They have not, it is rising. Clearly more of the same is not only not working, it is killing people."The Australian motorist rights group compiled the latest road fatality data provided by the Northern Territory Police. In 2006, the last year without rural highway speed limits, the road toll was 44. Last year, with speed limits on all roads, the death toll grew to 75 (view data, 400k PDF). The proliferation of speed cameras throughout the country has also increased the level of hazard faced by motorists.In all of Australia, the death toll decreased by nearly a third between 1989 and 1996 -- without automated enforcement. In the next eight years following the introduction of speed cameras, 1997-2004, fatalities only dropped ten percent. Between 2005 and 2007, the death rate began to skyrocket."

A major reason for the failure of the policy is the extreme focus on the dangers of above the limit travel to the exclusion of nearly all other risk factors," Brelsford said. "This implies that traveling below the speed limit is safe, leading to complacency, inattention and increased fatalities. Additionally, the current policy of hidden speed cameras has actually impaired driver awareness through adding to an increasing list of dangerous distractions."RoadSense advocates setting speed limits at the 85th percentile speed, or the speed at which the vast majority are comfortable traveling. The group suggests that government efforts would be better directed at the 98 percent of accidents that happen while traveling at or below the posted speed limit.

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