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Speed Focus Wrong: Road Safety Expert

Discussion in 'Research, Studies, and Data' started by middo, Oct 23, 2013.

  1. From the front page of today's West Australian:

    Speed focus wrong: road safety expert

    EXCLUSIVE Tayissa Barone, The West AustralianUpdated October 23, 2013, 2:40 am

    In the picture: Questions raised about speed policy. Picture: John Mokrzycki/The West Australian

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    The architect of the State Government's speeding strategy believes there is too much emphasis on "low-level" speeders and police should instead target motorists breaking the limit by more than 20km/h.
    Monash University road safety expert Max Cameron said covert speed cameras, increased penalties and immediate disqualification for high-level speeding could stop hoons.
    Professor Cameron said the widely held view that low-level speeders should be the priority in reducing serious crashes had been debunked by his latest research, which will be unveiled at a C-MARC road safety seminar in Perth today.
    Professor Cameron said he had analysed Main Roads data from 2010 that recorded 664,000 vehicles travelling through 60km/h zones and discovered those doing more than 80km/h - just 0.78 per cent of drivers - were responsible for 29.4 per cent of serious and fatal crashes on Perth roads.
    Conversely, the research found the 26.4 per cent of drivers travelling just above the speed limit at 60-65km/h made up just 3.7 per cent of crashes.
    The 13 per cent of drivers travelling at 65-70km/h contributed to just 8.5 per cent of serious crashes.
    "The argument has tended to be a fairly simple one - we know lots of people speed just above the limit and that there's a risk associated with it and, therefore, we should do something about it," Professor Cameron said.
    "I'm suggesting that may be true, but there are higher risks associated with quite uncommon behaviour at the high end of the scale and when you put the risk on to those people, they contribute a substantial proportion of serious and fatal crashes."
    Professor Cameron said to focus on low-level speeding "just because lots of people are doing it" could be misleading.
    He said he supported closing a low-level speeding loophole in WA that allowed drivers travelling less than 10km/h above the speed limit to escape a demerit point penalty.
    But he believed the primary focus should be on catching high-level speeders.
    "The big problem is still the high-level speeders and police need to think about how they can reduce that," Professor Cameron said.
    "The current focus on introducing a demerit point for low-level speeders shouldn't distract attention away from where the big problem is and that's high- level speeders."
    RAC spokesman Matt Brown said he strongly rejected the suggestion that the WA road safety community ignored the issue of the dangers of high-level speeding.
    "We are absolutely passionate about sending a message to the community that low-level speeding, particularly in an urban environment with kids on our streets, is a big risk," he said.
    Road Safety Council chairman Murray Lampard said he supported Professor Cameron's view that identifying and stamping out high-level speeding must be a priority for WA Police
    • Agree Agree x 1
  2. Finally someone is figuring out the obvious. Now the question is, what % of crashes involved those doing the speed limit or less? I bet it's the equivalent to the % of those in the minor speeding bracket.
    Of course those in power will use that stat to argue speeds should be lower, so...
  3. The expert was from Monash Uni, I'm guessing from MUARC. Is this the kind of advice given to governments in, say, Victoria?
  4. What's that? Common sense, backed up by research?
    Never get off the ground.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. Cameron is still arguing for zero tolerance at low levels of speeding, don't be fooled. But he has somewhat debunked the party line. Which is a little puzzling because he is one of the primary architects of the ongoing lowering of speed limits on all roads.
    The unstated stat is that up to 60% of serious crashes were caused by drivers who were under the speed limit.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. Going by the gaps in the stats given, those under the speed limit and those between 70-80km/h must be responsible for the remaining 41.6% of the crashes.

    So unless the 70-80km/h is incredibly dangerous, most crashes occur under the limit.

    Would need to compare the percentage of drivers to the percentage of crashes though to have an argument.