Speeding is bad. That is what we have all been taught from a young age. “Don’t ride your bike too fast, you will fall off” and “don’t run around the pool, you will slip” are words most mothers have used at least once, warning their children of the consequences of speed, no matter what the mode of transport is.
It seems counter intuitive that the Queensland Government is now looking at introducing new rules in their learner’s driving tests, which allow the examinee to exceed the speed limit by 5km/hr up to 5 times before being failed. Hang on a second, isn’t speeding bad?
These new rules don’t only apply to the speed limit, but also to stalling, driving with one hand and failing to indicate, which are now allowed to be done up to 6 times before failing. Those who are unable to start their engine more than 5 times will also fail. If you cannot start your car after 5 attempts, should you really be on the road?
The “Drop 5, Save Lives” campaign created in 2006 was designed to discourage drivers from doing 5km/h over the speed limit, aiming to prove that 5km/h can make a big difference, especially when it comes to braking. Now it seems that the Queensland Government has gone back on this and is now approving speeding in moderation. Are they not contradicting themselves?
Speeding is one of the main causes of road accidents in Australia. In Queensland alone, more than 1000 people are killed or injured every year as a result of speeding. In 2009, 75 people were killed as a result of speed related crashes; with one in three of the victims being the passenger or an innocent road user (Queensland Government, 2010).
News of these rule changes comes as the Roads and Traffic Authority is considering reducing the amount of leeway given to speeding motorists to 4km/h. Does this mean that those taking their driving test could ultimately be fined for speeding by the police, yet pass their driving test?
Everyone is guilty of speeding from time to time, yet these new rules seem to acknowledge this and send out the message that speeding is ok, as long as you only speed by a small amount. Learner drivers would then be less likely to take speed limits seriously, stating “but I can/could do it in my test” as their reason for breaking the road rules. A line needs to be drawn somewhere. Speed limits are there for a reason- to keep the roads safe. Play with them and you play with lives. As the saying goes “give a man an inch, and he’ll take a mile”- once a small amount of leeway is given, who knows where it will stop.
Do you think these new rules will lead to more fails than passes?
Has the government taken this one step too far?
We want to know what you think. Please post a comment below.