You will have seen publicity around the reduction in the speed limit from 100 kph down to 80kph on part of State Highway 1 near Hickey Road.
If you have driven it since then, you will have seen the new limit is clearly signposted. While we cannot remove driver error and action from the crash equation, a drop in speed limit, backed by an associated change in driver behaviour means that the level of harm can be reduced.
With a drop in speed, as a driver you get more time to react and the impact – if it happens – will likely be less catastrophic. Stopping distances vary accordingly to a number of vehicle and environmental factors. As an indication however, at 80kph, the typical distance you travel while reacting to a hazard, is 33 metres. The distance required to stop is 52 metres. At 100kph, the typical reaction distance increases to 42 metres and stopping distance to a whopping 80 metres. When you consider the number of people who routinely drive at speeds above the limit, those distances increase even further (110kph, typical reaction distance is 46 metres, stopping distance is 97 metres, for example.
While most members of the public are shielded from the realities of road trauma, emergency services personnel deal with the horror of fatal crashes all too frequently. The impact is huge, on us, on the families of victims as well as on the driver found responsible. Please keep your speed down.
Onto other matters, I’m looking forward to meeting some of you at our Community Engagement Day on Saturday morning at Cambridge base. It will be a good opportunity to show off our new building and for you to see a couple of our specialist squads. Neighbourhood Support and Cambridge Community Patrol will also be on hand to talk to everyone, so if you want to learn more or want to form a Neighbourhood Support in your neighbourhood, come along for a chat. If you can’t make the morning, you will see us taking a team from the Cambridge Fire Brigade at Tug of War after lunch, as part of the Cambridge Youth Day at Leamington Domain. Come along and support the team.
Talking of Cambridge Community patrol, I want to share appreciation for their keen observations one night last week. The patrol noticed a suspicious vehicle and highlighted it to our incident (“I -”) car. Police attended and found the vehicle with two occupants. The driver was found to be under the influence and was processed for driving with excess breath alcohol. In addition, the passenger had an outstanding warrant for their arrest so was taken into custody. Good team work resulted in a good catch!
Lastly, I need to add some clarification to the moped discussion in last week’s column. The criteria for a moped is not to exceed 50cc but also not to be capable of speeds exceeding 50kph.
Have a great week and drive safe.