Gladstone drivers clock up twice as many fines as Rocky
GLADSTONE drivers racked up nearly $1.3 million in speeding fines in a year, new speed camera statistics have revealed.
An APN Newsdesk investigation has revealed between June 1, 2014, and May 31, 2015, speedsters in Gladstone, Calliope and Tannum Sands were fined $1.29 million after police issued about 7000 tickets.
The region's fines were nearly double that of nearby Rockhampton over the same timeframe.
Calliope Road Policing Unit Senior Constable Nick Lindholm said speeding was a cultural issue.
"People have the perception they can drive 10 kilometres over the limit and not be booked by police," he said.
"That's just not true. Even lower speeds, especially about schools, can kill."
He said it was far from just city or highway drivers speeding, with small-town roads hotbeds for speedsters, too.
"Areas like Mount Larcom and Benaraby are places we find a lot of people speeding."
The statistics, released under Right to Information laws, back up Snr Const Lindholm's claim, with one speed camera site at Benaraby issuing 1090 tickets.
Snr Const Lindholm said attending high-speed crashes as an officer could be very distressing.
"I've seen things in my career that I'd prefer to never see again," he said.
"Police and emergency services have to learn to tune out to a degree just to get by. The damage to bodies can be quite traumatic.
"But it really hits home to people when those involved in the crash are similar to their families."
RACQ spokeswoman Lauren Ritchie said speed camera fines must be spent on road safety.
"Fines from speed cameras and mobile sites are legislated to go back into road safety programs. So claims speed cameras are revenue-raising just doesn't stack up," she said.
"But if you don't believe me, the best way to avoid having your money go to the tax man is to slow down and not speed."
Speeding will always be a factor: expert
SPEEDING has been a factor in nearly a quarter of all fatal crashes in Queensland this year.
Speeding is one of the "Fatal Five" most common reasons for deaths in car crashes.
Department of Transport figures show 23.9% of deaths in car crashes this year in Queensland have involved speed - about the same percentage involving drunk drivers.
Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety - Queensland research fellow Judy Fleiter said speed played a part in every crash.
"Irrespective of what the cause of the crash was - a drink-driver, texting while driving, falling asleep - the speed you are travelling will always be a factor," Dr Fleiter said.
"Doing even a few kilometres above the speed limit means you travel further during your reaction time to braking and it takes longer to stop," she said.
"It is just the laws of physics. The faster you are going, the longer it will take to stop."