The RACQ says speed cameras alone won't slow the road toll.
The RACQ says speed cameras alone won't slow the road toll. Blainey Woodham

Speed cameras alone won't stop the road toll

EVERY year, there are two sure signs that Easter is around the corner and each are equally hard to digest.

The first is the invasion of chocolate eggs, rabbits and bilbies into every supermarket. The second is the annual police promise to crack down on speeding.

But while the first sign simply means I'll need to loosen my belt a notch or two, the second just frustrates me.

Despite the proliferation of speed cameras throughout the state, the Queensland road toll is about 30% higher than this time last year and on track to increase for the third year running.

Joe Fitzgerald.
Joe Fitzgerald.

It's not that the police are doing a bad job with road safety; in fact the opposite. The problem is that speed cameras are often touted as the silver bullet, when they're only a part of the solution to saving lives on our roads.

It is far too easy for government to blame drivers, and it's certainly cost effective. But while driver error certainly contributes, there's more to the argument.

Put simply, we are all prone to human error but that doesn't mean we should die for our mistake. Many of Queensland's roads and roadsides are so unsafe that even the smallest error of judgement could be fatal.

Does anyone think major roads with steep culverts, massive trees or telephone poles just a metre or two from the roadside are safe?   

The best, and safest, long-term solution is to make the roads themselves safer and there's a lot all levels of government could do to that end.

Focus on proven and relatively low-cost improvements, such as roadside barriers, median and overtaking treatments, intersection upgrades and the removal of roadside trees and poles, for a start.

Because speed cameras alone haven't stopped the increasing road toll.


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