‘Let’s raise speed limits so ‘exasperated’ motorists can overtake grey nomads!’

Published: July 13, 2023

A Queensland MP has called for speed limits on sections of the Bruce Highway to be raised to 120km/h so motorists don’t become frustrated by slow-moving grey nomads.

Nick Dametto, who is also deputy leader of Katter’s Australian Party, told the Townsville Bulletin that he regularly travels a notorious stretch of the A1 between Ingham and Townsville and sees dangerous driving because people cannot safely overtake more regularly.

“Frustrations can become particularly high this time of year when North Queensland is in peak tourism season and caravans and camper trailers line both sides of the highway,” he told the newspaper. “We love our tourists but the exasperation of coming across a long line of grey nomads is something that most people can relate to.”

He says motorists are being slowed down and that 120km/h overtaking lanes could be the answer.

Mr Dametto said modern vehicles had the requisite safety features to travel faster than 100km/h without danger, and that raising speed limits would reduce the frequency of risky overtaking manoeuvres.

Vehicles that sat on 85km/h ‘just seemed’ to speed up to 100km/h as you went to overtake them, Mr Dametto told the Bulletin.

“We’re not saying let’s do 120km/h up and down the Bruce Highway, that would be ludicrous.”

The Bulletin reports that Mr Dametto’s idea for 120km/h overtaking lanes would be only on long straight sections with wide centre lanes to get as many cars past a slow-moving vehicle as possible.

However, Queensland’s transport and main roads minister, Mark Bailey, wasted no time in rejecting the proposal.

“No, I won’t be considering overtaking lanes at 120km/h,” he told the Townsville Bulletin. “This would increase the number of crashes, they would be more severe, ultimately resulting in more deaths and lifelong injuries … if you’re in a hurry, plan better and leave yourself plenty of time.”

The 1,679-kilometre Bruce Highway has a 100km/h limit except for large 110km/h sections between Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast.

According to the Bulletin, comprehensive data for 2022 is not readily available. However, it says that in 2021 there were 21 fatal crashes on the Bruce Highway, of which the majority were disproportionately north of Noosa.

  • Would you like to see higher speed limits on some stretches of road to allow impatient motorists to legally overtake you more easily? Comment below.

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It’s an absolute No, from me. Sanctioning excessive speed would be madness.
There is already a Law requiring travel in left lane unless overtaking, when posted limit is 80kph or above.

What about 110 or 120 max speed where overtaking lanes are provided (right lane only). On queensland roads I would be worried about excessive speeds on the majority of them. Of course in the not so great South East of queensland the roads are much nicer, but anywhere else, not so much.

Last edited 7 months ago by Kevin On Walkabout

Not surprised this bloke belongs to the Katter party ,coming up with such a stupid suggestion.

Crikey!Donald Trump fake news here . The author has obviously not driven north of Gympie,110 kph Marlbrough to Clairveiw?
and T’ville to Ingham has been under (still is)roadworks areas for more than 3 years.
and the only impact i see from higher limits is the worsening injuries,death etc when they hit each other or some innocent “doing the right thing driver’s family”because of the impatience of a few drivers none more so than those who pass everything in front to be seen up the road at a servo or taking a on the road side.
We travel the Bruce’s full length minimum twice yearly and this is what we see

The last person you would listen to would be the “hard hat, fluro vest wearing” Mark Bailey. You have to realise that between him & Steven Miles, they share are brain.

Jumbo, the whole brain or just part of it?

I sit on 90-95 while towing my caravan to give motorists a chance to pass. I have my radio on channel 40 and talk to the truckies if they answer me. Amazing how many don’t respond. If I have a few vehicles behind me I pull over and let them go but Queensland is shocking for lack of overtaking lanes and rest areas.
Nowhere in any state’s road rules does it say that a motorist has to drive at the speed limit. Remember it is a limit not a requirement. In WA any vehicle towing 1 trailer is limited to 100 km/h.
BESIDES most of the Bruce highway isn’t roadworthy enough to drive over 100km/h.
In saying that the roads in NSW and Queensland are poorly maintained; not just the roads in the tropics but all over.

You hit the nail on the head Rob. The Bruce Goat Track is beyond a joke north of Gympie.
Pull in bays are few and far between along with shaded rest stops and toilet facilities.

