Motorcyclists are frequently the target of police and media hype about speeding, yet the figures show we are not necessarily the speed demons were are made out to be.
Car drivers represent about 97% of all speeding offence notices, according to an average of figures obtained from the three eastern states.
By comparison, motorcyclists represent only 1.6% of all speeders. That is about a third of our proportional representation on Australia’s roads (about 4%), while cars represent about 55% of all traffic.
However, riders do represent a higher proportion of high-speed offenders and uninsured and unregistered speeders.
Accidental speeders and speed demons
It seems the majority of car drivers caught speeding were “accidental” or “calculated risk” speeders who only drifted slightly over the speed limit or judged that a small amount of speeding was acceptable.
The percentage of car drivers who exceeded the posted limit by less than 10km/h was about 97% of all motorists.
That percentage declined 2-3% for every 10km/h over, dropping to 89% for exceeding the speed by 45km/h or more.
Motorcyclists seem to watch their speedos to avoid drifting over the limit, but are more intent on high-speed riding.
The number of “accidental” motorcycle speeders was actually 1.3% of all >10km/h speeding motorists. That is less than their average speeding offence proportion and a third of their proportional representation on the road.
But instead of our proportion decreasing with higher speeds like car drivers, it increases.
For 10-20km/h over, riders were 1.7% of the total speeders for that speed range.
It then almost doubled to 3.2% from 20-30km/h over, although that is still below our 4% traffic representation.
However, riders represented a substantial 10% of all speeders who exceeded the limit by 45km/h or more. That’s more than twice our traffic representation.
Uninsured and unregistered
Another interesting statistics is the number of uninsured or unregistered motorists who speed.
They represent about 12.9% of speeding car drivers and 14.7% for riders.
The other worrying trend is that car drivers seem to be getting the message about speeding enforcement.
The number of speeding car drivers has dropped as much as 15% in NSW in the past three years.
Meanwhile, the number of speeding motorcyclists has remained the same.
Although it should be remember that NSW rider numbers have increased 17.5% from 2010 to 2017.
What this all means for enforcement is that police should spend less time and effort trapping accidental speeders.
Instead, they should be using number plate identification to trap uninsured and unregistered motorists and should be patrolling the roads for dangerous speed demons.
So why don’t they?
Because the dollar value of low-grade speeding makes up about 70% of speed revenue!