Kleinpark posted this response to the thread about "are you worried about terrorists" and rather than highjack the thread I thought I would post these interesting numbers I found when bored one night.
And let me say one of my brothers died from injuries from a car accident involving speed and drink driving, so I am well aware of the dangers of unsafe driving habits.
Infact Kleinpark, you are more likely to "off" yourself or fall over with fatal injuries than die of any sort of road death, much less one involving a drug or drink driver (about a third of road deaths)
This drunk driver third of deaths could be reduced to nearly zero by the introduction of ignition interlocks on all cars, but there is a cost (political and actual) rather than revenue option for this solution.
You might be surprised to find out some of these numbers
How many people die in Australia in a year (2010 for the sake of the numbers I had access to)
143,000 to 146,000 depending on the document from ABS. Differences due to later adjustments of data and other variables
Number of people in Australia killed in car accidents in 2010
1352 or less than 1% of total deaths
Top 20 causes of death 2010
20 leading causes of death 2010.JPG
So what has this got to do with car deaths
Well, for starters EACH of these things killed more people than road accidents in 2010
These deaths represent about 65% of deaths, roads deaths represent 1%
There were another 50 odd thousand deaths that didn't make the top 20
Note some well neglected areas such as suicide and falls, neither of which generate revenue, nor get budget attention
smoking and drinking related diseases were SIGNIFICANTLY higher but these are profit centers for the australian tax bucket if not Australian medical services
Some interesting tidbits from the data on wikipedia
Deaths per 100,000 people from driving accidents 5.7
Deaths per 1 BILLION Kilometers driven or 100,000,000km 5.7 or another way 1 death per 17.5 million km driven, I found a document that suggests this as high as 23,000,000 km
Think about this, on Australian roads, where vehicles vary from 1.5 to 1.9 meters wide (cars) and up to well over 2.5 to 3.5 meters for buses, trucks and vans, running on road lanes of all sorts of qualities, and widths of 3.3 to 3.5 meters or 3.0 to 3.3 for low speed roads according to the australian standard requirements, we manage to kill only one person for every 17 to 23 MILLION kms driven by all standards of drivers
Another document shows that the drop in standard deaths rates is similar to the reductions in car accident death rates, I haven't checked this out closely but this raises some interesting questions
Considering the improvements in car safety and medical capabilities in the same period perhaps it is time someone asked how much the $500,000,000.00 traffic revenue systems in australia actually affect road safety
One stat I haven't gotten yet is the increase in traffic fine revenues over the same period as road death reductions, IE the last 10 years or so.
Anyway, there is a lot of interesting info available but none of it stands up to the
"but, but, but, WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN"
emotional response anytime that someone discusses increasing speed limits.
Nor does it take into consideration that in Victoria the margin of error is 3kmh at all speeds, while the Australian Standard for speedo manufacture is still +/- 10% or potentially more than 3kmh error at any speed above 30 kmh.
Or for camera calibration tasks that may or may not be performed by the third party organisations that perform speed camera operations
Or that the majority of new cameras are going into low speed low fatality roads rather than high speed/lower quality country roads where a large number of road deaths occur
Or for the fact that a number of the Green local councils who have stated objectives of reducing the number of cars in their council roads have obstructed roads by reducing widths and other tactics, and yet road deaths are 1 per every 17 to 23 million km travelled. (Road deaths included bike deaths and pedestrians)
Or that these same councils now have the right to designate speed limits, rather than the RTA or similar. This leads to the introduction of the variable speed zones and 40kmh zones in the middle of 70kmh zones all over our suburbs, and of course are prime areas for traffic cameras.
An example of a paper presented by one of these councils is attached here.
A link to the actual paper titled "A car is 1.9m wide. How much extra space does it really need?
is included further down the page when you go to the proceedings of the 2012 ACC conference and begins on pg 44
This is an interesting read
Anyway, my thoughts are there are significant arguments and supporting data that speed cameras are nothing but a revenue raising mechanism and the continued spruiking of them as a safety item is nothing but a rort.
Any comments and thoughts appreciated, no matter which side you fall on this discussion