The annual economic cost of road crashes in Australia is enormous. It is estimated that it costs Australians $27 billion per annum. However, the social impacts are more devastating.
According to the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development (DIRD), since record keeping commenced in 1925, there have been over 180,000 deaths on Australia’s roads.
Despite these astonishing facts, and the millions of dollars in fines levied, motorists continue to drive dangerously.
Inconsistencies in how unwelcome driver behaviour is managed may be contributing to the problem. Road users in some parts of the country face fines more than five times the size elsewhere - for the same offence. Some infringements that carry three-figure penalties in Australia are not even against the law in other comparable parts of the world. For example:
|Stopping in an Emergency stopping lane||South Australia - $239 NSW - $236 Queensland - $44 Western Australia - $50|
|Fail to carry drivers licence||South Australia - $175 Queensland, Victoria, WA – Given a chance to provide it at a later date.|
|Leaving car with key in ignition||NSW - $101 Not an offence in South Australia|
Motorist groups are calling for uniformity across the country.
Currently the federal government is responsible for allocating infrastructure resources and safety for the national highways and local road networks. Meanwhile the state and territory governments are responsible for funding, planning, designing, and regulating and enforcing road user behaviour.
So what are the main fines motorists are being busted with?
- Speeding under 10km/h
- Speeding over 10km/h
- Speeding over 20km/h
- Speeding over 30km/h
- Speeding over 45km/h
- Running red lights
- Mobile phone offences
- Seatbelt offences
Don’t speed, use your phone or drink and drive. However, there are other ways to look at not breaking road rules. Leave early to avoid rushing and speeding to get somewhere on time, think of breaking road rules as spending money, organise a designated driver or have the party at your house and offer places for your mates to stay.
Written by Shine Lawyers. Last modified: November 16, 2015.