South West motorists could soon be slogged with bigger fines for even the most minor traffic offences after the Road Safety Commission conducted a review of WA’s monetary penalties.
Under the proposed changes, motorists would be faced with up to a 50 per cent increase on certain offences, such as the proposed $50 jump from $100 to $150 for being less than 9km/h over the speed limit.
Bunbury city councillor and former Bunbury Region RoadWise Committee chairwoman Betty McCleary has hit back at the proposed increases and said upping the penalties was not the answer to slowing people down.
“It’s going to cause hardship on families,” she said.
“It’s reactive rather than proactive … we have to continue to educate people about speeding.”
The review found WA was lagging behind other States in its penalties and deterrents for speeding and other traffic offences but found the fines for using a mobile phone while driving or not wearing a seatbelt should stay as they are given WA’s penalties were already higher than most other States.
Acting Road Safety Commissioner Simon Grieve said the review was the biggest of its kind and the increased fines were necessary deterrents.
“There is a need to maintain an appropriate deterrent for people to speed across all States and Territories, but because we are lagging the other jurisdictions in monetary penalties, there isn’t that level of deterrence in WA,” he said.
“We’ve made 21 recommendations that cover over 140 different offence penalties which State Government is now considering.”
Cr McCleary likened speeding to being a thief and said drivers who speed had the potential to steal someone’s life.
“We need to be more hard hitting in education and our promotion of the consequences of speeding,” she said.
“It’s not about revenue making; if it is about revenue making, then the State Government better start looking at themselves.”