12 Aug 2013
Road Safety Minister Michael O’Brien said an estimated more than 100 lives and at least a billion dollars in crash costs have been saved since its introduction ten years ago.
“The default urban speed limit of 50 km/h has been a resounding success both in terms of making driving safer by lowering speeds and reducing deaths and injuries on our roads,” Mr O’Brien said.
“It has brought the significance of speed to the public’s attention and actually led to lower speeds and less injuries on all roads, not just those that were changed to 50km/h.”
Mr O’Brien said the default urban speed limit of 50 km/h was introduced in South Australia on 1 March, 2003.
“The immediate effect of the default urban speed limit on all roads that were changed was an average speed reduction of 2.3 km/h,” he said.
“This was accompanied by a 24 per cent reduction in injuries and a 43 per cent reduction in fatalities on those roads.”
Mr O’Brien said the 10th Anniversary was a very important milestone and shows just how far our State has come in improving road safety.
“In the last decade the road toll in South Australia went from 154 in 2002 to 94 in 2012 - a 39 per cent reduction,” he said.
“This is actually the largest percentage reduction in the road toll than any other state or territory.
“In addition, the total number of casualties (minor injuries, serious injuries and fatalities) in South Australia fell from 10,074 in 2002 to 7,473 in 2012 (a 26 per cent reduction).
“The reduction in speed limits combined with improvements in vehicle technology and road infrastructure, public education campaigns and enhanced enforcement is saving lives and reducing serious injuries.”
The University of Adelaide’s Centre for Automotive Safety Research (CASR) compared 2002 speed limits (the year before the 50km/h introduction) with 2012 (10 years later). Its analysis found:
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- The average speeds of vehicles on Adelaide local roads that changed fell from 46.9km/h to 43.1 km/h (a 3.8 km/h reduction).
- The average speeds of vehicles on Adelaide collector roads that changed fell from 53.8 km/h to 49.1 km/h (a 4.7 km/h reduction).
- The average speeds of vehicles on Adelaide arterial roads that did not change fell from 58.4 km/h to 55.5 km/h (a 2.9 km/h reduction).
- The percentage of vehicles exceeding 55 km/h on Adelaide local roads that changed fell from 20.3 per cent to 10.6 per cent.
- The percentage of vehicles exceeding 55 km/h on Adelaide collector roads that changed fell from 43.9 per cent to 20.2 per cent.
- The percentage of vehicles exceeding 65 km/h on Adelaide arterial roads that did not change fell from 9.6 per cent to 2.8 per cent.