Suburban streets a boon for hoons disobeying speed limits

Michael Weaver 12 February 2021 89
Car blurred as it passes a 50km/h zone in Canberra.

More deterrents are needed for speeding motorists in Canberra’s 50km/h zones. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

Deakin residents are leading the charge for speeding motorists to face the full force of the law, claiming more drivers are continually exceeding the 50km/h limits putting the safety of citizens at risk.

Armed with a speed-measuring application on her mobile phone after continually seeing motorists “going way too fast” in Deakin, resident Ingrid Colquitt said she has consistently clocked motorists driving between 60-90 km/h along Kent Street after making numerous complaints via the Deakin Residents’ Association.

Those complaints have been part of more than 600 received by Transport Canberra and City Services (TCCS) over the last 12 months.

Calls for action also come in the wake of ACT Policing noticing a spike in speeding infringements during the first half of last year, issuing nearly 500 infringement notices a month for speeding until the end of May 2020 – well above the average of 340 per month.

A total of 26,666 infringements were also issued by mobile speed vans in 2020.

Ms Colquitt said the problem is not confined to Deakin and she has anecdotal reports of people regularly driving 20-30km/h above the 50km/h speed limit in most suburbs.

She says the issue is more concentrated in many of Canberra’s inner northern and southern suburbs where there has been an increase in commercial buildings such as units and motorists are simply ignoring the speed limit.

Speeding offences

Speeding offences are still a big problem in Canberra’s suburbs. Photo: File.

“Further impact assessments are needed because I know from conversations I’ve had that people are speeding in most suburban streets in Canberra,” Ms Colquitt told Region Media.

“It’s exceptionally dangerous for drivers and residents who don’t seem to recognise they’re in a 50km/h zone, especially with the volumes of traffic at certain times of the day.”

A spokesperson for TCCS said more than 600 complaints about speeding in residential and arterial roads across Canberra have been investigated during the last 12 months.

“The 600 complaints received via Fix My Street and other platforms to Transport Canberra and City Services is typical of the volume of requests received each year regarding speed,” the spokesperson said.

ACT Policing also recently seized numerous vehicles for dangerous driving incidents during January in response to its zero tolerance of speeding motorists.

Police seizures following hoonish behaviour on the weekend. Photo: ACT Policing.

ACT Policing recently seized a number of vehicles following dangerous driving behaviour. Photo: ACT Policing.

Ms Colquitt said young drivers with access to high-powered cars are the biggest culprits of high speeds in the suburbs.

“I regularly hear these cars coming in at 8:00 or 10:00 pm, or even at two in the morning. They just don’t seem to care about the speeds they’re doing.”

She said ideally, each suburb could have its own road management plan where government officials revisit the speeds and not just the potholes and pathways that need fixing.

“It’s fine to have a 50km/h sign but no one is policing it.”


READ ALSO: Why do Canberra speed limits change so often?


The TCCS spokesperson said the majority of complaints related to speeding are about the inappropriate behaviours of a few drivers. Members of the community are also requesting the installation of traffic calming devices such as smiley face speed signs or reduced speed limits.

“Requests are also made for deployment of mobile speed cameras and enforcement action by ACT Policing at locations where speeding has been witnessed. Requests are also made for increasing the penalty for speeding to address unsafe driving behaviours,” the spokesperson said.

“Where speeds are found to be excessive, or where there is a road safety concern then enforcement, education, or traffic calming (speed humps) measures are introduced.”

Deakin Residents’ Association vice-president Dr George Wilson said too many signs with different speed limits only confused motorists while providing a gold mine for sign manufacturers.

“There are at least 20 signs along Hopetoun Circuit with speeds varying from 50 to 60 to 40km/h,” Dr Wilson said.

“Get rid of all the signs and just make it 50km/h.”

In the ACT, all roads are set at 50km/h unless signposted otherwise.


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89 Responses to Suburban streets a boon for hoons disobeying speed limits
mark boast mark boast 6:13 pm 20 Feb 21

One of the outcomes of antisocial driving on suburban streets is that it scares people off and near the road. Children, elderly drivers, cyclists – all these and others are denied their right to safely use and enjoy the benefit of our jointly funded road infrastructure.

Christopher Topic Christopher Topic 1:51 am 17 Feb 21

Who’s got $1500 to pay for a fine ???

Rainer Busacker Rainer Busacker 1:43 pm 16 Feb 21

Not only speed limits but also lack of other courtesy, burn outs, etc.

Jodie Peden Jodie Peden 8:37 am 16 Feb 21

Inner south has more drivers doing 15klms under the speed limit than speeding....equally as dangerous...

Garry Mitchell Garry Mitchell 11:54 pm 15 Feb 21

What inexperienced drivers on a racetrack? What a great idea, more bodies because they get cocky and think they are immune. And most times the cars would be unroad worthy, how do you fix that?

Garry Mitchell Garry Mitchell 11:50 pm 15 Feb 21

Phone apps use satellites navigation and are 100% accurate. You use your GPS in your car, then look at your Speedo, the GPS is the accurate one.

