Australia will have 120 miles of highway without speed limits

Stuart highway in Australia 16.10.2013
Stuart highway in Australia 16.10.2013

Starting February 2014

Australia's Northern Territory transport minister Peter Styles announced 120 miles of the Stuart Highway will not have a speed limit.

Australia will be the first to provide an Autobahn alternative starting February 2014 when they will lift the current 130 km/h (81 mph) speed limit between Alice Springs and Barrow Creek. This will be done for a 12-month trial as a result of the fact that no fatalities related to speeding have been recorded between 2001 and 2011.

As you would imagine, not everybody is happy with this decision and one example is Australian Automobile Association boss Andrew McKellar who described this decision as "gambling with people's lives… it is absolutely inevitable that people will die as a result."

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Comments (24)

Aesthetics Aesthetics
so who wants to invest? hotel, dig up a lake slap bang in the middle, build a 5 star hotel around it. bikini, nice breeze off the lake for some cooling. a port for car people, it will go international as the autobahm is congested and often pointless
Oct 17th, 2013 4:27pm
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ChrisPettit ChrisPettit
The first to provide an Autobahn alternative? Montanabahn? http://www.us-highways.com/montana/mtspeed.htm#*
Oct 17th, 2013 2:43pm
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sensei sensei
Posters here keep ignoring that for 10 years not a single speed related fatality. More people have died in other parts of Australia due to drunk driving. Is Germany or Australia going to outlaw beer?
Oct 17th, 2013 3:47am
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F458 F458
I am not in favor of the idea at all. I pray for those who speed will make it safe to the other end of the highway without jeopardizing other people life that share the road. What do you do in life that is so imperative that you need to travel so fast on the road? I can see the point with local enforcing authority, but for daily commuter, slow down and enjoy your driving, if you're late to work, you're late to work.
Oct 16th, 2013 8:50pm
1 5
Dude von Dudenstein Dude von Dudenstein
I highly doubt that someone has to use that road for their morning commute. In Australia, I assume people live and work in one of the couple of big cities the country has. Roughly nobody lives outside these cities. Remember that Australia's area is just a couple of sq miles smaller than Europe's, yet they only have a population of 30 million vs Europe's 600 million. Australia is best compared to North America (350 million in a continent that's probably more than five times Europe's size).
Oct 16th, 2013 9:20pm
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memexe memexe
Probably costs more in law enforcement than cleaning out scrap metal and corpses!
Oct 16th, 2013 7:37pm
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Faithback Faithback
A sleepy driver is more dangerous than one travelling at high speed. Look at that desert stretch! Little (if any) exciting or interesting sites along the way. Worse is one dosing away at full speed...
Oct 16th, 2013 5:43pm
7 0
Darkstar Darkstar
I'm German and it's a bad idea in my opinion. Only one lane in each direction, and no barrier between them. In Germany it's possible to survive a crash with 120mhp or more on the Autobahn. Now crash on that road, in the middle of the desert, where you probably see more kangaroos than people who could help. It will be a point for speed tourism, and a graveyard ...
Oct 16th, 2013 2:37pm
7 2
AvusAndy AvusAndy
Darkstar is 100% correct, unlimited Autobahn roads have been designed in a way as to keep the car from crossing onto opposite lanes, divider keeps cars from catapulting , and most importantly Emergency services are some of the best in the world. I can't imagine crossing a car at a very high rate of speed and crossing my fingers that non os us will have a tyre failure etc....
Oct 16th, 2013 5:45pm
1 1
lucifa lucifa
The lack of a crash barrier is an issue, yes. But as an Australian, I can almost promise you speed tourism is not going to happen. I don't think people outside of Australia realise just how far Alice Springs is from any major city, or any real form of civilisation whatsoever in fact. As an example, I live in Perth, which as the crow flies is about the same distance from Alice Springs as Melbourne. In road miles, Perth to Alice Springs is longer than Madrid to Istanbul.
Oct 16th, 2013 7:16pm
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Dude von Dudenstein Dude von Dudenstein
Alright, but there are almost no cars, unlike in Germany, one of the most densely populated countries on earth. Also, this road goes straight, unlike the German autobahns (I assume). I bet this is much like US Route 66. Aren't big crashes quite unlikely to happen to anyone who has a brain then? Or am I being stupid?
Oct 16th, 2013 7:33pm
5 1
applejack76 applejack76
FYI... I don't care that you're German.
Oct 16th, 2013 9:05pm
1 4
Madness Madness
With all those V8's I hope they'll have petrol stations every couple of miles!
Oct 16th, 2013 2:34pm
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JoeyHapro JoeyHapro
i find it refreshing that another country gives way for some fun on the road. still, one has to drive responsible - like, if someone comes the other way: let of the gas.. but it is proven that people pay more attention to driving and traffic when they go faster, which again is common sense cause you have to concentrate on what you are doing. this is why the german autobahn has one of the lowest percentages in accidents compared to the traffic put through, of all the highways in the world. just because you have to pay more attention. that's it.
Oct 16th, 2013 1:42pm
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TroyBoy71 TroyBoy71
Oct 16th, 2013 12:55pm
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JoeyHapro JoeyHapro
absolutly great video :)
Oct 16th, 2013 1:44pm
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memexe memexe
wow! this video should be posted on this site`s frontpage and kept there for several weeks!
Oct 16th, 2013 7:32pm
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SirLukkas SirLukkas
Finally some common sense.
Oct 16th, 2013 12:54pm
9 0
EnzoTinyu EnzoTinyu
Narrow single lane highway, what's worst than a head on collision at unlimited speed?
Oct 16th, 2013 12:42pm
4 3
JoeyHapro JoeyHapro
still not all people will speed because they are allowed to. look at the autobahn in germany. traveling with 90 mph your probably one of the fastest drivers already. only few will go 120mph +.
Oct 16th, 2013 1:43pm
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JoeyHapro JoeyHapro
those highways are not narrow.... single lane, yes, but not narrow.
Oct 16th, 2013 1:44pm
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Mr80s Mr80s
Whether narrow or not there's no median strip featuring crash barriers and this is why one shouldn't compare this project to German ABs... irrespective of how many people will actually speed there. Totally agree with Darkstar (above)
Oct 16th, 2013 3:58pm
3 1
JoeyHapro JoeyHapro
of course it will be better with a crash barrier. maybe they will build one? there was no mentioning about making the road safer, so who knows.
Oct 16th, 2013 4:10pm
1 2
applejack76 applejack76
It is the land of "Madmax", the land of the last Interceptor.
Oct 16th, 2013 9:06pm
2 0