Speed is one of the major factors contributing to accidents on our roads.
Council is progressively reducing the speed limit on local streets. Lower speed limits are safer for all road users, especially the most vulnerable, such as pedestrians and bike riders, children and older people.
In order to determine whether the existing speed on a street is within an acceptable range of the posted speed limit, the 85th percentile speed is determined. The 85th percentile speed is the speed that 85 per cent of vehicles travel at or below.
If the 85th percentile speed is well above the speed limit, traffic calming measures and police enforcement may be required to help reduce speeds.
Speed humps are no longer considered an effective traffic management measure, as they only slow vehicles at particular points. They also create noise, and impact the amenity of immediate neighbours.
If you have concerns with traffic in your street, please put your request in writing to:
Transport Safety Engineering
Private Bag 3
St Kilda VIC 3182
Or via Online Services
Your concerns will be investigated and if deemed appropriate, traffic calming measures may be installed subject to community engagement and funding.
Frequently asked questions
Is Council lowering the speed limit on all local streets?
Council has been lobbying the State Government since 1999 to reduce speed limits. Initially, speeds were reduced around schools. In 2009, we began to lower speeds in shopping centres and other areas with a high number of pedestrians.
We are now moving toward lowering the speed limit in local residential streets on an area-wide basis. This is part of Council’s longer-term goal to introduce 40 km/hr speed limits to a greater number of residential streets in Port Phillip.
When setting a speed limit, it must be likely that the majority of traffic travels below the proposed limit. Council officers have conducted traffic surveys and are satisfied that the majority of drivers already travel at speeds consistent with a 40 km/h speed limit.
Why is Council lowering the speed limit in some local areas?
Urban speed limits in Australia are still very high compared to international standards. The default urban speed limit in Victoria was lowered from 60 km/h to 50 km/h in 2001. Research by Monash University shows that this change is associated with a reduction in fatal and serious injury crashes for pedestrians of between 25 per cent and 40 per cent.
In 2001, the number of crashes in Port Phillip reduced by 94 crashes (16 per cent) from the previous year. This is the highest reduction in crashes seen in Port Phillip since 1989.
Lower speeds give all road users more time to react to avoid a collision. If a crash does occur, lower speeds reduce the severity of an injury, particularly to pedestrians and bike riders.
Lower speeds also encourage more people to walk and ride. When people feel safer on local streets, they are more likely to spend more time on the street.
Will lower speeds mean I will be delayed when driving?
One of the perceived disadvantages of reducing speed limits is an increase in travel time.
The City of Port Phillip is an urban environment and travel times are influenced by many factors. Travel times are more likely to be influenced by stopping at intersections, congestion, on-street parking and pedestrians crossing the street.
Any delays that drivers may experience due to a change in speed limit would be minimal. Even ignoring all other factors, a reduction in the speed limit from 50 km/h to 40 km/h increases travel time by only 14 seconds over an 800-metre long street.
The marginal increase in travel time is outweighed by a significant safety benefit.
What will the speed signs look like?
A speed limit sign will be installed at the entry point to each street so that they are visible to drivers entering. Signs will be installed on existing signposts or electricity poles where suitable. New posts will be installed if no existing poles/posts are suitable.
Will Council monitor the change in speed on the streets?
Traffic speeds will be measured within each of the areas before changing the speed limit. Speeds will again be measured after the new speed limits have been in place for a year and monitored over the coming years to assess their effectiveness.
How will the new speed limits be enforced?
Victoria Police is responsible for enforcing all speed limits. Council’s proposed changes to speed limits are supported by Victoria Police and the Department of Transport.
Where does revenue from speeding fines go?
Council does not receive any revenue from speeding fines. The revenue is collected by the State Government. All net revenue collected from speeding fines is directed back into road safety.
For more information about speeding fines and penalties, visit Cameras Save Lives.
There is a large body of research into the impact of lowering speed limits in urban environments, both in Australia and overseas. Some of these studies are listed below:
An evaluation of the default 50 km/h speed limit in Victoria. Monash University Accident Research Centre (2006).
Safe Speed Evidence review 2008 (PDF 2.6 MB). Dr Jan Garrard (2008)
Transport Accident Commission (TAC) - Road speed statistics