Tony O'Kane | May 6, 2009

Victorian Police will target speeders and hoons more aggressively, with the Victorian Government announcing yesterday in the 2009 State Budget that it will be spending an additional $22.2 million to help cut the road toll by 30 percent by 2017.

But revelations that government revenue from speeding fines is expected to pass the $500 million mark is bound to upset Victorian motorists, many of whom see the government's liberal use of speed cameras as a being more of a money-raising service, rather than a promoter of road safety.

$10.4 million of the $22.2 million total will be spent on upgrading "road safety enforcement technology," which includes 87 new mobile speed cameras, 53 handheld laser speed measuring devices, more breath-testing stations and three new major collision scene survey stations.

$10 million will be spent on upgrading drug-testing devices.

The state government will also spend $1.8 million on installing new moving-mode speed cameras on 200 police vehicles, which will allow the police to monitor the speeds of cars travelling in the opposite direction, and will do much to slow down traffic in rural areas.

An extra 3000 hours of mobile speed camera operation will also be funded.

The Victorian government expects revenue from traffic fines to rise by around 10 percent this year, which will bring total revenue to an all-time high of nearly $500 million.

Over $120m is slated to be spent on a comprehensive crackdown on hoons, unlicensed drivers and drink and drug-drivers. Penalties for offences will also rise too, with a second tier of anti-hoon legislation expected to be introduced.

Under the new scheme, first-time offenders who speed by more that 70km/h will have their vehicles immediately impounded for three months, a penalty which will supplement the existing 48-hour impounding for first-time offenders who speed by more than 45km/h.

Repeat drink or drug drivers, as well as unlicensed drivers, can also face having their cars impounded for three months.

“Drivers who speed excessively, repeatedly drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or drive while disqualified will now face having their vehicle impounded,” the Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Bob Cameronsaid.

“Unfortunately a significant number of motorists continue to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol or while suspended from driving. Courts will now have an option to impound vehicles for up to three months for repeat hoon offenders.”

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