As this year's road toll reaches 156 people compared with 148 at the same time last year, the Victorian Government is urging motorists to slow down, with speed contributing to 30 percent of fatalities.
Findings from the Transport Accident Commission’s Community Engagement and Social Acceptability Research (CESAR) study revealed around two thirds of Victorian motorists think they’re safe to exceed the speed limit by up to 10km/h, despite more than three quarters of drivers acknowledging it’s unacceptable.
Exceeding the speed limit by just small amounts significantly increases the risk of crashing:
At 3km/h over the limit, crash risk increases by 25 per cent At 5 km/h over the limit, crash risk increases by close to 50 per cent And at 10 kmh/h over the limit, crash risk doubles
Infringement data accross the first three quarters of 2020-21 show that despite Victoria’s COVID-19 restrictions, some drivers continued to demonstrate an alarming disregard for abiding by speed limits.
Some of the most concerning road behaviour occurred northbound on Punt Road and High Street in Prahran, with a 172 per cent increase in speeding from July to September last year. This was despite traffic volumes at the intersection being down by almost half (49.2 per cent) compared to the same time the previous year.
Melbourne Airport’s Terminal Drive and Centre Road also saw a worrying 160 per cent increase in infringements despite an 85.4 per cent decline in traffic volume between October and December last year.
Combating speed through enforcement and education is a priority of the Government’s Road Safety Strategy 2021-2030, which aims to halve road trauma in the state by the end of the decade.
The strategy’s action plan has seen a 75 per cent increase in mobile camera hours and will see 35 additional speed and red-light cameras installed at high-risk intersections to further deter people from speeding.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Roads and Road Safety Ben Carroll
“We all know speed kills and it’s heartbreaking that despite fewer cars being on the road 156 people have tragically lost their lives so far this year.”
“Majority of Victorians do the right thing on the roads, but this study shows that too many people still think that only a few kilometres over the limit won’t hurt – the evidence shows that it does.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Police Lisa Neville
“Less traffic on our roads is no excuse for dangerous driving. If drivers aren’t going to follow the road rules, Victoria Police will be there to hold them to account.”
“One life lost on our roads is one too many, and we need every motorist to make the right decisions. Keep each other safe by travelling within the speed limit, wearing a seat belt and avoiding distractions.”