A plan to reduce the Western Australian road toll by dropping speed limits across the state has been blasted by motorists.
The Road Safety Commission says reducing the speed limit by just 10km/h could almost slash the state’s road toll in half.
The most radical plan outlined in the Imagine Zero consultation paper would reduce certain roads with a 110km/h limit to 100km/h and drop all speed limits between 40km/h and 100km/h by 10km/h.
Speed limits on major highways and freeways across the state would remain unchanged.
According to the paper, introducing this change would result in nearly 50 per cent fewer fatalities and serious injuries on WA roads by 2030.
The commission claims if the state’s road rules remain unchanged, 1623 people will die and 15,955 will be injured between 2020 and 2030.
However, if the more “rapid” of the two plans is adopted, that number could be reduced to 1104 fatalities and 10,478 injuries.
Commission chairman Iain Cameron said not only would lives be saved, but the economics would also “stack up”.
“Keeping the major highways and the major freeways at the same speeds … will save fuel, reduces vehicle wear and tear and really only adds a few minutes to a typical journey,” he told reporters on Saturday.
The more “modest” of the two proposals would also reduce certain 110km/h roads to 100km/h, and urban roads with 60km/h and 50km/h limits would be reduced by 10km/h.
The commission will hold community forums throughout the state over a three-month period. Western Australians can also provide feedback online.
“Imagine zero serious trauma on our roads, and tell us what you are prepared to do in order for WA to pursue the same goal,” said Mr Cameron.
The McGowan State Government has distanced itself from the proposal, saying speed limits would only be reduced if the community demanded it.
Opposition road safety minister Peter Katsambanis said the measure would triple speeding fine revenue.
“There is no evidence this measure will get drunk-drivers, drug-drivers, distracted drivers or hoons who thumb their nose at any speed limit off our roads,” he said.
“Law-abiding drivers will suffer more congestion and more frustration.”
Many motorists commented the speed limit reduction would do more harm than good.
“IT IS NOT GOING TO STOP THE CARNAGE! This is just pure money grab with speeding fines,” one social media user wrote.
“Utter garbage. The #RoadSafety council is over the top. These sort of policies bend & misuse statistics to their own purpose & aims,” another said.
Other people even suggested speed limits should be increased, not slashed.
One added: “How idiotic and absurd this notion is! Regulate the driving tuition of our young people so that poor habits and sub standard driving practices aren’t handed down from one generation to the next.”
Originally published as Drastic plan to reduce speed limits