Spot the Victorian driver

He’ll be the one driving at the speed limit.

As long time readers will know, I have no sympathy for people who get done for speeding. At the same time I think the Victorian Police spend too much time and effort on traffic offences as opposed to catching actual criminals. So this piece of nonsense in The Age is really annoying:

More than 1.34 million drivers were caught speeding last financial year, according to latest published figures. It’s an unacceptably high number, but not the least bit surprising to anyone who’s spent more than five minutes on our roads recently. Red lights and speed limits are apparently discretionary to many these days.

1.34 million drivers is a very high number. It is unacceptable – but for a different reason.

It turns out that if a motorist is caught driving at less than 10km/h over the limit, admits the offence and hasn’t been caught any time in the previous two years, they stand a very good chance of being let off. No fines, no loss of points. About half of those who wrote to police in the past three years putting that case beat the rap. Why police give speedsters this escape route is beyond me. It’s essentially a get-out-of-jail free card and you can renew it every two years.

The margin of error on Victorian roads is 3km/h. So if your speed less 3km/h is greater than the posted limit you get fined. Quite possibly the Police have formed the opinion that 3km/h is too fine a margin for traffic enforcement. If so, they should consistently apply that guideline and not selectively to those who make the effort to write a letter.

From reading the piece it isn’t clear to me that Guthrie knows much about Victorian traffic.

But there is this:

Like me, Mr Robinson can’t understand why police are being so lenient with motorists driving up to 10km/h over the speed limit. As he says: “People can find themselves 5km/h over the speed limit and it’s a genuine mistake, but at 10km/h over you know you’re speeding. We shouldn’t be letting them off.”

If there is to be a margin for error it should surely be no more than 5km/h.

Okay – I have some sympathy for that view. But what we’re then debating is what should be a reasonable margin of error. It seems 10km/h may be too much and 3km/h too little.

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179 Responses to Spot the Victorian driver

  1. BW

    Queensland unofficially has a 10% margin of error. Considering hills, overtaking, speedometers typically having a 3% tolerance, momentary inattention to the speedometer as you scan the road and surrounds for hazards – which in my opinion is more important than constant attention to speed – this to me is a reasonable tolerance level.

  2. Monkey's Uncle

    The very definition of a police state is one where what is legally tolerated in practice is based on the subjective whim of police, government officials, bureaucrats etc., rather than on the objective letter of the law.

    In effect, you have a situation where speed limits are often set too low for certain roads, and then when drivers inevitably exceed the limits they are forced to go cap in hand to the police and plead for leniency. In these circumstances, the individuals are then effectively indebted to the police.

  3. PSC

    If you’re worried about the pernicious effect of Too Many Regulations From Big Government, worry about the Australian Design Rules for speedometers.

    Until 2006, speedos had to register +/- 10% of the car’s true speed. After July 2006, we moved to some UNECE standard for speedometers.

    Here’s the problem – if you measure the weight of regulation by the total number of pages, (per the recent Chris Berg IPA video where he gets unhappy about big stacks of paper) then we’ve more Big Government. But if you measure the weight of regulation by the number of rules the car manufacturers need to follow – given that they’re manufacturing for an international market – then there’s less Big Government.

    And if you want to enforce strict liability for speeding, you need to regulate speedometers somehow so that no-one reasonably has the defense “my speedo was wonky”.

  4. PSC

    The very definition of a police state is one where what is legally tolerated in practice is based on the subjective whim of police, government officials, bureaucrats etc., rather than on the objective letter of the law.

    Actually this is much closer to the point I was trying to make in my last paragraph. If you want:
    * no arbitrary police powers/police state, and
    * rules against speeding on the roads

    this entails:
    * big stacks of regulations from Big Government specifying speedometers, speeding and what it all means, and therefore
    * videos from right wing think tanks unhappy about the big stacks of regulation

  5. JC

    The margin of error on Victorian roads is 3km/h. So if your speed less 3km/h is greater than the posted limit you get fined. Quite possibly the Police have formed the opinion that 3km/h is too fine a margin for traffic enforcement. If so, they should consistently apply that guideline and selectively to those who make the effort to write a letter.

    Really? I’ve lost points for doin 3 k over and never bothered to question it because I didn’t think you could.

  6. CraigS

    Just to throw a spanner in the works most car speedos are incorrect.

    There is no requirement under the ADR for them to be 100%.

    Thus when you think you are doing 100kph you will find you are in fact doing 94kph, so if you are doing 10kph over the limit your car speedo will actually say you are doing 115kph.

    On this basis there is no need for leniency.

    This also explains why if you are doing 100kph on your car speedo you are getting tail-gated by trucks as their speedos are accurate.

    If you don’t belive me download a speed app onto your smart phone and see the speed you are really going.

  7. Sinclair Davidson

    Or check the speed on your tom-tom.

  8. JAG

    I treat posted speed limits as guide lines, always have. Haven’t copped a fine in the last five years (or had a crash… ever). If you know the roads you use regularly then you can make pretty good guesses as to where you should slow down, the rest of the time I usually sit 10 – 20 over, which is slow enough to rule out the possibility of instant cancellation.

    Our limits are simply way too low for anyone with even a skerrick of driving ability.

  9. Spot the Victorian Driver

    For a minute I thought this was a road safety message.
    One of the first things you learn when driving (by experience – if someone with an older and wiser head doesn’t teach you earlier) is to look carefully at the number plate of cars in front of you.
    There are unpredictable road users from everywhere, but if the car in front of you is sporting Victorian plates, it is almost a certainty they will do something unsafe/stupid (something that will risk your safety)
    Probably a legacy of a state with no open roads, no outback, & a heck of a lot of 80kmh speed limits.

    I’ve known someone who was ticketed for doing 1kmh over the 100kmh limit (there’s quite a story to it!)

    The Victorian police seem to have been given the instruction to wreck all juries raise as much revenue as possible from the population.

    Pity they can’t be ordered to do something about the racial violence in the state.

  10. Adam Diver

    I treat posted speed limits as guide lines, always have. Haven’t copped a fine in the last five years (or had a crash… ever).

    I feel the same way. Speed limits are almost completely arbitrary in my opinion and aimed at the lowest common denominator. What annoys me more is when I hear “speeding may of been a factor” in reports of road accidents. I would like to point incompetence was the main and only factor, driving too fast is simply a sympton of incompetence.

    Its not wrong because its against the law, its against the law because it is wrong

  11. .

    KE = 1/2 MV^2

    Of course speed may have been a factor.

    So is the judgment of all road users (including alcohol and drugs)and the masses involved in a collision, the angles of impact and the conditions of the road and vision of road users.

    It will be a cold day in hell when a Government agency punishes itself for designing and building shit roads.

  12. Monkey's Uncle

    “Our limits are simply way too low for anyone with even a skerrick of driving ability.” – JAG

    Exactly. One of the problems is that a more competent driver can easily drive safely at a higher speed than a less competent driver. But in setting speed limits, there is always a tendency to cater to the lowest common denominator. If the most inept driver cannot safely drive faster than a certain speed, no-one should be permitted to.

    I have never had a speeding ticket nor been involved in an accident in many years of driving. Yet there are many a times when I feel compelled to drive at an unreasonably low speed on a given road under the conditions just to avoid a ticket.

  13. Bunyip

    Sinc, I am shocked that you would put your name to such twaddle, which ignores the fundamental truth about the Shakedown State’s speed cameras: they have nothing to do with road safety and everything to do with the bureaucratic imperative, which regards any assigned function as the means to the preservation and payment of public servants’ mortgages.

    In 1972, when the state’s population was roughly half that of today, something like 1060 people were killed on the road. This year’s figure will come in at around 300, which is a remarkable reduction.

    Strict enforcement, along with roundabouts, booze buses and better, safer automobiles effected this transformation, and we should all be glad of it — especially parents with (sensible) driving-age children.

    But, Sinc, the battle has been won and now, like generals perpetually determined to fight the last war, the field marshals of public safety continue to bang their favoured drum. Geez, it has always worked to build budgets and empires in the past, so why not?

    I just paid my registration, and of the $700-odd, almost $500 went toward what used to be called compulsory third party. Fair enough — except the bureaucracy set up as a last-resort insurer now spends millions, many millions, on hectoring advertising campaigns, not to mention sponsoring junior football teams, jazz festivals and, of course, more PR offensives to proclaim what an essential organisation it is.

    None of us dispute that Australia is a beaut place, by by Christ we’ve become a bunch of weenies. They stick up revenue cameras at every intersection, park mobile speed cameras illegally, and then send fines in the mail on the presumption of undisputed guilt and the confident expectation that few will actually go to the trouble of fighting the charge in court.

    At the very least those fines should be contingent on booked motorists appearing before a magistrate, confronting their accusers and either walking or paying. Thus does Victoria raise some $600 million per year. Oh, and one other thing: if I change to a legal, higher-profile tyre, my speedo will be out by more than the allowed, 3kph margin for error.

    And the arrogance! Not far from you, at Millers and Blackshaws roads, they have installed cameras on columns so low that any energetic citizen could smash them without even needing to stand on tippy-toe. A heavy-headed putter straight into the lense would do the trick quite nicely.

    Yet they remain unsmashed, as do revenue cameras all over Melbourne.

    The first shame is that we have allowed self-interested authorities to build their bloody empires; the second is that we do absolutely nothing to foil their thievery. Actually, there is a third: if the wallopers now tied up raising revenue were to be re-assigned, we wouldn’t need PSOs on our railway stations. There would be plenty of muscle to do what police are supposed to do, protect life and property — not milk a sheeplike citizenry.

    And one other thing: How come, when the left gets its knickers in a knot, pro-bono lawyers turn out in droves to battle good sense, be it dredging the Bay or allowing lunatics to make public transport the deeply unpleasant experience it is.

    Where are the lawyers of the right? They could have an awful lot of fun strangling the courts on this issue alone.

  14. brc

    Two points which have already been raised

    - adrs (which should be scrapped anyway, and the eu standards adopted) allow for greater variance than the police are willing to accept. This has to be the case – speedos are built to a price and differences between all sorts of things will mean that a speedo will never stay accurate over the life of a car. As already stated try a speed app on a smartphone, and prepare to be shocked

    - the speed limits in Australia are too low anyway, and in many cases vary too much for the same piece of road. Most of europe has 130 kmh limits on freeways, and most police are lenient on speed on these, but more strict around junctions.

