Speeding in Australia and China : a comparison of the influence of legal sanctions and enforcement practices on car drivers

Fleiter, Judy J., Watson, Barry C., Lennon, Alexia J., King, Mark J., & Shi, Kan (2009) Speeding in Australia and China : a comparison of the influence of legal sanctions and enforcement practices on car drivers. In Proceedings of the 2009 Australasian Road Safety Research, Policing and Education Conference : Smarter, Safer Directions, Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, Sydney, New South Wales.

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Despite increasingly sophisticated speed management strategies, speeding remains a significant contributing factor in 25% of Australia’s fatal crashes. Excessive speed is also a recognised contributor to road trauma in rapidly motorising countries such as China, where increases in vehicle ownership and new drivers, and a high proportion of vulnerable road users all contribute to a high road trauma rate. Speed choice is a voluntary behaviour. Therefore, driver perceptions are important to our understanding of the nature of speeding. This paper reports preliminary qualitative (focus groups) and quantitative (survey) investigations of the perceptions of drivers in Queensland and Beijing. Drivers’ definitions of speeding as well as their perceptions of the influence of legal factors on their reported speeds were explored. Survey participants were recruited from petrol stations (Queensland, n=833) and car washes (Beijing, n=299). Similarities were evident in justifications for exceeding speed limits across samples. Excessive speeds were not deemed as ‘speeding’ when drivers considered that they were safe and under their control, or when speed limits were seen as unreasonably low. This appears linked to perceptions of enforcement tolerances in some instances with higher perceived enforcement thresholds noted in China. Encouragingly, drivers in both countries reported a high perceived risk of apprehension if speeding. However, a substantial proportion of both samples also indicated perceptions of low certainty of receiving penalties when apprehended. Chinese drivers considered sanctions less severe than did Australian drivers. In addition, strategies to avoid detection and penalties were evident in both samples, with Chinese drivers reporting a broader range of avoidant techniques. Implications of the findings for future directions in speed management in both countries are discussed.

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ID Code: 28848
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: speeding, enforcement, speed management, Australia, China, perceived risk, road safety
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified (111799)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Psychology not elsewhere classified (170199)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Qld (CARRS-Q)
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 [please consult the authors]
Deposited On: 03 Dec 2009 23:40
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 14:02

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