Speed restrictions

At first glance building a northern bypass seems like a logical solution to the sometimes fatal problem of heavy trucks mixing with large volumes of car traffic on a steep and dangerous road.
Hills people have long lobbied for just such an option for rail freight, but without success because the numbers don’t add up – yet.
Adelaide Hills Mayor Bill Spragg says a dual road/rail proposal put up by the Local Government Association should be revisited.
But yesterday the office for Transport Minister Tom Koutsantonis said a dual route was not economically viable and the “benefits would not justify the associated costs”.
The Minister’s office said the infrastructure could cost more than $1b and some in the transport industry put the cost at close to $2b.
It would be hard to build a business case for that amount of money, even if the route included a toll road as proposed by the Member for Heysen Isobel Redmond.
The bypass might eventually be built but it will be a long-term solution and in the meantime motorists and heavy vehicle drivers are going to have to work together.
In the aftermath of last week’s shocking tragedy, the State Government had to act, particularly after the Deputy State Coroner made emergency recommendations.
Most interest groups seem to approve of the move to make the 60km/h speed limit apply to all trucks and buses over 4.5 tonnes.
Less support is evident for the new 90km/h speed limit for light vehicles.
Some community leaders have called it an overreaction that will achieve nothing in terms of preventing out of control trucks speeding down the freeway.
The SA Road Transport Association actually lobbied for 80km/h for cars to make it safer for trucks to change lanes to overtake slower, heavier vehicles.
The organisation might have a point.
The freeway has a reputation for aggressive commuter driving which doesn’t mix well with heavy vehicles and a steep descent.
With thousands expected to move into Mt Barker and Murray Bridge in the coming decade, everyone might have to do their bit and slow down.