Speed is recognised by the Australian road safety community as one of the most critical issues affecting road users and is consequently a primary priority for the Motor Accident Commission. Reductions in average travel speed across the traffic network are the most effective, swift way to reduce road trauma and would produce significant and immediate road safety benefits. A reduction of 5km/h in average travel speed would reduce rural casualty crashes by about 30%, and urban casualty crashes by about 25% .
Research undertaken amongst people who speed at low-levels has highlighted that it is perhaps the most complicated road safety issue to address. It is a behaviour that a very wide cross section of the community undertakes, unlike other issues such as drink driving that are confined to a minority. These otherwise law abiding citizens view themselves as safe drivers and are present in many corners of the community. As a result, the road safety community has been positioning speeding as a community issue, in an attempt to get individuals to reconsider their speeding behaviour as something that merely impacts themselves, to something that contributes to the well-being of the entire community around them.
The “Mistakes” campaign leverages the insight that habitual low-level speeders neglect to realise that other drivers are capable of making mistakes that could potentially have drastic human consequences for themselves and the communities in which they live.