A DECISION by a Warrnambool trucking company to install 90km/h speed restrictions has the backing of Warrnambool City Mayor Jacinta Ermacora but the jury is still out on whether it’s worth it according to the RACV.
Nanjing Night Net

Ryan’s Warrnambool has installed the speed restriction on its 12 new Scania trucks and will gradually adjust the rest of the 85-vehicle fleet.

The company made the decision based on road safety, pollution and economics.

Cr Ermacora said the self imposed 90km/h speed limits demonstrated the kind of thinking required by businesses to adapt creatively within a carbon-priced economy.

“This initiative will give Ryan’s a competitive edge not only on fuel costs but also in environmental benefits and importantly, work place safety,” she said.

“We know that if you ‘wipe off 5’ you reduce the chances of serious injury in the event of a crash, so a 10km reduction will make truck drivers safer and this is got to be something their families will be happy with.

“The research and consultation undertaken by Ryan’s in planning this strategy has been comprehensive and, as a generational Warrnambool company, Ryan’s are a great example of the kind of innovation emerging from our city and the region at the moment.”

But RACV general manager of public policy Brian Negus said there was not clear evidence to say the restrictions would work. “There is evidence which shows when there are differential speeds it can lead to more accidents and can be unsafe,” he said.

“On the other side of the coin there has been research in Europe, particularly Germany, where they have lowered the speed limit for trucks.

“Keeping in mind it applies to autobahns, where they have at least two lanes in each direction.

“I’d be loathed to apply that here in this region. It’s something we’ll watch with interest.

“It’s hard to determine the success when it’s anecdotal evidence rather than a controlled study.

“Keeping in mind there are a lack of passing opportunities on many rural highways.

“The jury is still out.” Ryan’s Warrnambool Managing director Graham Ryan said on Thursday the decision was a big step for the business.

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