Latest State Government data shows South Australians were handed 244,360 expiations between 1 July 2016 and 11 January 2017 – earning the Government more than $75 million in just over six months.
That’s equal to more than $380,000 every day, or $16,000 every hour, or $267 every minute… or $4.45 every second.
And the number of expiations has grown at a staggering pace in recent years.
The number of fines recorded by SA Police rose by 58 per cent in the four years from 2011-12 to 2015-16.
That’s more than 10 times the growth rate of South Australia’s population (five per cent) over the same period.
It appears, though, that 2016-17 may be the first financial year in recent history with fewer fines than the previous financial year.
If we assume South Australians will receive the same number of expiations in the second half of 2016-17 as they did in the first, we can expect a total of 466,306 expiations for the full financial year – 125 fewer than in 2014-15.
SA’s top offences
The most frequent offences recorded during the past six months were breaking the speed limit (116,993), having an unregistered vehicle on the road (32,529) and disobeying a red arrow at traffic lights (6,526).
Using a hand-held mobile phone while driving, cannabis-related offences and failing to wear a bike helmet also made the top 30.
About 20,000 of the expiations recorded during the period were eventually withdrawn.
Offences involving children
More than 1000 expiations were issued to drivers who failed to ensure children and other passengers were wearing a seat belt.
More than 100 people were caught speeding through school zones – including one driver caught at 30-44kph above the speed limit.
And 36 people were caught smoking with a child in the vehicle.
Two expiations were recorded for failing to stop at a children’s crossing and one was handed out for smoking near a children’s playground.
More than 100 people were caught smoking in a public transport area, and 42 were caught throwing a burning object from a vehicle.
Interestingly, few South Australians have received expiations for smoking in an enclosed public space, or in a declared public area, during the first six months of the State Government’s ban on smoking in outdoor dining areas.
It is unclear whether the relatively low number of smoking-related expiations means that few offences were committed or that few offences were reported to police – or both.
Unsurprisingly, the most common cycling offence was failing to wear an “appropriate helmet”.
Nine people were also caught leading an animal while riding a bike. Seven were caught riding with more people on the bike than it is designed to carry.
Offences committed by motorists, but affecting cyclists, also featured in the data: 16 drivers were caught driving too close to a cyclist (1-metre rule), 73 were pinned for driving in a bike lane and 16 caused a hazard by opening a vehicle door.
Offences that caught our eye
Some of the most notable offences in the dataset were committed by very few people.
One person, for example, failed to dispose of a reloadable mortar or aerial shells. Another failed to meet the preconditions of a body modification procedure.
A further 20 were caught driving while a television receiver was in operation. Six were busted driving a vehicle with a radar detector.
And 68 did a runner at the end of their cab ride.
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