Australian Town of Speed Becomes 'Speedkills' to Promote Safe Driving

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If you're traveling in the Australian Outback you may want to plot a slow route through the tiny town of Speed, which has changed its name to "Speedkills" for the month of March.

The Speed name-change is part of an effort to promote safe driving on Australia's country roads and resulted from a Facebook campaign.

The Victoria town of only 45 residents vowed to change its name if it got 10,000 Facebook "likes." It got more than 34,000.

Phil Reed, who heads community relations for the region's Transport Accident Commission, tells Reuters officials came up with the idea to rename Speed as part of an effort to make speeding as "socially unacceptable" as drunk driving.

"Speeding through Speed is probably something that some people think is a great idea, but we don't think so," says one local resident.

To further promote the safe-driving effort, a Speed sheep and wheat farmer said he was also changing his name for the month, from Phil Down to Phil Slow Down.

According to the BBC, Victoria officials are also hoping five towns in the U.S. called Speed will adopt similar name changes to promote safe driving.

The Australian town also has another minor claim to fame, the annual Mallee Machinery Field Days, which draws more than 8,500 visitors and 350 exhibitors each August to Speed. The focus of the festival is farm machinery.

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