Drivers caught repeatedly exceeding speed limits in the high-range category are more likely to have a criminal history away from the roads, a new study has found.
Queensland University of Technology’s (QUT) Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety (CARRS-Q) has found more than 55 percent of repeat high-range speeding offenders have a criminal history in other areas.
Researchers aimed to profile Queensland’s repeat speeding offenders, and co-author, Dr Judy Fleiter, said the study considered criminal histories, personal characteristics, traffic offences and crash history of high-range speeding offenders - and was the first of its kind.
"We found that more than half of those drivers caught multiple times for exceeding the speed limit by more than 30km/h had a criminal history and were significantly more likely to have committed drug and property offences compared to all other drivers caught speeding," Dr Fleiter said.
"From a sample of 1000 speeding offenders we found 55.2 percent of repeat high-range offenders had a criminal history, compared to 21 per cent of other speeding offenders and seven per cent of low-range speeding offenders.”
The sample group was split into three categories from data over the last seven years: those caught committing at least two offences at more than 30km/h over the limit, those caught committing one low-range speeding offence and the rest who had committed at least one mid-range offence without exceeding the limit by more than 30km/h.
Dr Fleiter said 15.3 percent of repeat high-range speeders were involved in a collision during the last five years, compared with 2.9 percent of low-range offenders and 6.6 percent of those classed as mid-range.
Furthermore, young men, provisional licence-holders and motorcycle licence-holders were the most likely to be represented in the high-range speeding category.
Dr Fleiter suggested the current system of fines and demerit points was of little deterrent to high-risk offenders, and other, more innovative ways should be considered to kerb the practice.
“For example, the use of new in-vehicle technologies such as Intelligent Speed Adaptation that notifies drivers when they are over the speed limit or could restrict drivers from exceeding the speed limit may prove useful," Dr Fleiter said.
"Various studies have found similar technology that used alcohol interlocks had promising results in changing the behaviour of repeat drink drivers.”
As high-range speeders may be more likely to take risks in other areas, Dr Fleiter said highlighting monetary penalties and demerit points would be unlikely to change their behaviour.
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