Source: The Mercury, 4 April, 2001, p.6
By ANNE BARBELIUK A GROUND swell of public support is growing for 50km/h speed limits, with the RACT throwing its weight yesterday behind the push for slowing Tasmanian drivers down. The state's peak motoring body wants 5Okm/h speed limits introduced in all residential streets and 60km/h limits maintained on main arterial roads. The call from the RACT coincides with results from a road-safety discussion paper released last month which found huge support for lowering speed limits. The paper, released by the Tasmanian Road Safety Council, attracted more than 90 per cent support for a 10km reduction in the speed limit on residential streets. Council chairman and Labor MHA Jim Cox said yesterday he was astounded by the reaction. "There was over-whelming support right across the board-from individuals to organisations," he said. He said the council had received more than 100 written replies to the paper which dealt with a wide range of road safety issues. Mr Cox said by far the most popular moves were 60km/h speed limits and automatic loss of licence for exceeding the limit by 40km/h. "There was nearly 100 per cent support for automatic loss of licences," he said. He said it was clear the community was fed up with speeding motorists. RACT chief executive Greg Goodman said yesterday a 10km reduction in speed limits would save lives. "It takes 10m less to stop when travelling at 50km/h than at 60. That's about three car lengths, and a big difference if a child suddenly runs out on to the street," he said. He said a car travelling at 60km/h needed 30m to stop suddenly and a car travelling at 50km/h needed 20m. Stopping distances double in the rain. The RACT is also calling for highly visible signage and a three-month period of grace before police enforce new speed limits. Public responses to the Road Safety Council discussion paper are being collated. The council will soon take submissions on a range of road safety issues to Cabinet. Cabinet will have the final say on whether or not speed limits will be reduced. Hobart City Council has introduced a 40km/h limit in Battery Point and 50km/h for Glebe. In Glenorchy, there is a a 50km/h limit at Lutana.
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