The Risk Management Tool Box Blog

WA Road Safety Council Failure

Graham Marshall - Tuesday, April 17, 2012

WA motorists have been hit with a record 60 per cent increase in "tax" on driving in the form of additional revenue raised from speeding infringement notices.

But despite all that extra revenue, the folks over at the WA Road Safety Council have still not managed to reduce the number of fatalities on WA roads over a 15-year period (see graph).

The same number of motorists and pedestrians were killed in 2011 as were killed way back in 1996.

And what's more, WA continues to lag behind the industrialized World - mainly as a result of the failures of the WA Road Safety Council to promote safety programs beyond simple revenue raising via fines.

Drivers were fined an extra $33.7 million in 2011 after the Police handed out 5,600 more speeding tickets on average each week.

A total of 789,134 infringements were issued in 2011. 

Of that total, almost half (363,945 infringements) were issued to WA motorists who were "speeding" by just 9km/h or less, which carries a $75 fine.

So, as the figures show, the vast majority of the additional "journey tax" was paid by drivers who were driving between just 1km/h and 9km/h over the posted limit.

And while the Road Safety Council chairman D'Arcy Holman claimed that these "slow-motion" speeders caused the same carnage on WA roads as "high-level" speeders, I think we all recognize that this is simply nonsense.

Holman believes that  this "low-level speeding is one of the deadliest epidemics on our roads."   A viewpoint like that simply demonstrates what nonsense these "experts" are basing our public policy upon.

The simple fact, as the results show, is that it is an easy and convenient way for the Government to "tax" road users by fining them for driving at marginally faster than the posted limit.

Less than 10 per cent of fines (54,533 infringements) were handed out to motorists who were speeding by 20km/h or more, which is where the danger really lies.

That , and mobile phone use, texting, driving in the left hand lane, failing to indicate, failing to stop at controlled intersections, and over-taking on the inside.  But sorting out those issues is way beyond the WA Road Safety Council.

It's much easier to hide in the bushes and fine ordinary sandgropers who are just going about their business at, what is frequently, a reasonable speed.



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