    - this entire article is predicated on government propaganda of ‘speed kills’, which is a simplified argument not too dissimilar to ‘c02 heats the planet’. Speed is an easily measured and taxed value, hence the concentration on speed. DUI, tiredness, tailgating and ignorance do seatbelt and other regulations are equally as dangerous as exceeding the limit. Booking drivers at 3kmh over the limit would probably have zero impact on the road toll, certainly not as much as increased DUI testing (all drugs, not just alcohol) , mandatory license retesting and other actions.

    And that’s before you start looking at the construction and maintenance of roads. I live near one of the most dangerous bits of road in Australia, and paying attention to that will save more lives than pinging yet another victorian for exceeding the limit by less tha 10% on a toll road.

    Like all things, road trauma has a complex relationship with many variables.

  15. Sinclair Davidson

    Bunyip – we are in wild agreement on many – if not all – of the issues you raise. But I don’t think it is unreasonable to have speed limits and to reasonably enforce them.

  16. C.L.

    Yeah, I too am shocked – shocked and APPALLED – that Sinclair accepts the concocted premise of speed cameras and ‘safety’ etc.

    I don’t accept that police should have any power to detain citizens without reasonable suspicion of a crime. Random breath testing is pure brown-shirted police statism, no less than mailed fines.

  17. Sinclair Davidson

    The first shame is that we have allowed self-interested authorities to build their bloody empires; the second is that we do absolutely nothing to foil their thievery.

    Liberty Quote.

  18. Sinclair Davidson

    Yeah, I too am shocked – shocked and APPALLED – that Sinclair accepts the concocted premise of speed cameras and ‘safety’ etc.

    No, CL. You are imputing views that I do not hold. Victorian traffic management is revenue raising pure and simple.

  19. Sinclair Davidson

    Bunyip – while I’ve got your attention, you haven’t responded to my last email.

  20. C.L.

    Glenn Reynolds has posted some interesting analyses of random breath testing. The whole raison d’etre of RBT is that most drivers over the limit in fact do not exhibit any discernible (to the police) problematic driving.

    DRUNKS ARE SURPRISINGLY GOOD DRIVERS.

  21. Louis Hissink

    Sinc.,

    When I was on L plates my driving instructor, a Mrs. Bolton, told me that drivers wearing hats inside the car were usually Victorians. True, come across a hatted driver and the car had Mexican number plates.

    Another way of recognising a Victorian Driver – hats!

    And Bunyip is back already from the 19th hole?

  22. brc

    Bunyip – we are in wild agreement on many – if not all – of the issues you raise. But I don’t think it is unreasonable to have speed limits and to reasonably enforce them.

    The enforced limits in Victoria are unreasonable, because the tolerance is lower than what the vehicle can reasonably provide. Further, there is zero evidence that close tolerances affect the road toll positively at all.

    The opening line is ‘I have no sympathy for people who get done speeding’. This doesn’t leave a lot of wiggle room, in my opinion.

    I have no tolerance for people who drive aggressively in urban areas, and I agree with harsh penalties for excessive speed (20 kmh over limit in urban areas, 40 onhighways), but that is a very different position to ‘anyone how gets booked for a speeding fine gets no sympathy’

    Believing the government propaganda on anything is a ery bad position to take. It’s like swallowing the line that mining taxes help the mining industry.

  23. Sinclair Davidson

    The opening line is ‘I have no sympathy for people who get done speeding’. This doesn’t leave a lot of wiggle room, in my opinion.

    How so? Everyone knows the rules. Disobey those rules are you give money to the government – always a bad thing to do. Everyone here is saying the current rules are crap. I agree. I also thought from the post above that I was clearly saying that the enforcement of the rules was unreasonable.

  24. Tom

    More than 1.34 million drivers were caught speeding last financial year

    Holy fucking hell. I can’t find the exact statistics, but, I’m guessing with a state population of around five million, Victoria has around two million licenced drivers. That means about 65% of them are being booked every year for speeding.

    Does Victoria have a majority of drivers who are dangerous drivers who need to be brought into line? Of course not. The statistic simply confirms that drivers are being used as cash cows by the treasury in a state with an authoritarian police culture. Motorists are also being blamed for defects in road design and other factors outside their control even though Victoria already has one of the the lowest road death tolls in the world.

    In the latest TV ads, the cops brag about their powers.

    At its peak in the early 1970s, the annual Victorian road toll was 1034 — the Melbourne Sun-Pictorial ran a campaign using that number. It is now less than 300. Is a 350% improvement not enough?

    In a country where the nanny state is running wild, Victoria is a nanny state gone mad.

  25. Bunyip

    Sorry, Sinc, I haven’t checked the email lately but will do so.

    As to speed limits, it is unreasonable to have unreasonable ones. The limits we have now are just such. When we have reasonable speed limits, count me in.

    Until then, there should be smashed revenue boxes dangling from their columns at every rip-off corner.

    Do you ever drive down Kensington Road? The speed limit used to be 60. It is now 50, as of about two months ago, despite a steep hill at the Kensington end. Guess where One Term Ted’s revenue vultures sit? Right at the foot of the hill, where the descending driver is almost guaranteed to be over the limit unless riding the brake all the way down.

    And what lines Kensington Road? Ovals and playing fields on one side, factories on the other. In other words, no small children are likely to dart out and be squished beneath my thundering wheels. It is a foul, filthy scam. That it goes on all over town, wreathed in pieties and packaged with PR, does great damage to the citizen’s relationship with his government.

    Surely there is a way we could encourage teenage graffiti vandals to wreck revenue cameras instead of my front fence!

  26. Bunyip

    Another example: Once, if you clocked .05 at a booze bus, the wallopers sent you home. Now they book you, and that is official policy.

    Why? Because the number of drunk drivers is now tiny. Next time the authorities talk about one of their massive blitzes, note how many people are bagged and how few are actually booked. Typically it is about 10 drunks from 3000 tested — and to get even that number they had to lower the bar!

    In the meantime, I urge everyone to download and use Trapster.

  27. Sinclair Davidson

    Yes – on Millers Road the limit is 60 now and I recall it being higher.

  28. Bunyip

    Louis: Tee time was put back because Doctor Yowie has to take his mother-in-law home to Sandringham. That is about 33 speed cameras distant — in other words, not that far.

  29. Bunyip

    Millers Road used to be 60-50-60-50; it changed every few hundred metres. Now it is 60 all the way, but should be 70.

  30. Paul

    A quick reminder to all that it was the bankrupt and ludicrous Kirner Government that waited for a wet weekend then rolled out the whole speed camera apparatus already wired up and ready to go. That tells you all you need to know about the road safety factor as Government sees it. They also introduced polka machines about the same time, maybe because they were concerned about our problem gambling as well (not enough chairs maybe?). I still recall the silence of the Liberal Opposition when this occurred.

  31. John Mc

    I still recall the silence of the Liberal Opposition when this occurred.

    One thing I’ve noticed as an outsider to Victoria as that occasionally politicians make rumblings about this issue, but no matter who wins , things always seem to go in one direction only.

  32. Sinclair Davidson

    I remember Millers being 70 around the Cherry Lake area.

  33. Sinclair Davidson

    things always seem to go in one direction only.

    Yep – they’re sucked in by the revenue.

  34. Jim Rose

    too low a speed limit tolerance of error is dangerous because drivers spend too much time watch their speed and not enough time watching the road.

    with high powered incentives, you get what you paid for, good and hard.

  35. with high powered incentives, you get what you paid for, good and hard.

    In Carolina they introduced red light cameras with high fines, only to see a marked increase in rear-enders.

    Now they’re all gone save in three small municipalities. Everybody hates Redflex, the Australian shysters who came in and sold so many cities on the damned things.

  36. Fred

    The busybody named in that article is Norm Robinson. What they never say about Norm is that his son was killed when he crashed his car into a pole at 160km/h in an 80 km/h zone. I doubt a speed camera would have made much difference.

    Because idiots like Norm’s son drive recklessly, he now wants the rest of use to have our wallets emptied every time we momentarily exceed the speed limit. Given how confusing Melbourne’s speed limits are that happens quite often.

  37. Monkey's Uncle

    It is funny how whenever there is an election, people happily go and vote for politicians who promise more police, more “law and order” etc. etc. But then the same people whine and bitch if they get a speeding ticket or some other infringement. Hello, aren’t you just getting what you bargained for? Everyone seems to favour “law and order” until the long arm of the law catches up with them, at which point they suddenly turn into a bunch of bleeding heart, whining do-gooders who want the system to be more understanding. The level of complaining about speed cameras and revenue raising is partly a reflection of middle class hypocrisy.

    Similarly, random breath testing is more popular and generates less populist resistance than speed cameras, simply because most people know they have less chance of being done for drink driving than for speeding, and so feel that they can get on their high horse about drink drivers. Tough fines and enforcement for drink driving is popular with much of the community who see such measures as a worthy impost on pissheads and bogans. Yet random breath testing is clearly a greater violation of privacy and civil liberties than speed cameras. At least speed cameras only involve taking action against drivers once objective outward evidence of having violated a law is detected. Yet random breath testing involves stopping people and subjecting them to invasive scrutiny of their physiological state without any prior evidence or reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing. Moreover, there is less excuse for exceeding the speed limit than for exceeding the BAC insofar as most people don’t have access to breathalyzers and so don’t always know at what point they are over the limit, but everyone has a speedometer in their car (even if they are not always 100% accurate). How any sane person can criticise speed cameras but enthusiastically support RBT is beyond me.

    As much as speed limits and enforcement are often arbitrary and disproportionate, not everyone caught deserves sympathy. Many speeding tickets could be called a tax on hypocrisy.

  38. Kaboom

    My view is that we should fuck off all speed limits, and bring back savage penalties for the offence of “dangerous driving”. Really strong penalties – loss of car, permanent prohibition, huge fines etc.

    An arsehole driving dangerously deserves it.

    I’ve been through school zones, within which 40 km/h should really be considered “dangerous driving” in those particular circumstances – yet, lawfully you can do this speed.

    Get the lazy wallopers out there enforcing the rules against dangerous driving (with the onus on them to prove it!), rather than entrapment and technical arbitrary limits.

    The jury-fuckers make me sick.

    /rant.

