The SA Centre for Economic Studies December 2013 Economic Briefing Report includes a focus article – The Fine State of South Australia – which considers whether the improvement in road fatality and serious injury statistics is simply the result of detection technology and associated fines. Due to media and community interest, the full article has been made available for download.
The authors of the article find that a range of safety, deterrent and detection measures have contributed to a long term decline in road fatalities. However, aspects of the current regime fall short of meeting key principles of good public policy. Greater public access to information regarding speeding tolerances levels, demerit points etc, and rewards for good driving behaviour should be made to encourage further behavioural responses. Interstate comparisons of fines for speeding offences and the absence of recognition for good driving suggests that the pendulum for speeding offences is balanced towards revenue raising. A national harmonised approach would go some way to restoring public perceptions and reinforce the ultimate goal of road safety.