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Journeys : RACT MNJ June July 2010
In our community The common practice of using the End 80 and similar signage on our roads continues to infuriate and confuse R ACT members. We have raised this in earlier editions of Motor News Journeys -- and it's an issue that simply won't go away. Previous advice from Tasm anian authorities was that this mode of signage was in use across the nation. When this advice was passed on to an R ACT member who recently queried the Tasmanian signs, his response was 'r ubbish' -- he told us he'd just spent several weeks driving over a thousand kilometres in Queensland and had not seen one End Limit sign. As our cor respondent Phil stated in the last issue of our magazine: '...it is plainly simpler to place a sign saying what the speed limit IS rather than what it is NOT. That someone is paid using my tax dollars to dream up and implement this nonsense is an added annoyance. So to the question: just what IS the speed limit in these situation s? And how would an interstate or inter national visitor know?' Indeed. A visitor (previously a Tasmanian resident for 21 years) made this comment: 'On a recent visit to the Tasman Peninsula, I was confronted by a number of speed limit signs that said END 60, or END 70 and the like. Such signs are unhelpful. END the confusion They ought to be replaced by signs indicating what the new limit actually is.' A Tasm anian motorcyclist had this to say in a letter to us: 'In my view, it's a flawed philosophy and people should be clearly told what the speed limit is -- not in this ambiguous way.' Alf, an R ACT member based in Northern Tasmania, said in an email: 'The signs tell me what speed zone I have just left -- that's not what interests me! I need to know what the speed limit is in the zone in which I am driving -- the End Limit signs are ambiguous and hence dangerous.' In response to these and other similar contributions, R ACT asked DIER to give us an official explanation and rationale as to the use of these signs, for the information of Motor News Journeys readers. Peter Todd, DIER's General Manager Roads and Traffic, has provided the following notes and we pass on our appreciation to Peter: The End Speed Limit sign advises drivers that: • They have left a posted speed limit zone • The default speed limit now applies • They should remember to always drive to suit the road and conditions In Tasmania, whe n travelling on a road where no speed limit is signed there are two default speed limits that apply without the need for a sign: • The default speed limit in urban areas is 50km/h • The ge neral default speed limit in r ural areas is 100km/h – this applies to both sealed and unsealed roads • The drive r must choose the most appropriate (s afe) speed for the road alignment and pre vailing conditions but must not exceed the default speed limit Lo we r r ural speed-limits cur re ntly apply in Kingborough and Tasman municipal areas. The default limits in those municipal areas on sealed roads are 90 km/h and on gravel roads, 80 km/h. The reason default speed limits are not signposted is: • Because the ma ximum speed cannot be achie ved o ve r certain sections of these roads • The road conditions can vary significantly and many different speed signs may be required • Motorists may miss a sign and inadvertently be breaking the law Make sense? Over to you, the reader. After consistent negative feedback from R ACT members, we are once again saying to the Government: end the confusion and replace these signs with the appropriate speed limit signs. If necessary, a new rectangular sign saying quite simply 'Drive to the conditions' could be attached below the limit sign. Comments on this topic can be sent to Vince Taskunas, R ACT General Manager Public Policy, by email: email@example.com 5 June /July 2010
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