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Department of Transport and Main Roads

Road safety research reports

The department conducts and manages road safety research projects and activities to support road safety policy development and the evaluation of road safety initiatives. 

Engagement in research is supported by the Queensland Road Safety Research and Evaluation Framework to advance positive road safety outcomes. Research reports are published on this page as they become available.

Below are the reports for projects investigating the following topics:

Evaluation of the Queensland Road Safety Strategy

A framework, developed by Monash University Accident Research Centre in 2004, provides a way to measure and examine the goals, objectives, strategies, programs/plans and actions of the Road Safety Strategy using a 4-tier structure - the GOSPA framework. 

The department commissioned the Queensland University of Technology's Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety – Queensland (CARRS-Q) to develop an evaluation framework for the Queensland Road Safety Strategy 2015-2021, based on GOSPA.  

The reports below detail the development of the framework, and the latest iteration of the framework developed by CARRS-Q:

Road safety behaviours and attitudes

Each year, the department assigns a research organisation to undertake a survey with Queensland motorists to get a better understanding of road safety behaviours and attitudes.

In 2020, this survey was redesigned to focus on identifying how much speeding occurs on Queensland roads, what are the causes of speeding, as well as attitudes towards speeding and speed enforcement.

The new Prevalence and Determinants of Speeding Survey has replaced the previous Road Safety Perceptions and Attitudes survey.

In 2022, the survey involved 944 licensed Queensland motorists. 

Key findings

  • There was a significant increase in the prevalence of self-reported speeding from 2021 to 2022.
  • 54% of respondents were classified as low-level speeders (up from 46% in 2021), 27% as compliant (down from 33%) and 19% as moderate-excessive speeders (down from 21%).
  • Collectively, motorists reported compliance with 50km/h, 60km/h and 100km/h speed limits 69.8% of the time they were behind the wheel, low-level speeding 26.7% of the time and moderate excessive speeding 3.5% of the time. 
  • Compliance was highest in school zones (87.6%) and road works zones (75%).
  • Older motorists were more likely to be compliant, while younger and male motorists were over-represented in the moderate-excessive speeder segment and females were more likely to be low-level speeders.
  • The percentage of motorists reporting having received at least one speeding fine in the past 3 years has not changed significantly from 2021.
  • 38% of respondents reported believing that low-level speeding is socially acceptable.
  • Support for speed camera enforcement was high, at between 49% and 81%.

Read current and previous reports on Queensland's annual Prevalence and Determinants of Speeding Survey and Road Safety Perceptions and Attitudes survey:

Evaluation of the Camera Detected Offence Program

Since 2009, the Monash University Accident Research Centre has conducted a number of evaluations of the effects of the Camera Detected Offence Program.

The most recent evaluation found that the Camera Detected Offence Program was associated with an 11.4% reduction in serious casualty crashes and a 10.9% reduction in all casualty crashes in 2019. 

This reduction represents an annual saving of at least 1,560 crashes of all severities in 2019, or $720 million in social costs. 

Read current and previous evaluation reports of Queensland's Camera Detected Offence Program:

Low-level speeding research

A data analysis conducted by the Monash University Accident Research Centre used global positioning system speed probe data from across Queensland and existing data on crash risks to estimate the percentage of serious crashes due to speeding. 

The study showed that the majority of motorists in Queensland (≥80%) comply with the speed limit. Of those motorists who do speed, the vast majority (>80%) are engaged in low-level speeding (1 to 10km/h over the limit). Encouragingly, moderate and excessive speeding are far less common. 

Analyses estimated that up to 32.5% of all casualty crashes were attributable to high-level speeding (more than 20km/h over the speed limit), highlighting just how dangerous excessive speeding is. 

However, the analysis also estimated that up to 19.2% of all casualty crashes were attributable to low-level speeding (1 to 10km/h over the limit). 

Speeding was found to contribute to a greater proportion of casualty crashes in lower speed limit zones (e.g. those typically found in urban environments), compared to higher speed zones. 

While high-level speeding is much more infrequent than low-level speeding, the very rapid increase in crash risk with speed means that reducing high-level speeding would have the greatest impact on road trauma.

Nonetheless, because of the increased low-level speeding on the road network, additional road safety benefits can also be achieved by reducing this behaviour.

Read the Low-Level Speeding Research report.

Traffic speed trends on Queensland roads 

The department conducts an annual speed survey to monitor vehicle speed trends and the level of compliance with speed limits.

Findings from these surveys are used to develop speed-related policies and initiatives to target areas for improvement on the road network. 

In 2020, the speed survey used GPS speed probe data collected from in-vehicle systems, with coverage across almost every road in Queensland. 

Key findings

  • Average speeds remained stable or slightly decreased on lower speed roads (40km/h, 50km/h and 60km/h) but increased slightly on 80km/h and 100km/h roads, particularly in urban areas.
  • The lockdown implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic likely contributed to the increased average speeds, and this impact was larger in greater Brisbane than other parts of Queensland.
  • Compliance with speed limits across Queensland fell from 76% in 2019 to 72% in 2020, with compliance decreasing across all speed zones and low-level speeding increasing.
  • Excessive speeding (more than 20km/h over the limit) significantly increased in 40km/h and 80km/h zones.
  • Average speeds when speeding increased slightly across most key speed zones, however remained below 2016 levels, suggesting long-term downward trends.

Read current and previous reports on traffic speed trends on Queensland roads:

Last updated 11 December 2023