April Fools NSW State Government considering a user-pays speeding fine system
The NSW State Government is considering a user-pays speeding fine system that would see an end to annual car registration… but mean the loss of privacy.
Update: April Fools.
NSW GOVERNMENT officials are considering a radical proposal to do away with annual car registration fees via a user pays speeding fine system that rewards safe driving. The top secret proposal is just one a number of radical ideas, Government sources have revealed to Practical Motoring, being considered to promote safer road use in New South Wales.
“This proposal is a radical one, but it has the potential to cut speeding in a way that allows all Australians a fair go,” a Government source revealed.
There’s no word yet on whether the proposal will make it to parliament, but Practical Motoring has seen the modelling which is still in its early stages. If the proposal was to go ahead, all drivers would be required to download an app to their smartphone that continuously monitors their speed and location in real-time. If the vehicle exceeds the speed limit then the driver will be issued with a speeding fine.
The Government is apparently basing its modelling on “cost of the vehicle divided by a factor, multiplied by factors for “adverse weather conditions, ‘areas of critical locality’ and time spent above the limit. For example, an ‘area of critical locality’ might be a school, and ‘adverse weather’ might be night or heavy rain,” Practical Motoring was told.
We crunches some numbers based on that. Let’s say you have a car worth $50,000, you run up to 5km/h over the limit for 10 seconds, at night. That might be $50, worked out as follows:
Cost of vehicle: $50,000
Value factor: 100,000
Speed over (maximum, km/h) : 5
Time over limit (seconds) : 10
Weather : 2 (night)
Local factor: 1 (freeway)
(50,000 / 100,000) * 5 * 10 * 2 * 1 = $50.
Sources revealed the traffic infringement would be instantly deducted from your bank account, and you’d receive an SMS to warn you. The government believes “this immediate cause-and-effect compliance system addresses a major criticism of current speed-enforcement systems which are criticized for the length of time between offence and penalty”.
“This new system exacts a penalty appropriate to the offence, considering casual factors such as time, speed and location, which means a fair go for all Australians, especially working families,” Practical Motoring was told.
Drivers who have signed up for the scheme would be able to travel without their smartphones, but would face “up to” six times the normal speeding fine if caught on the basis they haven’t paid any car registration for the year. On the other hand, “safe drivers who adhere to the road rules would be able to avoid registration costs entirely, as well as any speeding penalties”.
The State Government views this scheme as a logical extension of the Federal Government’s “Connected Australia” and “Big Data” strategies, and once implemented, “will consider extending the system to further compliance activities such as red light offenses, parking, tailgating and dangerous driving”. Some of this monitoring will require the smartphone to be linked to the car’s onboard computer system via the OBD ports (car enthusiasts already do this via apps like Torque), and the general principle is that “continuous monitoring causes compliance”.
So what do you think, are you willing to trade privacy for avoiding fees like rego?