  39. Jim Rose

    Traffic offences are example of the punishment dilemma: there but for the grace of god I as the offender.

    decades ago, juries would not convict drivers for manslaughter so offences such death by dangerous driving and careless driving were introduced with light prison terms. People would get a few months for killing people.

    That has changed in recent decades – a hardening of community attitudes to dangerous driving and kill or injury. An important reason is that with rising incomes, many more can afford a taxi so they are less likely to go down the steps

    Norway has the strictest drink driving laws in Europe.
    • The maximum blood alcohol content is equal to a small glass of a weak drink and heavy punishments with few second chances.
    • Driving under the influence of alcohol is punishable by at least 1 day in jail, a heavy fine and the loss of the driver’s license for a year.

  40. Monkey's Uncle

    Kaboom,

    Exactly. If it was genuinely about road safety, police and governments would focus more of their attention and resources on getting the worst drivers off the roads completely, not on targeting the entire driving population virtually indiscriminately with fines for minor infractions.

    Of course, it is not about safety. It is all about raising revenue.

  41. Gavin R Putland

    Bruce Guthrie wrote:

    Why police give speedsters this escape route is beyond me.

    Because if they didn’t, too many cops would get fined and lose their licences. The loss of revenue is minimal because very few citizens – other than cops – know about the loophole. That’s the official reason why cops are 25 times more likely to be let off.

  42. .

    Because idiots like Norm’s son drive recklessly, he now wants the rest of use to have our wallets emptied every time we momentarily exceed the speed limit. Given how confusing Melbourne’s speed limits are that happens quite often.

    Norm ought to fuck off.

  43. Kaboom

    Jim Rose, I would almost consider introducing a “drink drive licence” system, where a piss-head could sit a test and get rated for their ability to drive safely up to a certain BAC.

    I don’t drink drive, for the record, but only because I can afford to do otherwise. My wife, on the other hand, can have two glasses of vino, and be a completely shit-faced menace to society, who can still pass a roadside RBT.

    We really need to re-think the whole cause/effect safety message. The more police state intervention, the worse the results.

    A thought bubble:

    Speed and red light cameras are only effective against those conformist souls who bother to register their vehicles, and keep their licences current.

    I wonder how many camera generated traffic offence notices are returned “not known at this address”.

    That would be a very interesting FOI application, wouldn’t it?

  44. Rabz

    Oh, where to start…

    First up, I agree with the Bunyip – where revenue cameras are physically reachable they should be smashed to smithereens.

    However, I am aghast at the number of phenomenally bad drivers there are on the roads. My pet hate is imbeciles who don’t indicate. This problem has gotten out of control in Sydney, to the extent that morons are starting not to indicate when they turn right. That’s when you begin to see serious accidents.

    Noticed how few marked police cars there are on the roads nowadays? It’s far easier to stick up a revenue camera it seems.

    I haven’t had a speeding fine (or any other finable offence) since October 1987.

    I have better things to do with my hard earned money than pay voluntary taxes.

    And believe me, it’s difficult – I own a high performance sports car and driving it around for what seems like an eternity in second or third at 50km/h is one almighty goddamned pain in the arse.

    Such is life and the nature of first world problems.

  45. Montgomery Brewster

    Looks like SC has been infected by the regulatory bug. Yet another that likes regulating their pet ‘problem’.

    How about letting traffic flow to the speed that the roads and other drivers can accommodate. Making pedestrians respect roads. And then punishing heavily those that create accidents.

    Most people don’t feel safe driving at 120 kmh but all people feel frustrated being forced to drive at 40kmh.

  46. Yobbo

    The reason they let people off for 10km/h within the speed limit is pretty simple – they’d lose if it went to court, and have done so many times.

    Their speed measurement devices have been scientifically proven to be wildly inaccurate.

  47. Kaboom

    Rabz, until very recently, my last fine (parking or moving) was in March 1983, for 76k in a 60 zone.

    Recently, however, I have copped two entrapment fines in NZ and Brisbane respectively.

    Gives me the shits, I can tell you. Not licence threatening, but with DOUBLE DEMERIT POINTS OVER THE DEADLY CHRISTMAS PERIOD my planned family holiday hooning (from QLD) down to and across the Great Ocean Road has been cancelled.

    Suck it up, Victoria. You lose.

  48. Tom

    How about letting traffic flow to the speed that the roads and other drivers can accommodate. Making pedestrians respect roads. And then punishing heavily those that create accidents.

    No. Because it would cost $200-$300 million p.a. in lost government revenue.

  49. MACK1

    Guthrie has no data or analsis to support his case. With the road toll much reduced from decades ago, the numbers seem pretty flat in recent years, suggesting we are now dealing with the tail end of hard core offenders – as Fred has said:”his son was killed when he crashed his car into a pole at 160km/h in an 80 km/h zone. I doubt a speed camera would have made much difference”
    These people who are way over the limit or high on drugs or go to sleep in the early hours are not going to be influenced by 50 zones in inner Melbourne or hundreds of speed cameras. They are a different population and need a totally different approach. A good research project for Mr Investigative Guthrie.

  50. Rabz

    Suck it up, Victoria. You lose.

    Kaboom, I banned driving in victoria about seven years ago. I also banned any kind of recreational travel there as well.

    So yes, they lose doubly, the mooolah grubbing commie pricks.

  51. Jim Rose

    armen alchian suggested that a large dagger be put on every driving wheel so that any accident would be fatal.

    we would all drive a 2 km per hour. no accidents but civilisation might grind to halt

  52. C.L.

    Clearly top speeds are being lowered to compensate for decreased revenue owing to ‘the message getting through.’ It’s simply concocted, wilful fraud and theft using the now ubiquitous – and, in Australia, sacred – cloak of ‘safety.’ Interestingly, some of the best publicised prangs in Victoria recently involved idiotic police officers trying to imitate the Dukes of Hazard.

  53. blogstrop

    Speed limit signs change way too often and are often out of line with the prevailing conditions. I could make a damning video documentary on the ridiculousness of these things around Sydney, such as a 60km zone on dual carriageway with no homes/driveways. A School 40km zone where kids are never to be seen, the road is fenced off and there’s an overhead pedestrian bridge for them anyway!
    I’ve been driving for decades numerous, and mostly in cities. If doing 5k-10k over the limit was dangerous I’d have been in an accident a week, or at a minimum you’d expect one a year. None. It’s all busllshit and revenue oriented.
    How about getting tougher on those who run from the police and crash into innocent road users, or even if they don’t, give them a bit of extra pain. Trying to get away should attract the maximum possible traffic offence fine (at least driving in a manner dangerous), while injuring or killing others in that mode should get particularly harsh treatment by law, otherwise they’ll just keep doing it.

  54. Brian of Moorabbin

    As someone who works in a field related to road safety in Victoria, and also as one who has had to attened various fatalities and then advise families that their husband/wife/daughter/son will not be coming home, I have to say I am somewhat appalled at the comments being made here on this topic.

    I have seen the independant studies and reports from various universities in australia and around the world (including Monash Uni here in Melbourne) which do show that increased camera numbers do have a positive effect on road trauma figures (remember folks, it’s not just those that are killed that are road trauma, but those that are seriously disabled/impared/injured too).

    Some may argue that I have been ‘brainwashed’ into accepting the reasoning for speed/red-light cameras. If they wish to believe that, then no amount of arguement from me will change that view (I’ve had that discussion with Bunyip via email before). However, the fact remains that the evidence does (in the main) support the premise.

    In the end, everyone will have their own opinion on this topic and not all will agree. I am prepared to accept that people may think I’m a raving lunatic for my support of road safety cameras (red-lights) and mobile speed cameras.

    What I am NOT prepared to accept is having to attened to the home of someone who may be a Cat regular to inform them that their loved one will not be attending Christmas Day celebrations this year. You may think that your a safe driver and can handle the additional speeds above the speed limit, but can you say the same of the guy beside/in front/behind you? Worry more about what THEY are going to do, than what ‘Big Brother/Nanny State Governemnt’ is doing to try to catch those idiots.

    Safe driving to all over Christman.

  55. jupes

    It is funny how whenever there is an election, people happily go and vote for politicians who promise more police, more “law and order” etc. etc. But then the same people whine and bitch if they get a speeding ticket or some other infringement.

    That’s probably how the police see it, but I disagree. Law and order should be about crime.

    ‘Speeding’ means driving faster than an arbitrarily set speed limit. If I drive my late model Monaro on a three lane freeway at two in the morning at 160 kmh with no other cars in sight, that should not be a crime as it is not even remotely dangerous. The car is designed for that sort sort of driving.

  56. .

    If there is a rational way to promote road safety, some of the more egregious abuses of power mentioned here clearly do not help.

    Speeding 3 km/hr in a 50 zone in what used to be a 60 zone with now what are safer cars, is beyond a joke.

    I was once fined in a tunnel in Sydney I was unfamiliar with – at about 6 am in the morning with nearly no other cars around. I felt quite safe and assumed I was doing the speed limit.

    There was no benefit in me being fined.

    I’ve also refused to cop a stupid negligent driving charge for basically mitigating an accident caused by two stupid drivers ahead of me I was courteous to, I took it to court and the police didn’t even bother to call witnesses, even the officers who attended the crash.

    The damage? My plastic licence plate holder. Negligence! That said, I learned DPP v Yeo etc with all my bush lawyering might.

    I asked for costs…”sit down Mr Dot, I know what you’re going to say…”

    My turn comes again “Your honour, would it be considered excessive or egregious to claim costs against the police in this case”

    “Yes it would, you have a half day holiday”

    Which was bullshit because the accident was nearly a year old, the damage was to myself and trivial and the case got bumped from Kograh, Sutherland, Bankstown (mention) and Campbelltown (actual hearing).

    The dickhead registrar at the mention told me there was no way was going to win etc. He is lucky there are generally no recordings of a mention because I would have made sure he was disciplined for his behaviour.

    If there are too many laws, too many stupid laws or overzealous application of the law, the public will no no longer respect it.

    I actually encourage everyone to to the same over such trivial charges.

    Pro tip: If you turn up to Campbelltown or Bankstown court in a suit, they presume you’re a solicitor and let you in and don’t even put you through a metal detector.

    Which makes me worry about the safety of judges etc.

  57. Infidel Tiger

    Instapundit has some awesome stuff on the uselessness of redlight cameras:

    http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/?s=redlight+cameras

    Some may argue that I have been ‘brainwashed’ into accepting the reasoning for speed/red-light cameras

    You have been brainwashed. Understandable as your livelihood is dependent on the delusion.

