By Luke Voogt
The TAC has warned against raising the speed limit on the Princes Highway “lightly“ despite a recent public survey which overwhelmingly supported the measure.
TAC road safety director Samantha Cockfield said any proposal to increase speed limits must not increase the risk of death or serious injury to drivers.
“We understand why some road users favour increasing speed limits, however, as decades of research has shown us, such measures should not be taken lightly.”
State Roads Minister Luke Donnellan instructed VicRoads to undertake a review investigating a 110km/h speed limit on the Princes Freeway between Werribee and Winchelsea.
The review followed a survey in which 80 per cent of 1900 respondents voted to increase the limit.
Ms Cockfield said increasing the limit was a matter of weighing the safety risks against the benefits.
“Increasing the speed limit to 110km/h on this stretch of the Princes Freeway would save roughly five minutes, not accounting for traffic conditions.”
Ms Cockfield said comparing the Princes Freeway between Werribee and Winchelsea to rural freeways was “problematic”.
Roads like the Hume Highway, which has a 110km/h limit, normally carried less traffic and had less lanes.
“Much of the Princes Freeway between Werribee and Winchelsea operates more like a metropolitan freeway in that it has three lanes and much higher traffic volumes.”
“This adds to the complexity of lane-changing manoeuvres and creates a far more hazardous environment for motorists.
“The right speed limit for one road is not always the right speed limit for another.”
Mr Katos commissioned the survey and has been a vocal supporter of increasing the speed limit on Princes Freeway.
“What a win,” the member for South Barwon wrote on social media on Thursday.
“VicRoads to conduct a speed limit review thanks to my campaign and to your responses to my survey.”
Locals took to Mr Katos’ page to voice their thoughts, with the majority supporting the proposal.
“Every other major road in Australia is 110km/h so this one, being the newest of them, should definitely be 110km/h,” David Allwood said.
Others voiced their opposition to the proposal saying it would increase accidents and their severity.
“For the relative time saved it is not worth the increased accident risk – people can’t avoid running into each other at 100km/h,” Kim Wallace said.
“It will only be worse at 110km/h when they are still trying to text, do make up or even shave.“VicRoads’ Emma Miller-Olsen said the authority reviewed speed limits on a case by case basis and solely based on traffic volumes.
“To ensure the continued safety of motorists and to address community concerns, a speed limit review on these roads will be undertaken once all the new flexible safety barriers have been installed.“