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What’s wrong with the road safety approach?

Our worst Christmas holiday road toll in many years and the absolute tragedy of families torn apart with some of the worst crashes seen for some time. Quite clearly the current strategies for reducing the toll are not working. Drug driving is a growing area of concern and going by the massive drug hauls caught by Federal Police in the last 12 months there must be a big demand in society for drugs. Around 1 in 7 roadside drug tests come back positive, a far higher percentage to drink driving, which on average returns I in 300 caught driving over the limit. Speeding fine revenue across Australia now tops $1.1 billion annually. Governments have come to rely on the revenue – in N.S.W and Victoria alone it’s upwards of $700 million. Despite more speed cameras, more policing and higher penalties the road toll in both states continues to rise. Surely something is wrong with that strategy and until Politicians put lives ahead of dollars it will continue to do so.

From where I sit we continue to punish 90 percent of the population for minor speeding infringements but the 10 percent who commit major offences get off with far too lenient penalties. Drive on a cancelled license and you should simply lose your license for life – how often do we hear of repeat offenders driving without a license. For running red lights – such a dangerous offence should carry immediate disqualification for 12 months and a $2,000 fine. However, what do you get a $439 fine and 3 demerits. I’m David Berthon

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