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Our roads are unique. They reflect our natural landscape. Our roads are windy, hilly and often single lane. They are beautiful, giving us access to extraordinary places.

This means they can also be challenging and demanding to drive. Sometimes this is really enjoyable, but it also increases risk, and not all risks are visible. Often our roads aren’t easy to read.

In urban environments, vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians and cyclists share our roads and have little protection. Very few vulnerable road users survive crashes above 50 km/h.

On rural roads risk is about more than how straight or windy the road is. Roadside hazards such as driveways or intersections are not always obvious. This means the wrong speed could result in an unforeseen tragedy.  

Some facts:

  • From early 2015 to early 2016, 72% of road fatalities occurred on rural roads. 
  • Over 30,000km of our roads are unsealed and have speed limits higher than 80km/h. 
  • Historically, our speed limits were 50km/h for urban zones and 100km/h for rural roads, regardless of the risk or hazards present. This is changing to better reflect the variety of roads, and the risks on different stretches of road.