Speed limits will be lowered on approach to 72 level crossings across Victoria to give motorists greater reaction time and alert them of rail lines on some of the state’s busiest freight routes.
Public Transport Minister Lynne Kosky announced this week almost all sites would have the speed limit dropped from 100km/h to 80km/h.
“We know that reducing speeds has a positive road safety impact as it gives drivers more time to respond to hazards,” Ms Kosky said.
“By reducing the speed limit and supporting this with increased enforcement we hope people will heed the message – slow down, obey the signs and be prepared to stop.”
A new partnership between the Brumby Government and the Municipal Association of Victoria to establish a program to close some remote crossings has also been finalised.
“In some rural areas, there are several level crossings located in very close proximity to one another. By eliminating some crossings, risk is also eliminated,” Ms Kosky said.
“No crossing will be closed without the consultation of the local council and community. In most cases rural councils are the road authority.
“Often in regional and remote areas there are crossings which are seldom used and we want to explore the potential to close these crossings, particularly if there is an alternative crossing point nearby.”
Member for Western Victoria, Gayle Tierney said the Brumby Government was getting on with the hard work of improving safety features of regional crossings.
Sites in the region of Camperdown that will have reduced speed limits include:
• Timboon – Colac Road, Pirron Yallock
• Cobden – Stoneyford Road, Stonyford
• Darlington Road, Gnotuk
There are more than 2000 road rail level crossings across the state. When Labor was elected in 1999, 285 of these crossings had boom gates and today that number is 364.
“Over the last two financial years, the safety of 153 road and pedestrian level crossings has been upgraded and we are on track to upgrade 46 crossings this financial year,” Ms Tierney said.
“All road users need to take responsibility for their own safety and the safety of others and ensure they use crossings appropriately and obey warning signals.