Police and road safety authorities have slammed a plan to increase the speed limit on the Princes Freeway to 110km/h.
The Coalition has promised to raise the speed limit in a bid to win the November election, calling the move “commonsense”.
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Should the 110km speed limit be reconsidered? Photo: Glen McCurtayne
But road police and the Transport Accident Commission have kiboshed the move which they say will lead to more accidents.
“While increasing speed limits is a matter for government, police remain staunch in their position with regard to the impact speed has on the levels of trauma seen on the roads,” Assistant Commissioner Doug Fryer said.
“We know the chances of being involved in a crash double for every 10km/h increase in speed in a 100km/h zone.
“The 30 seconds you save on a 10km journey by going 110km/h instead of 100km/h is not worth the risk of killing yourself or someone else.”
But opposition roads spokesman David Hodgett said raising the speed limit would not cause any significant safety issues, describing the move as “commonsense road rules”.
The higher limit would apply to the Princes Freeway between Werribee and Corio, which currently operates with speed restrictions of 100km/h.
Assistant Police Commissioner Doug Fryer said police would remain staunch against the increase of speed limits. Photo: Luis Enrique Ascui
“I think in this day and age our cars are much more safer, we’ve got advanced features,” he said.
“Maintenance and spending on our road network has increased every year.”
The 110km/h speed limit increase is an election winning bid from the Matthew Guy-led opposition. Photo: Alex Murray
But the Coalition did not consult VicRoads, Victoria Police or the TAC before their announcement.
The Coalition said it consulted the community on the issue, with 78 per cent saying they supported upping the speed limit.
TAC chief executive Joel Calafiore also said he would not support the move.
“The TAC strongly opposes any increase in speed limits on the Princes Freeway because it will result in more people being killed and seriously injured.,” Mr Calafiore said.
“We understand people want to get to their destination faster, but we can not accept any increased risk to the lives and safety of Victorians for the sake of saving a couple of minutes’ travel time.
“It’s a really tiny time saving for a huge travel risk.”
The limit was dropped from 110km/h to 100km/h in the 1990s, however, the Coalition said the Australian Road Assessment Program ranked the road as “low risk” and listed it among the safest sections of highway in Australia.
In January, it was reported VicRoads would undertake a speed limit review of the Princes Freeway after a survey by South Barwon MP Andrew Katos found more than 80 per cent of residents supported the limit change.