For many people out there, especially those with high-performance vehicles, the current speed limit laws are oppressive. It’s like being handcuffed. After all, if you have the proper car and skills, along with a clean driving sheet, shouldn’t you be able to push the limits from time to time?
Well, Australia’s government thought their citizens should be allowed that freedom. So, in a test of viability, Australia set up a stretch of highway as part of an “Open Speed” trial.
The Australian Department of Transport says about the stretch, “A one year open speed trial commenced on 1 February 2014 on a 204 km section of the Stuart Highway north of Alice Springs to just south of Barrow Creek. From 1 September 2014 the existing open speed limit trial will include a new 72 kilometre stretch of the Highway from Barrow Creek to just south of the Ali Curung Rail Overpass.”
“An unrestricted speed limit means you should drive at speeds that would keep yourself and other road users safe at all times.”
And guess what? As the trial was coming to a close this February, Australia decided to extend the Open Speed limit trial based on positive results. In fact, during the entire trial, there wasn’t one crash on the stretch of highway. Amazing, right?
Things have even gotten so popular that people are making action movie style videos of their driving on the highway. Check it out…
Despite some of those rave reviews, though, Australia has yet to confirm if this will be a permanent fixture. Part of the reason for this silence is the fact that some of the surveys haven’t come out as positive as the fact that there was no collisions.
Elise McLay, a representative from the Northern Territory division of the Transport Workers Union, has been one of the most outspoken opponents of the highway. In an interview with Drive.com, she says, “Whilst there hasn’t been an incident in the trial area, the roads in the Northern Territory are officially rated three stars and less. The highways simply aren’t in any position to support an open speed limit area.”
McLay also added, “We’ll be interested to see what the results of the trial are, but the Transport Workers Union’s position has always been consistent on the issue: speed kills… Transport is the most dangerous industry in Australia … We need government action that will make our roads safer for everyone, not more dangerous.”