According to the NSW Transport for Road stats, as of yesterday 12 February 2018 road toll deaths has increased by 30% in the last 12 months. As a leading personal injury lawyer in NSW for the past 30 years, the devastating effects of road trauma and death are known only too well by me and my team – probably too well by most of us.
Every major holiday break there are spike in road accidents and every major holiday break there are a lot of headlines and a lot of academic double talk (not to mention double demerits) about what needs to be done.
Having assisted the victims of motor vehicle accidents for over 30 years and seen the real causes of those accidents, I am advocating the time is now to hold academics and bureaucrats to account and to focus on the real solutions. With a 30% increase alone in the last 12 months, clearly what they are doing now isn’t working!
The fact is that the constant monotone of “speed” causing accidents is nonsense. The only accidents caused by speed are those rare cases involving extremely high speeds undertaken in inappropriate places – sheer stupidity, often combined with other factors like alcohol and are fortunately rare.
Conversely, studies show that airline pilots, drivers and operators of machinery need a certain level of stimulation, lest their attention wanders and they make mistakes. By setting speed limits so low on major interstate highways as is the current fashion in most States of Australia, the bureaucrats who set these low limits are driving drivers to become bored, to become distracted, to fiddle with their phones, to let their minds wander, all factors in a significant proportion of accidents, accidents caused by distraction.
Drivers are not suicidal and with the rare exceptions travel at a safe speed where their attention is maximised. That speed may well be 130kph (the usual limit in the USA or Europe), where here the expressway limit of 100-110kph is set well below the maximum attention level.
Too low speed limits cause motor accidents, injury and tragically, death. Try explaining that the Highway Patrol next time you are booked on a wide, safe, four lane expressway. It can’t hurt.