Queensland Police have issued an additional 2695 speeding tickets in the first quarter of this financial year compared with the same period last year, bringing in at least $423,000 of additional revenue.
The main change in policing speed has been the removal of warning signs indicating the presence of a speed camera on Queensland roads from July 2015 (the same time that speeding fines also increased in price). Instead, police vans are now adorned with additional police 'branding' and in even bigger fonts to compensate.
Queensland road policing command inspector Allan Hales has previously said the warning signs were "too problematic" and a "hazard", which did nothing to deter speeding motorists.
Considering the lowest speeding fine in Queensland is now $157.00 (for less than 13km/h over), the total amount of $423,000 is likely to be substantially larger as the next level fine is $235.00 (between 13km/h and 20km/h over), with the additional revenue more likely to be above $500,000.
The increase in the number of issued speeding tickets and removal of 'Speed camera in use' warning signs comes just two years after tolerance of Queensland’s speed cameras dropped from 10 per cent over the limit before June 2013 to 3km/h in late 2013 (no official tolerance figure has ever been publicly revealed, but sources inside Queensland Police have told CarAdvice that it's set at 3km/h).
The net effect saw tickets for 'low-level speeding' increase by 47 per cent in 2014, majority of which were previously under the tolerance. The difference netted the Queensland Government $5.7 million in additional revenue in that year alone.
Meanwhile, Queensland's 2015 road toll was 242 - 19 more than in 2014. Queensland Police state that at least 103,000 hours of police time was spent on speed limit enforcement in the 2015 financial year, a more than 50 per cent increase from the same period in 2010, when the road toll came in at 249.
Despite the 50 per cent-plus additional police time spent enforcing speed limits, Queensland’s road toll was only reduced by less than three per cent in those five years, somewhat contrary to Queensland Police’s concrete line that speed cameras save lives.
More interestingly, however, are the actual road deaths that resulted from speeding, which came in at 75 (2009), 55 (2010), 48 (2011), 59 (2012), 47 (2013) and 65 (2014) with 2015 figures shown as 55 up until October of that year - the last date the figures were updated by Queensland transport.
The figures suggest that the rule changes to tolerances for low-level speeding offences had the opposite effect of saving lives in 2014 and 2015 compared with 2012 and 2011, when the 10 per cent tolerance was in affect.
Furthermore, the number of speeding tickets issued by Queensland mobile speed cameras came in at 359,764 in 2012 (59 speed related deaths), 436,080 in 2013 (47 speed related deaths) and 597,959 in 2014 (65 speed related deaths). The figures show a healthy increase in the number of fines issued, but no actual correlation to the reduction of road deaths caused by additional speed camera operation time or ticket issued.
Queensland Police did not respond to a request for comment on this story at time of publication.