Unsurprisingly, it seems we’ve upset the Victorian Police with our Raise the Limit to Lower the Toll campaign.
Not only have the men in blue slammed the campaign as “reckless” and “high-risk”, but they feel so slighted that they failed to catch our speeding journalist – who drove from Melbourne to Sydney at 130km/h - Wheels understands officers are now reviewing CCTV footage in the hope of prosecuting after the fact.
Officers have contacted Volvo, which lent Wheels the car used in the campaign, to demand the dates of the trip, and are also reportedly looking to discipline the highway commands that failed to catch the Wheels journalist.
After an initial rebuff, Wheels is still awaiting an official response to the above claims, although Victoria Police did release an official statement on the issue yesterday.
“What I've been told is the driver deliberately drove compliant with speed limits through road safety cameras that we know exist on the Hume Freeway, including the point-to-point safety cameras," said Police Superintendent Neville Taylor.
“Speed is still about one-third the contributor to road trauma on our roads in Victoria. Speed is by far one of the most single behaviours we need to keep focusing on for road users to change to reduce road trauma.”
Wheels Editor Stephen Corby has dismissed the criticism of his magazine’s campaign, saying “Obviously the police are upset, because they sell the idea that if you speed, you’ll get caught. Apparently not.
“Wheels is by no means encouraging reckless speeding with this campaign. Rather it is looking to begin a conversation about an important issue and make people realise other countries have successfully implemented higher speed limits and have seen a reduction in fatalities. And so has our own Northern Territory.
“We don’t believe what we did was reckless or unsafe, on the contrary we think we’ve proven that large sections of the Hume are safe at 130km/h and, by cutting more than an hour off the trip, doing so would reduce driver fatigue and thus lower the number of crashes.
“Pleasingly, we’ve also received unofficial backing from members of the police force, past and present, for our campaign, not to mention huge support from the public.
“The Victorian Police, and other authorities, seem to be out of step with public opinion on this issue.”
It’s time for sensible speed limits. Make your voice count.