WA drivers should get a demerit point for speeding by less than 10km/h to help tackle the State's problem with low-level speeders, according to road safety experts.
Monash University Professor Max Cameron said WA was the only State where drivers did not get a demerit point for speeding by less than 10km/h and it needed to be rectified.
Professor Cameron, one of the State Government's main speed enforcement advisers, said the policy of not giving demerit points in such circumstance trivialised the dangers associated with low-level speeding, which was a major problem.
His claims were bolstered by a recent Road Safety Council survey of WA motorists that found one in four drivers did not believe they were speeding if they were exceeding the limit by less than 10km/h.
While WA motorists receive a $75 fine for speeding by less than 10km/h, drivers in NSW, Queensland and Victoria get one demerit point for the same offence in addition to a fine. Motorists in Tasmania get two demerit points and a fine and South Australia will do the same from September 1, doubling its demerit penalty to two points in addition to a fine.
Associate Professor Robert Anderson, from the South Australian Centre for Automotive Research, said the increased penalties in that State were part of a push to crack down on low-level speeding.
He said he agreed with Professor Cameron and believed demerit points were a far stronger deterrent than monetary fines.
Road Safety Council chairman Professor D'Arcy Holman said low-level speeding had the potential to be a "road safety epidemic".
He said the Office of Road Safety was reviewing speeding penalties and the council would analyse the results and provide further recommendations.
Police Minister Liza Harvey said she would wait on the council's recommendations before making a decision.
She stressed that any level of speeding was "unacceptable and dangerous". Shadow police minister Michelle Roberts did not believe speeding by less than 10km/h should incur a demerit point because it was only marginally above the speed limit.Police Cdr Michelle Fyfe said she did not want to comment on demerit point penalties. However, she warned that by travelling just 5km/h above the speed limit, a driver doubled their risk of being involved in a crash.
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