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Community acceptance of lower speed limits.

Daly, P

Speed - Travel Speeds

ACRS conference 2011

In 2009 RACV commissioned exploratory work under the auspices of the RACV Road Safety Research Fund, to better understand attitudes towards speeding and approaches to setting speed limits. This work was expanded in 2010/2011 through quantitative market research. This paper presents the results of this quantitative market research and explains the relevance of the results in the context of factual research related to speed and its impact on safety. The results show that there is incomplete community understanding about what constitutes ‘speeding’. Victorians mostly define speeding as exceeding the speed limit by more than 10 per cent, particularly for protracted periods of time. Most Victorians claim to speed, if only at low levels occasionally. Most admit to speeding unintentionally, although a sizeable proportion of motorists also admit to intentional speeding behaviours. When drivers perceive that safety demands a lower speed, they will slow down (for example in bad weather or high pedestrian activity). While there is a high level of support for the current speed limits, there is resistance to further reductions. Victorians are more receptive to targeted zones with reduced speed limits rather than broader general reductions.