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by Brett Davis

According to the latest statistics, more NSW drivers are being fined for travelling less than 10km/h over the speed limit than in the past, which could prove NSW Police and the RTA now have near-zero tolerance for fast drivers.

In the year between August 2010 and August 2011, 13,129 drivers were fined for speeding, providing the government with $2.02 million in revenue. Of those fined, 7341 (or 56 per cent) were booked for speeding in the 0-10km/h-over-the-limit bracket. It’s unknown just how much revenue those fines generated. These figures are a significant mark-up on the previously recorded 13 per cent.

The perception has been floating around for years that police had to provide a 10 per cent tolerance for possible inaccuracies in both motor vehicle speedometers and the police speed detection equipment. This latest data could prove that there is now no tolerance after all.

A recent News Limited report including an official RTA mobile speed camera contract states there is a tolerance however, a figure of which must remain undisclosed. The contract said,

“Enforcement threshold speed is the speed of vehicles at which RTA initiate prosecution after exercising their common law discretion by allowing a margin or tolerance above the posted speed limit.

“Any enforcement thresholds to be applied on mobile speed camera systems shall be in accordance with RTA and must be approved before implementation. Threshold information shall not be written in correspondence, emailed or transferred without written permission of the RTA.”

The RTA is now preparing a report into the effectiveness of mobile speed cameras which have been operational since July 2010.

What do you think of the latest statistics? Is catching offenders that were travelling 0-10km/h over the limit really going to save lives? Feel free to give us your thoughts below.

  • Matty B

    Living in Brisbane this is a fairly presumptive thought. But I would imagine the large increase in 0-10km/h fines would be due to the mobile camera’s being in more built up areas. So instead of having fixed camera’s on 80-100km/h they’re getting a lot more people doing a few km/s over.

  • Howdog

    Maybe more people are driving 0-10km/h over the limit?

  • Fat Police

    More money plzzzzzzzzzzzz~~

  • bobin

    they are looking at the revenue victoria makes, its in the hundreds of millions, for 0-10kmh speeding fines.

  • Paul

    That’s DECEPTION! If the tolerance figure must remain undisclosed then how can drivers POSSIBLY comply?

    We’re being governed by a bunch of immature idiots who want to force drivers to drive around at 60.00 km/h in order to avoid being targeted by state sponsored extortion!

    We’ll soon need speedos with decimal place displays and Auto manufacturers will soon be required to issue a certificate with each new car to confirm the speedo is correctly calibrated all to satisfy these pedantic revenue raising idiots!

    The lowest offence used to be 0-15km over…. it used to be worth only 2 points (less than failing to indicate) and you’d never get pulled over for it. Did a whole series of fatalities happen within this speed range to force ‘authorities’ to lower that to 0-10km??? I seriously doubt it!

    Motorists are not a profit centre for state governments who are unable to rein in their own run away costs!!

    • Monk

      Deception? The limit you must comply with is on those big white signs within the red circle.

      As for speedos – they are most often calibrated on “the safe side” – ie if it shows you are doing 60, you are actually doing less – so if you are caught doing 65 in a 60, chances are your speedo was showing 70+.

      I’m not condoning this draconian enforcement – but I am equally not going to listen to rubbish like this.

      • Paul

        You’re a speedo calibration expert are you??? Yeah mate, It makes perfect sense to drive around staring at your speedo all day to make sure I’ve within 1km of the posted limit! Don’t worry about other distractions like… looking out the windscreen, and that!! lol

        I drive an ex highway patrol car and it’s speedo has been calibrated so I don’t have anything to worry about, all the rest of you might! The fact that the police NEEDED to have it calibrated, either for accuracy or legal reasons… is a luxury the average motorist doesn’t have. You’re suggesting +/- 5 km/h??? that’s almost 10% out!

        • Red Dog

          If you read the post, I think he was suggesting 0 to -5 and was also suggesting it as an anecdotal rule of thumb that is probably right, at least in all the cars I’ve owned.

          Calling this minimal tolerance pedantic stupidity is fair enough. Calling it ‘deception’ is a tad hysterical.