  58. jupes

    You may think that your a safe driver and can handle the additional speeds above the speed limit

    My problem is with the speed limits. They are supposedly set by an Australian Standard (not that I would trust that) but change so often that it is clear that they are set arbitrarily.

    Almost all speed limits have decreased, while car performance – including stopping performance – has increased. So, while I could drive on a road at 140kmh last century, I can only drive at 100 or 110 this century. Also there are many highways that change speed limits multiple times over a short distance.

    You’re obviously a cop. No doubt you are trained to drive above the speed limit. Why is that not dangerous?

  59. Infidel Tiger

    One of the problems is that police get paid the same whether they be catching rapists or booking Mrs McGillicutty for doing 43kmh in a school zone. Naturally these dim and lazy swines will choose to do the easiest task – issuing infringements to law abiding citizens.

    If the police ever wondered why they are held in the same regard as journalists and loan sharks then they need wonder no more.

  60. Brian of Moorabbin

    You have been brainwashed. Understandable as your livelihood is dependent on the delusion.

    Actually I have been in the job for 3 years longer than speed camera were introduced (in 1989), so I would contend that my livlihood is, in fact, NOT dependant on any delusion about the impact cameras have on road safety.

    By the way, here is a study into my ‘delusion’.

    From the authors:

    AUTHORS’ CONCLUSIONS: Despite the methodological limitations and the variability in degree of signal to noise effect, the consistency of reported reductions in speed and crash outcomes across all studies show that speed cameras are a worthwhile intervention for reducing the number of road traffic injuries and deaths.

    As I said earlier though, I am aware that people will have differing opinions to mine. Viva la democracie! I hope people will look into the studies and their results as well.

    I also re-iterate that I do not wish to have to knock on a fellow Cat regaular’s dood anr deliver the message about their loved ones (or a message to their loved ones about that the Cat regular).

  61. Dangerous driving is inexcusable, but when speeding is prioritised over violence and other serious crime, the moral high ground of reducing speeding is out the window. Police today largely avoid the more serious threats, where the law-abiding citizenry represent the low-hanging fruit.

  62. jupes

    Brian you must have been in too much of a hurry to post and missed the next sentence of the studies conlusion. Here it is:

    However, whilst the the evidence base clearly demonstrates a positive direction in the effect, an overall magnitude of this effect is currently not deducible due to heterogeneity and lack of methodological rigour. More studies of a scientifically rigorous and homogenous nature are necessary, to provide the answer to the magnitude of effect.

    They know it’s happening but not by how much. Hmmm

  63. Brian of Moorabbin

    You’re obviously a cop. No doubt you are trained to drive above the speed limit. Why is that not dangerous?

    You answered your own question jupes. And yes, it is dangerous. I know of several officers who have suuffered injuries during such training when things ‘just went wrong’… just as there have been officers (and the public) injured on the roads.

    However what training has the average motorist had for driving above the speed limit? Once around the block with a reverse-parking test. And people wonder why the young kids today can’t handle a car properly if it gets into a slide/spin in the wet…

    That is why I have always thoroughly endorsed the idea that all new drivers attend an ‘advanced driver’ course as part of getting their licence. I would also endorse the idea that these courses should be ‘re-sat’ every 10 years by all drivers.

    I would also like to see those courses accredited by the police to a set standard. As one low on the totem pole of police hieraqrchy though, my wishes are often overlooked… but there is a growing movement among HWP officers (like myself) about such matters.

  64. “One of the problems is that police get paid the same whether they be catching rapists or booking Mrs McGillicutty for doing 43kmh in a school zone. Naturally these dim and lazy swines will choose to do the easiest task – issuing infringements to law abiding citizens.”

    Only some, but i would argue more so now. My dad was old school and they were much tougher decades ago. They generally weren’t interested in anyone but criminals, but now they have to be nice to them.

    Nothing highlights the difference between Australian and American law enforcement than the fact that in the US the crims call the cops “sir”, while here the police call the crims “sir”. There’s your problem right there. Also, cameras in the lockups encourage bad behaviour by crims and good behaviour by police. The only bad thing about old school policing was turning a blind eye to corruption, but they don’t need to call crims “sir” to be vigilant about corruption.

  65. Brian of Moorabbin

    Indeed jupes. That’s why they call for more studies.

    Unlike Global Warming models which fail to match reality however, the studies HAVE found that cameras affect accident statistics and driving habits.

    Whether it is 1%, 5%, or 10% is unknown… but the results show that there IS a positive effect (again, unlike that of CO2 on temperature).

  66. .

    Brian

    There is an optimum crime rate and it isn’t zero, just low. It would also not consist of trivial or victimless crimes.

  67. jupes

    However what training has the average motorist had for driving above the speed limit?

    About the same as Germans get to drive on the unlimited speed limits of the Autobahns. Seems to work there OK, why not here?

  68. jupes

    Whether it is 1%, 5%, or 10% is unknown… but the results show that there IS a positive effect (again, unlike that of CO2 on temperature).

    If it can’t be measured, how do they know it is happening?

  69. Brian of Moorabbin

    Naturally these dim and lazy swines will choose to do the easiest task – issuing infringements to law abiding citizens.

    There are unfortunately those few ‘power mad’ assholes that overdo things… just like there are in every job.

    Believe me IT, most coppers would much prefer to be on the lookout for people who are behaving in a manner more dangerous than Mrs McGillicutty.

    To characterise all police as ‘dim and lazy swine’ is offensive in the extreme to the vast majority of police, who spend our days (including Christmas Day) working with limited (or in some cases, outdated) equipment to provide a service desperately needed by society.

    Unless you wish to discuss this with me in a more polite and courteous manner, I will not be responding to anything further from yourself on this matter.

  70. Infidel Tiger

    Be easy Brian.

    I find it easier to generalise and stereotype as I believe it saves time. And time is of the essence now that we can’t drive at the appropriate speeds suitable for modern cars and modern roads.

  71. Tom

    Some may argue that I have been ‘brainwashed’ into accepting the reasoning for speed/red-light cameras.

    Brian, I would bet that, if you eliminated all current fines for infringements for offences of exceeding the speed limit by less than 10 km/h, it would have negligle or zero impact on road accident/trauma rates. Yet it would remove 50-70% of government revenue for traffic fines — several hundred million dollars p.a. In other words, the public are being treated like dumb farm animals and are having their pockets emptied each year because the government is addicted to revenue-raising from speed cameras that is unrelated to road safety. 1.34 million Victorians a year — I’m guessing that’s around 65% of the driving population — are being fined annually for traffic offences. That is outrageous and you cannot possibly justify it.

    The alternative is to start making ads to put the responsibility and the emphasis back on individuals for their safety on the road. If they fuck up, they’re dead and they should be told so. People are sick to death of being treated like idiots.

    Families of lunatics like the young woman who killed four people in her high-speed suicide yesterday morning on the wrong side of the Princes Freeway at Lara should be responsible for the death and destruction they cause.

  72. Brian of Moorabbin

    (Warning: Incoming wall-of-text to respond to the various poster who commented.)

    Police today largely avoid the more serious threats, where the law-abiding citizenry represent the low-hanging fruit.

    This is just as much a fallacy (and an offensive one at that) as IT’s comments, BeerWhisperer.

    Do not confuse the attitudes and behaviours of the two previous Chief Commissioners (who were more interested in sucking up to their leftist political masters and saving their own asses from the fire) with the attitudes and behaviours of the rank-and-file who actually get our hands dirty at the frontline on a daily basis.

    There are many within the force who still remember ‘the old days’ like your dad and wish for a return to such times when crims were treated as such.

    @Dot, you’ll get no argument from me on that score. there is a difference between the discretionary powers that a sworn police officer has (with regard to all matters, not just traffic) and the legislated limits that must be applied by an MSCO operating a pseed camera. While we can ‘poo-pooh’ smaller offences (issue warnings which are often enough to moderate driver behaviour), there is no leeway for cameras.

    Do I think that those limits are too low? Compared to a police officer’s discretionary powers yes. Compared to applying a little common sense to the road coditions (location, type [residential, large arterial, etc], condition, weather conditions, etc), quite possibly. Do I have any power to affect this? No more than any general citizen has (ie: Write to your local member or the Minister for Police and put forward your thoughts. Will they listen? Maybe about as much as they do when I have done so in the past.. *shrug*)

    About the same as Germans get to drive on the unlimited speed limits of the Autobahns. Seems to work there OK, why not here?

    Differences in societal attitudes towards each other. Road rage is virtually non-existant in Europe. Bad bahaviour on the autobahns is just not in their psyche.

    Compare and contrast to Australia (and the US) where there is more of a “Screw the other guy! ME! ME! ME!” attitude.

    If you want examples, watch driver behaviour on any road where lanes merge together:
    – In Europe people allow others to merge in an orderly manner (much like a zipper) and traffic flows freely.
    – Here, people are right up the ass of the guy in front so “that other f*cker can’t get in front of me”. If someone does muscle in, the aggreived party (he will be late to his destination by a whole 5 SECONDS) leans on his horn with his whole weight whilst screaming profanities and questioning the other driver’s parentage at the top of ghis lungs to indicate his displeasure (some also add the clenched-fist-shake-out-the-window for added emphasis)…. often with school aged kids in the car!!! Great role-model for future drivers there, eh?

  73. Steve of Glasshouse

    One of the most effective ways to get traffic to slow down is to light up a police light bar on a patrol vehicle. Imagine the result if marked and unmarked police vehicles lit up for a few seconds at random intervals ( no sound ) whilst on patrol.

    That’s dream land, so I use Trapster ( live and download POI onto the Garmin ), HD video GPS recording , and UHF..

  74. My moneys with the Bunyip on this one. We tolerate all kinds of infringements on our freedoms, and illegal behavior from our enemies.
    Greens throw pork in animals feed to sabotage the live export trade. They cut down experimental crops, or poison them. Lunatic Lefties drive spikes into trees so that saw blades would be shattered and kill loggers. And we put up with this bullshit!
    So how about we start fighting back? Destroy the Eco crucifixes that kill our magnificent eagles, burn out the speed cameras and destroy the dunnies at music fests.
    We’ll stop when they stop.

  75. Brian of Moorabbin

    Be easy Brian.

    I find it easier to generalise and stereotype as I believe it saves time. And time is of the essence now that we can’t drive at the appropriate speeds suitable for modern cars and modern roads.

