Cyclists would be among those who benefit from lower speed limits. Source: Vimeo
Cyclists would be among those to benefit from lower speed limits. Source: Vimeo

Written by Jacob Miley, edited for online by Hannah Kotaidis

In a bid to make suburban streets safer, a Brisbane cycling group wants to drop speed limits to 30 kilometres per hour in some streets.

Space for Cycling Brisbane, a grass-root cycling advocacy group, said reducing the speed limit would increase the safety of cyclists and pedestrians and will also lower traffic noise and vehicle emissions.

Cyling Brisbane spokesman Chris Cox said reducing the speeds may encourage people to ditch their car keys for a day.

“If it’s encouraging more people to walk or ride or be otherwise more active, and leave their car at home, then that’s a good thing too,” Mr Cox said.

Bicycle Queensland’s Andrew Demack said there was backing from residential neighbourhood to reduce speed limits.

“I think lots of people agree that our neighbourhood streets should be a place where people can walk and ride and live.

“Neighbourhood streets are not solely the preserve of people dashing around in their cars at great speed.”

Mr Demack said it has been proven low speeds dramatically reduce the rate of accidents.

“It’s been found that every 10 kilometres that we reduce the speed limit in neighbourhood streets, it really increases the survivability of accidents when a car hits a bike or pedestrian.”

But RACQ spokesperson Lauren Ritchie said reducing the speed would not a viable option.

“We believe reduction on some roads to 40 kilometres per hour is appropriate but 30 kilometres per hour is probably not realistic.”

Instead, Ms Ritchie identified common courtesy as the most important factor for safety on the roads.

“It has to be about sharing.

“No one road user group owns the road, so we all have to work together to make sure everyone gets to their destination safely.”

She said better infrastructure would reduce the number of road incidents.

“Whether that be a cycling lane or a separate cycling pathway, separate to the road is obviously the safest option.”

But Mr Demack said for cyclists to be safer on the roads, both local and state governments need to combine investment with infrastructure and lower urban speed limits.