Travel time not in the road safety equation

Road safety: The speed limit on a 12km section of Heathcote Road has been lowered from 100km/h to 90km/h.
Road safety: The speed limit on a 12km section of Heathcote Road has been lowered from 100km/h to 90km/h.

It is clear from the letters (April 24) that the psychology of driving is more influential than any logic.

Heathcote Road is 15km long and at 100km/h would take six minutes to travel whereas at the reduced speed of 90km/h it would require some 6.5 minutes - a saving of some 30 seconds in the travel time yet so many are upset. Go figure!

Michael Harrington, Bonnet Bay

I have read with much interest the many letters in the Leader against the lowering of the speed limit, by 10km/h on Heathcote Road.

I can only assume that this is again an initial knee-jerk reaction by the RMS, until it produces a long term plan for this stretch of road; a plan that, I concede is long overdue, and that so far has been shortsighted, piecemeal and ineffective.

Research shows that the lowering of speed limits do reduce the number and gravity of accidents.

To add another perspective to this discussion I should like to make a point on one measurable factor. The distance along Heathcote Road, from Engadine to the M5 junction, is close to 22 kilometres; and the lowering of the speed from 100km/h to 90km/h will add less than two minutes to the trip.

This reminds me of a road safety campaign slogan: ''It is better to be two minutes late in this world than 20 years earlier in the other.''

The average waiting time at a set of traffic lights at a major intersection, at peak hours, is one minute. So this lowering of the speed limit will add another two stops at traffic lights. I for one would never contemplate the elimination of two traffic lights to save two minutes.

As a regular user of Heathcote Road, I support this lowering of the speed limit, until the road is upgraded to a standard that justifies a return to the 100km/h.

Marc de Cazanove, Menai

I am a daily commuter along Heathcote Road.

On April 24 we were again faced with another fatality on this road; this time at Sandy Point in an 80 km/h section of road.

This is a regular occurrence where there is a fatality on this road between Holsworthy and Engadine roughly every 6 to 12 months. On January 31 this year, there was the double fatality near Lucas Heights where one car crossed the medium strip and collided head on with another car. This was caused by the driver of one car having a cardiac arrest and losing control, not speed.

When I say fixed, I am not referring to the recent move by the RMS to lower the speed limit from 100km/h down to 90km/h along a 12km section of it as a direct response to the January 31st double fatality. This will achieve very little in terms of safety.

What it does do is increase driver's frustrations knowing the speed limit was previously 100km/h more risky overtaking manoeuvres, less adherence to the speed limit and increase travel times.

When I say fixed I am referring to two lanes both ways with a central barrier separating the traffic going in opposite directions.

Of course this would require a significant financial and structural undertaking, but how many more lives will be lost on this road before another safety measure will be implemented.

One example to highlight is Bangor Bypass. Two lanes both ways with a central barrier. When I do an internet search for fatalities along this road I cannot find any example in the last 5 to 10 years.

Please, Heathcote Road needs to be fixed.

Jonathan Gildea, Menai