Benefits to lower limits


HOW slow do we need to go? Driving at 40kmh as part of your morning commute is hard. You're driving along at 60 or 70 and suddenly you hit a school zone and you have to slow to 40 and hold that speed for a couple of hundred metres.

Few would begrudge the 40kmh school zones, espec- ially with figures such as in today's report on page 8, showing just how dramatically the survival rate for pedest- rians hit by cars improves at the lower speed.

Add to that the better (comparative to your speed at least) reaction speed, reduced braking distance, and the lower speed limit seems a no-brainer.

From that point of view reducing speed limits within housing estates and other places you can expect to find many pedestrians makes a lot of sense.

Crashes involving pedestrians happen more often than you'd think. Fortunately fatalities are relatively rare, but as the story of former Sunshine Beach teacher Barbara Crameri demonstrates, surviving a crash is a long way from recovering from a crash.

For Ms Crameri, it's been four years since she was hit by a car while in Paris. Her recov- ery remains a slow, daily process so far from complete she's just had to give up one of her greatest loves - her job.

It's worth remembering when you see reports of crashes and the condition of survivors they often use hospital-speak to describe how close they are to death. Someone with 'minor' injuries may not be about to die, but that doesn't mean their life will ever be the same again either.

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