40km/h speed limit for Melbourne city streets

The speed limit on city streets in the Melbourne CBD is to drop from 50km/h to 40km/h, as authorities seek to improve driver and pedestrian safety in the Victorian capital.

Lord mayor Robert Doyle says that the move will prevent around 25 road casualties per year, without impacting on traffic flow or congestion.

"If it saves a single life, it’s worth doing," said Mr Doyle on Friday (September 21), while speaking at a notoriously high crash area near the intersection of Lonsdale Street and Spring Street.

VicRoads, a statutory corporation which serves as the road and traffic authority in Victoria, has supported the move.

According to Patricia Liew, regional director of VicRoads Metropolitan North West, there has been an average of 85 pedestrian casualty crashes in the Melbourne CBD ever year over the past five years.

Mr Liew hopes that the speed limit reduction will help lower this figure, particularly as it is being unrolled in an area of high pedestrian activity. 

The new limits will be unrolled gradually over the next six weeks as new signs are put into place, and any businesses operating a fleet of company vehicles in the Melbourne CBD would be wise to remind staff to keep an eye on their speeds in the coming months.

However there will still likely be a period of confusion as people get used to the new restrictions, and infringements may well be forthcoming.

Fleet management software can make paying these outstanding speeding fines quick and easy, ensuring that your vehicles are not unnecessarily kept off the roads.

However a few speeding tickets will undoubtedly be a small price to pay if the safety of road users and pedestrians is significantly improved.

"Pedestrians are some of our most vulnerable road users and the number of pedestrian collisions in the CBD is a major concern for police," said Victoria Police superintendent Rod Wilson.

"By lowering the speed limit we hope to see a reduction in the number of serious injury collisions."