Totally agree also, it’s not possible to sit any where near 100kmh with the disgraceful road conditions, and not just the Bruce. Add to this impatient drivers of all types of vehicles……

My understanding is you can travel any speed you like under the signed speed limit as long as you do not hinder any other travellers on the road, ie, traffic behind you let them pass. But be careful in queensland, if you travel under the speed limit it is the police persons discretion if they wish to fulfil their ticket quota on you.

There is a problem, when I am towing caravan or boat I keep up with the traffic at the posted speed limit applicable, unless it is a 110 kmh zone and I stick to truck speed of 100 kmh. The other consideration is accuracy of speedometer, my vehicle indicating 100 kmh is doing 93 kmh so all vehicle drivers should check the accuracy.

It is frustrating following any slow vehicle, an example in the country district where I live is a 100 kmh main road and many tourists, and some locals, who crawl along at 80 kmh or less as a long line of vehicles slow down behind increasing in number. Maybe the 80 kmh vehicle drivers are really travelling closer to 70 kmh in the 100 kmh zone, single lane and not many overtaking opportunities.

Dennis you have hit the nail on the head, we have only just finished a 20000k round trip and found most(all) cars tr@veling 5k below the speed limit because their speedos are inaccurate. It’s not only older cars, we have just (2weeks ago) taken delivery of a new Kia Stinger a very up market , fast car (0 to 100k in just over 4 seconds) and even this cars speedos is 4.6 k inaccurate according to my gps.
If the speed limit was increased to 120 k in passing lanes most would be only doing 115 k.. As a matter of interest I turn 80 yrs old this Nov.

You’ve hit the nail on the head with car speedos, some are out by 10% which is allowable in the manufacturing process. Many trucks I believe, have calibrated speedos which are far more accurate. I too live in the country and find that many drivers who don’t know the roads do silly things, one of the things I find alarming is that they will take risks on sections of the road that local knowledge says is unsafe. Also find it frustrating when people who clearly have no intention of passing, don’t leave space for a vehicle to pull into the stream of traffic in front of them. I believe it is crazy to try and stick to the speed limit of 100 kph when passing a slower moving vehicle (say doing 90 – 95kph), exposing yourself for a longer period of time on the “wrong” side of the road. Perhaps if you were permitted to move at a higher speed when passing rather than “not exceeding 100”, it would make our roads flow better and ease frustration/fear of getting booked.

If the Bruce hwy wasn’t a single lane goat track and was a dual lane freeway, like every other state has, no one would be held up, it’s just successive governments up there don’t give a damn, they live in Brisbane miles away from it, and have freeways in Brisbane,, so I am alright Jack!

Yours must be a tongue in cheek comment, surely? The Bruce Highway Upgrade Program is the largest road infrastructure program Queensland has ever seen. It is aimed at improving safety, flood resilience, and capacity along the length and breadth of the highway between Brisbane and Cairns.
Starting on 1 July 2013, the program was initially developed as an $8.5 billion 10-year commitment jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland Governments. In May 2018, the Australian Government committed an additional $3.3 billion (based on 80:20 funding arrangements) to its existing $6.7 billion commitment.
The Queensland Government also committed to providing an additional $200 million each year (based on 80:20 funding arrangements) for upgrades on the Bruce Highway on top of the already provided $1.8 billion. 

10 year commitment in 2013? Typical Government estimate in case you did not know, the 10 years is up this year, so next year we will have a fantastic road all the way to Cairns – right! I read a book by John Singleton in 1975 called Rip van Australia in which the forward said; “Every thing the Government touches turns to shit!” Seems nothing has changed in 48 years.

Just assume the driver of the vehicle ahead is dealing with a problem and be patient. HE/SHE could be ill. The vehicle could be dangerous at a higher speed. I know I held up traffic once when a wedgetail destroyed our windscreen and we could not find a road shoulder suitable for us to get of the bitumen for several kilometers. It happens! If it was an agricultural tractor or other machinery you wouldn’t get frustrated you would be patient. The delay you face is considerably less than if there were and accident

If he/she IS ill they should not be on the road in charge of any car..

It isn’t rocket science, watch your mirrors and where there is a gap move over to the left just a little bit so the vehicle behind can see ahead without having to cross the centre line.

