Busted: Aussie Speed Study Scam Snares TTAC

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
busted aussie speed study scam snares ttac

One of TTAC’s headlines yesterday asked a provocative question: Does Speed Save? The question came from a “study” by High Road Automotive Research, which posited a common-sense thesis: higher speeds inspire higher reaction times, theoretically keeping drivers safer. The unique approach to the relationship between speed and safety is what caught our eye… but what we should have been looking at were the numerous clues hidden in the report that show the whole thing was a big joke. The Sydney Morning Herald reports High Road isn’t an actual group, and that

The paper – penned by a bogus research team including authors Jeremy James, Clark Hammond and Richard Mayson – suggests that encouraging speeding on our roads makes for better drivers.

Going back through the report is more than a little embarrassing. The report acknowledges the support of researchers with names like

Mr. Brian Vitara, Mr. Gary Benz, Mr. Garuda Matraman, Mr. Grant Dodge, Mr. Gary Alpha and Professor James Romeo

Oy vey. Our apologies to our readers for presenting the “report” as at all legitimate (at least we weren’t the only ones), and raspberries to the jokesters behind High Road (Top Gear Australia denies involvement). Thanks to commenter Kiwi_Mark_In_Aussie for bringing the spoof to our attention.

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  • Jedchev Jedchev on Feb 09, 2011

    What a shame. I was hoping that the sacred cow of "speed kills" had finally been slain. Well, I guess it's still up to radar detectors and careful observation to avoid being snared by mobile revenue collectors.

  • Boff Boff on Feb 09, 2011

    Well I can only hope that those responsible for this have been sacked. Along with those responsible for sacking the people who have just been sacked.

  • Kiwi_Mark_in_Aussie Kiwi_Mark_in_Aussie on Feb 09, 2011

    Thats the depressing part...I started reading the post originally because the various State Governments in Australia are going mad over Speed Camera's (even implementing unmarked mobile speed camera vans) justifying everything with the "Speed Kill's" mantra (even though they have very little statisical evidence to back this up). Apparently "Every K over is a Killer"...that means I must have wiped out the equivalent of a small (well rather large) village somewhere... However when I saw it was by High Road Auto Research...oh well... Trouble is - that sort of thing sets the attempts at having a legitimate discussion about Speed and Road Safety right back..

  • Lorenzo Lorenzo on Feb 10, 2011

    This looks like a case of "fake but accurate". I rented a car a year ago, and it had Canadian plates. When I got on the freeway at 65, everyone was flying past me. I reluctantly increased my speed to 105 to keep up with traffic, and I was very attentive. If course, the speedometer was in kph, and I was only doing the speed limit - 65 mph. The human mind is easily fooled.