Senior Constable Tracy Round and Constable Geoffrey Steel keep watch for speedsters on a Rockhampton street.
Senior Constable Tracy Round and Constable Geoffrey Steel keep watch for speedsters on a Rockhampton street.

Council could give speeding fines

A LOCAL councillor has backed the national push to give councils the power to fine motorists for speeding.

Rockhampton regional councillor Greg Belz said he supported the suggestion put forward as part of the draft National Road Safety Strategy 2011-2020.

The draft suggests “investigating the scope for provision of enforcement powers and speed cameras for local government management of road safety on local roads”.

Cr Belz said he had long been fighting for the power to make the region's roads safer.

He said a traffic movement analysis he had requested on a street in The Range showed 48% of drivers were exceeding the 50 kmh speed limit, with one motorist clocking a whopping 121 kmh.

Cr Belz said one of the most common complaints councillors received was traffic speeding in residential streets.

The council had no power to act on this, other than to pass the information on to police and to request their presence in the street to enforce speed limits.

When asked if police were unable to adequately manage speedsters on smaller suburban streets, Cr Belz didn't specify his view, saying only that he wanted to work with all levels of government to find a way to effectively reduce instances of speeding.

“The really important part of this is about making our suburban streets safer for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists.”

Cr Belz said the council's having primary responsibility for enforcing speed limits on council streets was one possibility that would need to be discussed if the government moved towards legislation.

Transport ministers will meet in Alice Springs on May 20 to finalise the strategy, but the push to give local government speed camera powers is reportedly not favoured by several ministers.

The draft strategy also suggests a total ban on mobile phone use while driving, including the use of hands-free kits.



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