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Fri Dec 14 2012 17:50:00 GMT+1100 (EST)


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Last updated: December 14, 2012

Weather: Sydney 18°C - 27°C . Partly cloudy.

NET Syndicated NSW News

SPEED UP: Drivers vote to increase speed limits after report recommends limit be lowered

  • Almost 16,000 votes cast for a rise in speed limits.
  • Less than 1 per cent want speed limits lowered.
  • “If you can't drive at the speed limit, then you don't deserve to have a license."
Elderly driver

Regular driving tests could give older drivers more confidence on the road. Source: Supplied

AUSTRALIANS should be allowed to drive faster, not forced to take the slow lane with older motorists.

That is the overwhelming result of a poll asking whether speed limits should be lowered which comes amid safety warnings about the increasing numbers of aging drivers headed for our roads.

Of more than 17,000 votes cast at the weekend almost 16,000 went for the response: “No, speed limits should be raised.”

Just 132 votes – or under 1 per cent – said the limits should be lowered “on all roads” with 757 saying the limits were fine as they are.
“Speed limit is slow enough in Australia,” Bob of Perth commented. “I run a mobile business and have to go to people’s houses. Because of slow drivers I do less jobs in a day, it frustrates me like there is no tomorrow. If you think the speed limit is too fast for you, then go catch public transport.”

Ben, of Adelaide, said: “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.”

The poll comes after a Queensland Government report stated that our current speed limits do not take elderly motorists into account and could potentially cause a problem as our senior citizens increase in number.

The report from the Older Driver Safety Advisory Committee says the number of Australians aged 75 and up will rise by 83 per cent in the next two decades, bringing the elderly population up from 6.2 per cent in 2007 to 11 per cent in 2031

“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 says.

"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.”

It is mandatory for Queensland drivers aged 75 and over to carry a medical certificate from their doctor.

State Transport Minister Scott Emerson has called for a public response to the issue.

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