The ACT Government has introduced 40 kilometre per hour (km/h) speed limits in Belconnen, Civic and Tuggeranong town centre precincts to improve safety for pedestrians, cyclists and other road users. The speed limit in these areas were implemented on 11 June 2013, and operate on a full time basis (24 hours a day, seven days a week). Evaluation of the 40 km/h areas commenced six months after implementation.
Feedback provided through the consultation process resulted in the majority of respondents (88%) supporting the proposed precinct boundaries.
Comments received during the consultation process also indicated that most respondents recognised the need to improve safety for vulnerable road users.
Implementing safer speed limits in areas with high pedestrian and cyclist activity is a proven road safety measure, as identified in the National Road Safety Strategy and the ACT Road Safety Strategy and Action Plan.
In 2010, the ACT Government investigated the potential of 40 km/h areas around shopping centres and community facilities in the ACT to improve levels of safety, especially for cyclists and pedestrians. The investigation showed that the introduction of 40 km/h areas have significant road safety benefits.
Suitable locations for the introduction of 40 km/h areas were identified at centres where there is:
The ACT Government trialled 40km/h areas in Gungahlin and Woden town centres in 2011. Following a review of the trial, which included consultation with the local community and traders as well as the collection of speed and traffic volume data, the ACT Government decided to implement the reduced speed limit in the Woden and Gungahlin town centres on a permanent basis and introduce 40km/h precincts to Belconnen, Civic and Tuggeranong.
Research shows that the introduction of a 40km/h area significantly reduces the risk of death for vulnerable road users. A 10km/h decrease in speed can reduce the risk of death from approximately 80% (50km/h) to 30% (40km/h). That is a 50% reduction in the risk of death for pedestrians and cyclists.
Risk of death to a pedestrian or cyclist as a function of impact speed
Source: Anderson R, McLean A, Farmer M, Lee B, & Brooks C. (1997).
To determine the boundaries for the 40km/h areas the following activities were undertaken in Belconnen, Civic and Tuggeranong town centres:
Analysis of this information determined which parts of the town centres were selected for the 40km/h speed limits. The boundaries of each precinct are shown below:
The speed limit operates on a full time basis (24 hours a day, 7 days a week), ensuring increased road safety benefits for all road users.
The areas have signage and several temporary traffic calming treatments. These create a self-enforcing 40 km/h area. The 40 km/h area will not significantly affect travel times or local businesses.
Example of traffic calming treatments
Example of signage