Hume Highway 130km/h speed limit increase push by Victorian MP

Hume highway

A Victorian state politician has called for an inquiry into speed limits in the state, calling on limits on the Hume Highway to be lifted to 130km/h in some places.

Liberal MP for Benambra, Bill Tilley, says it is time for an inquiry into raising speed limits on certain highways in Victoria, in particular a shift from 110km/h to 130km/h on the Hume Highway, and 100km/h to 110km/h on the Princes Highway between Geelong and Melbourne.

“What I am doing is challenging our statutory bodies, our road-safety experts, and everybody, to challenge themselves,” Mr Tilley told Wheels.

“We see in parts of western society and Europe that you can travel safely at 130km/h during good conditions and down to 110km/h in wet conditions. And certainly their roads aren’t necessarily any better than what we have got here – particularly the Hume highway I am advocating.

“We have some differences with wildlife and that sort of thing, but these are challenges we can minimise.”

Hume -freewayMr Tilley spent 12 years as an active member of the Victorian Police, three of which were with the Highway Patrol on the Hume Highway.

The Liberal MP says it is time there was an inquiry into speed limits in the state, and says there are larger contributing factors to road trauma.

“For decades now we have simply been sticking to the default position and saying ‘speed kills’. Now I know as a member of the police, and working for a short time with the highway patrol, it is not always just speed that is the major contributing factor to fatalities and injury, both serious and minor,” he added.

“I have firsthand experience in fatalities, and they are tragic, they always will be, but that is not to say we shouldn’t challenge ourselves, particularly when road safety agencies are demanding and wanting taxpayers money to put in good infrastructure.”

The member for Benambra says with cars being safer than ever, now is the time to have a serious discussion about speed on major highways.

“We have a whole lot of bureaucrats that spend a lot of time overseas going to conferences and those sorts of things, and having conversations about road safety.

“Well, it is about time that you don’t just continue to crawl under a rock, and challenge ourselves to see if we can come up with a good public policy, using the good resources of the taxpayer that can both economically and safely ensure that our motoring public can travel safely between point A and point B.

“I know no inquiry has ever been done specifically on speed. I know there is plenty of research, and there is plenty more research that needs to be done, and that the old adage that speed kills needs to be challenged.”

Hume -highway -roadIt’s not just speed-limits Tilley wants looked at, pushing for our entire culture around driving on highways to be looked at, including driver training and law enforcement.

“We are in a nanny state where the emphasis is you set your cruise control below the posted speed limit on these roads to avoid being intercepted by hard working police men and women under a policy where you are fined for travelling just a couple of km/h over the speed limit,” he added.

“It is quite often that it is not deliberate, perhaps it is just opportunistic or by accident, but certainly a couple of kilometres over the speed limit is not going to see our road toll significantly increase.”

Tilley stresses he is not being reckless with his recommendation, and is attempting to push a common sense approach, admitting that in some instances an inquiry might recommend lowering speed limits in certain sections.

“I take road safety very seriously,” he said. “I was a serving member of the Victorian Police, and I was on the Hume Highway Patrol, spending many, many hours out there. But the thing is we have to strive to continue to do better.

“I hate, hate, seeing trauma on our roads, but in this day and age, with improvements in engineering and what not, we deserve better.”

Speed -cameras -on -highwayThe MP is putting the call out for people to speak up and put pressure on the government, the police force, and road safety bodies to consider starting a proper discussion on the topic.

“I can’t do this on my own, I am a member of the Liberal party, and it is not the Liberal or Coalition position in Victoria [to raise speed limits],” he admits.

“But certainly I am not a fence-sitter, and I know I can’t do this on my own. It needs the community and public and road safety experts to speak up. It requires everyone to not sit silently on their hands, but actually get up and say something and advocate for an inquiry to take place.”

John Lambert is one road safety expert who backs Tilley’s stance, saying we should be allowing drivers to drive at speeds they deem appropriate for the conditions.

“The majority of drivers are very safe and responsible,” he told Wheels.

“80-percent of responsible drivers complete 99.999-percent of trips without a crash, or alternately have a crash rate of one in 72,000 trips (or one crash per 825,000 km travelled). And for the 30-percent of very responsible drivers, they complete 99.9994-percent of trips without a crash, or alternately have a crash rate of one in 180,000 trips (or one crash per 2,000,000 km).”

Lambert strongly opposed the strict speed enforcement stance adopted by Victoria Police.

Despite all this, Tilley’s calls may have already fallen on deaf ears. Victorian premier Daniel Andrews said yesterday that the Liberal state government has no plans to raise the speed limit on the Hume Highway to 130km/h.

“I am always happy to have a debate and a discussion about all sorts of issues, I tend to take my advice though on road safety matters from Victoria Police, from places like the Monash University Accident Research Centre, places like the TAC,” he said.

“Many people have views and opinions, that fine, but we have no plans to change our speed limit to 130km/h.”