    How much input do you think any police officer (including the Chief Commissioner) has on determining what speed limits apply to what roads?

    (The answer is precisely ZERO)

    If you want to get shitty at someone over inappropriate speed limits, then go get shitty at VicRoads and the bureacractic parasites masquerading as “Road Enginners” and “Traffic Flow Specialists” that infest that institution.

    Getting shitty with the coppers who are following government (amnd police command) directive is like getting shitty with the check-out chick at Coles because your milk has gone up 30cents a litre….

  76. jupes

    Differences in societal attitudes towards each other. Road rage is virtually non-existant in Europe.

    Could that possibly be because they don’t have as many road rules and ridiculous speed limits?

  77. Brian of Moorabbin

    Jupes (@7.29pm)

    If it can’t be measured, how do they know it is happening?

    From that same link:

    MAIN RESULTS:
    Thirty five studies met the inclusion criteria. Compared with controls, the relative reduction in average speed ranged from 1% to 15% and the reduction in proportion of vehicles speeding ranged from 14% to 65%. In the vicinity of camera sites, the pre/post reductions ranged from 8% to 49% for all crashes and 11% to 44% for fatal and serious injury crashes. Compared with controls, the relative improvement in pre/post injury crash proportions ranged from 8% to 50%.

    As to how they got those figures, you could actually read the study itself, as opposed to nit-picking off the summary statement.

    What I stated is that they aren;’t sure if what they found corresponds overall to a 1%, 5%, or 10% decrease due to the small number of studies examined (35). Hence the author’s own comment that further studies may be needed (and again, who ever heard of a scientist that wasn’t always looking for more funding to study something?)

  78. …and while we’re at it, in the Kingdom of Winston, all fines will be paid into my #5 Slush Fund err Account.
    No monies will go to the State governments. ‘Twill be mine.

    Now watch the motorists get left alone.

    Governments predate on motorists because it pays them to do so.

  79. Brian of Moorabbin

    Steve from Glasshouse, I agree. Which is why i’ve argued long and loud with everyone up the ladder from me in Highway Patrol that we should (like the Americans) be one-up in a car, not two-up.

    For example, there are 12 marked and 4 un-marked HWP cars, at Moorabbin (spread across 4 HWP units: Glen Eira, Kingston, Bayside, and State) where I am based. Currently rostering numbers put between 8 and 24 officers on duty for any one shift (day, night, or graveyard) this means between 4 and 12 cars on the road (dependant on shift). This also does not take into account those officers who are tasked with motorcycle patrol. Realistically, on any given day, one can expect 6 cars and 2 bikes (out of 8) ‘on the road’ for at least 7 hours (out of an 8 hour shift). That’s 14 coppers (which is the average shift roster).

    Personally I’d rather see every single one of those cars (and bikes) on the road for that time. Given the size of the respective unit’s “patches” (area of patrol) we could back each other up very easily (a la US cops).

    Sadly we are prevented from doing so due to over-zealous “Health and Safety” regulations…. again, something which the general frontline copper has zero input or control over.

  80. Kaboom

    Brian, I appreciate your input.

    However, you (coppers) are now the enforcement tools of unbridled Governmental nanny-state interference.

    We (generally law-abiding citizens) do not like this.

    Eventually, this circumlocution is going to end in tears.

    The greater the “surveillance” (think CCTVs, speed cameras etc), the more likely that the plebs are going to be really, really pissed off, and eventually, they will go gunning for bear.

    You should not, on a public policy basis, piss off too many people, beyond those you can control.

    Frankly, speed might kill, but it is the sudden unintended stop that really fucks you.

    Carrying on with the bullshit “Every K over is a Killer!” lede just pisses EVERYONE to death, because it it not true (i.e it is a “LIE”).

    You are obviously from Victoria. You are obviously a law enforcement officer from said Victoria (who could no doubt ascertain precisely who I am, where I live etc.) I do not give a flying fuck. Send your local friends after me, by all means.

    I have cancelled a planned Victorian driving holiday because of your State’s ridiculous speeding policies.

    Brian, if you and your Department really went after the arseholes infesting our roads, I would be 100% behind you.

    You personally might like to, but your Department in no way whatsoever goes head-first against the arseholes, the average stolen WRX ram-raider shithole immigrant loser non-registered, uninsured criminals.

    I can appreciate that you are unable to specifically comment upon departmental policy and outcomes, and I can lament with you the policy constraints under which you suffer.

    Brian, I can see that you are an erudite Cat contributor, and I would love to have a beer or two with you chatting over a BBQ, but I think that we would have a significant falling-out over traffic infraction enforcement.

    Ce le Geurre.

  81. Brian of Moorabbin

    @Tom (7.38pm)

    Again (and as I said to Dot) you’ll get no argument with me about the low limit on the cameras. That’s where the vast majority (anecdotally 98%) of those low-level fines come from. Again (and as I said to Dot) I agree that those limits are set an an arbitrarily low level compared to the discretion that a sworn copper is allowed to apply to any given situation. I have never justified that.

    What I DID justify is the effect road Safety Cameras (be they red-light cameras or mobile speed camera) have on driving behaviour and its follow-on effect on road trauma.

    Please try to refrain from putting words into my mouth that I did not say.

    The alternative is to start making ads to put the responsibility and the emphasis back on individuals for their safety on the road. If they fuck up, they’re dead and they should be told so. People are sick to death of being treated like idiots.

    Which the TAC in Victoria has been doing for years now. Remember the ad with the VW kombi van that smashes into the loaded dumptruck and trailer? Or perhaps the one with the young girl who kills her best friend when T-boned after running a redlight? There are dozens of examples, and people have posted many of them on YouTube.

    Families of lunatics like the young woman who killed four people in her high-speed suicide yesterday morning on the wrong side of the Princes Freeway at Lara should be responsible for the death and destruction they cause.

    This has to be the most brainless thought-bubble committed to text on the Cat ever…. and that includes anything and everything ever posted by m0nty, SfB, and the Digitised One.

    Seriously. The family of an irresponsible lunatic should be held liable for actions which they: (a) did not approve of; (b) had no control or influence over, and; ( c) had no knowledge was going to occur? Is that what you think?

    One sincerely hopes you or your family is never involved in any form of trauma caused by a member of your family… or will you be donating your house, life-savings, etc to the other party as compensation for any damages caused?

    I suppose you also think that we should have said sorry to the Aboriginal people for the ‘Stolen Generation’ too? After all your forebears had as much input into that ‘policy’ (if such a thing ever existed) as that girl’s family did over her actions on the Princes Freeway.

    Sweet-f*cking-Jesus-on-a-bicycle, that was the dumbest thing I’ve seen posted here….

  82. Gavin R Putland

    Re:

    Governments predate on motorists because it pays them to do so.

    I’ll believe that fines aren’t about revenue when all proceeds from fines must be (e.g.) granted to a lower level of government, or deducted from grants received from a higher level of government, or locked up in investments for ten years so that, with a bit of luck, the government that spends them will be of the opposite political colour to that which imposed them.

  83. Brian of Moorabbin

    Jupes (@7.58pm)

    Could that possibly be because they don’t have as many road rules and ridiculous speed limits?

    And as I said to IT, how much input does the copper on the beat (whether he be General Duties in a divvy-van, or HWP in an SS-Commodore) have with the fomentation of the road rules and ridiciulaous speed limits?

    Yet the vast majority of posters here advocate the shooting of the messaneger, rather than venting their spleens (and rage) at those who ARE responsible…

    FMD

  84. OldOzzie

    Bunyip,

    I also grew up driving when speed limits on country roads in NSW and VIC were derestricted, and used to drive on dirt country roads at 125km/hr in an Old FJ Holden, and untill last year, the fastest I had driven, was at 212.5 Km/hr in a Rally Car on a dirt road in NSW in 1966.

    I drive frequntly up the Hume Highway from Melbourne to Sydney, crawling along with the packs of cars at 110km/hr – b-hopeless – on good gravel roads in NT todayt, I can travel comfortably at 120Km/hr in today’s 4WDs (as well as in new V8 Troopy).

    When you drive in Europe at 200km/hr on 2 lane AutoBahn in Germany, it outlines the stupidity of the Speed Limits in Ausralia.

    We have become the ultimate Nanny State, and what is safe about continually having to look down at your speedo to check your speed rather than concentrating on raod conditions

  85. .

    Tom

    Your obsession with blood money has gone too far.

    I like the idea of it, but as collective punishment it is horrible (as any collective punishment for non offenders is).

  86. Speeding is an issue that drives me nuts because of the misinformation by authorities on the subject.

    For example, you can be speeding if you’re going 45km/h down 50km/h speed limit Chapel Street and there are a lot of people in the area. Nearly 50% of all accidents that involve ‘speed’ are ones where the driver is going at or below the posted limit. Just look up the relevant state safety authorities and you’ll see their definition.

    Furthermore, around 75% of accidents occur when one body moves in front of another. So t-intersection crashes or driving through traffic lights and being hit or a pedestrian walking in front of a car.

    LESS THAN 5% of all accidents occur ABOVE the posted speed limit.

  87. Brian of Moorabbin

    Kaboom,

    I would love to have a beer or two with you chatting over a BBQ, but I think that we would have a significant falling-out over traffic infraction enforcement.

    Actually you’d be surprised. If people of differing opinions cannot, in the end, agree to disagree yet still remain courteous and polite with each other… we may as well dig our own graves, crawl in, and wait for sweet release. I, for one, am not ready to do that.

    However (and not directing it at you specifically Kaboom), I find it surprising the number of posters here who are advocating a “F*ck tha PO-leece” style mentality when it is those very Police who have zero input or control over what everyone wants to “f*ck” us over…

    Seriously, do you folks all go into the local branch of the Big 4 banks and abuse the tellers on duty (and advocate the destruction of their workplace) for not lowering interest rates, or for the profits made due to ‘fee-gouging’, or the obscene paypackets of the directors? Do you all go in to Coles/Woolies and abuse the check-out chicks for the wat grocery prices have risen over the years whilst our farmers stuill get 3/4ths of f*ck-all for their product, or for they way they have strangled to petrol distribution market with their “shopper dockets” and raising petrol prices to cover the “discounts” they deign to hand out?

