The 50 kph speed limit in residential Toowoomba

Baker, Philip James (2009) The 50 kph speed limit in residential Toowoomba. [USQ Project] (Unpublished)

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Abstract

On the 1st of February 2003, the default urban speed limit was reduced from 60km/h to 50km/h for all local streets in Queensland. The 50km/h speed limit was introduced the number and severity of crashes that occur on local streets in Queensland, making them a safer environment for all users. The primary aim of the 50km/h speed limit was to reduce the amount and severity of crashes that occur on local streets, focusing heavily on pedestrian crashes. Everyone that lived in Queensland in late 2002 and early 2003 may remember the television advertising campaign for the 50km/h safety initiative, with the child running onto the road and a car stopping before hitting the child while showing a transparent car travelling through the child. This campaign was used to illustrate the braking difference between travelling at 60km/h rather than 50km/h, and a possible consequence for drivers travelling at 60km/h on local residential streets where children play. The aim of this dissertation was to evaluate the effectiveness of the 50km/h default urban speed limit in Toowoomba. This was done by analysing crash data for local streets in Toowoomba where the speed limit changed from 60km/h to 50km/h, looking at the severity level of all crashes, and crashes involving pedestrians for 5 years before and after the 50km/h speed limit was introduced. An economic analysis of the safety initiative was also performed, comparing the results against evaluations conducted in different states and territories of Australia that have also adopted a 50km/h default urban speed limit. The results of this evaluation found that for Toowoomba there was an 8% decrease in the total amount of crashes that occurred on 50km/h streets, which is close to the 9% that was achieved for the ACT. A 17% decrease in all casualty crashes in Toowoomba was similar to the 19% decrease achieved by NSW and the 13% for Victoria. A 28% decrease was achieved for all crashes involving pedestrians which was the 2nd highest decrease after 51% in WA. There were an insufficient number of fatal crashes in 50km/h zones to make a valid analysis. The economic analysis found that over the 5 years after the 50km/h speed limit was introduced in Toowoomba, there was a saving of $2.99 million dollars, and a benefit-cost ratio of 7.6. The only other economic analysis that was conducted was for the ACT emulation, which had a benefit-cost ratio of 8.2. The results of this evaluation support the implementation of the 50km/h default urban speed limit, by displaying a decrease in the amount and severity of crashes on Toowoomba’s 50km/h streets, with a BCR of 7.6 and a 3km/h reduction in 85th percentile vehicle speed.


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Item Type: USQ Project
Refereed: No
Item Status: Live Archive
Depositing User: epEditor USQ
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - Department of Agricultural, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Date Deposited: 20 Jul 2010 00:16
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2010 04:56
Uncontrolled Keywords: Toowoomba; urban speed limit; economic analysis; impact assessment
Fields of Research (FOR2008): 16 Studies in Human Society > 1605 Policy and Administration > 160514 Urban Policy
09 Engineering > 0905 Civil Engineering > 090507 Transport Engineering
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/8439

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