Speed limit to be eliminated on Australian highway

Copyright 2008

 (Copyright 2008)

What’s Australian for Autobahn, mate?

February 1, 2104 is set to be a very good day for Aussies in a hurry.

That’s when the speed limit will be lifted on a 124-mile stretch of the Stuart Highway, making it one of the only public roads on the planet where you can legally drive as fast as you like.

The highway runs through one of the most sparsely populated areas in the country, linking the Outback towns of Alice Springs and Barrow Creek.

The Northern Territory, where the road is located, has had no blanket speed limit in years past, but in 2007 the then-majority Labor party adopted Australia’s national limit of 2007 in exchange for federal funding.

Since then the conservative Country Liberal Party has taken over the legislature and voted to drop the limit for a 12-month trial, the territory’s transport minister saying that there hadn’t been one speed-related death recorded on the road from 2001-2011, according to CarsGuide.

Nevertheless, The Australian reports that police and safety groups have joined the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons with plans to lobby the federal government to withhold funds from the region in an effort to force it to restore the limit, citing a fatal accident rate across the territory three times the national average.

The territory government says that the results of the trial will be audited before it decides whether or not to continue the open limit on the Stuart Highway or expand it to other roads.

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