Speed limits lacking common sense on rural highways: Katter

Apr 22, 2024

Overtaking at 130 kilometres per hour will save lives, Katter’s Australian Party Leader, and Member for Traeger, Robbie Katter said.

The member for Traeger – the second largest electorate in Queensland, covering almost 430,000 square kilometres – is calling on the Minister for Transport and Main Roads to introduce an increased speed limit on rural highways while overtaking.

“With more and more road trains being forced onto our roads, common sense must prevail,” Mr Katter said.

“130 kilometres per hour while overtaking is a no-brainer!

“These trucks are rightly limited to 90 kilometres per hour, but this makes it terribly dangerous to overtake them at the speed limit of 100.

“To overtake these vehicles which are more than 50 metres long takes more than 30 seconds while obeying the limit.

“Those 30 seconds are some of the scariest moments I’ve experienced as a driver, with three trailers and a prime mover to pass.

“Rural drivers are well accustomed to the road conditions – we by far drive many more kilometres than the bureaucrats in Brisbane who set the limits.

“Allowing drivers to safely overtake at 130 kilometres per hour – the limit just over the border in the Northern Territory – will mean drivers can cut the dangerous time overtaking a road train by a third.

“Not to mention the important matter of fatigue,” Mr Katter said.

A trip from Mount Isa to Townsville is over 900 kilometres and can take a driver between 10 and 12 hours, depending on truck traffic.

“Townsville is a major hub for all sorts of essential services including life-saving health care.  This trip is not unusual,” the member for Traeger said.

“Getting stuck behind a road train is not a simple inconvenience like getting suck in Brisbane traffic, it impacts driver fatigue.

“The 100km per hour limit on our highways was put in place in the mid-1970s, based on the performance of vehicles of the time.

“I’m calling on the Minister to step into 2024 and out of the 1970s and work pragmatically to raise the speed limit while overtaking.

“Vehicles have significantly improved since the 1970s – is the minister admitting that the standard of roads has not improved since the 1970s?

“I was pleased to hear about a recent e-petition to the Queensland Parliament calling for higher speed limits on our highways.

“I for one have signed that petition!” Mr Katter said.