Safety action: speed limits lowered in 2 high-accident areas

Map highlighting an area along David Low Way through Coolum where the speed limit was lowered to 40 km/h
Speed limits were lowered along David Low Way in Coolum

Overview of action

Action 3.5, Queensland Cycling Action Plan 2017–2019
Status: complete

Investigate reducing speed limits on state-controlled roads in areas of high pedestrian and cycling activity to increase safety for these vulnerable road users.

Action

Understanding the impact of reducing speed limits in areas of high pedestrian and cycling activity is important for improving the safety of vulnerable road users.

In 2 demonstration areas on state-controlled roads, the Department of Transport and Main Roads lowered the speed limit to 40km per hour. These are areas with high rates of accidents involving people riding bicycles and walking.  David Low Way in Coolum and Cairns CBD were chosen as good demonstration sites.

In selecting the locations, extensive consultation was undertaken with local road authorities, communities and businesses. We also undertook research and assessment of the areas, including extensive analysis of crash data.

Community engagement helped gain public support by making sure the local community was well informed of the new speed limit, as well as the reasons behind it.

The 2 demonstration sites show that low-cost infrastructure upgrades and effective community engagement can change driver behaviour and attitude towards speeding.

With the process of lowering speed limits now simplified, lowering speed limits in areas of high walking and bicycle riding has never been easier. A communication toolkit is also available to help other road authorities make decisions about lowering speed limits.

Next steps

We will be identifying additional locations with high pedestrian and bicycle traffic that would benefit from lower speed limits. Consultation with the relevant road authority to obtain agreement to lower the speed limit in those areas will be undertaken, as well as engagement with communities in those locations.

Lead agency

Department of Transport and Main Roads