        • Capago

          Im a Pug mechanic, when you go into the BSI (its body control module) configuration, there is an adjustable tolerance for the cruise control, between what is set by the driver and what is seen on the speedo. Factory is + 6 on 308’s i think and + 3 on the RCZ that has a digital speedo on the centre display anyway

      • Sonic

        The ‘common sense’ speed limit is always 10km/h+ more than the posted speed limits (with the exception of school zones and neighborhoods, which I think should be less). There is a reason why the UK is increasing their motorway speed limits by 20km/h.
        Not allowing a tolerance of 10km/h in Australia is just revenue raising. Especially in Perth, where they place Multanovas at the bottom of steep hills.

      • ..

        oi monk you idiot, manufacturers only had to comply +- 10% of the actual speed of the car. so it can be more OR less.

        not all speedos show LESS than what it actually is.

        you dont even know what youre on about mate

    • Car Fanatic

      You could drive at the posted speed limit, then you’d have no tolerance to complain about.

    • Rick

      Its not just the speedo difference that you have to calculate. you also have to take into consideration the radar error ,does anyone remember the current affair investigation where the ex highway patrol officer showed a colour bond fence doing 16km/h among a lot of other questionable figure . I decided to set up the gps in our Hyundai and it shows at an indicated 100km/h on the speedo the gps showed 106km/h so who is right and let’s face it , it’s a hell of a lot safer to be watching the road then watching your speedo . At 100km/h a couple of kays really aren’t going to change the outcome of an incident

      • Jerrycan

        Rick, Your Hyundai is the first car I have heard of where the speedo underreads the actual speed.
        Borrow another GPS to double-check.
        As long as you have not changed to illegal tyres, then I think you have a case for going back to Hyundai to have it fixed, especially if under warranty.
        I drive at the posted speed limit, but I am not prepared to “giveaway” up 10% of what I can drive at just for an innacurate speedo, I cannot afford to pay the fines.

        • Rick

          I’ll try it tomorrow and let you know the outcome as it still has standard rims/ tyres and it’s only 12 months old

        • Rick

          Done today using garmin gps it showed 105km/h at indicated 100km/h

          • Monk

            Strange. As Jerrycan says, that’s the first time I’ve heard of that.

        • http://www.facebook.com/priusfreezone Matthew Werner

          Yeh that is strange. Using a small sample of people I can talk to who remember the numbers, everyone who has set their cruise control to the speed limit through a roadworks zone and gone through the “your speed is” section has always seen it displaying numbers several km/hr slower than what their car is telling them. I’d raise that the next time it goes in for a service

  • Dave S

    ‘Show me the money!!!!’

  • Yonny

    I think it speaks volumes about how overgoverned we are that governments can rake in huge amounts of cash off increasing numbers of everyday generally safe drivers at the same time as speed limits in other parts of the world are being increased (USA) or increases are planned (Britain). And they have the nerve to claim it’s for our own good.

    Forget about the road toll – if you want to save lives put money into cancer screening (bowel cancer for example kills more people every year – over 4000 per annum – than the road toll – roughly 1600 per annum) or suicide prevention (roughly 2000 per year).

    Why the moral panic over the road toll? It brings in the money, that’s why.

    • Rick

      Yonny You know what you’ve done know don’t you ? They are going to pay $10000000 for someone to advise them on how they might be able to fine people for having cancer and suicide :p

  • CRS200

    So the new NSW audited all the revenue rasing cameras . But these moblie speed cameras aren’t revenue raisers?

    So not only labor are a bunch of liars but liberals are the same crap.

    It was too good to be true!

  • john

    i am amazed that the public health guys haven’t jumped on this, as so many lives have put at risk by these “speeders”. I mean when swine flu broke out there was a massive review of policies to contain it yet speeding which we are told kills and occurs around the world, we see nothing, except higher fines. there is a disconnect somewhere. either the govt is missing something in their mission to stop us speeding and that to at realitvely insignificant levels or else….they’ve lied to us.