Garry Mitchell Garry Mitchell 11:46 pm 15 Feb 21

You may have seen 2 marked police cars, but you wouldnt see the unmarked ones, and I would bet there are some along the same road, did you see them? I doubt it.

    Kevin Hingston Kevin Hingston 12:43 am 16 Feb 21

    Garry Mitchell there’s no police presence in Deakin.

    Garry Mitchell Garry Mitchell 12:44 am 16 Feb 21

    Kevin Hingston you think there are no unmarked? How would you know? You don't . But I'll bet they saw you.

    Rainer Busacker Rainer Busacker 1:41 pm 16 Feb 21

    Kevin Hingston I don't think that Police numbers on the streets have changed over the past 40 years despite our population and geographic size growing. Trams are more important than policing.

Timmy Holness Timmy Holness 11:35 pm 15 Feb 21

Same problems for the generation in the 60’s. Then 70’s,80’s and now right up to 2020’s. Not only that the mullet is back. Crazy times

    Kevin Hingston Kevin Hingston 12:42 am 16 Feb 21

    Timmy Holness in Deakin it’s the hoons from the 60s, now in BMWs and now with a sense of entitlement.

    Timmy Holness Timmy Holness 6:39 am 16 Feb 21

    Kevin Hingston we will always find someone doing something wrong at any age. 90’s it was Volvo drivers with hats you avoided and now Audi for their arrogance. BMW have been consistent throughout the decades

Stephen Fallon Stephen Fallon 7:32 pm 15 Feb 21

Canberra could be tax free if the ACT Govt. funded 10 patrol cars to patrol the Tuggeranong Parkway and the Monaro and imposed, say, a $1500 fine on drivers going 20kph over the speed limit and used the revenue raised to pay for city services.

Mark Newman Mark Newman 6:32 pm 15 Feb 21

Thoughts? I asked the ACT government why ACT enforces 40km/hr schools from 0800-1600? And this was their response.

    Mark Newman Mark Newman 6:33 pm 15 Feb 21

    I’m still waiting for their high call volume to settle for my response............

    Garry Mitchell Garry Mitchell 8:47 am 16 Feb 21

    I live in a small country town where, to get anywhere, you have to drive past the school, I have no issue doing 40, and that is 24/7, because next to the school is a skate park.

    Rainer Busacker Rainer Busacker 1:37 pm 16 Feb 21

    Mark Newman that would be impacting the cash steam. One would think that in today's situation, most kids are dropped off and picked up by mums and dads. Few walk or ride to school and besides they should be in school and not outside the school grounds. Just exploiting a cash cow as far as I can see.

    Mark Newman Mark Newman 2:28 pm 16 Feb 21

    This is my initial enquiry, how many speed cameras set up in your town?

HiddenDragon HiddenDragon 6:10 pm 15 Feb 21

Happy to see hormonally overburdened idiots given a big boot up the backside when they do something genuinely dangerous on the roads, but the stupidity of a small minority should not be a pretext for yet more heavy-handed regulation of the majority, nor should it be an excuse for attempts at traffic diversion and deterrence – masquerading as “traffic calming” – from significant public roads.

Scott Malpass Scott Malpass 6:07 pm 15 Feb 21

More Police on the roads

Andrew Jack Andrew Jack 6:01 pm 15 Feb 21

Just s thought, how about putting more police (and not the ones fresh out of universities) on patrol. I can drive all over Canberra either day or night and would be lucky to see 2 patrol cars. I see more speed cash vans than police.

    Mark Katalinic Mark Katalinic 7:30 am 16 Feb 21

    +1 this has to be the only place where you can go 6 months plus without seeing a police car

chewy14 chewy14 1:13 pm 15 Feb 21

Jeez, all this dangerous speeding must mean that the accident and road tolls have increased massively as well.

Jeff Smith Jeff Smith 12:52 pm 15 Feb 21

I was visiting my brother-in-law in Wanniassa yesterday, when a hoon did a 20 second burnout in front of his house and almost lost it into a tree. His lack of reaction made me think this must happen all the time in this neighborhood. On the way home I had a car cut through me on the roundabout and I was also overtaken by another on a bend in a 50km zone going down Longmore Cres.

Anthony Grice Anthony Grice 12:50 pm 15 Feb 21

I'm having FOMO.. not one mention of my beloved Charnwood

    Roderick Saunders Roderick Saunders 8:57 pm 15 Feb 21

    Anthony Grice certain types of behaviour only become cause for concern when someone in an inner suburb complains about it

    James Ballard James Ballard 8:13 am 16 Feb 21

    Anthony Grice Charny's got a Coffee Guru and a Crust Pizza so it's priced itself out of bogandom.

yamaam yamaam 12:43 pm 15 Feb 21

Saw an L plater in a R34. Is that even allowed?

