Monash speed trial
We’re exploring new and innovative ways to manage the Monash Freeway, to encourage all road users to share the road and drive safely.
During this project, we'll look at whether two different safety management approaches in the trial area are able to reduce tailgating, truck crashes and near misses.
What has happened so far?
The first stage of the trial involved a 90 km/h reduced speed limit for trucks over 4.5 tonnes along the Monash Freeway, between Huntingdale Road in Mount Waverley and Jacksons Road in Noble Park. The speed limit remained at 100km/h for all other vehicles. The trial commenced on 25 August 2016.
Early findings from the trial are that the reduced speed didn’t curb tailgating behaviour by trucks or cars in the right-hand lane, but did slightly reduce overall speeds. Strong feedback from motorists about their experience of the trial was also very informative, with many drivers witnessing increased weaving between trucks and cars in the far right lane.
Thank you to the freight industry and individual trucking companies, who have taken strong action in cases where drivers were observed exceeding speed limits on multiple occasions during the trial.
What happens next?
We’ll now focus our attention on Stage 2 of the trial, removing trucks from the far right hand lane. This will commence once the Monash Freeway Upgrade works in the trial area are completed later this year.
Share your experiences
You’ll have the opportunity to share you experiences about the second stage of the trial on our engagement website, engageVicRoads here.
Why the Monash Freeway?
The Monash Freeway was chosen because it’s one of Victoria’s busiest freight routes with over 200,000 cars and trucks driving along it every day. The freeway is also four lanes which allows for safer overtaking.
A shared responsibility
The road is a truck driver’s workplace and we share a responsibility to ensure everyone’s workplace is safe and as hassle free as possible.
You should play your part to keep truck drivers safe by not driving in or changing lanes into the braking gap of a truck.
Large trucks travelling at 100km/h need approximately 32 car lengths to safely stop.
How will we evaluate the trial?
We're currently evaluating the trial This evaluation is looking at a number of factors including:
- the number of recorded crashes and incidents
- travel efficiency
- impact on commercial and private productivity
- environmental impacts such as noise and pollution
The results of the trial will also provide information to assist in future heavy vehicle policies for urban areas in Victoria.
If you'd like more information or to keep informed of future updates, please get in touch.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What is defined as a truck, and how does the trial apply to buses and other vehicles?
For the purpose of the trial a truck is a vehicle that is heavier than 4.5 tonnes. The trial excludes buses.
Are trucks causing all of the accidents on the Monash Freeway?
No, this trial does not place blame on trucks for the volume of accidents on the Monash. All road users have equal responsibility to share the road and drive safely.
Why has this stage of the trial been cut short?
With road works starting in the trial zone in March requiring an 80 km/h speed limit for all traffic, the trial had to end.
After almost six months we have useful data that shows tailgating behaviour has not improved for trucks or cars.
Wasn’t the trial meant to improve safety?
The trial aimed to determine whether reducing the speed limit for trucks to 90km/h would create greater gaps between trucks and cars. While the mean speed of trucks was lower, it didn’t change tailgating behaviour by cars or trucks, and in some cases it was worse.
We have learnt a lot from the trail and are now focused on the next stage– a ban on trucks in the right hand lane. This will commence once road works are completed.
Will banning trucks in the right lane still be considered?
Yes. The trial showed that trucks did abide by the speed limit in all lanes except the right lane. We will work in partnership with the freight industry on a trial to remove trucks from the right hand lane, as strongly suggested in community feedback. The industry and the community will have the opportunity to provide feedback on this stage of the trial.
How is this trial related to the Dynamic Speed Trial on the Monash Freeway?
The Dynamic Speed Trial starts well away from the Monash Speed Trial in order to minimise confusion for drivers and to ensure the results can be measured independently.
What is the revised works program on the Monash Freeway upgrade?
Road works are due to be completed in the trial zone by the end of the year. This includes new gantries that will allow variable speed limits.
Why was the Monash Freeway selected for this trial?
The Monash Freeway was chosen for this trial because it is frequently used by large volumes of trucks and cars, and because it is four lanes, which allows for safer overtaking.
The Monash Freeway carries in excess of 200,000 vehicles per day. 80 per cent of all crashes on the Monash are either rear end crashes or side swipe crashes.
VicRoads often receives complaints from the public about the level of ‘comfort’ experienced by road users due to the proximity of cars and trucks. The trial is aiming to increase distances between the two.