Bendigo police target low-level speeding

POLICE will target low-level speeders this year in a bid to get the road toll below 200 by 2022. 

Bendigo Highway Patrol Acting Senior Sergeant Della Nihill said there was a perception within the community that police would not issue infringements for low-level speeding. 

"We will actively pursue people who are low-level speeding," she said. 

"I cannot give an exact figure of how much above the speed limit you would have to be to get an infringement.

"But this year we will be focusing on this issue.

"The statistics show that low-level speeding contributes to road deaths and serious injuries caused by collisions."

Transport Accident Commission senior manager Samantha Cockfield said high-level speeding had been addressed in the past few decades but low-level speeding was still an issue. 

"Most people agree that speeding a lot over the limit is not acceptable," she said. 

"But low-level speeding remains an issue. 

"If you are driving at 65 kilometres per hour you are twice as likely to be involved in a crash.

If you are driving at 65km per hour you are twice as likely to be involved in a crash. - TAC senior manager Samantha Cockfield

"Research suggests that reducing the average speed by 10 per cent can reduce road deaths by 40 per cent.

"In 2001 the speed limit for built up areas was lowered to 50 kilometres per hour from 60 kilometres per hour.

"That has been evaluated and it was effective at reducing road deaths.

"The most vulnerable people benefited from that reduction of the speed limit. 

"So pedestrians, motorists, people in shopping car parks, and school kids walking home. 

"If you are a pedestrian and a car hits you going 60 kilometres per hour, you do not have much of a chance of surviving. 

"But if the car is going at 50 kilometres per hour then you have about 60 per cent chance of survival.

"We have done well to address drink drivers.

"About 99 per cent of people would agree that drink driving is not acceptable. 

"But we don't have the same attitude for low-level speeding.

"Even though they both double your crash risk."

Ms Cockfield said currently the attitude was that it was okay to speed at a low level.

"Many people have this perception," she said. 

"Which means there is a network effect on the roads where a lot of people are speeding."

Police will launch Operation Amity on the Australia Day weekend, which will focus on low-level speeding.

merran.reed@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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