Travel speed as a factor in the incidence and severity of road trauma has been a longstanding issue within the field of road safety. Research conducted over many years has predicted significant reductions in road trauma from relatively small reductions in travel speed, but implementing policy to take advantage of these predicted gains has often been problematic.
Work undertaken by Monash University Accident Research Centre for the development of arrive alive! Victoria?s Road Safety Strategy 2002-2007 indicated the potential for large reductions in road trauma to be achieved through increasing the amount of camera based speed enforcement, and reducing the enforcement threshold for speeding offences. On the basis of this work, and of research undertaken at the Road Accident Research Unit at the University of Adelaide, Victoria has implemented a coordinated campaign to reduce speeding through education, publicity and enhancements to camera-based enforcement. This campaign has attracted substantial public and political opposition, but has resulted in reductions of approximately 25% in road death on metropolitan roads that are consistent with the forecast provided by research.
This paper will discuss the research basis for the campaign, the outcomes to date, and the public policy issues concerning the perceived motivations and effectiveness of the campaign.