Last edited 7 months ago by Dave

The answer should be more passing lanes and not those 500mt long ones where only one truck and a couple of cars can get past. Take a look at WA where they have passing lanes 2 to 3 kilometres long and advise the length of the overtaking lane on the sign.

There is an issue with overtaking lanes caravans that travel at 95 kms accelerate to 110kms we sit on the speed limits and are frustrated by straight line dragsters.
Perhaps the issue of driver training and the balance of tow tug to caravan needs to be addressed.

Don’t put all caravanners into that box mate. There are many others that do that. I travel between 90-95, maintain that until vehicle crosses lanes, then back off 5 k’s to assist. I have travelled the north and had no problems whatsoever, so I a guessing impatience is the problem, not those travelling slower than the speed limit. The issue today is it is always someone else’s fault, not mine!!

In other states apart from Qld, it is a road rule that when being overtaken, that the vehicle being overtaken MUST maintain its speed and NOT accelerate! Why is it not the law here in Qld?

What stupid idea we have enough crashes now why would you increase the speed limits it would be better to widen and adding more overtaking lanes not only on hilly roads but also on long flat road. We have a policy of maintaining a 90km/hr speed when towing our van – better safe then sorry.

Road users towing a caravan/camper trailer should consider other road users when travelling on major roads well under the posted speed limit and not travel in convoys without leaving space in between the vehicle in front to allow other road users to ‘leap frog’ long lines of slower moving vehicles.

What a crock of sh1t. Modern vehicles can easily manage 120kph safely. These politicians live on a different planet. More overtaking lanes is where safety can be improved but it’s a cheaper solution to just restrict everyone to 100kph.

What a stupid statement from a country Polly who obviously only travels I his local area of the Bruce Hwy. Most of that notorious hwy north of Gympie is riddled with pot holes, dips and sways and narrow sections. It’s not unusual to see caravans ripping along slightly over the speed limit, and when there is a good section of road, those vans go well over the limit.
That’s just absolute crazy.
So this Polly wants too increase speed limits ? This would only be a green flag to caravans to do that new speed.
I wish these pollies would get real, get out from behind their desks and travel more on the Bruce to see first hand how bad this hwy is.
Only today as I was heading home towards Gympie, I had a 22 foot Jayco being towed by a land cruiser, passed me doing at least 120 klm per hour. I was cruising at 112 klm per hour, without a van. That is dangerous.
Please slow down when towing !!

If any towing exceed 100 they are breaking laws. Personaly my preferred speed is a max of 80kmh, with a keen eye on what is coming up behind me.

Why don’t you look at Tasmania where they have areas on the left side where a slow moving vehicle can pull over so faster traffic can overtake safely without raising the speed limit and won’t cost as much as putting in over taking lanes

very few areas to pull over in Tasmania and no edge to the side of the road to safely stop
I drive a 16 ton bus so know all those roads very well

Good idea, what I have heard about QLD roads we should be lowering the speed limit not increasing it, also it would seem that QLD are not maintaining their roads there is fat chance that they will be adding lanes.

More overtaking lanes is the answer. Many of Australia’s “Highways” have very few.

Personally I don’t like traffic behind me and slow down in the overtaking lanes to let people past. I also call trucks up on the UHF to let them know what I am doing. If they want to increase the speed limit in the overtaking lanes I have no objection to that.

No from me re 120 limit. I am from WA and have just driven Brisbane to Townsville on The Bruce, & it’s a crap road.
I do sit on 80 to 85 cos We wana see what’s around. So many cars will creep up so close behind & the stopping bays so short, I feel if I slow to let people pass they will run into the back of me.
Lots of occasions when there has been more than enough time to pass, dickheads won’t. It’s almost as if I have to use my flashers to wake them up, then they leave it till the opportunity to pass has gone before they go. Trucks I will increase my
speed to 100k & when it’s safe, Call them thru.

So you expect to travel at 80-85kph towing a caravan because you want to look at the scenery??????? That is just so dangerous and frustrating for other drivers who have to sit behind you for endless k’s.

Why else do you travel for if not to look at the scenery. That speed is only dangerous if the people driving the other cars are incapable of driving safely around other vehicles.

Yes I see a few drivers that remind me of an early drone.. They are not fitted with obstacle avoidance …

More And Longer Passing Lanes Is The Most Logical Answer ,Because 120 KMH Would Only Encourage Some Motorists To Do This Speed ALL THE TIME .

