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Now you can be caught speeding on Facebook

Speeding is the leading cause of death on NSW roads. Now thanks to social media, other drivers can let the NSW police know when you are speeding. NSW police already use social media to broadcast messages about safe driving. But they also get feedback from the public about what they see happening on the road.

Road toll

In 2016 so far, 18 motorcycle riders have lost their lives on NSW roads and 101 people have been killed on NSW roads — 19 more than last year.

In early April 2016 at 11.30am, police caught a 30-year old motorcyclist travelling at 196 kmh in a 60kmh zone. This was three times the speed limit for that area, with a lot of pedestrian traffic. It was the worst example of speeding in 6 years.

Cost of speeding

Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development has estimated the annual economic cost of road crashes in Australia at $27 billion. But the cost of speeding goes beyond being merely economic. As NSW Inspector Phillip Brooks says:

“Speeding is not just loss of points, a driver can lose their means of transport, means of getting to work, and it can affect their education, their social lives and their means of supporting other family members.”

One ANU academic, Dr Murray Hollis, has suggested that every car should carry a “black box”. It would continually monitors speed, location and acceleration and sends data back to the authorities. He claims this will cut down the risk of road fatalities and injuries.

Heavy penalties

Not everyone is convinced the heavy focus on penalties for speeding is the best way to approach road safety.

Former parliamentarian and authority on road safety, Robert Solomon, has studied overseas approaches to road safety and says: “a competent driver at 120 km/h is far less dangerous than an incompetent one at 80 km/h”. He believes driver competence should be the focus, with much more rigorous driving tests like those in the UK.

In NSW there are heavy penalties for travelling at least 45km/h over the speed limit:

  • Speeding fine of $2,306
  • 6-month licence suspension
  • Number plate removed for 3 months
  • Court case and possible jail time.

Drivers with speeding offences, demerit points and serious infringements on their record will be charged more for their green slips.

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