Industry welcomes truck speed trials on Monash Freeway

The trial will monitor the effectiveness of reducing truck speed to improve road safety

Industry welcomes truck speed trials on Monash Freeway
VTA CEO Peter Anderson says the pilot has the potential to improve safety and productivity for freight operators.


The Victorian Transport Association (VTA) says Labor’s speed trails along Monash Freeway will result in productivity gains for freight operators and promote safety on the road.

The Monash Speed Trial, which was announced by roads and ports minister Luke Donnellan on Sunday, will see trucks travel at 90km/hour along a 10km section of the freeway (between High Street in Ashburton and Glenferrie Road in Toorak).

The government says reducing truck speed will increase the distance between cars and trucks and allow motorists to navigate safely around trucks, reducing the likelihood of rear end and side swipe crashes.

The six-month trial will focus on monitoring the effectiveness of reducing the speed limit for trucks to improve road safety and reduce the number of crashes.

It is part of the 18-month Dynamic Speed Trial program that will allow motorists to increase their speed from 80km/hour to 100km/hour on a section of the freeway, when it is safe to do so.

The second phase of the trial will ban trucks from the right hand lane alongside the 90km/hour speed limit in order.

Results from the trials will be examined independently and influence future decisions around vehicle speed.

"Providing safer speeds that are right for the road will mean people can get to where they need to be as safely and efficiently as possible – without impacting on the productivity of our freight industry," Donnellan says.

"Around 80 per cent of all crashes on the Monash are either rear end crashes or side swipe crashes – so we’re looking at innovative ways to make Victorian roads safer."

"Reducing the speed of trucks on the Monash will only increase their travel time by one minute, but make it safer and boost the reliability of the freeway."

VTA CEO Peter Anderson says it is important that freight operators are aware of the changes and how it will impact them.

"It’s also important to recognise that the speed reductions are based on telemetry and data from VicRoads that show heavy vehicles travelling at 100 km/h are more likely to be involved in collisions on the Monash than other roads of similar size in Victoria.

"We know congestion-inducing bottlenecks are partially a by-product of trucks and other vehicles travelling at speed and changing lanes.

"Heavy vehicles operating this way exacerbate the problem because it takes them longer to brake and accelerate due to their size and mass.

"The VTA believes slowing heavy vehicles to 90 km/h on this stretch of the Monash will help traffic flow by reducing the need for regular braking and acceleration, and provide a greater distance between cars and trucks, should there be a need for sudden and unexpected braking."

Anderson says speed reductions along the Monash Freeway have the potential to create productivity gains and safety improvements for operators.

"Conditions that lead to more free-flowing traffic and less erratic driving will help operators get where they’re going quicker," he says.

"Using less fuel from not having to accelerate and brake as often will save them money."

If successful, the government plans to roll out this technology on other motorways across Melbourne.

The trials will begin early next month.

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