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Is 40 the new 50? The case for a national reduction in the local road speed
EXTENDED ABSTRACT: Safe speeds are central to reducing road crashes and crash severity (Archer, Fotheringham, Symmons & Corben 2008, Johnston, Muir, & Howard 2013). In the late 90’s the NSW, Victorian and Queensland governments led the national reduction from 60 to 50km/h on local roads. This simple and inexpensive policy innovation reduced the road toll by 15% (Haworth, Ungers, Vulcan & Corben 2001). It’s time to continue this downward trend. Reducing the local road speed to 40km/h will do two things. First, it will reduce road crashes (Archer et al 2008). Second, it will transform communities by allowing more equitable and safe access to the road system (Welle, Wei, Adriazola, King, Obelheiro, & Sarmiento 2015). This paper presents an argument and conceptual strategy for changing the Australian Road Rules (ARR) to 40km/h on local roads.