  • Noel

    At 60Km/h you are travelling at 16.6 meters per second, if it takes you 2 seconds to look at your speedo that means you have your eyes off the road for 33.2 meters, would any of us walk for 33 meters with our eyes closed?

    Multiply this out by the number of times you look at your speedo in a hour because you’re worried about being a couple of k’s over the limit and it just has to be a recipe for disaster. If the RTA just had the tiniest bit of common sense they would realise constantly checking your speedo is more dangerous than being a few k’s an hour over the limit.

    • Rick

      But they can’t make money out of that

      • Damian

        “If the RTA just had the tiniest bit of common sense they would realise constantly checking your speedo is more dangerous than being a few k’s an hour over the limit.”

        Unfortunately, “a couple of k’s over the limit” increases braking distances exponentially – more so with older cars without active safety systems in place (ABS, EBA, ESP e.t.c.)

        Instead of regulating speed so much, the government should be focusing on getting sh!tboxes off our roads. A rustbox VN Commodore no longer cuts it, nor do cars with cheap retreads/knock-off Chinese tyres.

        • Rick

          I agree with the tyres part , however I was asked by the local high school to use my car in some brake tests ( mainly because I’m the only one the teacher knows with a 1970 car) for a yr 12 case study ,and you will be surprised to know that. My car a 1970 vg valiant with drum brakes at the rear actually stopped faster than the 2008 Toyota corolla 2010 Nissan navara 2007 Toyota camry and the 2009 ford mondeo the only 2 cars there that stopped faster was the 2009 hsv clubsport and the 2007 Subaru impreza sti in both wet and dry testing . NOTE my car does use large 18×7 and 18×8 wheels with Michelin tyres and is in perfect condition and after repeated stops the valiants stopping distance did increase more than the other cars .so I don’t agree with the comment that old cars should be banned I do agree that poorly maintained cars should be and all cars should have to go for rego checks every year even new cars . After this test maybe they should ban anything that’s not a performance car :)

          • http://www.facebook.com/priusfreezone Matthew Werner

            True – and owners that maintain their cars will be much more likely to have good condition tyres as well. To be fair to Damian he did say “rustbox”, which would exclude your well maintained Valiant

    • Torque

      WHOA ! Steady up Noel,
      Leave the mathematics and common sense out of this equation, remember the RTA ‘management’ is involved here. I doubt the ‘road safety’ boffins on $150K per year could perform your calculation or apply your commonsense, they are too busy drinking at the Greenwood (or nearby) or prancing around and drinking coffee in North Sydney.

  • Ken

    Completely agree on Noel’s point. To drive modern cars at/below speed limit without tolerance, we have to take all our concentration to fix our eyes on speedometer! It also worsens fatigue of long drive.

  • Wood Duck

    Hit em with the old pea-beu, hit with the old pea beu. Hit em High, NOW Hit em Low, Hit em with the old pea-beu.

  • Glen

    Let the drivers set the speed limits. Let’s have some democracy on our roads. Measure the median speed of the cars and set the limit to the nearest 10 kph.

    • Rick

      Instead of whinging about all these speeding tickets and the revenue raising that goes with it do something about it ,I would assume that probably nearly everyone here has been booked for speeding, those who have did you just pay the fine or did you go to court ? In just 12mths over 13000 camera fines were issued ,image how congested the court system would become if everyone took their fines to court . no one would ever pays ticket so stop complaining and get everyone that you know that gets booked to take it to court even if it costs you more and let’s face it out of the 3 speeding tickets I’ve had in 16 yrs I’m yet to pay one

      • Yonny

        You’re right. People have to start contesting ridiculous speeding fines such as being a few kays over the limit.

        After all, this is what a tolerance was originally used for – to make some sort of allowance for the large number of variable factors, outside the driver’s control, that affect the actual speed of the vehicle as opposed to the speed the driver thinks they are doing.

