REVEALED: Coast's worst speeder and our $3.6m leadfoot shame
A SUNSHINE Coast hoon was caught driving at 222kmh, an investigation can reveal.
Police statistics released through Right to Information laws show the Sunshine Coast's worst speeder in the 2015-16 financial year was clocked at 222kmh in a 110kmh zone.
The shocking case was one of 18,756 speeding offences police detected over the 12 months and they cost Sunshine Coast motorists about $3.6 million in fines.
Most fines, 13,550, were sent to drivers doing less than 13kmh over the limit.
A further 4382 fines were to motorists driving 13-20kmh over the limit and 645 fines went to people caught 21-30kmh over the limit.
Police issued 125 fines to drivers doing 31-40kmh over the limit and 54 fines went to drivers caught more than 40kmh over the limit.
Those fines cost drivers a total of $3,654,194 that could have gone into the local economy. That's enough to buy 2613 new ultra-high definition TVs, 96,289 cartons of XXXX Gold stubbies, or feed 23,728 average Sunshine Coast households for a week.
But it is the physical cost of dangerous driving that a southern Queensland emergency doctor sees all too often. Julia Kelly said although fatal crashes got the most attention, those that caused severe injuries could be life-changing.
"It's not just about you. It's about the people you hit. It's about the families ... they are the ones who are often the most devastated. It's hard for us, but it's so much harder for them," she said.
"I've worked in intensive care units and looked after people and seen their families waiting outside, who are day in, day out hoping their loved one will be able to live a normal life again.
"The thing that gets the reported in the media is the road toll - fatal crashes. But it's the injuries that can be caused that get a bit ignored.
"People who suffer serious trauma in a crash, they can many months or years recovering, or maybe never be the same after the crash. We see injuries that can completely change people's lives.
"The sad and frustrating thing is we see too much of it. We start to get used to it."
Leading road safety expert Rebecca Ivers said managing speeds and improving road quality were vital to making roads safer.
"Safety gains on highways can be made by managing speed, better road quality and safer cars. In rural regions people are often travelling long distances on lower quality roads in less safe cars," she said.
National road user body Australian Automobile Association has called for a national inquiry into road safety after a report found 42,000 people were seriously injured on Australian roads each year.
"At a time when new vehicles and roads have never been safer, we need to understand why 40 years of road safety improvement appears to be at risk of being reversed," the AAA said.
"Such an inquiry is an important, urgent, and low-cost step the government can take towards reducing the human suffering, and the billions in annual economic costs caused by road crashes."
Our leadfoot habit
Less than 13kmh over: 13,550 fines
13-20kmh over: 4382 fines
21-30kmh over: 645 fines
31-40kmh over: 125 fines
More than 40kmh over: 54 fine
*2015-16 financial year