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Canberrans have a history of speeding and it’s only getting worse

Glynis Quinlan 16 November 2018
NSW Police with be out in force this weekend across Southern NSW. Photo: stock

Canberrans have a history of flouting speeding laws. File photo.

If you think that too many Canberrans have a lead foot then the statistics back you up – and reveal that the situation is only getting worse.

Data contained in the ACT Policing annual report for 2017-18 shows that Canberrans have a history of flouting speeding laws with almost one in four ACT residents (24.3 per cent) admitting to going 10 kilometres per hour or more over the speed limit.

This is well above the national average of 19.6 per cent of people who admitted to going 10 kilometres per hour or more over the speed limit in the 2017-18 survey of ‘community satisfaction with policing’.

And the percentage of Canberrans admitting to speeding has been above the national average every year since surveys were first conducted on this issue back in 2001-02.

“The results of the survey once again indicate disturbing degrees of non-compliance with legislative requirements by ACT drivers,” states the ACT Policing report.

“ACT Policing has never met the target for this indicator of effectiveness since it was first introduced in the National Survey of Community Satisfaction with Policing in 2001-02.”

Speeding offences increase by 10.9 per cent

According to the report, ACT Policing issued 4,505 traffic infringement notices for speeding-related offences during 2017–18, an increase of 10.9 per cent when compared to 2016–17 (when 4,064 notices were issued). It was also a significant increase over the 3,646 infringement notices issued in 2015-16.

A spokesperson for ACT Policing told Region Media that it is “concerning for police that this survey has identified that drivers are seemingly comfortable with speeding”.

“Drivers who speed are gambling with their own lives as well as the lives of other drivers, passengers, pedestrians and cyclists,” said the ACT Policing spokesperson.

“ACT Policing would like to remind drivers that speeding reduces your ability to control a vehicle, shortens your reaction time and lengthens stopping distances.

“When you speed, you increase the likelihood and severity of a collision.

“Speed limits are there for a reason and we actively target speeding drivers.”

The ACT Policing spokesperson said that speeding is a major contributor to injury and death on ACT roads.

Speeding identified as one of the ‘Fatal Five’

Speeding has been identified as one of the ‘Fatal Five’ factors which are often the cause of ACT road crashes. The other four factors are alcohol or drug-impaired driving, not wearing a seatbelt, intersections and driving while distracted.

ACT Fire & Rescue Commander Craig Perks (left), Officer in Charge of Traffic Operations, Acting Station Sergeant David Wills, and ACT Ambulance Operations Manager Mark Molloy are interviewed by the media at the launch of the Fatal Five road safety campaign for November last Friday. Photo: Supplied.

According to ACT Policing, seven out of the nine fatal collisions that have occurred on ACT roads this year are believed to be the result of one or more elements of the ‘Fatal Five’ (which are currently the focus of a road safety campaign).

The ACT Policing spokesperson said that police monitor speeding as part of their overall road safety activities and will continue to work with government and road safety partners to reduce instances of speeding in the ACT.

Visible patrols needed

NRMA NSW/ACT spokesman Peter Khoury told Region Media that if almost one in four people are admitting to speeding then the best way to deal with this is through having more clearly marked highway patrol vehicles which drivers see on a regular basis.

Mr Khoury said that the NRMA recently surveyed 1500 members from NSW and the ACT and found that more than half of them thought that visible highway patrols are the most effective way to crack down on driver behaviour.

“Once they [motorists] see them there on a regular basis they start to second-guess their behaviour,” Mr Khoury said.

Do you think too many Canberrans speed? Is there a need for more patrol vehicles? Let us know in the comments below.

Original Article published by Glynis Quinlan on the RiotACT.

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