Safer Speed Limits in Local Streets

Council is proactively addressing road safety in Toorak and Prahran by introducing Area 40 speed zones in the residential precinct bordered by Williams Road, Orrong Road, Alexandra Avenue and Dandenong Road. The areas bordered by Punt Road, Toorak Road, Williams Road and Dandenong Road already have a 40km/h speed limit.

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By introducing Area 40 speed zones Council is: consolidating speed limits; reducing driver uncertainly about speed limits; and most importantly improving safety for all road users, especially pedestrians and cyclists.

Lower speed limits increase safety for all road users, especially those most vulnerable. Vehicle speed contributes significantly to the severity of the crashes and the resulting injuries. Research has shown a pedestrian is more likely to survive if struck by a car travelling at 40 km/h or less.

What is a 40km/h Area Speed Limit?

 2016-TP-40km-area-sign.jpg An area speed limit applies to a network of roads within an area. The 40km/h speed limit applies to all local streets within the area. Area speed limit signs are placed at each entry to and exit from the area. Repeater signs are placed beyond the initial area speed limit sign.

Will lower speeds mean I will be delayed when driving?

Travel time on urban streets is influenced by a number of factors such as slowing and stopping at intersections, levels of congestion, on-street parking manoeuvres and number of pedestrians crossing the street. Any delays that drivers may experience due to a change in speed limit would be minimal. The marginal impact on travel times is by far outweighed by a significant benefit in terms of safety.

Will Council monitor the change in speed on the streets?

Compliance with road rules often requires a change in behaviour which is often gradual and takes place over many years. Given this, it anticipated that there will be gradual reductions in vehicle speed in the areas in the years to come. Nevertheless, assessments of before and after, two-way, weekday, 85th percentile speeds for a number of streets within the precinct will be used to assess the effectiveness of the Area 40 speed zone.b

The 85th percentile speed is the speed at which 85% of traffic travels at or below. This statistic is commonly used by traffic engineers and transport planners for analysis purposes and is typically considered a measure of the operating speed limit of the road.

The weekday speed data is used, as this is typically higher than full week speeds which include weekends, due to general driver behaviour. Two-way speed data has been used for each count location.

Longer term monitoring will also consider crash data to determine the effect of the Area 40 implementation on crashes.

What else is the City of Stonnington doing to improve Road Safety?

View the City of Stonnington’s Road Safety Policy(PDF, 6MB) to find out more about how Council will work with Road Safety Stakeholders to achieve its Vision Zero goals.

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