THE reduced speed limit on the Nepean Highway in Frankston has drawn fury from motorists.
Multiple residents have contacted The News after receiving fines for speeding through the intersection of Nepean Highway and Davey Street in Frankston. They complained that the new 40kmph speed limit is poorly signed.
The speed limit on the Nepean Highway between Fletcher Road and Plowman Place was reduced to 40kmph in October 2021. Some of the new speed limit signs were replaced just one month later to make them more visible. A speed camera on Davey Street has been enforcing the new limit since April of this year.
One of the key reasons for changing the speed limit was to make outdoor dining safer. A VicRoads document released in June last year read “in the five years leading up to 30 June 2019, there were 30 reported crashes along this shopping strip, with 15 crashes resulting in serious injuries and one crash tragically resulting in a fatality. By installing new safety features on Nepean Highway in Frankston, we can improve pedestrian safety, prevent serious crashes from happening or reduce the severity of crashes when they’re unavoidable.”
The project document also read that six electronic signs warning motorists of the speed limit would be installed. The Department of Transport has installed those signs, but they have not yet been turned on. They are expected to be operational in the next few weeks.
Ian Robins, a retired engineer who uses the road, says that an investigation must be commissioned to look into the installation of the speed limit signs.
“Many submissions have been lodged with the Road Safety Camera Commissioner, but the investigation being called for is not about camera operations. It is estimated at least 18,000 infringements were recorded at the Davey Street cameras in May, alone,” Robins said.
“There are clear indicators a low level of awareness of the change to 40 kmph is the key issue because the signage is not fit for purpose on a highly trafficked divided arterial road at the edge of a commercial zone. If 40 kmph limits are introduced on other divided arterial roads with the same minimum level of signage, a similar outcome will result.”
Frankston Council CEO Phil Cantillon said that he is aware that motorists are having issues with the new speed limit. “Council has been working cooperatively with the Department of Transport to highlight its concerns and advocate for temporary electronic message boards to be installed pending the permanent signage being switched on, as well as writing to the Office of the Road Safety Camera Commission for its further consideration of the matter,” he said.
“In this particular situation, the Nepean Highway is a state controlled DOT road and the introduction of the 40km zone is part of a state-wide DOT initiative to improve the safety of shopping strips. Frankston City Council welcomes the lowered speed zone introduced on this section of Nepean Highway in late 2021 recognising how busy it is with cars and pedestrians associated with the retail and restaurant activity, and for those walking to the waterfront and for commuters.”