Wednesday 27 October 2004


Mr FINCH (Question) - I have a question to the Leader again. What percentage of visitors to Tasmania either bringing their own cars or renting a car in Tasmania are issued with speeding fines and does the Leader believe the State Government is doing enough to educate visiting drivers about Tasmanian speed limits?

Mr AIRD - I thank the honourable member for his questions, and in fact there are effectively two questions in the one.

Mr President, it is currently not possible to conduct an effective search across the speed camera infringement notice - SCINs - or traffic infringement notice - TINs - system to identify visitors to Tasmania issued with speeding fines. I could leave the answer there but I will go on to explain what will be occurring in the future.

There is no specific field to record visitors to the State and searches across offender addresses and offender vehicle numberplates are unable to provide meaningful statistics. Statistics are impacted on by three format fields: the inability to record rental vehicle use details accurately and differentiating between permanent residents and visitors using different vehicle classification. Attempts have been made to search fields relating to offender licence numbers, offence registration numbers and offender address details but no meaningful data has been gathered to date. This problem has previously been identified and with the introduction of the fines and infringement notice database, FIND, during 2005 the capability to report on visitors issued with speeding fines will be available. FIND is a common database, an application software for the Department of Police and Public Safety - DPPS - and the Department of Justice for the input and processing of infringement notices issued by government agencies and court fines. FIND has been developed as part of the Department of Justice monetary penalties enforcement project.

Although a statistical breakdown is therefore impossible at this stage due to system capabilities, infringement notices are issued to offenders regardless of whether they are interstate visitors or residents of the State and regardless of whether they are driving a hire car, interstate vehicle or a locally registered vehicle.

Mr Harriss - Helping to reach the benchmarks in that process, are they?

Mr Dean - It would certainly do that.

Mr Finch - That is my next question next week.

Members laughing.

Mr AIRD - Is that a question on notice?

Mr Dean - We are talking about quotas, Mr Leader.

Mr AIRD - In relation to the issue of educating visiting drivers about Tasmanian speed limits, the answer is yes. We do believe we are doing enough to educate visiting drivers about Tasmania's speed limits.

Speed limits in Tasmania are currently set according the Australian Standards and are signed in the same way as in the rest of Australia, using regulatory and advisory signs. Large signs advising drivers of the 50 kilometre per hour urban speed limit are posted at every major entry point to this State. The Road Safety Task Force and Tourism Tasmania have developed a range of information to advise visitors of Tasmania's unique topography and conditions - I like that expression. These include videos of the three Spirits, expect the unexpected signs and information pamphlets which are available at car rental facilities, the RACT offices and TT?Line. The Community Road Safety Partnership program is working with a number of local communities to promote safe driving for tourists through signage and localised information.