Speed Limits on Country Roads

If elected in March 2018, a Marshall Liberal Government will reverse the reduction in speed limits on eight country roads proposed by the Weatherill Government.

The Problem

The Weatherill Government recently reduced the speed limit on eight country roads.

This was a knee-jerk response to a rise in South Australian road fatalities so far this year – a city-centric decision based on theory rather than a practical understanding of conditions on country roads.

There were no fatalities on any of the eight roads earmarked by the Government for a lower limit between 2011 and 2015 – the latest period for which accident statistics are available. Annually, there have been between one and two casualty crashes on these roads.

While some country roads have been singled out, there has been an even split in fatal accidents this year between country and metropolitan roads. Pedestrian deaths have also been higher than normal.

A range of factors need consideration in addition to speed limits.

An important one is the condition of country roads.

Under the Weatherill Government, a major backlog has built up in country road maintenance.

Other factors in assessing accident statistics include:

  • Wearing a seatbelt
  • Condition of the vehicle and safety features
  • Any drug or alcohol use by the driver
  • Driver fatigue or inattention
  • Hitting moving objects such as kangaroos

The State Liberals' Plan

If elected in March 2018, a Marshall Liberal Government will reverse the reduction in speed limits on eight country roads proposed by the Weatherill Government.

Instead, speed limits on country roads will be reviewed on a systematic basis.

This will include an identification of roads that require maintenance or upgrade rather than a reduction in the speed limit, to reduce the risk of accidents.

The review will be undertaken in a co-ordinated manner between the police and other government agencies with responsibility for our roads and their safety.