‘Reward’ should not come in form of speed

Big brother is watching the Border’s motorists … but he’s not looking to catch them out.

About 30 cameras were set up at 12 major intersections along the Hume Freeway and in Wodonga last week to record traffic numbers.

VicRoads is reviewing safety, access and congestion on 16 kilometres of the freeway between Logic industrial estate and the NSW border.

VicRoads reports the Hume Freeway at Wodonga carries 25,000 vehicles a day, with 7000 being trucks. It was an increase in usage of the freeway that prompted a review.

Member for Benambra Bill Tilley has suggested a reduction in the speed limit should be considered as part of the review. With data showing an increase in crashes, that would seem an idea worth considering.

It comes after Mr Tilley recently floated an idea to raise the speed limit on some sections of freeway to 130km/h.

Mr Tilley’s call for a parliamentary inquiry into speeds statewide was one quickly shot down by premier Daniel Andrews, who said there were no plans to increase speed limits on freeways.

Mr Tilley said he disagreed with the “default position in Australia” that speed kills, saying a range of things contributed to deaths on the roads including drugs, alcohol, poor driver education, infrastructure and motor vehicles themselves.

He is right that speed is not the only factor in the overall number of deaths on our roads. But if one were to look at fatal car crashes on a case by case basis, it must be accepted that speed is indeed sometimes the only thing to blame.

Mr Tilley considers that an increase in the speed limit on freeways would be some kind of reward for gains made in road safety.

“We continually ask taxpayers to help pay for road safety and road infrastructure and you have to give something back for making improvements to those roads,” he said.

But surely the reward for all of us for gains made in road safety is simply having fewer people die on our roads.

It has to be said, there are some motorists who simply do not know how to stick to a speed limit. Whether they think they are better drivers, or that the law doesn’t apply to them, we’ve all seen them. They are the ones that have to sit 5, 10 or 15 km/h beyond the speed limit.

And limit of 130km/h would see those clowns flying down the freeway at breakneck pace, endangering every single one of us.

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