John D'Orazio

John D'Orazio

Former Minister for Police and Emergency Services; Justice; Community Safety

Speeding penalties increased to reduce road crashes

5/05/2006 4:30 PM
 
5/5/06

Fines and demerit points will be increased for speeding and other offences which increase the risk of serious injury or death on Western Australian roads.

Community Safety Minister John D’Orazio said a major overhaul of penalties under WA’s Road Traffic Code would see some raised for the first time since 1997, while others had been reduced.

Mr D’Orazio said the changes were based on the likelihood and severity of crashes that might result from specific driver behaviour, which was identified in research conducted for the Road Safety Council.

The Minister said some of the key penalty increases were:
  • exceeding the speed limit by 30-39kmh - increase from $250 to $350 ($500 for heavy vehicles) and from four to five demerit points;
  • exceeding the speed limit by 40kmh per hour - increase from $350 to $1,000 ($1,250) and from six to seven demerit points;
  • using a hand-held mobile phone while driving - increase from one to three demerit points; and
  • not wearing seatbelts - fine to increase from $150 - $200.
There would be an even greater increase in speeding fines for vehicles over 22.5 tonnes, because of the greater severity of crashes in which they were involved.

At the same time, there had been a reduction from three demerit points to one for some offences, including driving with a limb protruding from a car and using fog lights inappropriately.

In addition to changing speeding and restraints penalties, 44 traffic code regulations had been revised, resulting in:
  • demerit point reductions in 21 regulations and increases in 11 regulations; and
  • fines increases in 11 regulations and decreases in five regulations.
“The aim of the Traffic Code is to make our roads safer, by penalising motorists who put their own lives and those of others at risk,” Mr D’Orazio said.

“This is vital in continuing the long-term reduction in our road toll.

“Crash data from 2003 shows speeding was a factor in more than 33 per cent of all crashes and contributed to 14 per cent of serious injuries.

“In the same year, about 30 per cent of vehicle occupants killed and eight per cent of those hospitalised as a result of road crashes were not wearing a seatbelt.

“While the Government did not accept all the recommendations made by the Road Safety Council and in others raised demerit points, but not fines, the new penalties increase the focus on changing dangerous behaviour.”

The Minister said the changed penalties would take effect from January 1, 2007.

These changes would generate an estimated at $12million in 2006-07 and about $20million in future years, with one third of revenue generated by speed cameras and red light cameras allocated to the Road Trauma Trust Fund.

However, total Government spending on specific road safety activities such as education, enforcement and road programs such as Black Spot and Safer Roads was more than five times greater than the amount collected from traffic infringements.

Minister's office 9213 7150