News Limited reports that 53,816 fines were issued for speeding in the two weeks after speeding tolerance margins in QLD were lowered for the second time since July, translating to 3844 per day. This compares with 41,383 over the same period last year, or 2955 a day.
Coming into effect from September 20, the tolerance margin – the number of kilometres above the speed limit before a fine is issued – is believed to be around 10 per cent above the speed limit, however, police will not reveal a specific figure in a bid to avoid creating a de facto speed limit.
With the minimum speeding fine in the sunshine state costing drivers $146 (exceeding the speed limit by up to 13km/h), the two-week period would have generated at least $7.86 million in revenue – $1.82 million more than the same period in 2012.
Aimed at encouraging people to obey the speed limit, the September tolerance “adjustment” followed a 1km/h lowering of the margin in 60km/h zones implemented in July. According to News, this initial change was followed by 7268 drivers being caught in the first week of July – up almost 20 per cent on the year before – and a more than 20 per cent increase in speed detections in August.
Accepting that tolerance margin reductions would have played a part in the increase in speeding motorists booked, Road Policing Command Inspector Peter Flanders said the result could be mostly attributed to greater police enforcement.
"There has been a very strong focus on traffic, probably significantly more than in the past," Flanders said.
Stressing that police want to change attitudes to speed limits and stop crashes rather than write tickets, Flanders said, "If the speed limit says 60km/h or 100km/h and you look down and your speedo is even 1km/h over that, then you're speeding."
In July, Queensland Police Minister Jack Dempsey defended the lowering of tolerance margins saying they were about road safety and not revenue raising.
"I would be happy if we didn't have to issue one traffic offence," Dempsey said.
"At the end of the day people have to make a conscious choice whether they put on a seatbelt, whether they speed, whether they pull over, whether they answer a phone, whether they drink and drive."
Queensland's road toll currently stands at 229, two more than last year's figure for the same time.