Sunday, July 21, 2024

Wheels in motion for lower beach speed limits

The wheels are in motion for speed limits on beaches across South Australia to be lowered to improve safety, following extensive public consultation earlier this year, the SA Government announced today.

A reduction to the default speed limit, which is currently 100km/h where there is no signed speed limit, received overwhelming support from respondents to a yourSAy survey launched in February.

Based on thousands of respondents, South Australians’ preference, on average, was for a default speed limit of 40km/h and 25 km/h when passing or within 100 metres of a pedestrian, according to Minister Joe Szakacs.

“We committed to review speed limits on beaches to ensure a safe community environment for all beach users as part of the Road Safety Action Plan earlier this year and that’s exactly what we have done,” said the Minister.

He said 80% of all respondents to the yourSAy survey provided clear support for a reduction in the default speed limit, with the most preferred option being a reduction to 40km/h and 25km/h when within 100 metres of a pedestrian.

“South Australia is very fortunate to have world class drive-on beaches, but it is clear the current road laws which make this possible are out of date,” said Mr Szakacs.

“We know that in the period 2017-2021, there were 29 reported crashes on beaches resulting in the loss of one life, 15 serious injuries and 13 minor injuries. Speed was reported as a contributing factor to 50 per cent of these crashes.

“All the feedback from the engagement process will be considered and a decision informed by the end of this year.”

The findings have also been supported by key stakeholders including National Parks and Wildlife and South Australian Coastal Councils Alliance.

Additional options presented as part of the yourSAy survey included:
– A default beach speed limit of 40km/h
– A default beach speed limit of 25km/h
– No change to the default speed limits.

Currently, beaches in South Australia are considered ‘road related areas’ under the Road Traffic Act 1961 and the Australian Road Rules.

Beaches where there has already been a reduction or a speed limit of 40km/h or less will remain regardless of the direction taken.

The Department for Infrastructure and Transport recently approved a speed limit of 10 km/h for Moana, Aldinga and Sellicks beaches and a 40km/h speed limit for Goolwa Beach, in the interest of safety.

All feedback from the engagement process is being considered to inform a final decision on a new default beach speed limit by the end of 2023.

The Speed Limits on South Australians Beaches Community Engagement Outcomes Report can be viewed here.

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