30 km/h Please

30Please.org campaigns to align the speed limit in residential areas in Australia with global best practice: 30 km/h speed limits.

There are not many measures that are both low-cost and proven to make walking and cycling safer, as well as generating a range of other benefits. Adopting 30 km/h speed limits in residential areas are very popular in many countries, as it has no disadvantages. Some people in Australia believe it will dramatically increase travel time, but research shows that impact is minimal. In peak times it can actually make journeys faster if, for example, parents stop driving their kids to school and walk instead. 

The problem we have in Australia is that it is not obvious and people will question why they should change. Most people don’t know that the kinetic energy is proportional to the square of speed, i.e. it matters if you get hit at 50 km/h (more than 50% of dying) or 30 km/h (less than 10% of dying). Many people also don’t know that Australia is one of the OECD countries with the lowest share of trips made via active transport – which is not good for our or the planet’s health. 

30Please.org was founded recently. One of the reasons we decided to launch was the change of the Austroad guidance earlier this year that now includes 30 km/h recommendations and the possibility for councils to apply for Streets as Shared Spaces grants by the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment as a COVID19 response. One of the aims of the grant is to support physical distancing requirements.

TfNSW is trialling 30 km/h environments as a result of this initiative. Councils are still encouraged to contact TfNSW to establish 30 km/h trial zones.

Trials underway include:

TfNSW is also more willing to consider 40 km/h speed limits in urban areas, which is an improvement on current practice, but still insufficient.

We want to bring 30 km/h to the top of the agenda of decision makers on all government levels. We are looking to partner with organisations that care about the planet, health, children, active transport, road safety, the elderly and/or people living with a disability and anyone else who supports our goal.

Our campaign video (below) was launched in August and had more than 15,000 views in the first week. Please share via our webpage https://30please.org/ or our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/30Please 

We are looking for volunteers to start local campaigns. Please get in touch if you are interested.

If you are a motorist, we also encourage you to get in touch with your auto insurance company, like IAG (including NRMA insurance), and your Roadside Assistance Company (e.g. NRMA Roadside Assistance) to advocate on behalf of slower speeds. Peter Khoury (email) is the spokesperson for the latter, and undoubtedly would love to hear from members.

Published by Lena Huda

Lena is the founder of 30Please.org. She grew up on a quiet residential street in Germany, where 30km/h speed limits were implemented in the 80’s. From 6 years old, all children in the neighbourhood either walked or cycled to school. It was normal for children to play on the streets. Lena believes Australia needs to experience lower speed limits to grasp the positive effect on everyone’s day to day life and make it finally possible for all Australians to appreciate walking and cycling as a mode of transport, not just a recreational activity. Before moving to Australia in October in 2019, Lena has had a successful career working in senior positions for major investment banks in London. The COVID19 crisis, gave her time to reflect upon contributions she could make to society so she decided to dedicate time to launch 30Please.org. Inspired by the successful 20’s Plenty for Us campaign from the UK and by a research paper calling to reduce the default speed limit of 50km/h to 30km/h published by the British Academy “If you could do one thing…” https://s3-ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com/cdn-nrspp/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2017/03/21123659/dannydorling_publication_id3924.pdf Lena decided to campaign for lower speed limits. This is a science-backed low-cost measure that would save lives, prevent injuries, reduce health inequalities, reduce air pollution and CO2 emissions, promote stronger communities, enable more walking and cycling and reduce obesity. Lena lives in Wollongong council and started her campaign in her local neighbourhood. https://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/6789059/illawarra-motorists-back-a-cut-to-speed-limits-in-residential-areas/

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