Debate persisting over South Australia's hefty fines on traffic speed: for revenue or safety?

South Australia's speeding fines were partially reduced in 2012 after a public backlash but demerit points were increased.

A 2016 report on South Australia's traffic fine system called it “unfair” and suggested adopting Finland's approach by fining people based on their income.

Compiled by the Australia Institute, the report found SA Police issued the country's highest average traffic fines during 2014-15 at $410. South Australian fines per vehicles were 10 times as high as they are in Tasmania, the lowest state, and twice as high as New South Wales, which ranked second.

Revenue raised through speeding fines was $174 million – $103 per person – during that period.

The report found some common traffic fines rose between 66% and 160% between the 2000 and 2012, despite inflation justifying only a 41% rise.

Fines hit the poorest hardest. The report found low-income earners found it very hard to pay the fines, while affluent people had little incentive to drive more safely.

The report proposed adopting a Finnish model that issued fines based on income. The current fine of $769 for exceeding the speed limit by more than 20km/h hour would drop to $161 for the lowest income earners but increase to more than $1,000 for SA's highest earners.

A fine of $219 for exceeding the limit by up to 9km/h would drop from $219 to $37 for low-income earners but rise to $237 for SA's highest earners. Revenue from fines would drop from $174 million to $128 million but a model that decreased and increased fines by differing rates would not affect overall revenue.

South Australian traffic infringements are inflated by a $60 Victims of Crime levy.

SA's speeding fines were partially reduced in 2012 after a public backlash but demerit points were increased.

Other related ADELAIDEAZ articles

Adelaide to Port, first government-owned steam railway in British empire, starts network

The 12km broad-gauge railway between Adelaide and Port Adelaide, opened in 1856, was the first government-built and -owned steam railway in the British empire. By 1860, a railway had been built to Kapunda where copper was first discovered in 1843 – and it soon became South Australia’s largest wheat receiving station. An extension, branching off at Roseworthy, was completed in 1870 to serve mines at Burra. The Kapunda line was then pushed through to Morgan to capture Murray River paddle steamer trade from upstream. During the 1870s, South Australian rail lines were short and disconnected, built from wheat-growing areas to the nearest port such as Port Broughton to Mundoora (horse drawn), Port Pirie to Crystal Brook and Port Wakefield to Balaklava, Port Augusta to Quorn, Port Pirie to Peterborough, Port Broughton to Mundoora, Wallaroo to Snowtown, Port Wakefield to Hoyleton, Goolwa to Strathalbyn, Kingston to Naracoorte, Beachport to Mount Gambier. Surveyor general George Goyder influenced the policy to link all lines into a network centred on Adelaide during the last 20 years of the century, even though all lines except Adelaide to Terowie were narrow gauge.  In 1865, Goyder also had declared the north-south limit of rainfall reliable enough for cropping. The Great Northern Railway, built from Port Augusta to Quorn in 1879, reaching Marree in 1883, and Oodnadatta in 1891, went far before above that line. The same applied to lines in mallee country to the east and the Eyre Peninsula lines, starting with the link between Port Lincoln and Cummins in 1907.

Frederick Holder brings in standard time, state bank, tax on land values, pay for MPs

1892  1899-1901
In 1889, as treasurer in John Cockburn’s ministry, Frederick Holder introduced succession duties and a progressive tax on unimproved land values. The State Bank of South Australia started during Holder's treasury and he produced a balanced budget, despite drought and depression. The second Holder government from 1899 set up libraries in country towns and introduced standard time throughout South Australia. It also completed the Bundaleer and Barossa water schemes.

Wesleyan lay preacher John Colton introduces land and income tax, public health laws

1876-77  1884-85
A Wesleyan lay preacher, John Colton fits the pattern of the middle-class businessman Protestant Dissenter settler of South Australia. Colton formed his second ministry in 1884 and became premier and chief secretary. He successfully introduced a land and income tax as well as progressive legislation to improve public health, vermin destruction and opening up crown and pastoral lands, including small suburban blocks where workmen could supplement their incomes.

Robert Thomas finishes significant buildings started by earlier government architects

Robert Thomas was among the first South Australian colonists in 1836, arriving, aged 16, as articled student to deputy surveyor George Strickland Kingston. As government architect (1866-70), Thomas completed the supreme court buildings (1867) and the Parkside Lunatic Asylum (later called Glenside Hospital, in 1868). His private commissions included Stow Memorial Congregational Church (now Pilgrim Uniting Church) in Flinders Street, Adelaide, and St Augustine’s Church on Unley Road, Unley.

RAA of South Australia expands services but roadside help stays central beyond century

The Royal Automobile Association (RAA) of South Australia responds to hundreds of thousands of calls for emergency roadside help each year, with more than 90% of problems fixed at the roadside. Emergency roadside help has remained the core of ever-expanding RAA services. The early 1950s saw a massive increase in car ownership and spiralling RAA membership, soaring past 75,000. Road service changed with the familiar motorcycle outfits replaced by vans. Guides became patrols and used two-way radio, operating 24 hours a day out of new premises in North Adelaide. As motoring and membership kept growing, the RAA moved into larger headquarters, built technical premises, began office and vehicle inspection centres in the suburbs, set up staffed offices in major country areas and started its march into the computer age. In the 1980s, the mapping department moved from pen-and-ink drawing to scribing and on to computer mapping. RAA was the first motoring organisation in the world with a battery replacement service and Australia’s first to produce a computer CD with touring information. Such innovations built on established services: 24-hour emergency breakdown, vehicle inspection, motoring advocacy, road safety, legal services, technical advice, travel services, security, tour planning, accommodation booking and insurance. Since RAA’s 100th anniversary in 2003, it has continued to improve and modernise, with new headquarters at Mile End. In 2009, the city branch returned to its historical and sentimental home in Hindmarsh Square.

Thomas Elder makes first mass import of camels to Australia to link his pastoral empire

Adelaide’s Thomas Elder arranged the first mass import of camels into Australia in 1865 to cart supplies between the huge network of outback pastoral properties he started with partner Robert Barr Smith in the outback extremes of South Australia, Queensland and Western Australia. South Australia’s first camel had arrived at Port Adelaide in 1840 but was shot in 1846 after it caused the death of explorer John Horrocks. The push for camels to be imported continued but a Camel Troop Carrying Company was unable to get government funding in 1858. Elder, who saw camels as the answer to the outback transport, sent Samuel Stuckey to India in 1862 to look for camels, and chartered the Blackwall in 1865 to load camels at Kurrachee in India. The first 121 camels landed at Port Augusta in 1866 and went to Elder’s Umberatana station before his Beltana Station in the Flinders Ranges became a centre for camel breeding. Thirty-one “Afghans”  arrived with the camels to manage them. Soon, camels and their drivers were transporting materials and supplies to Elder's stations at Blanchewater and Murnpeowie. For the next 50 years, studs bred a camel superior to the thousands imported. Camels also were vital to opening vast parts of arid inland Australia. Explorers such as Ernest Giles used them, as did  J.W. Lewis, surveying north east of Lake Eyre in 1874-75. A hundred camels were used for the Adelaide-to Darwin telegraph line in 1872. Rail and road superseded camels in the 20th Century when many were released into the outback where they have bred up to numbers estimated to be near a million.

Contact Us

We welcome positive constructive feedback