Saturday, September 28, 2013


POLICE say they are surprised at calls on a Facebook page that supports a proposal to increase the speed limit on the Hume Highway to 130km/h.
The page, described by its creators as a petition to raise the speed limit, received more than 30,000 likes in 24 hours.
Albury highway patrol officer Sgt Matt Zemaitis said those who had commented on or liked the page were lacking knowledge of the dangers of increasing the speed limit on the highway.
“Why people would like it I would think is in relation to reducing their travel time but they aren’t taking into account the safety factors,” he said.
“It would lead to worsened consequences for everyone involved.”
Sgt Zemaitis said a speed limit of 130km/h would see drivers’ reaction times fall and potentially intensify the results of an impact.
“Obviously my concerns are vehicles that travel that much quicker have greater risk of having an accident with serious injuries,” he said.
“This would increase the road toll as a result.”
The Facebook page argues “increase the speed, lower fatigue” and Sgt Zemaitis said there was no evidence to show travelling more quickly would reduce drivers’ fatigue level.
“It’s not a matter of time, it’s a matter of getting to the destination safely and being able to see those family and friends,” he said.
RoadSafe North East road safety officer Robert Allen agreed there was no research to support the premise that an increased speed limit lowered fatigue.
“Fatigue is caused by tiredness and if a person is tired then common sense would say no matter what speed they are going, it is still likely they would fall asleep at the wheel,” he said.
Mr Allen said if a speed limit of 130km/h had any positive impact on the road toll, it would be researched.
“People are supporting this campaign because social media has an impact on how people think but they’d be better supporting experts than a Facebook page,” he said.

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