Australian town becomes SpeedKills in safety campaign

By Nick Bryant
BBC News, Sydney

Image caption, Speed is becoming SpeedKills and resident Phil Down becomes Phil Slow Down

A small town in Australia has decided to change its name for a month in an attempt to increase road safety.

The town of Speed - a blink-and-you'd-miss-it town in the countryside of Victoria - will be known as SpeedKills.

Speed-dwellers are hoping it will persuade drivers to slow down on country roads.

Speed is hoping to become something of a global, internet sensation with the launch of this novel safety campaign.

The idea was the brainchild of the Victoria Transport Accident Commission, which soon won over Speed's 45 residents.

Such was their enthusiasm, that they even made a video as part of the campaign.

It has already proved a hit on the social networking site, Facebook.

Image caption, The town of Speed has managed a name change with the help of the internet

While the campaign is running, one local resident has even agreed to change his own name.

Phil Down, a local wheat and sheep farmer, will become Phil Slow Down.

It is hoped the idea will catch on around the world.

Road safety officials in Victoria have already identified five towns in the United States called Speed which it hopes will support name changes of their own.

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