25 April 2022

Probing the polls: rubbish collections and sneaky speeding

| Genevieve Jacobs
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Speed camera

Is it OK to drive over the speed limit in safe conditions? Photo: Region Media.

The government’s waste reduction trial in Belconnen has received mixed reviews from many readers. They say the reduction to fortnightly waste collection in exchange for green waste bins has left some of them swimming in rubbish.

Many RiotACT readers agree, according to last week’s poll. We asked Do we need weekly rubbish collections? 17510 readers voted.

You had the choice of No, this is a good incentive to cut down on household waste. This received 22 per cent of the total, or 386 votes. Or you could choose Yes, recycling and regular collection don’t cancel each other out. This received a clear 78 per cent majority, or 1365 votes.

This week, we’re wondering what you think about sneaky speeding. With a relatively small population and 5900 km of bitumen between us, the ACT enjoys some of the clearest roads of other capital city in the world. It makes it all too easy to depress the accelerator that little bit too far.

It turns out we are prone to a spot of ‘casual speeding’. ACT police are conducting surveys on why, following earlier work from Monash University that showed 20 per cent “sometimes” exceeded the speed limit by 10 kilometres per hour or more, while more than 40 per cent said they did so “very occasionally”.

In that survey, up to 85 per cent of respondents thought it acceptable to exceed the limit in a 60 kph zone by 5 kph. Less than 20 per cent believed police adopted a “no-tolerance” approach in such zones. A similar attitude was found in 100 kph zones.

READ ALSO New survey wants to know why Canberrans ‘casually speed’

This time around, researchers from the Queensland University of Technology have been funded by the ACT Road Safety Fund Community Grant Program and are undertaking the work through social media to find out just what we’re thinking when we speed.

They’re bound to find plenty of arguments: local media and social media went into meltdown last year when 40 kph speed limits were introduced in Civic.

The survey takes about 20 minutes to complete and is completely anonymous. Respondents will also enter a draw to win one of 10 $100 gift vouchers.

Darron Wolf wrote “Hmmm. How about they ‘casually’ raise the speed limit to reflect reality?”, while Luke Bajjada asked “You know what’s more dangerous than going 5kms over?? Focusing on your Speedo so much instead of the road ahead!!”.

And Craig Pennifold commented: “In the ACT, we have speed limits of 20, 40, 50, 60, 80, 90, 100 and 110 kph on different parts of different roads. Combined with poor signage, I’m often unsure what the speed limit is.”

Road safety advocates say slower speed limits demonstrably save the lives of drivers and pedestrians. Research from Monash University shows that at higher speeds, a reduction from 110-115 kph to 88-97 kph is predicted to reduce fatality crashes by up to 54 per cent and cut injury crashes by up to six per cent. For lower speed limits the ratio is about 2:1 between fatal and injury crashes.

Our question this week is:

Is it OK to exceed the speed limit by just a fraction?

View Results

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Many of the No’s will come from the far left bike riders

To those that advocate speeding, I’m sorry to say that the roads are shocking in Australia. The autobahn in Germany is a metre thick, unlike the mere millimeters sprayed on our highways. Just supposing the speed on the Monaro Highway was upped to 140kph, your car would be all over the place due to the poor condition of that road. You’d get airborne and wind up in a paddock or rolled

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