        If the tolerance has been removed then every single fine alleging less than say 4 kays over should be contested. If that happened (not likely, I know), watch the courts clog up and the laws would be changed. Of course, it may not change in the motorist’s favour…

        I just have no idea why the RTA is being so stupid about this. Let’s face it, if the tolerance (for speeding) was set to around 10 km/h then there would be very little doubt that if you got a ticket you were in fact speeding.

  • Ford

    I think Police still have the 10% limit but there have been a marked increase in fixed red light and speed camera’s which dont have that kind of discretion.

    • Rick

      Some police I got booked about 12mths ago for 51 in a 50 zone at muswellbrook , however I did get off when I took it to court

      • Car Fanatic

        Muswellbrook are like that due to the high number of irresponsible drivers in the area.

        • Rick

          I agree with musswellbrook drivers being dangerous the cop who turned around to chase me done a uturn across 4 lanes of traffic with the wheels spinning almost colliding with another car to book me for my extremely dangerous 1km/h and yes the car he almost hit ,pulled over to give him his piece of his mind, and he was defected for an excessively loud exhaust. When I wrote a letter of complaint about the suicide police officer and the fact that he had broken proceedure in turning off the traction control ,among other things . The response letter was that I was exceeding the speed limit and needed to be stopped and the police officer acted for the safety of other motorists Hahaha

  • Car Fanatic

    Or just don’t speed, it’s simple and if you drive everyday it’s not hard, concentrate on your surroundings, glance at you speedo, it doesn’t take 2 seconds to check your speedo unless your mental capacity is severely impaired. If so catch the bus and leave driving to those who can do it within the legal boundaries set in each state or use cruise control if you’ve got it.

    • UMWHAT


      But I still think we should be allowed to complain about it AT LEAST instead of taking the streets like Libya

    • Yonny

      I get so sick of hearing this argument. It is so simplistic and makes no allowance for the fact that you can exceed the speed limit while believing you are NOT exceeding the speed limit.

      Are you seriously defending the right of the RTA to issue speeding fines for exceeding a speed limit by ONE kilometer per hour?

  • GIG

    This just sounds like a story about Robbery.

  • K

    Here’s a classic case of targetting the wrong thing. 17/10, 10:30pm, Police hiding on the Silverwater Rd onramp of the M4 city bound. A car passes the police car by with only parking lights on and doesn’t get pulled over.

    So police are OK with people driving on the M4 at night with barely any forward lighting but speeding is not?

  • Commentator

    Up to 10% for roads in higher density areas, yes, but for highways, not much.

    • Rick

      I think it should be the other way around

  • dust on earth

    instead of complaining, let’s think it logically.

    if posted speed is 60kph, in order to avoid being booked, the safest speed will be 55kph or close. with 55kph on 60km zone, traffic flow is much slower and most cars will be piled up in the same direction.

    Yet dont forget there are a dozen of lights to go through before arriving our destination.

    Plus when we went just 1km/h on the speedo, normal reaction is to HIT THE BRAKE – slow the car down to a safe speed, roughly 55km/h. Frequent sudden stop will cause what? collision!

    (I have already discounted the fact that we have to constantly stare at the speedo and cars in front and other craps happening on roads. Actual speed might even go slower and chances of having car crash is much higher)

    So we stop frequently to avoid getting 1km/h over the limit, traffic goes much slower; more cars are congested on roads, which in the end will increase our travel time!
    Giving our greatest government an excuses to raise tax on cars to get rid of cars on roads. (but no $ spent on public transport, i guaranteed)

    As some suggested we shall take trains and buses to work and for other journeys. OK. Let’s analyze if this is possible.

    Buses either come late (full), way too early than posted time at stops or skipping stops (on the grounds those ‘humble’ drivers didn’t see us hailing them for a ride. WTF! shouldn’t they suppose to look carefully if there are people waiting at stops?).

    Trains always got delayed with some weird reasons. (You may question: shouldn’t they be reliable? No jams on track already! Also notice the waiting time – going down then UP!)

    Also track works happen all the time! Not at night time. But some day during the week and weekend! (Still consider taking trains for other journeys huh?!)
    Yet not forget these transports DO NOT cover all the areas in NSW with some only operate in rush hours!

