Smiling Sam reveals speedsters’ haunts

The State’s peak motoring body has warned drivers to slow down in suburban streets after it was revealed the city’s ‘Slow for Sam’ speed detectors were being used to tip off police about lead-foot hot spots.

Courier Mail reported Councillor Amanda Cooper had confirmed Brisbane City Council had referred locations where the program had identified prolific speeding to police.

“Council regularly works with the Queensland Police Service to provide information on any road safety issues in suburban streets so that they can undertake their own patrols and enforcement,” Cr Cooper said.

RACQ Head of Technical and Safety Policy Steve Spalding said this was an example of using modern technology to identify potential enforcement areas.

“While the ‘Slow for Sam’ signs can detect if you’re going too fast, they don’t collect data that would automatically see a speeding driver fined,” Mr Spalding said.

“Police will still need to conduct their own patrols and detections before any infringement notices were issued.”

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Mr Spalding explained the vehicle-activated signs detected motorists’ speeds and would respond with a smiley face if they were under the speed limit, and a ‘slow down’ message if they were going too fast.

“Drivers shouldn’t be relying on a flashing smiley face or speed gun to make them slow down. Instead, use common sense and stick to the signed speed limit,” he said.

“Lead-foot motorists put themselves, other drivers and vulnerable roads users like roadside workers, cyclists and pedestrians at risk.”

Mr Spalding said it was disappointing figures revealed last week showed nearly one in five road users were travelling too fast past the council’s speed awareness monitors in 2017/18.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re speeding on a highway or a suburban street –slow down, otherwise you’re not only risking a fine but a life too.”