New reduced speed limits catches no motorists out

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A popular Braddon street before speed limits were introduced. Picture: Andrew Mathieson

THE introduction of urban 40km/h speed limits have failed to fine a single driver for breaking the new local road laws.

Government were swift to slow cars down entering the business precincts of Tuggeranong and Braddon, extending to the City section of traffic for five blocks on Northbourne Avenue.

Minister for Transport and City Services, Chris Steel, announced there was no grace period for motorists after a sudden press conference was called on the same day the speed limits came into effect.

“These 40km/h areas are clearly marked with signage and they will be enforced in the city, Braddon and Tuggeranong from today,” Mr Steel said on March 24, suggesting a crackdown was imminent.

Areas also targeted included city sections of Barry Drive and Cooyong Street after variable message signs were installed to warn motorists prior to limits dropping from 60km/h.

But ACT police have not issued one infringement over the past six weeks from either fixed cameras or speed vans for drivers travelling at speeds in excess of 40km/h.

Fines in the ACT can cost from $257 for exceeding the limit up to 15/h.

A police spokesperson was still keen to issue a warning that speeds will be monitored and safe driving practices enforced for the benefit of the community.

“ACT police is reminding drivers to slow down in high pedestrian zones,” the spokesperson said.

“The 40km/h zones give motorists more time to stop in an unexpected situation and make it safer for vulnerable road users.

“Speeding, even by a small amount, increases the distance travelled while the driver reacts to an obstacle as well as their braking distance.”

It has dispelled any suggestions that the lower speed limits had only been introduced to raise revenue for the ACT government.

Work on the signage installation for similar 40km/h limits in Kingston Foreshore is set to commence this month.

Town centres in both Gungahlin and Woden are also being considered for future expansion of existing 40km/h zones.

The government trialled 40km/h speeds in Gungahlin and Woden town centres in 2011.

Feedback during the initial consultation process on 40km/h speed limits around shopping centres and community facilities resulted in 88 per cent of respondents supporting the proposed precinct boundaries.

The reduced speed limits were first introduced in Belconnen and Civic back in 2013.

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