Low-level speeding fines (less than 10km/h over the speed limit) issued by police in Victoria have tripled in the past five years and the RACV, Victoria’s peak motoring body, has slammed the focus on low-level speeding as a waste of time.
Fines for exceeding the speed limit by less than 10km/h have increased from around 11,000 to over 38,000 per year since 2011 — a staggering increase of almost 350 per cent.
According to road policing command Assistant Commissioner Robert Hill, speeding was a factor in 30 per cent of road trauma incidents and in around half of those cases, low-level speeding was a factor.
David Jones, road and traffic manager from peak motoring body RACV told The Age that police were wasting time on low-level speeding and should instead focus on high-level speeding and drink/drug affected drivers.
“We think there are more important issues,” he said.
“It’s important to educate people, rather than financially penalise them for what could just be an honest mistake on a particular day.”
Mr Jones also said that the statistics relied on by the Victoria Police and Assistant Commissioner Robert Hill were sometimes too simplistic.
“A driver may have been going one or two kilometres an hour over the speed limit and been distracted, or a pedestrian could have walked out in front of them without paying attention. I’m concerned that the blank statistics about speeding and the results of it might be misleading. There are many factors at play in a crash,” he said.
Mr Hill’s comments come days after he revealed the results of a 2013 internal survey of around 500 police officers that showed a large proportion of them were lenient of low-level speeding offenders.
The survey results echoed Mr Hills calls in January last year for police to crack down on low-level speeding, which somewhat contradicted his view that speedometer inaccuracy is still an issue.
“They’re not accurate in terms of the one, two or three kilometre [per hour] discrepancy,” he said.
What are your thoughts on low-level speeding and the sharp increase in police-issued low-level speeding fines? Do you share the views of commenters in my recent opinion piece on the subject of speed cameras?