Tasmania Speeding Fines Plummet, Concern Growing Over Road Safety Photo:
Trevor Collett | May, 16 2013 | 3 Comments

Tasmanian speeding fines have plummeted 33.5 percent in the twelve months to March 2013.

From 36,475 fines issued in the twelve months to March 2012, the number of drivers caught speeding in the following 12 months has fallen to 24,261.

The figures have raised concerns from the public of diminished road safety and a state government budget black hole caused by a drop in revenue.

Speaking to News Ltd, Police Minister David O'Byrne said police were using methods other than speed cameras to catch offenders.

"I'm advised Tasmania Police are becoming less dependent on fixed speed cameras, and catching more offenders with other devices like hand-held and car-mounted radars," Mr O’Byrne said.

Mr O'Byrne also said that the figures reflect an improvement in driver behaviour.

"More broadly, we're seeing a slight downward trend in most traffic offences including speeding fines, failing to wear a seatbelt, using mobile phones, and unregistered vehicles," Mr O’Byrne said.

"To some degree, those results reflect safer driving, which is consistent with our road toll falling to record lows."

TMR spoke with Vince Taskunas from Tasmanian motoring body the RACT.

Mr Taskunas said the RACT were made aware of software issues with speed cameras by Tasmania Police which caused a reduction in fines. He also believed that a targeted anti-speeding campaign in the last 12 months has been effective.

“A lot of funding has been directed at speed related campaigns,” Mr Taskunas said. “It is quite logical to suggest that this has changed driver behaviour.”

Mr Taskunas also said that the Tasmanian government have focused on improving speed limits around the state, and that the public have been made aware of the new speed limits.

“Our gut feeling is that the reduction in fines is due to a combination of those two and budget cuts to police,” Mr Taskunas said.

“Effort levels from police are no lower than in previous years but feedback from RACT members is telling us they have seen fewer police on the roads in comparison to previous years.”

And the Tasmanian Police Union agrees, blaming budget cuts and fewer officers on the front line for the reduction in fines.

As of April 30, Tasmania’s road toll stood at nine, up two from the same time last year.

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