For years Queenslanders have been told that “every K over kills”, yet we’ve never been provided with any such evidence.
Just how many people die or are injured in accidents where the speed is just a few km/h over the posted speed? Silence.
Yet Police Commissioner Ian Stewart has now announced that the 10km/h leeway on speed cameras is being axed without any supporting data.
Queensland had the most liberal speed tolerances in the country because their speed cameras were antiquated, but now that they have been updated, the Commissioner says there is no need for such a “high tolerance”.
He says the tolerances will gradually be reduced and the percentage will never be revealed.
So, in effect, there may as well be no tolerance at all and everyone will now be driving around watching their speedos instead of the road.
Which will probably create a self-fulfilling prophecy where people start getting killed at just a few km/h over the limit.
Imagine little kids getting run over at 40km/h school zones because people are too busy checking their speedos rather than looking for kids darting out from behind buses.
The only glimmer of sanity is that the Queensland Government is thinking about lifting speed limits on some roads to 130km/h.
But don’t get too excited as the government is also considering lowering the speed limits on some roads. And with the current quality of roads in the Sunshine State after a pounding from several flood seasons, there is little likelihood many roads will get increased limits.
Anyway, safety groups, the RACQ and senior groups are up in arms about the proposal.
Queensland Transport Minister Scott Emerson seems to support community consultation on re-evaluating speed limits which have not been reviewed for 20 years.
“There is research out there which shows if you don’t have the appropriate speed limit for the quality of the road, there is a tendency for people to break the law,” he says.
“But it’s not a case of ‘look, everybody’s speeding on this road so we should raise the limit’, because the road may not be suitable for that speed.”
He also warned that under a speed limit review in NSW 20 per cent of the 100 roads reviewed 20% had the limits lowered, 20% went faster and 60% were unchanged.
However, the critics were quick to line up, including the Older Drivers Safety Advisory Committee who want lower speeds to suit the growing number of seniors on the roads.
The Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety Queensland says the state’s roads are not good enough to cope with higher speeds and the RACQ agrees, saying the only road that should have a higher limit is the M1.
A final decision on Queensland speed limits on 100 sections of road will be made by mid-2014.
Meanwhile, the Northern Territory is considering restoring its open speed limits on remote sections of highway abolished in 2006.
Does any of this make any sense? I thought we were one country, but clearly not.