Restrictions sets to be introduced on Stuart Highway.

Porsche has criticized the government of Australia’s Northern Territory over plans to reintroduce speed limits on a long stretch of outback highway, reports The Telegraph.

Under the plans, announced by the territory’s new Labor government, a speed limit of 81 miles-per-hour (130 kilometers-per-hour) would be imposed on a 200-mile (320 kilometer) stretch of the Stuart Highway, which runs north from the city of Alice Springs in central Australia. Speed restrictions were originally imposed in 2007, but then gradually lifted from 2014.

There are few places in the world that allow sustained high-speed running over such a long distance, making the highway popular with both film production companies and car manufacturers.

Porsche’s public relations director, Paul Ellis, weighed in, saying: “It seems the Northern Territory government is doing its best to deter international car companies from coming to Australia to spend money and invest in the local economy. Speed does not kill, bad driving kills. It is just a shame we’ve taken a nanny state approach.”

Government figures show deaths on the Stuart Highway actually increased after restrictions were imposed in 2007. Campaigners against limits argue that they increase journey times, leading to more fatigue-related accidents.

However, doctors countered that higher speeds increase the risk of serious injury in a crash, and it seems that argument won out. The new chief minister of the Northern Territory, Michael Gunner, said: “We have made [this] decision for safety, on the basis of advice from doctors.”

The proposed limit is at least higher than the 68 mph (110 km/h) restriction that covers most of the Australian highway network. And it will still be possible to apply for a permit to have stretches of the Stuart Highway derestricted for filming or testing purposes.  

Australia has a complicated relationship with speed. Ford and Holden have produced some of the world’s great muscle cars there, and it is home to the V8 Supercars series, which invariably serves up sensational racing. And yet even slight infringements of the rules of the road, particularly speeding, carry often draconian penalties.  

Source: The Telegraph

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