I'm repeating my last post except in paragraphs. I now know that you need to use some html in these posts.
I've read Snailgus's piece and would like to discuss the points raised.
I agree that there is a common perception that speeding is nowhere near as bad as drink driving. Indeed that is just common sense. Beyond that I disagree.
Speeding tickets are just a form of revenue raising from state governments with minimal overlap with road safety. Indeed the enormous focus on bees dick size breaches of the limit takes away police resources from real road safety issues and compromises the road safety effort. As a loss of human life is the cost of a compromised road safety program this is outrageous.
It is not a driver's right to go as fast as they want to although in most cases people are capable of choosing an appropriate speed and don't want to go so fast that they are creating a hazard so in most cases it doesn't make a difference.
It comes as a surprise that anyone actually believes that the estimate made by RARU that exceeding the speed limit by more than 5 km/h is as dangerous as driving with a blood alcohol level of higher than 0.05% is anything to do with reality. After all with so many people exceeding the speed limit without incident and so few drunks accounting for such a large proportion of crashes if this was true in real life the streets would be paved with blood.
They studied accident locations where cars crashed and the average speed was therefore 60 km/h (as most people slow down on dangerous roads) that were signposted at 60 km/h. They estimated that going 5 km/h above the speed limit driving at 65 km/h doubles the risk of having a serious crash (one involving a serious injury or fatality) and that driving at 70 km/h increases the risk by a factor of four.
Remember that this estimate of the risk of going 5 km/h over the limit etc. at 60 km/h was based on calculations from the sites where crashes occurred and the average speed was only 60 km/h. Peer review highlighted that measures of average speed on a typical 60 km/h roads is more likely to get a result of at least 67 km/h. If you use the calculations minus the assumption that the average speed on a 60 km/h road is 60 km/h you get the 5 km/h above average equating to 12 km/h above the limit. That is as far as the 'peers' of those researchers took it.
However, naturally all things aren't equal. Dangerous roads where everyone drives slowly are not as accomodating of faster driving as the typical 60 km/h road. Indeed a number of criticisms have been made by people who have never held positions where GovCo paid them to research 'road safety' and who are cheesed off about the revenue raising. Non-'peers' have been more scathing in their criticisms.
Official ads often try to use stopping distances as an excuse for the cash grab. They imply that there is a linear relationship between speed and crash risk that can be extrapolated from stopping distances. In reality often replicated research found as early as 1964 that there is a curvilinear relationship between speed and crashes.
Further official stopping distances have problems. If you have ever taken the time to look up a table of measured new car stopping distances you may wonder why your local Department of Transport uses distances exponentially longer while claiming that they are the distances resulting from an expert driver in a car in good condition. The reason is that the distances are created purely by estimation based on their calculations and assumptions rather than real life. They divide the stopping into distance travelled while reacting and stopping distance after reacting. The reaction times fail to take into account the increased concentration found to be associated with driving faster. More importantly however the calculations have a nasty habit of almost tripling the average reaction time of a 70 year old and adding that to a distance calculated with half the decelaration of an average new car. This combination results in rather atypical stopping distances and was also the basis of calculations used in the study that Snailgus puts so much weight on.
Despite the low risk of low level speeding offences a document recently released to the Liberal Party under Freedom of Information shows that 78 per cent of speed camera fines issued in April were where the driver was allegedly exceeding the speed limit by 10 kilometres an hour or less. Speeding tickets aren't for reckless speedsters they are aimed at people doing a safe speed for the sole purpose of raising revenue.
When I hear people complaining about the speeding ticket they just got, I am extremely sympathetic. The chances of having an accident during any one particular trip are pretty small for almost anyone, but if, like any competant driver, you are driving at a speed that matches the conditions rather that some bureaucrat had put on a sign regularly over the course of your life the chances that you'll be involved in a serious accident remain quite slim. Unfortunately however you may end up paying a fortune in revenue fines.