Pedestrian safety is behind the decision to drop speed limits through the Orange CBD. From Friday, drivers must slow to 40km/h within the area bordered by Peisley Street, Kite Street, Hill Street and Byng Street. "Statistics show that a mere drop of 10km/h for motorists can actually halve the risk of injury and the severity to [a] pedestrian," Holly Davies of Transport NSW told Orange media this week. "This area actually does have a crash history with pedestrians and so we're confidant we will see a reduction in the number and the frequency of crashes, as well as the severity." Deputy mayor Gerald Power believes the move could increase walking in Orange. "We're really excited about this whole initiative in relation to safety," he said. The council decision has generated a range of views, but most drivers contacted by the Central Western Daily said they're broadly supportive. Proponents believe the move will make pedestrians safer, while critics argue it is unnecessary and could further congest traffic. "I think 40 is not too bad because it's a pretty busy road, being the highway," Dorothy Olencewicz said on Thursday. Dierdre Leslie said: "I personally think it's a very good idea. "I've never felt comfortable driving at 50 in the main street. There are too many lights and roundabouts to go at that speed anyway, plus the streets aren't that wide. "I think it's a very, very positive move." Tony Brown was sceptical of the speed drop and believes it's unnecessary. "I think it's a bit silly," he said. "I drive an automatic car and it doesn't change gears properly at that speed. "I just think it's a bit silly ... is it going to be like 30 kilometres at the school zones now? "I don't know, it just doesn't make any sense to me." Cassandra Ewens and Graham Thom visited Orange this week from Sydney, where a 40km/h speed limit is already in effect. "I think in the main street it's keeping people safe ... I think it's a good idea if it's for the wellbeing of the people on the street," Ms Ewens said. Mr Thom said: "I think the issue that we have in Sydney is the lack of signage. "As long as you know well in advance that this is the speed limit, then I think it should be fine." The speed drops are marked by textured red inlays in the road and new signs. In a statement issued earlier this year, mayor Jason Hamling said he believes the move will make Orange more pedestrian friendly. "For a number of years, the Orange CBD has been transitioning from a traffic-focused place to a pedestrian-focused place. These changes are the next steps in that trend," he said. "The focus on becoming more pedestrian-friendly has been a key element of the FutureCity design upgrades in the CBD. "Our CBD is becoming a destination residents travel to and spend time in, not a route for through-traffic. "In the same way that building the northern bypass successfully took cattle trucks out of the centre of town, this change will gradually encourage local commuters to choose other routes such as Moulder and March streets to avoid the CBD, creating an even more pedestrian-friendly zone."