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Last updated: October 08, 2012

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Queensland Government report recommends review of speed limits due to ageing population

SPEED limits in Queensland will be reviewed after a Queensland Government report found older people liked to drive slowly.

Experts have warned older drivers will make up an "increasing population of the road toll in the future", and have handed the Government 26 recommendations to prepare for a tsunami of ageing motorists.

Older drivers are back in the spotlight after a 76-year-old woman killed Kerryn Blucher, 33, and her unborn child at the Redland Spring Festival last month.

And Ali France, the daughter of former Labor racing minister Peter Lawlor, had a leg amputated when an 88-year-old driver lost control of his vehicle and hit her while she was waiting for a carpark lift in a shopping centre last year.

Transport Minister Scott Emerson has called for public comment on the Older Driver Safety Advisory Committee's report, which has also recommended re-designing roads.

The report said the number of Australians aged 75 and older will increase by 83 per cent in less than two decades, rising to 11 per cent of the population in 2031, up from 6.2 per cent in 2007.

The report said older drivers can frustrate other road users by driving too slow, and this "can manifest in road rage and intimidating driving behaviours".

"While older drivers may have long years of experience . . . some will inevitably experience problems as they age, which will impact on their ability to drive safely," the report said.

"There is clear research evidence of the benefits of realistic and well-enforced speed limits, however the speed limits do not take specific account of older road users (and) this will become a more important consideration with demographic change.

"Where there are high proportions of older adults, for example where an older adults' residential complex is located, local government can take this into account in setting speed limits.

"However this focuses on pedestrian activity, and overall demographic change with respect to drivers is not considered."

Other key recommendations include communication strategies to prevent road rage directed at older drivers, information about the best cars for older people to drive, road designs better suited to older drivers, and yearly medical certificates for drivers over 75 years.

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  • Ben of Adelaide Posted at 12:31 AM October 07, 2012

    If you can't drive at the speed limit, then you don't deserve to have a license regardless if you are too slow or too fast.

  • bob of perth Posted at 12:18 AM October 07, 2012

    Speed limit is slow enough in australia. I am sick of all the people in perth who get in the right lane and do 80 in 100 zone because they wanna take it easy, i run a mobile business and have to go to peoples houses. Because of slow drivers i do less jobs in a day, it frustraits me like there is no tomorrow. If you think the speed limit is too fast for you, then go catch public transport.

  • Egg88 of Brisbane Posted at 12:15 AM October 07, 2012

    If you can't keep up with the limits, you shouldn't be on the roads regardless of age. It's dangerous for the driver and everyone else on the road. Not fun trying to merge safely onto a 100km/h highway when the elderly woman driving in front of you can only seem to do 60km/h. And no it wasnt her car - it was in better nick than mine!

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