State government coffers are short $34 million compared with last year due to this side effect of the coronavirus pandemic. And the minister responsible couldn’t be happier.
State government coffers are short $34 million compared with last year due to this side effect of the coronavirus pandemic. And the minister responsible couldn’t be happier.

Why Minister is happy with $34m shortfall

State government coffers are facing a $34 million slump, after fewer motorists were slapped with speeding fines in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis.

The Sunday Mail can reveal a massive $221.2 million worth of speeding fines were dished out on Queensland roads in 2019-20 - the equivalent of about $600,000 a day.

But the figure is a sharp 13.4 per cent fall from the previous financial year, when over $255 million worth of fines were given out.

A total of 919,020 speeding infringement notices were issued in Queensland in 2019-20, at an average rate of about 1.7 fines every minute of every day.

The biggest fall in fines was during the locked down month of April, when there were only about 39,437 fines given out - down from the roughly 92,000 during the same time the previous year.

Transport Minister Mark Bailey said any reduction was heartening because it meant fewer crashes and fatalities.

"But there is still way too much speeding, so until we get it down to zero, I won't be satisfied," he said.

"Speeding (is responsible for) 25 per cent of our fatalities a year in Queensland."

Mr Bailey said he hoped speeding fine revenue did not increase, as he warned that more cameras would be rolled out next year targeting mobile phone and seatbelt law compliance.

"If people stick to the road rules, no one's going to get a fine," the Minister said.

"That's the simple truth of it."

Despite the total number of speeding fines decreasing in 2019-20, the number of fines issued to motorists busted driving at more than 40km/h over the speed limit increased by about 5.4 per cent to 3518.

There was also a slight increase in the number of drivers caught speeding between 31 and 40km/h over the speed limit last financial year, with a total of 8013 fines issued.

The bulk of the fines given out in 2019-20 were for motorists nabbed speeding at up to 12km/h over, with about 630,000 fine notices issued.

A Department of Transport and Main Roads spokesman said speed limits were set and enforced to reduce crashes and save lives.

"It is defined as driving over the posted speed limit or at a speed that is inappropriate for the driving conditions," he said.


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