An interim evaluation of the default 50 km/h speed limit in Victoria
A statewide default 50 km/h speed limit in built-up areas (except where otherwise signed), was introduced in Victoria on January 22, 2001. This legislation was brought in with the aim to reduce the incidence and severity of casualty crashes, in particular, crashes involving the more vulnerable users of this road class (ie, pedestrians). An interim evaluation has been conducted to estimate the effect of the 50 km/h speed limit on crash frequency, which compared a five year preimplementation period with a five month post-implementation period. Poisson regression has been used to model crash frequency for the period January 1996 to June 2001. Crashes of all severity types were analysed, as were those involving specific road user groups such as pedestrians, and young and older drivers. The analysis has shown a statistically reliable reduction in all casualty crashes on roads with the new default limit and for all road user groups except older drivers, at this stage in the evaluation. The interim results presented are part of an ongoing project and estimate the effect of the 50km/h limit in only the first five months after its introduction. Results are also subject to a number of assumptions and qualifications.