey is that
a high number of people in all age
groups admitted to speeding."
Nearly 80 per cent said they saw
other motorists speeding each time
they drove. Highways and freeways
were identified as the roads
motorists found it hardest to stick
to the speed limit on.
"According to the survey, people
are seeing speeding motorists on
all roads from school zones to
residential streets and highways.
This is unacceptable behaviour on
the roads and it is risking peoples'
lives," Mr Brown said.
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