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Letters to the Editor

From time to time, a commentary on the world will bubble up inside of me to the extent that I'm forced to write a letter to my local, metropolitan, daily newspaper, The Age. This is where I blow of some steam. Feel like venting too? Add your own comment or visit my homepage.

Tuesday, January 14, 2003

Speed Camera Revenue

So half of Australian motorists believe our governments' motives to be "less than pure" when it comes to speed camera revenue ("Speed turn- off accelerates", The Age, 14/01/03). They think that camera placement has more to do with revenue-raising than safety. Putting aside arguments about the true costs of speeding in this state, let's allay their concerns by ensuring that speeding fines aren't squandered on hospitals, road safety, trauma counselling and the like.

This could be achieved by using existing "profitable" speed cameras to subsidise the operation of new otherwise "uneconomic" ones. However, I doubt that these motorists will welcome the prospect of a revenue- neutral speed camera program, as it will increase the number of fines they pay. It is where the revenue comes from that causes their distress, not where it is spent.


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Blogger John vented ...

The real problem is the impact these cameras actually have on road safety.
They force drivers to concentrate on their numeric speed, rather than the conditions and the environment in which they are driving. One only has to see the way people jam on their brakes near these things, to slow down to the "magic number" so they don't get speed-taxed.
Speed cameras are as much of a hazard on the road as pot holes, animals or wayward pedestrians. As to the revenue raising question, it's quite obvious really. Getting booked for doing 104 in a 100 zone at the bottom of a hill is not about safety. If you believe it is, you really shouldn't be behind the wheel at all, because you know nothing about the subject. I also have a watch to sell you.

Monday, April 10, 2006 4:06:00 pm  
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Blogger Greg vented ...

Your analysis only makes sense for people who can't bear the idea of travelling less than the absolute legally-allowed maximum. Many people don't understand that the number in the circle is an upper limit, not the mandated speed.

So if you don't want to drive with one eye on the speedo (and who does?), then give yourself a comfortable margin - many pro-speeders seem to suggest 10% is about right. So, in 100 km/h zones, drive at 90-95 km/h. It's safer, more fuel-efficient and frees you to concentrate on driving conditions rather than keeping a weather eye for speed cameras. Plus, if you creep up a few k's at the bottom of a hill, you won't get fined.

That you would ignore - or not even consider - such an obvious solution says a lot about your attitude to driving.

Your blogger profile says "I play with cars for fun in my spare time." and lists "cars" as an interest. A recent blog post of yours states:

Burnouts and hellis are an integral part of Aussie culture, just like AC/DC, and their song "Highway to Hell", and must never be allowed to fall victim to the same people that want to ban bullbars, and make us use public transport ...

C'mon, be honest. You just want to drive really fast and resent that the rest of society is effective in stopping you. It's true, isn't it?


Monday, April 10, 2006 4:38:00 pm  

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