DRIVERS will have to hit the brakes as Tamworth Regional Council (TRC) looks to drop the speed limit to 40km/h on more roads across the region due to safety concerns.
Red tape to reduce speed limits could be slashed as the Joint Standing Committee on Road Safety (Staysafe) handed down recommendations that were "exactly what the council was looking for", according to TRC Local Traffic Committee Chair Phil Betts.
He said there have already been requests to introduce them in high-traffic areas in Barraba, Manilla and Nundle.
"[They'd help] to streamline the process and reduce the bureaucracy and red tape associated with introducing lowering speed restrictions," he said.
"There's been a number of areas where residents have requested different speed restrictions for many, many years and it's just become more and more difficult because of the red tape, but this will certainly make an improvement if the government approves it."
The school-zone style speed limits are already in place at Peel Street and Kable Avenue in Tamworth, and could soon be seen in surrounding towns.
Sandy Road at Kootingal is one example Cr Betts gave of a road that locals and council alike had been looking at changing.
It was previously knocked back, because it doesn't meet the current criteria to do so.
Member for Barwon Roy Butler, who is also part of the Staysafe committee, said it has become obvious some 50km/h speed zones in built up regional areas are no longer safe.
"There are a lot of areas that have 50km/h zones in main streets that people would rarely travel at 50km/h because there's simply too much pedestrian activity, and cars parking and pulling in and pulling out," he said.
"And common sense would say if there's people moving about and cars stopping and parking then you have to travel at a safe speed and that would be less than 50km/h in some of those areas."
Mr Butler said the role of road safety officers (RSOs) had been heavily discussed, with the report recommending the NSW government take the population and size of regions into account to ensure they have an adequate amount.
While this will be a focus for much of the state, Cr Betts said he was comfortable with the job RSOs were doing in Tamworth.
"Council has been well serviced with road safety officers, the attendance of the traffic committee has been excellent and the working relationship has been excellent," he said.
"Many of the requirements that we have requested from those officers have been dealt with very professionally and very rapidly given the bureaucratic stumbling blocks they actually run into."
He said the most important step to take now is lobbying the government to ensure the recommendations are partially or fully adopted, then quickly implemented.
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