Speed limits along Lemon Tree Passage Road will be dropped by the end of July in a bid to reduce the number of crashes on the Tilligerry Peninsula.
Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) has said it will lower speed limits along the road, from the intersection of Nelson Bay Road at Salt Ash to the 50 km/h section at Lemon Tree Passage, by 10km/h.
The 50km/h speed zone will not be changed.
“Speed is directly related to over 20 per cent of casualty crashes in Port Stephens,” Port Stephens Council’s road safety and traffic officer, Lisa Lovegrove, said.
“Research shows that even small reductions in vehicle speed can reduce the number of deaths and the severity of injuries caused by crashes.”
In the past five years, there has been 58 crashes along Lemon Tree Passage Road that resulted in injuries and one death.
Ms Lovegrove said Lemon Tree Passage Road, which is the main road in and out of the Tilligerry Peninsula and ranges in speed zones from 50km/h up to 100km/h, had seen “many recent speed-related crashes”.
Senior Constable John Simmons from the Traffic and Highway Patrol Command based in Port Stephens said the drop in speed limits would help reduce the number of crashes and people being hurt from them.
“It’s well known that reducing a speed limit in a location will reduce the number of injury crashes,” he said.
“We’ll continue looking out for and attempt to catch those speeding and taking risks.”
It is estimated that the change in speed limit will add one minute and five seconds to the journey time when travelling from Lemon Tree Passage to Nelson Bay Road.
RMS, the organisation responsible for determining speed limits of all NSW roads, is expected to install electronic signs to advise drivers of the changed conditions in the next two weeks.
Preliminary data from the NSW Centre for Road Safety shows that 10 people died in nine crashes across Port Stephens in 2016.
The data also shows that 43 people were seriously injured in 37 collisions across the Port last year.
Additionally, 63 people were moderately injured in 47 collisions and 42 people received minor injuries in 24 collisions.