BETTER consultation behind speed zone changes is the crux of a submission by Leeton Shire Council to a NSW Parliamentary Inquiry.
Council has prepared a submission to the Joint Standing Committee on Road Safety (Staysafe) outlining the need for better consultation and process from Transport for NSW when setting out or revising speed limits in the state.
Mayor Tony Reneker said while council supported Transport for NSW's intent to improve safety on Leeton's roads and outlying areas, there was concern the change of some speed zones would lead to increased driver complacency and expose drivers to increased risk of traffic infringements.
"It is council's strong view all speed zones should be set in response to a particular set of circumstances in locations that are deemed to carry risk," councillor Reneker said.
"Recent blanket approaches to speed zones and other traffic control devices at specific types of locations, without full regard to the local context, serves to confuse or entrap motorists and, ironically, drives complacency instead of alertness as drivers find these speed limits nonsensical.
"There is no point to speed limits that don't support reasonable driving at a safe natural speed under free-flowing conditions that match the surrounding environment."
IN OTHER NEWS:
In its submission, council highlighted some areas of concern such as the imposed speed zone on McKellar Road Leeton in 2021.
The speed zone is set to 60kmh for one kilometre, about 500 metres either side of a railway crossing.
The issue was raised last year by Emeritus mayor Paul Maytom who said the crossing was already made safe by warning signs, flashing lights and boom gates, but it is also very close to the T-junction with Regulator Road.
This means traffic turning onto McKellar Road from Regulator Road has motorists already driving more slowly naturally, ahead of the crossing being reached.
"The extension of the 60km speed zone from the T-junction down Regulator Road serves no road safety purpose and seems extremely unwarranted," Cr Reneker said.
Council has put forward a recommendation in its submission that all speed zone consultation formally takes place via Local Area Traffic Committees and council so full regard is given to local knowledge of the safety conditions and risk levels.
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