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by Tim Beissmann

The Northern Territory Government has added a new stretch of the Stuart Highway to its open speed limit network.

From September 1, the open speed limit trial will include 72km of the highway from Barrow Creek to just south of the Ali Curung Rail Overpass.

The newly added stretch extends the open speed limit zone to 276 kilometres, joining the existing 204km stretch between Barrow Creek and Alice Springs that had its speed limit lifted last year.

NT transport minister Peter Styles said he expected the announcement to be welcome news to frequent road users, particularly those in Barkly and Central Australia, though warned the lifting of speed limits was not an invitation for motorists to drive irresponsibly.

“Over the past 10 years, there has not been a single speed-related fatality on this new stretch of road,” Styles said.

“I want to remind Territorians that while we are giving them back this opportunity to set their own safe speed, it comes with responsibility. We expect people to drive to the road conditions, safely and within their capabilities.

“This is not a licence to drive recklessly, it’s a licence to drive responsibly. Police won’t hesitate to prosecute people who drive dangerously, drink drive or fail to wear seat belts in the trial zone.”

The government has begun $1.55 million worth of safety improvements and signage upgrades on the extended section of the highway as part of the trial.

It is continuing to assess further sections of road that may also be suitable for a revised limit.




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