    Why not? Those tellers and check-out chicks have as much input into their companies’ respective policies as the average copper has over government policy. And yet its all pitchforks and torches and “F*CK THA PO-LEEEECE!”… Honestly? You all sound like a bunch of hemp-clothed. sandal-wearing Leftists with your “Stick it to the man!” attitudes over this.

    Yet you’re all poking the wrong people. This is like watching the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ folks embracing Mike Moore and the other Celebrity millionaires whilst simultaenously decrying the injustices of the 1%…

    Just because I endorse the premise behind the campaign and have seen the studies that support and prove that the premise is correct does not mean I endorse the manner in which the program is being controlled and managed by government. I think everyone here will agree that reducing road trauma is a valid goal to be aiming at.

    The disagreement is stemming from what is the best method.

    Advertising people to take responsibility for their own behaviours has been tried. Advertising to change driver behaviour has been tried. Now the government has determined that directly attacking people’s hip-pocket nerve is the go. Whether that works or not is up for discussion. At what point the limits that that kind of punishment should be applied shopuld be up for discussion too. Should there be more discretion allowed, as per a police officer’s powers of discretion? Probably. Who has that final say? Well, not the poor copper that’s being poked and prodded here, nor the poor bugger MSCO trying to make a living for his/her family (and let’s not go to the old “Well if they stopped doing the job, the government wouldn’t get the money” strawman… That’s argumentuim reductio absurdium and you all know it…)

    You’ve all advocated for more violence towards your fellow citizens, be they coppers (“F*CK THA PO-LICE”) or people working under contract to the DoJ (the MSCOs), and yet WE are the barbarians in this matter? Seriously?

    Brian, if you and your Department really went after the arseholes infesting our roads, I would be 100% behind you.

    You personally might like to, but your Department in no way whatsoever goes head-first against the arseholes, the average stolen WRX ram-raider shithole immigrant loser non-registered, uninsured criminals.

    I can appreciate that you are unable to specifically comment upon departmental policy and outcomes, and I can lament with you the policy constraints under which you suffer.

    So because I am hamstrung by red-tape and governmental restrictions it is still my fault I (and my fellow officers) are not doing more to fight crime, and as such we should have to cop the full force of the anger of the proletariat (“F*CK THA PO-LICE”)? Yes, you’re quite right. It is indeed our fault, and not that of the actual wowsers and nanny-staters who are in control of regulations and policy. One should always destroy the messenger for such insolence, so that future messengers get the right idea about reporting reality.

    Again Kaboom, I would gladly meet you (and any other Cat regular) at a BBQ and discuss topics wide-ranging over a beer or three. And yes, we might in the end agree that our opposing virws disgaree.

    but I would hope that civilization has not fallen to the point where barbarism is considered more appropriate than open dialogue.

  88. .

    Seriously, do you folks all go into the local branch of the Big 4 banks and abuse the tellers on duty (and advocate the destruction of their workplace) for not lowering interest rates, or for the profits made due to ‘fee-gouging’, or the obscene paypackets of the directors?

    I verbally abused an automated carwash today and it felt good.

  89. Mundi

    Can someone explain to me how the death toll is tolerated? If some machine was invented today and tomorrow 5 million people used it and 20 died, it would be banned over night.

    Getting on the road is very dangerous. You have about a 1 in 80 chance of being killed in a car accident some point in your life, the highest non health related cause of death.

    And what does the government do about it? Basocally nothing. The slap on the risk penalties are inbeleivable – even for killing people.

  90. Infidel Tiger

    A couple of thousand people dying every year is an acceptable price for the convenience of the automobile. People need to learn to deal with that.

  91. Brian of Moorabbin

    Dot, but did it make it function any better?

  92. Gab

    You’ve made some good points, cleared up a few issues too, Brian. Thank you.

  93. .

    It did actually.

    The attendee came over and helped.

    He must have thought I was a real arsehole.

  94. Brian of Moorabbin

    Risk vs Reward, Mundi.

    The automobile has become a pretty integral part of life these days. Use of that device carries a potential for catastrophe. Society has accpeted the reward outweighs the potential risks. What level the consequences of that (ie the acceptable price as IT put it) society should accpet is possibly open for debate.

    However it is the mis-use of the device that the government in attempting to address, and it is society that needs to determine what that mis-use is. There is argument that the limits are too low, just as there is argument that the limits are too high. Who is right and who is wrong? Society needs to debate this.

    I agree, the penalties applied by the courts for gross mis-use of the automobile are appalling. The discussuion here though is whether applying fines to ‘low-level speeding’ is fair or not, and at what point ‘low-level speeding’ might become a more serious problem (read: gross mis-use).

  95. Justice Sir Marcus Minefield KCMG, VC and bar, MBA, DSO

    Don’t sweat it dudes!
    If I get snapped by a speed camera, I simply write back explains that the car was being driven by this chick, Professor Brennan, who is a resident of the United States, and will be hard to contact or prosecute because (a) she is a resident of the United States and (b) she is deceased.

  96. Brian of Moorabbin

    Dot, depends on whether you also had a pitchfork and torch with you at the time or not.

  97. Leigh Lowe

    I think blaming my speeding fines on dead people is a really cool thing to do.

  98. Monkey's Uncle

    “How much input do you think any police officer (including the Chief Commissioner) has on determining what speed limits apply to what roads?

    (The answer is precisely ZERO) ” – Brian of Moorabin

    Yeah. We know. You are just doing your job. You don’t make the laws. Yada. Yada. Of course, every enforcer for every corrupt or tyrannical regime in history could make the same excuse. It never seems to occur to people like you that abuses of state power can only continue so long as there are enough people willing to don the uniform and act as petty enforcers for the powers that be.

    “Getting shitty with the coppers who are following government (amnd police command) directive is like getting shitty with the check-out chick at Coles because your milk has gone up 30cents a litre….”

    If the customer in the shop is not happy, they can simply take their business elsewhere. Unlike the motorist having revenue extracted from them at the barrel of a gun by the state’s frontline enforcement of monopoly violence.

    But hey, people shouldn’t take out their frustration on the cop. After all, the cop is probably just a brainwashed authoritarian dunce, incapable of any kind of independent moral or intellectual reasoning, and probably incapable of earning a living any other way.

  99. Steve D

    I think blaming my speeding fines on dead people is a really cool thing to do.

    Just don’t attribute to dead people that are likely to be checked up on…

    I’m not aware of any Victorian police taking a interest in speeding up to a 10 km/h limit, but those fixed cameras are a different story.

  100. Brian of Moorabbin

    Yeah. We know. You are just doing your job. You don’t make the laws. Yada. Yada. Of course, every enforcer for every corrupt or tyrannical regime in history could make the same excuse.

    And Monkey’s Uncle goes for the attempted Godwin with his argumentum reductio absurdum.

    Yes, obviously any copper who supports road safety cameras is excactly like a jack-booted SS soldier, or trench-coated Gestapo thug, or possibly just an agent of the KGB or Stasi…

    Well played sir. Well played *golfclap* You have completely eviscerated my arguments, and I am revealed as the villianous cretin that I surely must be…

    Fuckwit.

  101. Leigh Lowe

    cameras on columns so low that any energetic citizen could smash them without even needing to stand on tippy-toe. A heavy-headed putter straight into the lense would do the trick quite nicely.

    Well Bunyip, if a chap in tweed trousers and a pink shirt is seen taking a Ping to a speed camera Plod will now where to go.
    There is an old saying “Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time.”
    The updated version of this is “Don’t do the crime if you are going to publish details in advance on the Internet”

    Oh …. and keep the front arm straight, stay low in he shot and FOLLOW THROUGH.

  102. Gab

    I agree, SteveD. It’s been my experience when pulled over for speeding,(just a bit over 10km on speed limit) I’ve been politely warned three times (Melbourne), warned once about mobile phone talking (Melbourne) but did not incur any fines. Have been booked twice for speeding by police but that was in Sydney. Got three speeding fines in two years from speed camera (Melbourne) all well under 10km “speeding”. One fine was for 61km “speeding” meaning I was clocked traveling at 64km in 60km zone.

  103. Brian of Moorabbin

    Gab, care to provide a copy of that camera fine (61km/h), because I know for a fact that the cameras have NEVER been set to a limit that low.

    The actual settings are mandated by law, and can be found by a simple Google search of the Victoiran Government website.

  104. C.L.

    It’s been my experience when pulled over for speeding,(just a bit over 10km on speed limit) I’ve been politely warned three times (Melbourne), warned once about mobile phone talking (Melbourne) but did not incur any fines.

    Ah, the benefits of being a woman. ;)

  105. Brian of Moorabbin

    CL, not really. I’ve given plenty of warnings to male drivers for doing similar types of things.

    However it is also true that I’ve had many offers of…. *cough*a night’s entertainment*cough* if I were to let particularly good-looking females off with a warning..

    (and for the record, some of our female officers have received the same kinds of offers… from both male AND female drivers..)

  106. Gab

    Then I’ll have to also ask my boss for his fine as he had the same – 61kms, traveling at 64kms, Brian. Sorry, but I’m not making any of this up. But no, I didn’t keep the notices after I paid the fines.

  107. Steve D

    I think I got one camera fine that was claimed 65 km/h -> charged with 62 km/h, so Gab’s case does not sound wrong.

    Like your new avatar, Gab, it’s a hoot!

  108. Gab

    Ah, the benefits of being a woman.

    Don’t know about that. My ex has been let off by coppers (Melb) twice. I don’t give them any cheek and play it all very straight. (Although I admit I cried the first time I was fined by a Sydney copper for speeding…going down a hill…caught me at the bottom of the hill!).

    These days I have the cruise control on most of the time. Safer than checking the speedo every few minutes, especially when going downhill.

  109. Steve D

    How’s your cruise control going down hill? Most won’t actively trigger the brakes to hold speed down, and so cars generally will pick up speed on most descents.

  110. Gab

    I have it down to a fine art, SteveD. For example the tunnels – timing is everything. Depends of how steep the fall too. Obviously I have to brake but I notice not as much as without CC.

  111. Gab

    Most won’t actively trigger the brakes to hold speed down

    Really? Mine seem to, German engineering perhaps? Or my imagination!

  112. Brian of Moorabbin

    Again Gab (and SteverD) but with respect I’ll have to agree to disagree with you. I’ve been dealing with speed cameras since they were introduced (including operating one way back when they were first operated by police officers…. in the early days before Tenix and Serco) and they have never been set that low.

