Have a read of this. http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,21428933-5007146,00.html Road toll isn't just because of speed By Paul Pottinger March 23, 2007 01:00am AS heretical statements go it won't get you burned at the stake, but challenging the received wisdom on road speed limits is a bit like begging to differ with the Spanish Inquisition. The prevailing orthodoxy brooks no dissent. Speed, you are instructed to believe, kills. As little as 5km/h over the limit is as evil as 15km/h over - and must be punished with uniform severity. That ever more young people are being killed in cars is not to be blamed on the complete absence of education and on-road training. The fact a P-Plater can drive a car that's been rusting for longer than they have been alive - but not several dozen models rated as five-star safe because they have turbo or supercharging - is not a factor. Nor are road surfaces and conditions that would embarrass a Third World nation. The Earth is flat, the sun revolves around us and the NSW Road Traffic Authority is a seamless, efficient organisation that in no way deserves the derisive moniker Road Toll Authority (ie: it's responsible for raising tolls of both sorts). This spirit of doublespeak allows the RTA to maintain that speed is the greatest single factor in road fatalities. What this blighted bureaucracy does not care to dwell upon is that alcohol was a factor in more than 30 per cent of these deaths. It seems not to matter a further 20 per cent of the departed were not wearing a seatbelt. Nor even that more than 10 per cent of them were unlicensed. For a government to admit the fatalness of any factor other than speed would be to acknowledge its disinterest in making us safer drivers and our roads safer places on which to drive. Crucially, it also means admitting what everyone who owns and runs a car in this state of disrepair knows only too well - the road infringement regime is about raising revenue. A few years ago, even a government as venal as this one became concerned it was being seen to act as avidly as vampires on haemophiliacs. It reduced the financial slug of speeding, but increased demerit points. Given that two-thirds of the almost 600,000 infringements the RTA issues in a year are for low-level speeding, the stream of revenue has remained steady. What did change, however, was that perfectly responsible citizens whose eyes strayed from their speedometer for a moment could loose a quarter of their licence in one go. Or half of it on a holiday weekend. No one is going to argue with the speed limit as applied to school zones and business districts. Not on the open road, though, where highway patrol numbers have continued to radically decline. To go on pretending that the road toll can be attributed only to kilometres per hour is as deadly to the truth as it is to all who use the roads.