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  • What should be going on is the removal of the Keep Left Signs and make the Hume Freeway a 2 lane freeway where the speed limit in the right hand lane is 110 not 2 or 3 ks under or over for the speed camera's .My speedo is correct by the sat nav at 110 and i drive from Albury to Kal Kalo in the right hand lane at 110 all the way .Going in and out of the left to right is dangerous driving one lane one speed .
  • The article mistakenly claims Premier Daniel Andrews leads a Liberal State Government, not in fact, the Labor State Government. No surprises here that Labor has no plans to raise the limits, as the politically correct, bury your head in the sand, ignore scientific evidence, ideology adopted by their NT Labor colleagues by reinstating low speed limits, is the policy Victoria Labor will not doubt adhere to.
  • Well said PAH.
  • Part of the problem is that the anti car culture nazis want to keep cutting the speed limit until the road toll hits ZERO. When 9,998 drivers negotiate a curve safely, it proves that the curve is safe for the 9,998 cars and drivers - almost 100%. The two that came to grief did something that they shouldn't have. If we apply the anti car culture nazi philosphy to other passtimes and activities, airlines will have to fit NASA parachutes to their jets (to prevent crashes if engines fail), condoms will become mandatory for all extramarital activities, and alcohol and ciggies will be totally banned.
  • @R Barron Yes RB. The lower the speed limit, the greater the revenue from speeding fines. Pollies cannot expect us to take them seriously when the 60kmh speed limit up the main street is magically declared to be "speed dangerous" just as the new toll road is opened . . . and the main street (previously posted at 60kmh but now reduced to 40kmh) runs parallel to the toll road and is everybodies' favourite rat run to avoid the tolls!! Punch the speed limit on the Hume up to 130kmh and the Vic & NSW Police Forces would have to make half their Highway Patrol cops redundant - because 99% of drivers would be more than happy somewhere between 120kmh and 130kmh. Kiss goodbye revenue from Hume Highway users! Maybe they could drop the town speed limits in Tarcutta and Holbrook down to 30kmh and ping drivers when they drop into town?
  • You might need to check this. I think that an committee some years ago did a study into the speed limits in Victoria and came to the same conclusion as your MP The reaction from the then Roads minister was that as long as he was minister there would be no increase to the speed limits. It appears that nothing has changed.
  • On the Hume Highway, what's the speed limit for each of these? * A 1962 EK Holden on 5" cross ply tyres. * A 1978 VB Commodore running on half worn but legal dampers and tyres. * A Kenworth semi hauling 30 tonnes. * A base model Falcon or Commode on standard tyres. * An XR Falcon or SS Commode on stickier tyres. * A new HSV GTS with cutting edge dampers and sticky gumball tyres. * A new Porsche Carrera S. That's right. It's 110kmh for ALL vehicles! So please DO NOT tell me that speed limits are an EXACT science and we're all going to self destruct as soon as we exceed the speed limit by 2kmh!! The NT's unrestricted zone PROVES that. NT funeral parlour share prices DID NOT go sky high when the last NT Govt derestricted certain sections of the Sturt Highway.
  • Speed is any speed. We cannot have any accident unless we have speed. Speeding is exceeding the speed limit. Excessive speed is speed to fast for the condition that has a potential to lead to a accident. Those who say we must reduce speed to reduce accidents is non sustainable as we finish up with no speed. Speed and speeding does not cause accidents but excess speed has the potential to cause accidents.
  • The Vic govt should at least trial 130kmh on the Hume Hwy for 12 months , to prove whether or not it's a " bad idea " .
  • It'll never happen. If anything, limits wil be lowered, so they make more money. Think about it. How many will get busted for speeding if the limit is 130kms. It's all about money. No wait, safety and money. Hmmm. Am I allowed to say that? Lol
  • Bill Tilley needs help from Wheels and Motor magazines drumming up support just as they did with the V8's till '98 campaign. Wheels and Motor need to set up some form of online petition.
  • @Harry Brelsford Stop talking the Truth Harry, you are making the Politicians look even More stupid than they are. Yes, illegal Revenue cameras taxation is intoxicating for the Pollies, how else would they give themselves $50,000 per year wage increases without it? The public is stupid anyway, there are people that even want lower speed limits, increasing fatigue and accidents, but it helps the useless driver, drive real slow, and blame everybody else. Australia IS the nanny state of the World, we are Sooo backward its hilarious. ANd yes, I remember well back inthe early 90s, the SA police use to state that less than 5% of fatalities are caused by speeding.....Until the Labour Revenue Gestapo came on line with "Safety" Cameras then Suddenly the stats were 50% of fatalities were caused by speeding....Blatant lies...but what do we do in Australia....Nothing just sit back and take all the readers of this article.......We are Sooo apathetic.
  • There are any number of studies used to justify the setting and control of speed limits on our roads. Logic would suggest that these studies would compare crash data from above and below set speed limits. Regrettably not a single one does, preferring to use terms such as "speeding" and "non speeding" to separate the data. The more legitimate studies will define their definition of "speeding" and "non speeding", most don't. The definition is this: speeding" means traveling above set speed limits as well as traveling too fast for the conditions. Read that again, it means that virtually every road crash can be included in their "speed kills" propaganda. So, this begs the question, what is the real data, what percentage of crashes occur through travel above set speed limits and how many during travel below set speed limits? I cite the Queensland Government 1994 Parliamentary Travelsafe Committee report number 15, "Speed cameras, should they be used in Queensland?". This study was conducted prior to the use of speed cameras and actually used to justify their implementation. It stated, "Fatal accidents caused solely by speed, represent 1.8% (that is one point eight percent)of all accidents. Other studies make claims that "30% of all fatalities are caused by speed or speeding. So, maybe it is 1.8% or maybe 30%? Whatever it is, the reality is that the vast majority of fatal crashes occur during travel at or below set speed limits. This is why speed cameras and the speed kills mania is such a failure. And then they do more of the same that is not working. So this raises a new question, if the vast majority of fatalities occur during travel below set speed limits then we have a new but ignored category , "below the limit speeding". This is what needs to be addressed.