Saturday, February 19, 2011

Australian town changes name to Speedkills

A tiny Australian town is changing its name as part of a quirky road safety campaign. The town of Speed in Victoria, which has a population of just 45 people, will be known as Speedkills for the month of March after locals decided to help promote safe driving.

Each year hundreds of people die in accidents on Australian roads and in 2010 deaths on rural roads increased by about 25 per cent, but successive advertising campaigns by the government urging motorists to slow down have been largely unsuccessful.

Speed locals hope that their unique contribution to road safety will make drivers hit the brakes. Phil Down, a local wheat and sheep farmer who is changing his name to Phil Slow Down for the month, said the aim of the name change was to encourage people to keep to the speed limit on country roads.

"It's virtually on the road to somewhere else, so we've taken our quirky name and run with it to bring the attention to the campaign of trying to get people to slow down on country roads and especially through small towns," he said. Speed, which lies 250 miles north of Melbourne, was originally named after a Victorian railway commissioner.

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