$700,000 handed in fines to Gladstone motorists
A TANNUM Sands hoon was caught 50kmh over the speed limit in a 100kmh zone, an investigation has revealed.
Police statistics released through Right to Information laws show the Gladstone region's worst speeder in the 2015-16 financial year was clocked at 150kmh in a 100kmh zone near Tannum Sands. It was one of 3652 speeding offences in Gladstone.
These Gladstone offences, detected over the 12 months, cost Gladstone motorists about $700,000 in fines.
Most fines, 2717, were sent to drivers doing less than 13kmh over the limit.
A further 768 fines were to motorists driving 13-20kmh over the limit and 155 fines went to people caught 21-30kmh over the limit.
Police issued 17 fines to drivers doing 31-40kmh over the limit and five fines went to drivers caught more than 40kmh over the limit.
Those fines cost drivers a total of $705,049 that could have gone into the local economy.
That's enough to buy 504 new ultra-high definition TVs, 18,478 cartons of XXXX Gold stubbies, or feed 4578 average Gladstone households for a week.
But it is the physical cost of dangerous driving that a leading central Queensland emergency doctor sees all too often. Rockhampton Hospital emergency physician Tanya Mellett said although fatal crashes got the most attention, those that caused severe injuries could be life-changing.
Dr Mellett said car crashes, along with motorbike and quad bike crashes, were the most common cause of trauma seen in the emergency department.
"People who survive a crash and are taken to emergency departments can have lifelong injuries," she said. "For the rest of their lives they may have to live with acquired brain injuries or chronic pain from other injuries."
Dr Mellett said the mental trauma of surviving a crash was long lasting.
"There are times when a person is killed in a crash and others survive, and the survivors have to recover from physical injuries while coping with the mental trauma of a friend or loved one's death."
Leading road safety expert Rebecca Ivers said managing speeds and improving road quality were vital to making roads safer.
"Safety gains on highways can be made by managing speed, better road quality and safer cars. In rural regions people are often travelling long distances on lower quality roads in less safe cars," she said.
National road user body Australian Automobile Association has called for a national inquiry into road safety after a report found 42,000 people were seriously injured on Australian roads each year.
"At a time when new vehicles and roads have never been safer, we need to understand why 40 years of road safety improvement appears to be at risk of being reversed," the AAA said.
"Such an inquiry is an important, urgent, and low-cost step the government can take towards reducing the human suffering, and the billions in annual economic costs caused by road crashes."
Less than 13kmh over: 2717 fines
13-20kmh over: 768 fines
21-30kmh over: 155 fines
31-40kmh over: 17 fines
*2015-16 financial year