Twenty seven seconds

Locals want a reduced speed limit on a section of Torrens Valley Road

The push to reduce the speed limit along a short section of Torrens Valley Road, near Birdwood, seems like a no-brainer.
The State Department responsible for the road says the current 100km/h speed limit is appropriate because the area is not built up.
But the statistics suggest otherwise.
Of the 15 serious accidents which happened within the 9km stretch of Torrens Valley Road between Birdwood and Mt Pleasant between 2015 and 2019, 80% occurred along that 3km stretch of road.
Little over a year ago, a 46-year-old man was killed when he lost control of his car on that same section of road.
Local residents are sick of cleaning up after high speed crashes and fear it could only be a matter of time before they lose one of their own.
The State’s Police department rolls out high profile and costly campaigns to reduce the loss of life that occurs every year on our roads. In 2019 it led a push for a state-wide change in terminology from “road toll” to “lives lost” to reinforce the human price paid on our roads.
And yet, another department under the same Government seems resistant to making a small and seemingly common- sense change that, if statistics are anything to go by, would significantly reduce the danger posed by that road.
Speed limits shouldn’t be lowered without reason, and communities will always be divided over safety measures proposed along rural roads.
But the change along Torrens Valley Road has also been recommended by the State’s peak motoring body, the RAA, and more recently backed by the local council and almost 50 residents – many of whom live on the road in question.
Lowering the speed limit to 80km/h will bring that stretch – only 14% of Torrens Valley Road’s full length between Gorge Road and Mt Pleasant – into line with the rest of the road.
It will also improve safety for motorists and residents – many of whom have to cross the road to put their bins out or exit their driveways near blind corners – and reduce confusion caused by constantly changing speed zones.
The trade-off? Adding 27 seconds to the trip from Birdwood to Mt Pleasant.
It begs the question – is 27 seconds worth another life?