A review of overseas experience with reduced speed limits as an energy conservation measure and predictions of effects of reduced speed limits in Queensland

Lowering compulsory speed limits is one of the available methods of energy conservation that has been tried overseas. This paper reviews world experience in this regard and investigates the implications of this experience for Queensland. It has been optimistically estimated that a reduction in the compulsory speed limit from 100 km/h to 80 km/h would reduce fuel use in transport industries by 1.2 Per cent. As this is only 0.6 Per cent of the total state petroleum usage, other measures of conservation should be investigated. Overseas experience has pointed to substantial reductions in the number of serious accidents when operating speeds have been reduced. This finding has also been investigated in this paper and a caution is sounded against assuming that a similar effect would be experienced locally. There are significant differences between the local road and traffic environment, and those existing in overseas countries before lower speed limits were introduced. These differences are such that accident rates, in general, could even possibly rise in Queensland if the compulsory speed limit were to be reduced. The severity of accidents would most likely be reduced; however, the combined effect of these two factors is very difficult to predict without further detailed study (a).


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  • Accession Number: 01438057
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: ARRB
  • Files: ATRI
  • Created Date: Aug 24 2012 9:20PM