2013-02-03

Speeding

Just got my first traffic fine in Australia for going 10km/h over the speed limit on a highway in ACT. Learned a few things.

First is that there is indeed automatic speeding cameras (with adequate warning signs in my case) here in Australia. In contrast, a friend in California said that they don't have speed cameras and only police vehicles would catch offenders. I found that people there would drive a lot faster than the indicated speed limit on highways.

Second is that the traffic fine is quite expensive. My penalty of $167 would already be considered a lot in countries like Taiwan or India, even though it's actually on the low end of the spectrum here. Looking at the RTA website, an unrestrained passenger or driver can get a penalty of at least $298, speeding 45km/h over the limit (e.g., 135km/h on a 90km/h highway) would cost over two thousand dollars, and drinking and driving can cost more than $3000 of penalty.

Third is that there's a points demerit system. Smaller offences cost 1 to 3 points, and more serious offences 6 or more. When a driver accumulates a certain amount of points in a period (usually 3 years), his/her license would be suspended for a certain period (such as 3 months). A driver may be disqualified for life for serious offences.

In comparison to Australia's relative "safe" and strict traffic regulations, it's interesting to note countries such as Germany that have expressways without speed limits (German autobahns). Here's an YouTube video showing a bike going at 299km/h (probably electronically speed-limited), and yet there's still a car going faster than it.
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