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

By Glynis Quinlan 12 November 2018 104
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.


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100 Responses to
Canberrans have a history of speeding and it’s only getting worse
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moo9 1:41 pm 06 Dec 18

Drove on the GDE this morning twice, to my destination then back. 90 km speed limit as we ALL know. I may as well have been on the Hume Highway , constantly being passed, as I stayed at the speed limit, by vehicles pushing 120km. This town speeds at a dangerous rate to get somewhere 3 minutes earlier before anyone else.

g210 12:45 pm 27 Nov 18

Tail gating. Texting while driving. Lane weaving. Red light running. Sitting in the right lane.
The solution is simple.
Dedicated branch of traffic police – a constant & visible presence on the roads.
Start actually enforcing traffic rules which already exist.
But wait – that may cost money. Cheaper to just install a few more cameras, publish statistics, and talk about it…

slickrickulous 4:29 pm 26 Nov 18

Self-reported statistics? Maybe we Canberrans are simply more honest.

Lauryn Roberts 4:22 pm 16 Nov 18

Unless it’s peak hour then it’s 30kph most of the way ... past the merging lanes.....

wottaway 1:40 am 16 Nov 18

There was a very well-written story in the Canberra Times of the Yarra Glen morning peak ‘racetrack’ soon after it opened, with all the ‘entrants’ jockeying for position from the start at the Phillip r’about.

shellcase 8:06 am 14 Nov 18

I’m wondering what the stats will be for this Christmas – New Year. Last December ACT Policing found 32% of drivers they had pulled over for offences, RBT etc to be under the influence of an illicit substance or booze. The percentage may be a tad lower through the rest of the year but it worries me when I’m sitting at a red light that one in three or one in four of the drivers around me might mentally impaired one way or another.

Sammi Southwell 7:37 am 14 Nov 18

I wonder if the constantly changing speed zones not being clearly marked , have anything to do with these statistics?

Kerri Hallas 8:05 pm 13 Nov 18

Texting while driving is more serious. Watching people swerving towards you from across the double lines is scary and more frequent. Oblivious to on coming traffic staring stupidly down at their phones.

Christopher McLeod 5:24 pm 13 Nov 18

I realised how bad Canberra drivers are after driving in Scotland and New Zealand recently!

    Stephen Roberts 11:18 pm 16 Nov 18

    Don't need to come from o/s to notice. I came from Melbourne after ~10 years away and it was immediately noticeable. Excessive speed on all roads (especially the 50km local roads) and aggressive tail gating & dangerous overtaking of cars driving AT THE SPEED LIMIT! Worst offenders from my observations: 'Tradies' in utes & female drivers of all ages. (This is from my observation of the main offenders & not casting blame on ALL tradies or ALL women drivers, obviously)

bmewzed 4:56 pm 13 Nov 18

Speeding, tail-gating and texting. What could possibly go wrong?! Let’s make life even more interesting and throw in some alcohol and drugs! Oh…and we say the police are just revenue-raising. Really?? Maybe try showing them some gratitude instead! I’m not a cop but frankly I think they do a fantastic and very difficult job at trying to keep us safe. They (and the ambos) are also the ones who see the results of reckless driving and have to break the worst kind of news to the families.

    bushidogi 1:08 pm 14 Dec 18

    not condoning the people breaking the law, but you’ve obviously haven’t dealt much with the Canberra police.

Vindalu 4:39 pm 13 Nov 18

If you can’t manage a vehicle responsibly or drive within the law you are a threat to other road users and should be punished. Anybody who has witnessed or been involved in an unnecessary accident caused by reckless driving knows the type of trauma that this idiocy causes. The place for high performance vehicles and speeding is on the racetrack not on our suburban streets.

Brenda Rae 4:22 pm 13 Nov 18

And tail gating , just back off people

James Nonov Urbusniz 2:54 pm 13 Nov 18

Completely agree. It's completely bizarre how people speed in Canberra. Like it isn't our fault if you are crap at time keeping, get out of bed earlier and don't endanger the rest of us with speeding. Also like if you speed, you are GOING to be more likely to get points and have your license taken away. So many stupid drivers.

    Kerri Hallas 8:12 pm 13 Nov 18

    I agree get out of the house in plenty of time... stop the bullying. Isn’t it funny though time management is about driving too, why speed past just to be first at the next red light duffuses

house_husband 1:56 pm 13 Nov 18

“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’”

Are believed to be? One or more elements?

Surely they can be more precise than that with all the data they have?

This is typical of the pseudo science and scare mongering that the ACT Police and Government indulge in to justify their disproportionate enforcement of speeding. Also saying that intersections are one of the “fatal five” is almost like saying that cars are.

So how about for once they release the full statistics around the primary and secondary causes for all casualty crashes in the ACT and a proper mitigation plan? Perhaps they can start with a mandatory 12 month driving ban for anyone who has two or more at fault collisions in a one year period.

Jose Manuel Fernandez 1:28 pm 13 Nov 18

We have to pay for more police on streets and politicians !! well we must pay more fines !! if we don't speed !! they will find something else !!

Scott Hart 12:17 pm 13 Nov 18

No, really?

Lyn Saunders 8:19 am 13 Nov 18

no point when theyre hiding behind bushes and reading newspapers

Mark Turner 7:59 am 13 Nov 18

Just sit in the roadworks on northbourne at 40km and count how many cars,trucks and even buses go flying past you.

Robbie Munday 7:49 am 13 Nov 18

I think what they're saying is... "hey guys, we've just found an untapped source of revenue"

Liz Hampton 7:42 am 13 Nov 18

I think we need variable speed limits. Especially on the GDE, Park way and Monaro.

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