Letter to the Editor

Sydney Morning Herald

Friday 10 January
Miranda Devine approvingly cites the opinion of two (unnamed) detectives saying that disqualified drivers and "law-abiding" citizens who speed are being treated more harshly than burglars. This is false.

In 2001, 49 per cent of those who were convicted of break and enter received a jail sentence. By comparison 7 per cent of people convicted of a driving licence offence received a prison sentence. The term "law-abiding citizen who speeds", apart from being oxymoronic, also betrays serious misunderstanding about the seriousness of driving offences. Five times as many people die on our roads each year as are murdered. Many of these deaths are caused by speeding drivers.

Dr Don Weatherburn, Director, NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, Sydney, January 9.