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Canberra Today 1°/8° | Monday, October 25, 2021 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

Thousands of Canberrans escape city speeding fines

One of the affected 40km/h Braddon roads.

AROUND 5,000 motorists have been caught driving over the speed limit inside 48 hours by new cameras on Northbourne Avenue and Barry Drive.

But the identified offenders have escaped heavy fines after the ACT government has waived away upwards of $2.2 million in revenue.

Penalties are $438 and the loss of three demerit points for driving between 15 and 30km/h over the new 40km/h limit on the two inner city roads.

The smallest fine is still $297 for an offence of speeding up to 15km/h.

The extra speed cameras have only been “adjusted to capture traffic” for the first time over Monday and Tuesday (June 21-22).

Several blocks of Northbourne Avenue, currently under newly-introduced 40km/h zones to slow vehicles down during ongoing roadworks, were not counted among detected motorists since speed limits had temporarily been reduced this month from 60km/h.

Minister for Transport and City Services, Chris Steel, announced changes to limits on March 24 that included reducing the speed on nearby streets around Braddon.

Motorists were warned that the government would not give any grace period after the new 40km/h limits came into effect immediately.

But “CityNews” revealed that neither speed cameras nor police had fined one single driver over the next six weeks that continued until the “staged implementation” of the new limits on Northbourne Avenue and Barry Drive.

Government had introduced slower limits closer to the city to benefit the growing number of pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users coming into the precinct.

Minister of Business and Better Regulation, Tara Cheyne, said that the education period for drivers around the new speed limits is coming to an end.

Fines will be delivered for all offences from July 5 for drivers exceeding 40km/h limits.

“The sheer number of motorists speeding in such a high-density area is concerning,” Ms Cheyne said.

“The 40km/h zones were introduced to create a safer environment for everyone using the roads – and it seems the message hasn’t sunk in.

“Speeding not only puts lives in danger, but motorists exceeding the speed limit can face significant fines or even the loss of their licence.”

Recent research, according to the government, has indicated the introduction of 40km/h zones “significantly” reduces the risk of death for vulnerable road users.

The risk of death for a vulnerable road user drops from about 80 per cent when a vehicle is travelling at 50km/h compared to 50 per cent while moving at 40km/h.

Lower speed limits in high traffic areas support the Labor-Greens government’s Vision Zero commitment of no deaths or serious injuries on ACT roads, acknowledging that deaths and serious injuries are preventable.

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Andrew Mathieson

Andrew Mathieson

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5 Responses to Thousands of Canberrans escape city speeding fines

Stephen Peter Sherlock says: June 23, 2021 at 4:09 pm

This nonsense with the 40 kmh speed limits in Civic are just absolute rubbish what is this idiotic government trying to lose the next election maybe that’s what they are trying to do

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Michael Lees says: August 4, 2021 at 9:59 am

I don’t live in Canberra and the first time I’ve driven down northbourne since the introduction of these new speed limits and I’ve been stung $1265 😳😳

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Min says: August 6, 2021 at 6:16 pm

Chris needs to provide real number of people killed or seriously injured in past few years.The traffic is barely moving faster than 30 km an hour due to 3 traffic signals in 500 meters interval. Perhaps they need to drive themselves and witness this.

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Palmerston's Lament says: August 13, 2021 at 4:50 pm

I travelled up Northbourne at the Government regulated snail’s pace. What soon become apparent was the multitude of traffic lights at each intersection – one for traffic and one for the tram.

Now that was when the penny dropped, there is so much confusion in the traffic signals that mistakes are both easy and magnified.

So I suggest that this is a problem of the Government’s making. They have created a situation that contributes to bad decision making, and in order to fix it, they have instituted draconian measures to “correct” behaviours.

It is worth remembering that the speed limit in Newcastle has also been reduced to 40 and 50 to compensate for the added infrastructure.

A series of targeted FOIs may be in order here.

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