Mass Robbery Of Motorists
$338,741—per—day by Robyn Ironside (Headlines The Courier-Mail 27/4/2010)

That's how much speeding drivers pour into state coffers

SPEEDING drivers are clocking up a breathtaking $338,741 a day in revenue for the State Government.

And the proportion of leadfoots caught travelling significantly above the speed limit is on the rise. Figures obtained by The Courier Mail show speeding fine revenue jumped from $98 million in 2008 to $123.6 million in 2009.

The extra $70,000 flowing into Government coffers every day follows a 33% hike in penalties, introduced at the start of last year. Overall, there were actually fewer motorists caught speeding last year, but more of those who were caught were snapped at higher speeds and therefore copped bigger fines.

Penalties range from $133 for driving up to 13km/h over the limit to $933 for exceeding the speed limit by more than 40km/h.

Police expect more drivers will be caught this year as a result of the introduction of covert cameras.

"It is hoped that continued enforcement will deter motorists from speeding and, in turn, reduce the tragic loss of life on our roads," said a Queensland Police Service spokeswoman.

Queensland Transport statistics show police using hand-held radars caught many more drivers at higher speeds (153,715) than those going "just over" the limit (42,720).

The opposite was true of mobile and fixed speed cameras which snap far more low-range offences than excessive speedsters.

Michael Lane from the National Motorists Association of Australia said it appeared that police using radar were using a "bit of discretion". Logically they've said 'we'll pull the guys doing the faster speeds over, rather than booking someone for a small amount'," he said.

But a QPS spokeswoman said police

"did not exercise discretion for life-endangering offences Police remain committed to detecting and deterring speeding in all offence categories," she said.

Mr Lane said the high number of speeding fines raised questions about the appropriateness of speed limits in some areas of Queensland.

"We would argue that if they're booking so many people and imposing so many fines — is there a problem with the rules?" he said. "If you go through other parts of the world, freeways are running at 130km/h, not 100 or 110. The 100km/h open road speed limit was introduced way back in the 1960s when the roads were worse, vehicles were worse and drivers were a lot worse."

But police said the revenue from speeding offences was "a relatively small amount".

"The economic cost of the road toll to the community is billions of dollars. This doesn't encompass the personal cost," the QPS spokeswoman said. "If everyone drove to the speed limit they wouldn't be fined and we would be very happy with that."

A Queensland Transport spokesman said all revenue raised from speed fines went "straight back into road safety programs and their administration". The programs included education and awareness, and road accident injury rehabilitation.