Thé Flinders Hwy out of Townsville is 110km/h to Charters Towers and beyond. There is a lot of road train ( 3, 4 and 5 trailers ).They are driving at 90 km/h. Overtaking them is not to bad as they are keeping their speed. So why caravan can not be limited to 90 km/h and stick to it. A lot of drivers are moving at 90 and when come an overtaking lane they speed up there is a lot of education to be done.

Most of the problem is not with caravanners, but with the other motorists who have not the slightest clue how to take maximum opportunity of limited passing opportunities. You can see their brain clicking over at snails pace. The road ahead is clear so several seconds later they edge out a bit, then back, then out again and then as the solid line appears in the distance, they finally make a decision, jerk the wheel to the right and slooowwwly begin to overtake – – invariably leaving all the rest in line pounding their steering wheels in frustration, not at the moron who can’t overtake, but at the vanner who did nothing wrong.
Then of course the same painful process repeats at the next passing opportunity.
And the next
…..

Last edited 7 months ago by Tony Lee

bloody oaf, so true!

How about they make the road double lane.

We travelled down the Great Ocean Road last July & was very impressed with the Layby’s on this road. A Layby is a short pull over area to allow caravans or slower cars to pull into to allow cars behind to pass. It is not an overtaking lane but is an exceptional idea to keep the traffic flowing. You get plenty of advance notice when they are coming up so you can turn into them. They are not that long but have enough room to pull in a car & large caravan safely & you have good vision to be able to pull out safely when cars behind have passed. Pity there are not more of these on our major roads.

Wow, being the owner/driver of a motor home towing a small car on a trailer, I’ve witnessed this numerous times. Slow moving vehicle reaches an overtaking lane then accelerates. This appears to be deliberate as when the overtaking lane finishes, the speed drops back causing much annoyance and frustration. When I’m driving my rig, I drive on my mirrors/camera to see who’s where around me. When entering an overtaking lane, I slow down and even stop if I have to thereby allowing all traffic to pass safely. Unfortunately, most towing vans or driving motor homes are either belligerent idiots or are clueless of road courtesy.

The Bruce hwy should be double lanes both ways by now if the govements had done their jobs

It would be safer is there was more passing lanes built into the long straight stretchers of all the roads. There are to many Formula One drivers out there who think that they are capable of doing what others would cringe at.

We done 3 years on the road towing a van never caused anyone stress communicated with whoever was listening and got out of the way asap. The biggest trouble out there are vans travelling close together and driving under the the speed limit then accelerate in the passing lane.
Split up and rendezvous down the road and stop blocking up the truck channel discussing what’s for tea ,the truckies are working and are on schedules you are on holiday so get out of everybodys way and stop giving caravaners a bad name.

Bruce Highway- most dangerous road I have driven on. Needs to be totally upgraded.

Makes perfect sense to me

I think that would be a very good idea but install more overtaking lanes and put a speed limit on caravans and motor homes of say 90-95 so that they don’t speed up on the overtaking lanes and keep a reasonable distance between them I see so many so close that they must be scared of their mate getting away

Not surprised, a politician, and a dud one at that!
build a sfer highway, increases in speed only ensures less survivors.
maybe he has shares in funeral homes.
After 12 years in road accident rescue, I have seen the results of speed and political decisions.
Get your drivers to stop and assist at asevere accident scene, and they will become very safe drivers.
No amount of catchy slogans or Rhetoric, would solve the problem.

If the posted speed limit was 130 most would want to drive at 150…just like a public holiday Monday, take Friday off and finish early Thursday…

This is a great idea it would snooker those idiots who take great delight in speeding up to 100kph in the passing lanes when they’ve been sitting on 85 90 generally. Speed does not kill, frustration and inattention does, I can’t believe the number of drivers who are guilty of this practice in Queensland.

Maybe the government should give the upgrade of the bruce highway to wagners

What he says is correct, vehicles these days are safer, but its not the car you have to worry about, it the person behind the wheel. That person may not have the experience, competence, etc to handle 120.

10 yrs ago I had a coaster bus converted to m/ h and it was only good for 90k at 3000 rpm. I had 2 90 k spped signs with a red line thru it to let road users know. Got many thank you,s from truckies. Also as they are overtaking take the foot off the pedal especially in WA with the quad road trains.

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