Ballina Shire review speed limits on roads

By MARY MANN

BALLINA Shire motorists may soon need to drive a little slower.

The local council and the RTA are looking at reducing the speed limits on five roads in the shire.

This comes after requests from residents and numerous accidents and near-misses on the roads.

The sections of road being studied are on Rifle Range Road, The Coast Road, Old Byron Bay Road, Tuckombil and Tintenbar Road and Ross Lane.

Council's civil services group manager John Truman said the process by which speed limits could be changed was based on a set guide outlined in the RTA Speed Zoning Manual.

"Council can not change speed limits, it is a matter for the RTA," he said.

"But the RTA usually asks the council's Traffic Advisory Committee to consider the proposed changes.

"The committee often carries out data collection, which looks primarily at what speed the majority of motorists are actually travelling on a certain stretch of road."

Mr Truman said speed zoning changes were based on consideration of speed, traffic volume, crash intensity and driveway density.

He said the 85th percentile method was used to determine if a speed limit was suitable.

The 85th percentile speed is the speed that 85 out of 100 vehicles travel at or below.

"People have a perception of their environment, which dictates their speed," Mr Truman said.

"If a zone is not appropriate, drivers are likely to disregard it and it creates a degree of confusion."

According to a council report, a recent fatal car accident on curves in Rifle Range Road prompted one resident to request the speed limit be reduced from 100km per hour to 70 or 80km per hour.

The Traffic Advisory Committee has recommended a speed zone review be carried out on the road and that warning signs be erected on three curves in the road about 2.2 kilometres north of the Bruxner Highway.

Councillors will get to vote on the recommendation at a council meeting that will be held today.



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