Last month’s accident in Melbourne’s Burnley Tunnel, where three people lost their lives, has been attributed to careless driving and tailgating.
Whilst tailgating is a nationwide problem, it seems that politicians will only get involved when people die.
Police Assistant Commissioner for traffic, Noel Ashby, has said that cameras capable of detecting the distance between two cars can (and are being considered to) help catch offenders.
Although this sounds like a reasonable move to fight tailgating, the technical aspects of these cameras would be of most interest, as there can be many moments that may appear as tailgating when they are not.
“If we determine there’s a need to separate these vehicles further we will look at enforcement options,” Mr Ashby said.
“It could be technical or it could be covert operations at different times.”
Victoria Police advise drivers to stay no closer than two seconds behind the car in front, however in reality it can be best measured in milliseconds.
Currently, Victorian police can punish drivers of long (7.5 metres+) vehicles with a $220 fine (one demerit point), while a $145 fine can be handed down to other motorists.
However, the problem annoying police is the lack of real power to give fines to everyday drivers.
Current legislation states that long vehicles must keep 60 metres between the car in front, whilst for everyday cars it simply requires a “safe distance”.
Not exactly strong words that the police can rely on.