Some cost-effective approaches to moderate vehicle speeds in high pedestrian activity environments.
Victorians have enjoyed substantial reductions in the annual numbers of pedestrians killed after 1989. Despite these excellent gains, the overall problem remains a serious community concern and pedestrian crashes in high activity/commercial centres still represent a long standing problem for which few effective solutions have been found. A study was undertaken to evaluate a number of innovative and more comprehensive approaches to moderate excessive vehicle speeds in high pedestrian areas. Large reductions in average vehicle speeds and more moderate reductions in free-flowing vehicle speeds were found. These reductions were associated with substantial estimated reductions in fatal and serious injury risk for pedestrians. Furthermore, significant reductions in the proportions of vehicles travelling at speeds that are threatening to pedestrians were found. This evaluation demonstrated that small speed reductions can lead to very valuable reductions in the risk of road trauma for pedestrians and that innovative countermeasures that appear to provide a cost-effective approach to moderate vehicle speeds, resulting in general benefit to all road users.