The Safer Rural Roads Strategy (the Strategy) has been developed to address a serious crash problem on the 100km/h rural road network in Tasmania.

More than 40% of serious casualty crashes occur on Tasmania’s 100 km/h rural roads, more than any other speed zone.

During the past 10 years there have been 194 fatalities and 1215 serious injuries as the result of crashes on Tasmania’s 100km/h rural roads.

Under the strategy we are aiming to reduce serious casualties on the 100 km/h rural road network. We can achieve this by the whole Tasmanian community working together to reduce the fatalities and serious injuries caused by everyday use of the roads.

Our 100km/h rural roads are different and are often not consistent. This is why they will now have a new sign that looks different to the standard posted speed limit sign. The new sign will have an additional message that tells motorists that they can expect ‘changing road conditions’. This indicates that these roads are not consistent, having a changing alignment (curvy, winding, etc.), that there may be shoulders on some sections but not in others, lane widths might narrow then broaden. This means that the 100km/h speed limit should be seen as the maximum speed but that drivers will need to reduce their speed on sections of roads where these characteristics are prevalent.

The Strategy is not about speeding, it’s about driving at a speed which matches the road alignment and the ‘Changing Road Conditions’ which lowers the risk of having a crash.

Implementation of the Strategy is underway and will include a major education campaign, introduction of an 80 km/h default speed limit for all gravel roads in Tasmania and installation of new signage to replace existing ‘End’ Speed Limit signs.

 

CHANGES TO RURAL SPEED LIMITS AND SIGNS

WHAT IS CHANGING?

As part of the strategy to improve the safety of our rural road network, especially the high speed roads where over 40% of serious and fatal crashes occur, changes are being made including:

  • new speed limit signs will be appearing on our roads to replace ‘End’ speed limit signs;
  • a new default speed limit on gravel roads of 80km/h will take effect from 1 February 2014; and
  • an education campaign aimed at educating people about driving to the changing road conditions, no matter what the posted speed limit sign says will commence from February.

 

WHEN WILL THE 80 KM/H DEFAULT SPEED LIMIT BE INTRODUCED?

The 80km/h default speed limit on all gravel roads in Tasmania, unless otherwise signed will be introduced on the 1 February 2014. The new default speed limit of 80 km/h for gravel roads does not apply in urban areas and towns or where there is a posted speed limit.

When there isn’t a speed limit sign for a road, never go faster than the default speed limit.

The default speed limits currently in force in Tasmania are, (unless otherwise signed) -

50 km/h in built-up areas (like in cities and towns)
100 km/h in rural country areas (outside cities and towns)

From the 1 February 2014 the default speed limit will be 80 Km/h on all gravel roads in Tasmania.

 

WHAT IS THE NEW SIGN?

New signs are being rolled out to replace the current ‘End’ speed limit signs. The new signs aim to make our rural roads safer by better informing the public of the maximum speed limit and raising their awareness that extra care needs to be taken on these roads. The new sign looks different from a standard speed limit sign as an awareness message has been added.

When drivers see these signs, they will need to actively think about their driving experience, the changing road alignment, traffic conditions and choose a safe travel speed to match the changing road conditions.