A 23-year-old Canberra man was caught speeding at 214kph along the Majura Parkway on Saturday afternoon, sparking renewed police anger at motorist behaviour.
- A series of high-range speeding incidents over the weekend have again prompted police anger at Canberra drivers
- In one incident, a man was caught driving at 214kph, more than 100kph over the speed limit
- ACT Opposition policing spokeswoman Giulia Jones has again defended her position as the head of an inquiry into policing arrangements in Canberra, despite her own driving record
ACT Policing head of traffic operations Detective Inspector Marcus Boorman said officers were appalled at a string of recent speeding incidents.
“We have seen too much of this behaviour lately. Do these people have a death wish or do they want to kill someone else?” Detective Inspector Boorman said.
“When you exceed the speed limit by more than 100kph you display a complete disregard for your own life, your passengers and other motorists.”
The 23-year-old man from Florey was one of two men stopped by police on Saturday afternoon driving at dangerous speeds on the Majura Parkway — the other, a 39-year-old man from Gowrie, had been caught driving at 154kph.
Police highlighted several other speeding incidents at the weekend, including a man caught on the same road travelling at 163kph just after midnight on Friday, and a P-plater recorded driving at 125kph in an 80kph zone on Gungahlin Drive.
“It is idiotic, dangerous and completely indefensible,” Detective Inspector Boorman said.
‘Hoon laws’ should be considered in Canberra, police say
In the ACT the penalty for travelling more than 45kph above the speed limit is a $1,841 fine and six demerit points.
Detective Inspector Boorman said it meant the 23-year-old travelling 214kph was fined the same as someone who was breaking the law at 145kph.
He said the ACT also did not have “hoon laws” like in other Australian jurisdictions to target repeat high-range speeding offences.
In Victoria hoon laws allow police to immediately impound a vehicle for 30 days if the driver has committed dangerous driving offences, including high-range speeding.
After a third serious offence Victorian police can sell or crush the vehicle.
“In other states, there are harsher penalties and consequences,” Detective Inspector Boorman said.
“We need to look at and consider those and continue to work with the government and for the government to determine if penalties are applicable to an ACT environment.”
|ACT||$1,841 and six demerit points for travelling 45kph over the speed limit.|
|Victoria||$777 and eight demerit points for travelling 45kph over the speed limit. Police can immediately impound your vehicle and, after a third offence, sell or crush it.|
|South Australia||$992 and nine demerit points for travelling 45kph over the speed limit. Police may also clamp, or impound your vehicle on the spot.|
But senior Canberra barrister Ken Archer said there was a criminal offence police could have used under the Road Transport (Safety and Traffic Management) Act 1999.
He said such a reckless or dangerous driving offence could result in a jail term of up to three years.
Dangerous driving has become a focus for ACT Policing since the appointment of its new chief police officer Neil Gaughan.
Speaking to ABC Canberra earlier this month, Mr Gaughan said behaviour needed to change.
“We have a road system in Canberra that is second to none … do we treat it like that? No, we treat it like a dirt track,” Mr Gaughan said.
Police Minister Mick Gentleman echoed officers’ concerns about the recent increase in dangerous driving in the ACT.
“We’ve seen a spike in high speed occasions over the last couple of weeks. Indeed during the COVID incident we’ve seen more speeding across the ACT,” he said.
“It’s important that we look at why this is occurring.”
Opposition police spokeswoman says driving record does not compromise her position
Last month it was revealed ACT Opposition policing spokeswoman Giulia Jones had lost her drivers licence over several speeding incidents.
Today Ms Jones again apologised for her driving behaviour, but said it did not compromise her position.
She said she would still be an effective chair for an inquiry into policing arrangements in Canberra, which begins today.
“This is a matter that is more in the political field and my interview today is with you as the Chair of the Justice and Committee Safety Committee which is a non-partisan body,” Ms Jones told ABC Radio Canberra.
“Having said that I am more than happy to state again my apologies for the way that I was conducting myself.”
Road Safety Minister Shane Rattenbury has called for Ms Jones to resign.