Annie Wyer Annie Wyer 11:51 am 15 Feb 21

More traffic calming measures required like the speed humps every 50m. They did this in Spofforth St in Holt, that calmed the speedsters and they avoided that street completely. Get your neighbour’s to petition the government.

    Tracy Gorman Tracy Gorman 12:09 pm 15 Feb 21

    Annie Wyer except speed humps can be not good for the every day user. I travel Spofforth st regularly, plus many other street with speed humps added. My daughter travels in the back of my car in her wheelchair, and on a day when she’s had seizure activity or is extremely tired/ asleep, she gets distressed at the frequent bumping over them, if she’s sleeping, they knock her head around. There’s too many speed humps Northside, there needs to be a different way

    Chinmoy Misra Chinmoy Misra 12:19 pm 15 Feb 21

    Annie Wyer 100% agree. If go down that path this is Canberra in the next 10 years. https://youtu.be/h93Yn1ZoRjw

    Bryan Fitzpatrick Bryan Fitzpatrick 7:24 am 16 Feb 21

    Annie Wyer this is a terrible idea. Sorry. As someone who spent 3 months on crutches last year because of a hip injury, that last thing the world needs is more speed bumps that inflict pain to motorists

Robert Knight Robert Knight 11:48 am 15 Feb 21

If you need a sign, or speed humps, to slow vehicle traffic down, then you’ve designed your street poorly.

How you slow drivers down, without permanently stationing police at every corner, is by building a driving environment that creates self imposed caution on the driver. We must stop over engineering suburban streets to be highway grade thoroughfares.

    Mal Briggs Mal Briggs 11:54 am 15 Feb 21

    Robert Knight that's the way the old streets with cul de sacs everywhere were designed. But developers found it was hard to get trucks and cranes through to build new mcmansions. So new suburbs all have through roads with rolled gutters and nice wide intersections.

    Won't someone think of the developers.

    Brad Adams Brad Adams 12:19 pm 15 Feb 21

    Robert Knight the issue there is it still relies on drivers actually recognizing the danger and driving appropriately. There’s a big difference between perceived danger and actual danger. If every driver perceived the danger correctly, they wouldn’t make decision that resulted in collisions.

    Robert Knight Robert Knight 12:22 pm 15 Feb 21

    Brad Adams there’s definitely an onus on drivers to do the right thing, but that’s really only 50% of the problem. The streetscape has to send the visual and design message ‘this is not a place to go fast’.

    Brad Adams Brad Adams 12:28 pm 15 Feb 21

    Robert Knight to do that effectively and capture 100% of the population, would mean the streetscape would be so restrictive it would be unsafe and impractical to use. It’s not an appropriate solution.

    Robert Knight Robert Knight 12:35 pm 15 Feb 21

    Brad Adams nope, it would only be for residential and built up places. As for unsafe and impractical, that doesn’t play out in reality. There are numerous towns and cities around the world who’ve implemented these kinds of design principles. Not only do they make places safer, they improve traffic conditions.

    Brad Adams Brad Adams 12:47 pm 15 Feb 21

    Robert Knight ok humor me, what are these design principles. As far as I know the options are, narrowing of the road, making it more windy and adding speed bumps. Any road with good vision, good lane width and slow bends will invite higher speed driving.

    Robert Knight Robert Knight 8:57 pm 16 Feb 21

    Brad Adams this goes a good way into describing what I’m on about:

    https://www.pps.org/article/livememtraffic

    Brad Adams Brad Adams 9:23 pm 16 Feb 21

    Robert Knight other than the 45 angle parking, narrowing streets decreased radius corners, roundabouts and so on have been implemented in Canberra. All that have done is slow emergency service response times and increase the difficulty of large service and construction vehicles accessing the area.

    45 parking has been used in most country towns for many years. There’s nothing revolutionary in that article and in my experience they are largely pointless.

    Robert Knight Robert Knight 11:00 pm 16 Feb 21

    Brad Adams it slows the traffic, which is the point.

    Brad Adams Brad Adams 8:46 am 17 Feb 21

    Robert Knight it does that by increasing risk. Only some drivers will recognize that increase in risk and slow to an appropriate speed.

    But who really needs vital services and quick emergency service response anyway. Your whole premise is anti motor vehicle and all it will serve to do is reduce the effectiveness and efficiency of motor vehicle travel.

    Robert Knight Robert Knight 11:58 am 17 Feb 21

    Brad Adams cities are habitats for people. Motor vehicle traffic denudes that fact and removes life from the public spaces that are our streets due to the noise and very real danger of being run over. Cities overwhelmed by a focus on the movement of vehicles, rather than a focus on the quality of people’s lives, have consigned our children to a life of mollycoddling, our elderly to institutionalised care, and the rest of us to social fragmentation and health problems related to inactivity. My issue is less ‘anti motor vehicle’ and more ‘pro human’.

Lucy Curtis Lucy Curtis 11:23 am 15 Feb 21

Burn outs and cars running up footpaths on road where police station is. Nothing done😑

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