ARSRPE Conference Paper Database

New speed enforcement initiatives: changing attitudes and behaviour

Smith, Dr Geoff



In 1999, new speed enforcement initiatives were planned for introduction in Victoria in following years.  In order to assess public response to these initiatives, a baseline telephone survey was conducted in Melbourne during October 1999 (N=1,000), in order to record related attitudes and behaviours under the speed camera program in operation at that time. Since then several new speed camera technologies have been introduced (including flashless, fixed-site and point-to-point cameras), the number of camera hours per month has also been increased, and both the speed camera tolerance and the residential speed limit have been lowered.  A revised survey to address these changes was conducted in Melbourne in October 2002 (N=1,000) to ascertain any changes in self-reported attitudes and behaviours in the period following the introduction of the new initiatives.

Overall respondents indicated continuing strong agreement that speed enforcement measures contribute to lowering the road toll.  Additionally people reported an increase in the chances of being caught exceeding the speed limit, and that self-reported speeding behaviour has changed accordingly in the 3-year period between surveys.  This is reflected in respondents reporting that they are becoming more aware of speed enforcement in general, and of speed cameras in particular. Accompanying this is an attendant improvement in the public?s knowledge concerning the logistics and operation of speed cameras.  Data analysis focussing on changing perceptions of specific demographic groups is presented.

Preliminary analysis indicates in general that the innovative efforts of Victoria Police and the changes in speed camera technology are proving to be effective in changing people?s attitudes towards speeding and self-reported speeding behaviour.  These efforts serve to increase road safety in Victoria, and to provide a model for implementation of similar practice in other States and Territories. Implications for future strategies and specific target groups are discussed.