The good news about speed compliance in Victoria
Background: Low-level speeding has been a focus of the Transport Accident Commission’s (TAC) public education program since 2001, yet achieving full compliance with speed limits remains a challenge. Public perceptions of speeding behaviour have changed for the better over the ensuing years, and speed surveys and enforcement data demonstrate that behaviour has changed.
Data: In preparation for the creation of a new wave of public education material, the authors reviewed an extensive range of survey data and vehicle speed data collected from covert mobile cameras.
Results: The overwhelming majority of Victorians comply with speed limits and a clear majority support the speed enforcement regime and view low level speeding (i.e. 5 km/h over the speed limit) as socially unacceptable. Indeed, the majority of Victorians think people should get booked for exceeding the speed limit in a 60 zone by 4 km/h. Compared with non-Victorians, Victorians are less tolerant of speeding and more likely to report driving at lower speeds. Social norms are shifting in favour of complying with speed limits.
Conclusion: Road safety practitioners and decision makers may be surprised at the level of support for speed enforcement, speed limit settings and public education. The community should be seen as an ally in efforts to reduce road trauma through speed management. Public education should therefore seek to build upon the existing momentum to further reduce tolerance of low level speeding. The development of future speed enforcement strategies can also be informed by this data.