    Even if they were set that low, any fines below the legislated tolerences should have been rejected by the officers who process the photos and fines at the TCS.

    The only way you’d have a fine for 61km/h (down from 64km/h) is if it was for a 50km/h zone, and not a 60Km/h one.

    Do you recall which road it was?

  113. Brian of Moorabbin

    re. Cruise control systems, it depends on the year of manufacture of the car and the model used (whether its vacuum operated etc).

    My 1990 VN cruise control won’t slow the car on hills through braking, but my 1998 VT series II will.

  114. Kaboom

    Brian, don’t get me wrong.

    I applaud the deployment of red light cameras – I mean, 4 seconds amber (70+ roads) plus “red plus 1 second” means five fucking seconds from green to red transition.

    Great stuff. Red light cameras are fine with me. I mean, my incompetent wife and kids are driving around out there, and red light camera may save their lives by making an arsehole think twice about running that red. I have been instructing my 17 yo learner daughter, and we have narrowly missed being t-boned (on my side!) by an arsehole on a major Brisbane arterial 6 lane road who went through a red light at +20 seconds (in my estimation).

    Red light cameras are AOK with me.

    “Speeding” zero tolerance is what annoys me. As a copper, you can no doubt appreciate the lethal effects of sudden and terminal deceleration. I feel for you – it must be horrible attending the scene, and doubly horrible knocking on the door.

    Just look at these 10 people dead as a result of “accidents” in your state and mine over the weekend.

    I would not like to pre-empt the judicial outcomes, but I would bet my left nut that the solo drivers were each totally responsible for the deaths of those 4 to 5 persons whom which they collided with. RIP.

    I rarely drive around at late night/early morning.

    Notwithstanding, when I have to do so, it astounds me how many totally pissed/stoned arseholes are out on the roads at 1:00 a.m. It really is surprising, and should be clamped down upon.

    Whay don’t you coppers concentrate upon DUI, rather than with relatively minor speeding infringements?

    We all know that you have a “no pursuit” mentality for chases, and that is probably a good thing in balance, given the deaths of innocents. It must be really hard to justify to yourself that accidents happen.

    Anyway, no animosity at all, Brian. I have lots of mates in the force. I just don’t like to see abject apologism for what is obviously wrong.

  115. Gab

    No I don’t remember where, Brian. It was a few years ago and I traveled all over Melbourne for my job. The only one I do remember is a fine for going through a red light (allegedly) when I was making a right hand turn. I remember that one becuase it was three demerit points and a hefty fine.

  116. Steve D

    I can’t find any notices to that effect, so it may have been some time ago.

    Regarding the cruise control, my 2006 Territory downshifts when going down a hill but it only does so much. If any car uses braking in addition, then I suspect it would be German…

    The biggest driver of safety improvements since the early ’70s has probably been the technology area. Safety passenger cells and ESP make a big difference to either avoiding a collision or surviving it. Any decent ESP system is awesome in its ability to make the car go where you are wanting to.

  117. Monkey's Uncle

    Brian, I hope you feel better after that abusive rant.

    As for Godwin’s law, I never specifically mentioned the Nazis. But besides that, a Godwin’s law violation is when someone suggests that some lesser injustice or situation is as bad as something the Nazis did. I never suggested that the actions of police today are just as bad as the Nazis or the actions of other brutal regimes. To say that your argument can be used to justify worse abuses of power is not the same as saying that the current abuses of power are just as bad as those potential worse abuses of power (but please don’t overtax your limit mental capacity trying to appreciate such subtle distinctions. Not when your brain is conditioned to just fill out forms and obey orders).

    Brian, you have probably completed a course in Debating Skills1A. And you probably think calling out ‘Godwin’s law’ violations at the drop of a hat is the height of witty and incisive debating. So much so that you spend 4 paragraphs labouring this trite point, as though you had just scored the knockout blow in a high school debating contest and were enjoying a well-earned piss on my grave.

  118. AtTTH

    Victoria is a police state / nanny state and I can’t of any reason to live there apart from job or family ties. It’s a hell hole.

    The regressive theft of property and money in the form of “penalties” that the pigs carry out is offensive on any level.

    Hundreds and hundreds of dollars for victimless crimes. They should be ashamed of themselves, but they are mindless brainwashed cult members who couldn’t get a better job than driving around at 2AM in a blue leather jacket handing out fines and filling out paperwork.

    Go shoot and taser to death a 60kg teenage boy holding a butter knife from Kmart you pieces of shit.

    A life spent in the police force is a life wasted.

  119. “A life spent in the police force is a life wasted.”

    You assume they’d accept you. I call bullshit.

  120. kae

    I don’t mind speeding motorists (if they’re doing 110 in a 100 zone and it’s out in the sticks it’s probably safe). The bloke who sucks my doors off when I’m doing 100 and disappears into the distance is a concern, but the weavers worry me most.

    Then there’s tailgaters. I hate them. One evening travelling home from Brisbane I had an idiot tailgating me. I was doing at least 100 and he was less than three car lengths behind me.

    It was dusk. I saw a roo on the side of the road and had to brake (probably wouldn’t have helped if he jumped into my path). I wonder if the fool behind me saw the roo?

  121. When a screen name which has never commented here before makes its commenting debut with a statement which is both provocative and cartoonishly over-the-top, my troll-o-meter starts pinging.

    That goes for any blog.

  122. It will be a cold day in hell when a Government agency punishes itself for designing and building shit roads.

    Is this comming from a big gov person or what. Now governments are supposed to build perfect roads or be sued? Speeding is techincally travelling too fast for the road condition as well as the signposts even if it might be called dangerous driving.

  123. Toxic

    Brian of Moorabbin,

    Check the Road Safety (General) Regulations 2009. The fixed camera tolerance is 2 km/h (s35) and the mobile camera tolerance is 3 km/h (s38). They came down from something like 10 per cent back when Bracks was Premier, after speed camera operation had been contracted out. I’m a little surprised that a TMU/Highway Patroller wouldn’t know that.

  124. Jazza

    Last year Iw as fined and lost the demerit points for a drive on one of the routes into the centre of town, where a camera or those double cords across the road showed 4kms over the 60 km zone. I didn’t drive the car, and according to the earlier date ,it was driven by a family member who visited me two months prior.
    I got the bluey out of the blue so to speak so has to just cop it sweet. I am a driver who keeps within speed limits as a habit,and at the time I thought it was a bit rough but then there has to be a limit and some drivers will always push any boundary,and real speed can kill.!

  125. jupes

    Just because I endorse the premise behind the campaign…

    You see Brian. We aren’t shooting the messenger.

  126. brc

    How’s your cruise control going down hill? Most won’t actively trigger the brakes to hold speed down, and so cars generally will pick up speed on most descents

    Buy a well made German car. Almost all motoring problems solved.

    The final problem, having decent roads to drive on, can only be solved by moving to Germany.

    The Germans have a racetrack that operates as a toll road, and you can go as fast as you want. If you crash, tough. If you die, tough. If you damage any part of the road (including the Armco) you have to pay. Don’t like the rules? Don’t get on the road.

    With this type of facility, there is no excuse for reckless driving on the public roads.

    Australia could do far worse than set aside a couple of roads like this for bikers and car drivers to get it out of their system. But the nanny staters would freak out the first time a dentist smeared himself up a wall in a high performance car.

  127. “Is this comming from a big gov person or what. Now governments are supposed to build perfect roads or be sued? Speeding is techincally travelling too fast for the road condition as well as the signposts even if it might be called dangerous driving.”

    This comes from the dishonesty of the road haters regulators, who use statistics selectively. Few accidents ever have only one contributing factor ie if you add up the percentages you get way over 100%. Most speeding accidents also involve road conditions as well. Road conditions can change at any moment, and not just the weather. If they misrepresent the statistics, then it’s no different from lying.

  128. Steve D

    Actually, you could induce road rage in Germany easily enough.

    Don’t respect the fast lane…

  129. Penndragon

    “I have no sympathy for people who get done for speeding.”

    I might agree if the infringement notices came out within a day or two. Any first year psychology student can tell you that the longer the punishment is delayed the less of a deterrent effect it has. If deterrence and not taxation were the priority there would be no delay. Sometimes when occassionally my family receives an infringement no one gets punished because it is too late to even work out who was driving at the time.

    I might agree if someone publicly provided statistics showing a substantial correlation between serious road accidents and breaking the speed limit. I have not looked, but each time I have heard a report on this subject it is to the effect that the satistics do not show such a correlation. If true it may be, for example, that people that breach the limit concentrate harder on driving or might spend less time distracted looking at the speedometer instead of the road.

    I might agree if my infringement rate had not dropped to zero when I started using my cruise control in built up areas. My daughter’s driving instructor told her that practice was dangerous. It saves money because I have a tendency to drive at whatever speed I feel is safe and keeps me concentrating – I have a degree of attention deficit disorder so taking steps to make sure I maintain concentration is more important for me than most others.

    Labelling so many largely law abiding Victorian citizens as criminals is obviously very wrong – if not we would live in chronic anarchy. Worse still it does nothing for the rule of law to blur the lines between criminality and lawful conduct by using speed cameras for revenue raising instead of promoting safety. If they were serious about safety the authorities would spend a small portion of the revenue raised to ensure infringement notices were be dispatched immediately.

  130. .

    I received my infringement notice for that dubious negligent driving charge about five-six months later IIRC.

    Seriously. How could they testify they could remember what actually happened?

  131. Woolfe

    In the last year in Perth the forces of goodness and well being have introduced Red Light / Speed cameras at intersections.

    Have no problem with Red light but everyone slows down to go through the intersection and then accelerates back to Speed limit + 8 kph after the intersection. So it is achieving???

    I do like the Bunyip Solution however one would need to wear a balaclava with plus fours as the traffic lights have security cameras on them.

  132. Penndragon

    “How could they testify they could remember what actually happened?”

    They make contemporaneous notes (probably recordings these days) as you should have done. Several decades ago one of the criminal law lecturers at one of the universities I attended worked part time as a defence barrister. There were many anecdotes amongst the students about him. He was rumoured to have saved someone from being one of the first convicted for DUI under new testing procedures by getting the lab technician to admit they washed their equipment with alcohol – that pracice soon stopped. He was also known to embarrass policemen by making them show their hands in court when it became clear they had written notes on them and were using them to give evidence without telling the court they needed help remembering!

  133. .

