The latest anti-speeding radio campaign features people "admitting" to knowing how speeding is dangerous and puts lives at risks. While the intentions are good, I find the advertisement infuriatingly ignorant and insulting to the average speeding driver. Being a radio advertisement, I can't find a full transcript of what it says but it's something along the lines of:
Person: "I know that traveling at 65kmph increases the risk of serious injuries in an accident, but I'm willing to gamble with my life… oh, and yours too."
Voice Over: "You wouldn't admit it, so why do you do it?"
The part I find infuriating is the implication that people speed because they have a disregard for other people's lives. So why do people "do it"? I believe the main reason is because they feel that when driving along a wide straight road on a clear sunny day with not a single pedestrian in sight, going 5 or 10 kmph over the limit isn't going to do any harm.
As a learner driver, I always made sure to follow the road rules and never traveled over the speed limit. I often traveled at less than the speed limit, causing many cars to line up behind me as I 'slowly' made my way along the road. After getting my full licence, I remained the cautious and law-abiding driver. I used to think that the majority of drivers obeyed the speed limits, but over time, I noticed that even as I was traveling at the speed limit, or sometimes a few kmph above the speed limit, cars were still zipping past me.
When I was on my probationary licence, I had to pass a Hazard Perception Test in order to get my full licence. The test involves seeing various situations one would encounter on the road and clicking when you would take action, such as slowing down or stopping. For example, one scenario involves a traffic light intersection where you are to click when you will make a right turn, but there is a truck on the opposite side obscuring part of the road. Legally, the light was green and you could've made that right-turn, but the correct answer is to not click because in the scenario, you will find that a motorcycle will appear from behind the truck, and if you had made that right-turn, you would've hit the motrocyclist.
The point of the Hazard Perception Test was not to see if you knew the laws relating to driving (as this is covered in the test to get your Learner's Permit), rather the Hazard Perception Test is meant for testing the experience one should have gained while on a Probationary Licence.
I've had my full licence for 4 years now, I'm not saying that I'm the best driver in the world, but I feel with my experience, I am capable of driving without causing harm to myself or others. If I make the decision to travel above the speed limit, I make that decision based on my experience, which tells me that on a wide pedestrian-free main road, the only consequence of adding a few kmph onto my speed is me getting to my destination sooner. Experience also tells me that if the weather is bad, or if it's dark, or if there are lots of cars and pedestrians about, then it's safer to travel at or under the speed limit.
And for the record, I have been involved in 2 traffic accidents where I was the driver, but neither were related to speed (was only tavelling 5kmph in the first accident, and wasn't moving at all 0kmph in the second accident), plus I have never had any offences recorded against me.
Unfortunately, speeding is often a factor in accidents, but I believe that insulting the average experienced driver isn't going to do much to help the situation. Rather, there should be a focus on getting new drivers to gain more experience. One recommendation is increasing the probationary period from 2 years to 3 years. I think the latest radio advertising campaign is completely ineffective at encouraging people to not speed, it just sounds stupid and unrealistic.