Regular drivers to the Sydney CBD are being forced to slow down. From April this year, 40kmh speed limits will apply across a larger zone.
Many people in the CBD are on foot and some take unncessary risks when crossing the roads. In the past 10 years, 12 have died and more than 1,400 have been injured. (In fact, pedestrian deaths saw the highest increase in all of NSW, up 48.7%, from 41 deaths in 2014 to 61 in 2015.)
Why the lower limit
Roads Minister, Duncan Gay, justifies the lower limit:
“For less than an extra minute of travel time for motorists, we’re doubling the chance of survival for pedestrians in Sydney CBD.”
One advantage for motorists is fewer changes of speed limit within this area. With all the construction work going on, such as Sydney Light Rail, having a variety of speed limits is potentially more stressful for drivers.
The expanded 40kmh zone will cover the central CBD, bounded to the:
- North: by Alfred Street and the The Rocks area
- East: by Macquarie Street, College Street (to Liverpool Street) and Elizabeth Street (to Eddy Avenue)
- South: by Railway Square
- West: by Quay Street, including Paddy’s Market.
Time to adjust
Police will give drivers time to get used to the changes. Red-light speed cameras within the new 40kmh area will be in warning mode for more minor speed offences for 4 weeks. These cameras are on the intersections of Elizabeth and Park streets, and George and Pitt streets (outside Central Station).
As a pedestrian, you must also play your part and follow the rules, such as using crossings or crossing only on green. As Centre for Road Safety Executive Director Bernard Carlon warns:
“Stop, look, listen and think before stepping out onto the road and don’t get distracted by your mobile phone.”