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Australian Study Reveals Speeders More Afraid Of Tickets Than Injuries

Posted in driving, Legal, Newsworthy, Police by Kurt Ernst | December 17th, 2010 | 7 Responses |

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A recent study completed by the Queensland University of Technology’s Center for Accident and Road Safety Research yielded this groundbreaking discovery: speeders are more concerned with fines than they are with potential crash-related injuries. The study also revealed the shocking news that speeders memorize the locations of speed cameras, and slow down to obey the speed limit when approaching one. Just in case you’re wondering how your own speed compares to Australian drivers, a 100 kph (62 mph) speed limit saw drivers varying in speed from 145 kph (90 mph) to 60 kph (37 mph); in other words, Australians drive just like Florida residents on Interstate 95.

The study also found that Australian drivers lacked an understanding of high speed driving and vehicle dynamics, believing that most high speed crashes are survivable for the driver, if not the passenger, regardless of the type of car they were driving. Dr. Judy Fleiter, who led the study, was quoted by Autoevolution as saying:

“They are calculating, or really miscalculating the risk of speeding. Their biggest fear is getting caught, and many believe that they ‘know’ how to evade detection. But the problem with drivers taking a calculated risk, is that they are calculating the risk of getting caught and not the risk of getting hurt. There seemed to be a lack of understanding that at high speeds, many road crashes are not survivable, no matter who is driving, how skilled that driver may be, and how good the vehicle is they are driving.”

It sounds like the United States may not be the only country that needs to revamp their driver education and licensing systems, and I can’t help but wonder if Australian drivers are really as bad as drivers in the US. Any readers from down under care to comment?

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7 Responses

  1. Atko says:

    The reason why we’re scared of being caught is because there’s so many bloody cameras down here.

    In Victoria alone over $300million aud is generated per annum by mobile hidden speed cameras. Which seem to be at the bottom of every hill, behind every bush, and next to every 60kph speed sign coming straight out of a 100kph zone.

    If that wasn’t enough, the tolerance level on camera’s has been reduced to 2km for fixed cameras and 3km for hidden cameras, meaning if you’re doing 82kph in an 80kph zone you can say good bye to a days wage.

    Personally I’m wondering if the study was funded by the State Governments as an excuse to fund more hidden camera cars. As if the 250 fixed, 350 police car mounted and 200 hidden cameras in Victoria weren’t enough already.

    • Kurt Ernst says:

      Atko, that’s nuts. Most speedometers aren’t calibrated that accurately, and you’d be doomed if you changed the size of your wheels and tires.

      Do you get insurance points as well as a fine? In the U.S., insurance points are what cost you BIG money, since a few tickets can easily double or triple your car insurance rates.

  2. […] shocking news that speeders memorize the locations of speed cameras, and slow down to obey the […]Read more… Categories: Uncategorized Tags: Mercedes W124, Queensland University, Road Safety Research, […]

  3. Atko says:


    Yeah tell me about it. The best part is according to Australian Design Rules (which all manufacturers must follow), Speedo’s only have to be accurate to within +/- 10% at 40kph in car’s manufactured up to 2007 and within +/- 5% for cars manufactured after.

    Thankfully no insurance points (yet!) just the fine. Insurance isn’t mandatory in Australia (though you’d be dumb not to have it), although some states have 3rd party cover (for when you hit a pedestrian) built into the yearly car registration.

    The only time you’d be hit for getting a fine, is when applying for new insurance, they’ll often ask you questions such as “have you ever been caught speeding?” etc which may effect the cost of your policy,but no actual mechanism (or law) to boost your rates for getting fined.

  4. Kurt Ernst says:

    @Atko, I hope your insurance system stays that way, because what we have here in the U.S. sucks. A single ticket, depending on your demographic, may be enough to double or triple your insurance cost. Get two or more tickets, and that’s almost a certainty.

  5. SKETCH says:

    i’m canadian, living in australia for the last 5 years, and i’ve driven the whole west coast of the USA a few times…americans are les courteous than the aussies, but aussies are more reckless, never been anywhere with more hoon drivers than australia

  6. Kurt Ernst says:

    Sketch, if you thing west coasters aren’t courteous, try driving in New York, Boston, Washington DC or Miami sometime. You’d never know that this country has traffic laws aside from “survival of the fittest”.