25 June 2007

Speeding drivers and red lights

I was prompted to write this post by a post that my good buddy Paul wrote at his blog, Contempt.

In it, Paul bemoans the attitude of the newspapers and people in general who think that speeding fines are too high. And he's 100% spot on. This thing in the media is a bit of a blitz that comes around about once every 6 months, it appears.

Basically, the crux of the matter is that fines for speeding, running red-lights etc are seen by irresponsible media types as "revenue raising" and not the punishment that jerks who continually do this so richly deserve.

Well, I've had enough. It's about time that this cavalier disregard for human life was done away with, once and for all. In Paul's polite enough way, he makes the rather astute comment that pretty much nails this completely idiotic issue where it counts, and that is here:

"Melbourne's two newspapers waste an awful lot of newsprint complaining that speed cameras in Victoria are there for no other reason than to raise revenue. While I can't really see how this is a problem (don't want to pay? Don't speed), it intrigues me that a paper can then find issue with people losing their licences over such offences.

Sounds like the perfect solution to me, I'll be glad to see them off the road. I drive very rarely, but it still scares the heck out of me that whenever I do, someone in the oncoming traffic shoots through red lights as I'm trying to make a right-hand turn."

There's not really much I can add to Paul's comment here. Basically, there is a disconnect that our media just don't appear to want to acknowledge.

And why would they? Various hacks in the Melbourne print media have quite a reputation for being a bunch of Larry Leadfoots around town. Why print articles pointing the finger of blame where it is so sorely deserved at speeding drivers, when you can point it at the State Government and the Victoria Police for "revenue collection"? Especially when you inevitably end up losing your licence for a speeding offence and the other newspaper finds out about it. You certainly won't look like so much of a hypocrite.

Revenue collection.

This is a disgraceful red herring designed to distract attention away from the fact that speeding drivers get fined because they are engaging in life-threatening behaviour. It never ceases to amaze me how normal, ordinary, rational human beings can become fascist pigs whenever the ugly spectre of speed cameras is raised.

Speed cameras exist to protect human life. Speeding motorists should be fined back to the stone-age, and then some.

The very fact that the media complains about this issue is proof that no one takes speeding seriously enough. By trivialising this as being all about revenue raising, and not about protecting human lives, the media is basically saying that speeding drivers' hip pockets are more important than protecting the lives of pedestrians, passengers and other motorists.

And the attitude displayed by drivers who are caught speeding is nothing short of a DISGRACE!!!

Honestly, you'd think that they'd been wrongly accused of murder the way that some people carry on. Why can't people just accept that they've recklessly (sometimes willingly) engaged in life-threatening behaviour, pay their fine, accept their punishment and move on? Really, it's not hard.

But I've got an idea.

Next time the media complains, the State Government ought to raise both the fines and the demerit points. That'll learn 'em.


Michael Bains said...

You're absolutely right and not enough folk point it out. I don't like speeding tickets, so I don't go that much over the speed limit and only completely IDIOTS run Red Lights. Unfortunately there do seem to be far too many of those around.

The speed camera's, though... Well, they're a good idea, and I'm glad they've started going up around here as well. Thing is, if you challenge the ticket, and have a human review the images, it seems that they frequently can't really determine the accuracy of the initial finding. It may just be the tech needs tuning, and I'm going by memory from a few different online articles I've read, so take your grain of salt with that info.

None-the, I'm with ya all the way on this rant.

Dikkii said...

Thanks for that MB.

Unfortunately, you're right, accuracy appears to be an issue - and it's good that where it is that where it's contested in court it's generally able to be heard fairly.

However, since there's been no definitive ruling given in a higher court down here as to the validity of a speed camera's accuracy, we have really no other option but to accept that they're reasonably accurate. At least until someone does challenge them in a higher court.

I'm happy to wait.

Bronze Dog said...

It always amazes me when it gets framed the same way over here in Texas, usually by rednecks, though.

Had one case of the office secretary wondering how she could be losing so much money to speeding tickets. My response: "Well, maybe your speeding has something to do with it."

Dikkii said...

Howdy BD,

"Well, maybe your speeding has something to do with it."

And that is the crux of the matter, I think. If speed cameras are so prone to error, how is it that I've never been busted speeding once?