A DAWDLING 40kph speed limit could be applied to the southern half of Vincent’s residential streets.
The council is looking at introducing a two-year trial of the speed limits, with plans to drop the streets around schools to just 30kph.
Mayor John Carey says it won’t affect major corridors like Charles and Lord Streets, and won’t be imposed unless locals are in favour.
“This is a quality of life issue for residents who live on local streets, and that is the sincere and ultimate aim,” he says. “When you reduce speeds on local streets you increase amenity, your kids feel safe and are more likely to play in the garden, you’re more likely to walk.”
He says there has been backlash from motorists who don’t want to putt along at low speed, but warns opponents not to gild the lily.
“I want to see a really sensible debate, because I’ve seen some extraordinary and hysterical responses outside Vincent, like the view that this would allow paedophiles to cruise schools,” Mr Carey says, describing that critique as “disgusting and irrational”.
He points out that South Australia already has 25kph school zones, while the ACT sets them at 30km/h.
A Monash uni study showed knocking speeds down from from 50kph to 40kph dropped the risk of dying in a crash by about 60 per cent. The report reckons travel times won’t be greatly affected, as motorists spend most of their time accelerating and decelerating, not cruising at the maximum speed.
Puttering along at lower speeds “should bring about an increase in energy efficiency with a corresponding reduction in fuel consumption and vehicle running costs, and a reduction in… greenhouse gases and noise”, the report found.
The area under consideration is bounded by Charles, Vincent, Beaufort and Walcott Streets, and Guildford Road, Stanley and Mitchell Streets.
The cost for the two-year trial is $150,000 for signs and $80,000 for new LEDs around schools, along with undetermined costs for monitoring how effective it is.
by DAVID BELL