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We’ve all heard the horror stories around speeding, yet it still remains one of the key factors in fatal crashes on Australian roads today. Running late sucks, but when studies have shown that even small increases in the speed you’re travelling can increase your risk of injury behind the wheel - getting to the party a couple of minutes earlier probably isn’t worth the risk.

The facts

Speed is one of the key factors in fatal and serious injury crashes on our roads, and was likely to have played a part in one-in-three fatal crashes in 2020.

For every 1% reduction in average speed, there is on average a 3% reduction in casualty crashes.

“Only a little bit over” matters: exceeding the speed limit by 3km/h increases your risk of crashing by 25%.. At 5 km/h over the limit, your crash risk increases by close to 50%.

If you drop your speed from 70km/hr to 60 km/hr over a 10km trip, your trip will only take an extra 86 seconds. It’s better to take your time, and stick to the speed limit!

What happens when I speed?

At higher speeds, drivers are more likely to:

- Lose control of their vehicle.
- Fail to anticipate oncoming hazards.
- Cause other road users to misjudge the speed of their vehicle.
- Misjudge how long it will take to stop.

Vehicle safety systems are designed to perform at specific speed ranges, and exceeding the speed limit reduces how well your car can protect you in a crash.

How will I get caught?

There are three types of speed camera systems – fixed, mobile and point-to-point.

- Mobile speed cameras are designed to enforce speed limits and are often located in areas identified as high-risk due to accident numbers, where there are excessive speed complaints or areas where speeding is an issue.
- Fixed safety cameras are placed at signalised intersections and can detect both speed and red-light offences.
- A point-to-point camera system is used on the Hume Highway and Peninsula Link and it measures average speeds over distance.

Road safety cameras are only one tool in the fight against the road toll. Mobile radar laser equipment, high-visibility patrol cars and unmarked patrol vehicles are dotted across roads and highways to enforce speed limits and help save lives.

The damage

Every time you speed, you risk the chance of getting hit with some hefty consequences. These include:

- A minimum $231 fine.
- Loss of demerit points.
- Licence suspension.
- Vehicle impoundment.

The bottom line

A few minutes aren’t worth a life. 

In the grand scheme of things, arriving to work a few minutes earlier isn’t worth copping a fine more expensive than a whole week's rent. For that money, you could have spent the day in bed binge-watching Netflix (surrounded by 48 Bacon and Egg McMuffins). Kind of puts things into perspective, doesn’t it?