Mark McGowan and more than half of his ministers have been caught speeding, incurring thousands of dollars in fines and hefty demerit points.
Some of the high-profile MPs who fell foul of the law are the Premier’s closest allies, including Attorney-General John Quigley, Police and Road Safety Minister Paul Papalia, and Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson.
Mr McGowan admitted to speeding twice in four months in 2021 — including during a double demerit period for the Queen’s Birthday long weekend last September.
Despite strong government public messaging about the dangers of speeding — especially during double demerit crackdowns — Mr McGowan exceeded the speed limit by between 10 and 19km/h, copping four demerit points and a $400 fine.
In April last year, Mr McGowan’s lead foot saw him handed another $100 fine for exceeding the speed limit by not more than 9kmh.
Mr McGowan’s speeding ends came as WA recorded its highest road toll in five years in 2021 — 166 people losing their lives. So far this year there have been 87 fatalities, including a horror period when young drivers and passengers died or were seriously injured.
In June this year, 17-year-old Dale Martin and his passenger Ryleigh Land, 17, were killed after the car rolled in wet and windy conditions near Wagerup.
In July, a horror crash in Wye, just south of Mt Gambier, killed a 38-year-old WA woman and injured a five-year-old girl, eight and six-year-old boys and a 36-year-old man .
The Premier yesterday unreservedly apologized for speeding.
“There’s no excuses,” Mr McGowan said. “It was clearly a lapse in concentration and I should have done better. I was on a family camping trip at the time.”
And it would appear that the threat of double demerit points did not deter other ministers from speeding.
Finance Minister Tony Buti was the worst lead foot of the group, burning a $400 hole in his pocket after being caught speeding by no more than 9kmh over the speed limit four times in two years.
But Environment Minister Reece Whitby put the most money back into public coffers after he was fined three times from June to November last year, costing him $600. Like Mr McGowan he ignored double demerit-point warnings, exceeding the speed limit by between 10 and 19kmh during the June Labor Day long weekend, which set him back $400.
He then copped another $100 fine for speeding four months later, and another $100 fine for speeding a month after that.
Mr McGowan and his ministers all get a taxpayer-funded car — and a driver, if they want one — meaning there is little reason to drive.
On the occasions Mr McGowan and his ministers were nabbed by the law, they were behind the wheel of their own cars.
The revelations come after The Sunday Times Mr McGowan and his ministers whether they had incurred any traffic infringements asked since January 1, 2020.
More than two-thirds of Cabinet — 10 out of 16 Labor Ministers — were caught speeding, some multiple times and during double demerit long weekends.
Lead-foot Labor ministers forked out $3,600 in speeding ends since the start of 2020.
Read more of what MPs had to say about their speeding ends in the full exclusive story at The West Australian