Evaluation of a 50 km/h Default Urban Speed Limit for Australia

Report Prepared by: Monash University Accident Research Centre for NRTC

Authors: Narelle Haworth, Bob Ungers (Bob Ungers Consulting), Peter Vulcan, Bruce Corben

Full report in .pdf format [450KB]

Abstract: 

Australia has applied a 60 km/h default urban speed limit since 1974.  In 1999, the Australian Transport Council approved the Australian Road Rules with 60 km/h as the default speed limit for built-up areas.  From the early 1990s, individual jurisdictions have introduced lower urban speed limits in various trials.  This report:

  • evaluates available data from Australian trials;
  • reviews local and overseas research on the impact of lowering speed limits in urban areas;
  • analyses estimates of the costs and benefits of reducing the current national limit to 50 km/h.

The report finds that a reduction in the national default urban speed limit to 50 km/h would result in fewer casualty crashes, property damage crashes and reduced air pollution.