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Australia’s state of Victoria to introduce GPS system to warn speeding drivers

January 15, 2010

Australia’s state of Victoria to introduce GPS system to warn speeding drivers

Drivers in the Australian state of Victoria who install a GPS navigation system in their cars will soon be able to see what the speed limit is on every road they travel, as a result of a US$2.1 million (A$2.3 million) information project. From the end of January, speed limits will be listed for every road in the state on new or updated GPS units. The Transport Accident Commission (TAC) has put together the information over the past two years and every company that operates GPS in Victoria will be able to use the system. Most systems already have some speed information for drivers, but it is usually basic and can be unreliable.

Victoria’s state Roads Minister, Tim Pallas, says the only other places to have introduced similar technology for drivers are London and Sweden. Pallas has also announced a voluntary program for drivers who have lost between eight and 11 demerit points, which will start in the middle of this year. About 60 repeat speeding offenders will be asked to volunteer to be part of a group of 560 drivers in a three-month trial of a new GPS tool that sounds an alarm every time the driver exceeds the speed limit. The ‘intelligent speed assist’ devices will automatically warn drivers when they are traveling over the limit by sounding an alarm and flashing a red light.

Pallas says that the new system will tell drivers when they were driving too fast. “Drivers will never be in any doubt of the speed in the area in which they are traveling,” he says. Pallas says speeding directly contributed to at least 30% of the deaths on Victoria’s roads last year, which recorded its lowest road toll since records began in 1952, with 295 people killed in 2009. According to TAC statistics, traveling at 5km/h (3mph) over a 60km/h (37mph) limit doubles the risk of a crash.

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