IT must be cold comfort for speeding drivers to know that they are helping to fund the state’s schools and hospitals.
In just 10 months since July 2017, NSW police have issued 214,029 fines to speeding drivers, totalling $71,279,663.
In the Bathurst region alone, police have issued more speeding fines in the first 10 months of the 2017-18 financial year than they did for the whole of 2016-17 and 2015-16 financial years.
Since last July, 3839 drivers have been caught speeding by officers attached to the Chifley Police District, with the fines coming to a total of $1,169,450.
These are all extraordinary figures that both highlight the vigilance of police officers on our roads as well as the difficulty they still face in getting through the message that “speed kills”.
The publication of these latest figures is timely, coming at the end of another long weekend when three people lost their lives on NSW roads even as police were handing out thousands of traffic infringements.
And it’s not like drivers were not given fair warning.
The high-profile Operation Stay Alert ran from midnight last Thursday to midnight on Monday with a blaze of publicity to remind motorists that police would be out in force and double demerits would be in place - as is the case for every holiday.
Yet still there were 6598 drivers caught doing the wrong thing. Just what will it take for people to slow down?
What will it take for people to realise that police are not simply making it up when they say there is no safe level of speeding and that the figures don’t lie when they reveal that speeding is one of the big four killers on our roads?
Every holiday, NSW Police dedicate countless hours of their resources into patrolling the state’s highways and local roads in the hope that simply the sight of a police car will be enough to slow a speeding driver. And in most instances it works, but police cannot be everywhere.
In the end, however, this is beyond a police problem. It is a society problem and only society can fix it.
And society can only fix it one driver and one vehicle at a time.
Most of us behaving ourselves on the roads is not enough.
It takes just one speeding driver to put everyone else at risk as well.
Until we all accept that responsibility, we all have cause for concern.