    With this excellent public transport system, the chances of going to work on time is minimal! Nor could you get out of your suburb.

    So public transport is an alternative? May I knee down and bow to those smart-S that PLEASE USE YOUR BRAIN TO THINK BEFORE YOU RECOMMEND A THING!

  • karl

    hey guys, ive just opened a facebook group in protest of the disgusting actions by the RTA. Feel free to join. The more people we have on..the more chance we can gain traction to have these idiotic laws / application of the law changed.

    the group is: “Repeal the RTA’s New Oppressive Speed Limits”

  • Car Fanatic

    Constantly staring at the speedo shouldn’t be a problem, I see enough people everyday testing whilst driving or scrolling through their iPods. A quick glance at the speedo isn’t as dangerous in my opinion as texting.

    How many people in here have either texted or read a text whilst driving huh?

    Quit your whinging and just stick to the speed limit and you have nothing to worry about.

    • dust on earth

      i believe people here aren’t saying speeding is good or making speeding reasonable. it’s just the current rule is too strict! 0-10 mate.

      most of us speed but within 10km range some are on purpose some are not. not crazy 10+ or 20+. but it’s normal that we all do. no one is savior! (imagine if you are driving down hill. here NSW roads aint dead straight and flat!)

      will you dare to say you DIDNT speed in your driving life? 0-10km over the limit?

      this is the same question that Jesus asked the people rock him if none of them tell lies in their life time. and if your answer to Jesus’s question and mine is NO, throw me rocks to death.

      what the government doing is as if asking you to wake up at 7am in the morning at all times. you cant wake up a sec later than 7am and if you do, you will get a ticket. is it reasonable?

      imagine if you got booked for speeding within 0-10km/h, it’s 0-10km/h, so read carefully, it’s 0-10km/h. that means if you do 51km/h in a 50km/h zone or 50.2km/h in 50km zone, you will get booked.

      when pulled over, you will wind your window down and yelled WTF to cops. i m sure you will. and when you know they bill you let’s say $86 for 0.2km over the limit, i m pretty sure you wanna F yourself, screaming WTF x a gazillion times before paying it.

      is this fair? got booked within 0-10km/h?

      that is also telling us that their equipment is so advanced that generate 0 error (100%accuracy). is this so?

      this is the same as will you believe a mouth wash says it can kill 100% germs in your mouth?

      if the government wants us to do exactly what they want us to do, fine, we will do it (because they make all the laws want us to).
      but can the government do what we want them to do at the same time on the grounds that it’s WE who VOTE THEM?

  • Car Fanatic

    If you’ve ever read any of my posts in the past you’d know I was last fined in 1999 and lost my license for the second time. I was a serial offender with at least two infringements every year from 84 to 99. I then made a conscious decision to stick to the road rules. There were exceptions but were on almost empty motorways in the UK early in the morning for short distances testing a cars capabilities when I knew I couldn’t hurt anyone. Now if I can control an urge to drive over the posted limit, everyone can. Plus if no one gets booked because they follow the rules, no one will complain.

    • Yonny

      Yeah, nobody hates smoking as much as an ex-smoker…

      You do know that it is possible to receive a speeding fine despite believing that your are driving at or below the limit – especially when the tolerance is as low as 1 km/h?

      There is such a thing as natural justice – and pinging somebody for driving 1 km/h over the speed limit when neither the car being driven or the device detecting that car’s speed are capable of registering speed with 100% accuracy is not just or fair.

  • Andre

    Reasonable!!!! That word no longer exists… All too ridiculous…
    Just raises my blood pressure…..

  • Adrian

    I have a question, are NSW Police General Duties car speedo’s recalibrated after they leave the factory, ADR states that the can be out by 10% + 4Klm. My qestion is due to been paced by a General Duties car and was advised I was speeding by +5Klm when doing 117Klm on the Clock by GPS stated I was doing 110klm (I know my GPS is accurate), So I am wondering are the Police speedo’s for General Duties cars recalibrated, I dont think they are.

  • ALEX