    They make contemporaneous notes (probably recordings these days) as you should have done

    They made notes on the side of the busy M5 near the Bexley turn off during twilight.

    I made mine when I got home.

    It just seems like poor practice.

    1. Interview people in accident under poor conditions.

    2. Write up a report based on jittery notes (fine was actually sent out to wrong name and DOB but correct address).

    3. Traffic (HWP) uses notes months later to determine guilt (prima facie).

    4. No consideration of triviality of breach.

  134. Paul

    “Because idiots like Norm’s son drive recklessly, he now wants the rest of use to have our wallets emptied every time we momentarily exceed the speed limit.”

    The worst people to decide how things should be are often the ones who have suffered a loss from how things are. Penalizing the whole society to make yourself feel better about your own misfortune in life is not how it should be.

  135. .

    Just like Roxon, Rudd and Pilbersek.

    They all are in need of psychological counselling. Probably some thorazine and clonazepam for Rudd.

  136. Penndragon

    “In the last year in Perth the forces of goodness and well being have introduced Red Light / Speed cameras at intersections.”

    That’s not the worst of it. In Victoria they have changed the system so you lose your day in court if you do not elect to go there in time. I found this out the hard way. Late one night I just managed to avoid an bad accident when someone in one of three crowded lanes of traffic started off from the lights early as I was turning right. I stopped in time but by the time – not long, just enough to deal with the adrenaline rush, thank God and and calm a concerned wife – I was photographed for stopping in the wrong place to avoid an accident. The remaining oncoming traffic lanes were not delayed and started normally.

    In ignorance I chose to let it go to court only to find myself being told it was too late when I sent a long detailed explanation as the “revenue collectors” came after me. As you can tell I am still angry. I did well to avoid an accident and wasfined for it!

  137. .

    I did well to avoid an accident and wasfined for it!

    That is more or less what happened to me penndragon.

    I think the female officer who attended helped me out. She was very quiet when I asked her if I was going to be fined, but on the day of the hearing, she chose to do something more important, namely interview a sexual assault victim when my hearing was on.

    The police prosecutor just looked like Bradman when he got his last duck. Totally ratfucked.

  138. Woolfe

    One wonders what would happen if everyone with a trivial traffic offence chose to go to court? But we know the game they play, if you elect to attend they move the date etc until you get fed up and pay.

    We are all sheep in the end as our time is more valuable than the fine. So, baaaa baaaa back to work i go…..

  139. I’ve rarely driven in Victoria.

    When you’re in Canberra, wait a second or two after the lights turn green!

    I have to very reluctantly agree with Brian from Morabbin. There are way too many distracted dodgy drivers out there.

    Public roads are for transpot, race tracks are for hooning…

  140. Paul

    “My pet hate is imbeciles who don’t indicate.”

    You’d love Cairns then. Indicators aren’t specified in the design rules for cars sold here. The bewildered Chinese (previously Japanese) tourist coming at you from the wrong direction on a roundabout in a rented 2009 Getz is fun too, as are the Swedish backpackers in the rented campervan doing 40kph on the single lane major highway.

  141. .

    Nope, I reckon that is the way to go.

    If I was loaded I’d fund such a venture for trivial negligent driving charges, low level PCA, trivial speeding (45 in a school zone) speeding and mid level speeding where no one else could be harmed.

    My court date was changed at least three times, four unofficially.

    I wrote a letter to the traffic operations boss and he didn’t reply. I told him it was trivial. The bully boy had to have his way.

  142. Brian of Moorabbin

    Toxic (@6.25am) you are correct.

    However the cameras are all mandated to be set to take pictures at or above a specified speed over the speed limit such that, even after subtraction of that tolerence, there is no way someone could be ‘pinged’ for doing 64km/h (reduced to 61km/h) in a 60km/h zone.

    This has always been the case, both when the ‘old’ tolerence was 10% and under the ‘new’ tolerence of 2kmh (fixed)-3km/h(mobile).

  143. Gavin R Putland

    To Penndragon re: “As you can tell I am still angry. I did well to avoid an accident and was fined for it!”

    Well, if you’ve ever bought a new car in that jurisdiction, you can take vengeance by suing for a refund of the stamp duty on the ground that it’s unconstitutional, and refusing to settle out of court without a public admission that the duty is indeed unconstitutional. You can sue in the magistrates court provided that you notify the Attorneys General of the Commonwealth and the States that a constitutional issue is to be raised in that court. If you also tell them why you’re doing it, you might even extract a pardon.

    IANAL; TINLA; follow at your own risk.

  144. Brian of Moorabbin

    Jupes (@8.43am)

    Sorry no, I don’t understand the point you are making. (Maybe it’s because I’ve not long returned home from working an 8 hour graveyard shift and my brain is slowly unwinding).

    Could you please clarify?

  145. Chris

    Dangerous driving is inexcusable, but when speeding is prioritised over violence and other serious crime, the moral high ground of reducing speeding is out the window. Police today largely avoid the more serious threats, where the law-abiding citizenry represent the low-hanging fruit.

    I thought that a lot of the speed checking (speed cameras etc) was outsourced to people who aren’t police officers these days so while it may be a profit centre does not divert a lot of real police resources?

  146. Australian state governments freely admit most people exceed speed limits in the absence of enforcement. The reason is, quite simply, they are too low. In the nanny state of Victoria the objective is to change attitudes ie make people believe it’s wrong to exceed the speed limit. It might have worked with Sinclair, but most people won’t buy it.

    A much better option, which will eventually be unavoidable if open rebellion is to be avoided, is to set limits based on the 85th percentile. These inherently have the support of most people and can be enforced without prompting a backlash or raising silly questions about discretion.

    The problem is, the bureaucrats who currently set limits think they are smarter than everyone else.

  147. ugh

    “what we’re then debating is what should be a reasonable margin of error. It seems 10km/h may be too much and 3km/h too little.”

    Given speedometers are only accurate to 10%+/-, surely the old “10%+1″ tolerance would be the minimum speed accuracy a driver could be expected to achieve.

    Pushing it below the accuracy of the instrument you use to comply is nothing but revenue raising…

  148. Woolfe

    Though in WA we have no excuse as radar detectors are legal here.

  149. Brian of Moorabbin

    Chris, in Victoria the speed cameras are operated by Serco under contract from the DoJ (Dept of Justice) and have been since 2007. Tenix held the contract for almost 10 years before that (1998-2007), and way back in 1989 when the program commenced it was police officers who sat behind the cameras.

    Now police involvement is limited to the officers of the TCS (Traffic Camera Section) who review all photographs taken (both fixed and mobile) and make the final determination as to whether a fine is to be issued or not.

    I believe in NSW that the contract is held by a subsidary of the Macquarie Bank Corporation. Not sure about who holds it in WA, and in QLD I think it’s still under police operation. (These three states I’m only about 75% confident of the above, and mostly based of anecdotal information I’ve heard/received).

  150. Maws

    Millers Road used to be 60-50-60-50; it changed every few hundred metres. Now it is 60 all the way, but should be 70.

    I haven’t lived in Melbourne for 10 years, but Millers Road used to be 80 when I did.

    There are unpredictable road users from everywhere, but if the car in front of you is sporting Victorian plates, it is almost a certainty they will do something unsafe/stupid (something that will risk your safety)

    because in Victoria you learn to look at your speedo first and the road second.

  151. .

    I thought that a lot of the speed checking (speed cameras etc) was outsourced to people who aren’t police officers these days so while it may be a profit centre does not divert a lot of real police resources?

    They have to prosecute you and sign off on infringements.

    Stop being a batty boy for oppression.

  152. Chris M

    Don’t the Brits keep toasting the fixed speed cameras until the cops give up and remove it?

    We are seem to have gotten to be a really tame and supine bunch in the fiefdom of AU.

  153. jupes

    We are seem to have gotten to be a really tame and supine bunch in the fiefdom of AU.

    Always have been.

    Wowsers have always outnumbered larrikins.

  154. ugh

    “Don’t the Brits keep toasting the fixed speed cameras until the cops give up and remove it?”

    My personal fave is when they remove 1 screw from the speed camera case, then squirt an entire can of rapidly expanding builders foam in it :-)

    “in QLD I think it’s still under police operation. (These three states I’m only about 75% confident”

    Currently in Qld cameras are still under police operation. Perhaps I should add “for now”, as Campbell is floating the idea of allowing private operators.

  155. ugh

    “What I am NOT prepared to accept is having to attened to the home of someone who may be a Cat regular to inform them that their loved one will not be attending Christmas Day celebrations this year. ”

    Then get another job Brian. Plenty of jobs that don’t require notifying next of kin if you can’t accept the fact that people will die on the roads no matter how many revenue cameras you put up, and how much money you bleed from motorists.

    Regardless of how many speed cameras there are people will still die on the roads. I remember in the 80′s the road toll was around 350, now its below 300, we’ve had 30 years of population growth and immigration, and the police are still screaming as if the road toll is some serial killer FFS!!!!

    People will die on the roads no matter what you do Brian. Just like they will die walking along the street, bushwalking, or sitting in their lounge rooms.

    Oh and the research you mention (but conveniently don’t quote) did it raise the hazards of drivers being 1km/h over the limit? fines are sent out for 1km over the limit all the time

    Did it say the optimal place for “safety” is at the bottom of a hill where no accident has ever occurred?

    Did it recommend from a safety perspective to increase speeding fines, and lower speeding tolerances when the budget is tight and police are facing a budget cutback?

    Perhaps research shows a small benefit under optimal conditions. That is NOT how revenue cameras are used in Australia. After all, if it was about safety, they wouldn’t be putting profit maximising private companies in charge of it would they?

  156. Chris

    They have to prosecute you and sign off on infringements.

    Big difference between having a few police officers doing paperwork (and realistically there are always going to be some who are unable to work in the field for periods of time) and having a lot of them out there trying to catch speeders.

    Stop being a batty boy for oppression.

    Ah yes, because speed limits are oppression! You can go as fast as you want on your privately owned road.

    Pushing it below the accuracy of the instrument you use to comply is nothing but revenue raising…

    Since about 2006 speedometers in cars built since then are not allowed read slower than the actual speed. So whilst there may be some error in what is displayed as long as you drive such that the speedometer displays a speed slower than the limit you’ll be fine.

    I really don’t understand why people seem to find it so hard to stay below the speed limit (and as they say its a limit not a target). Even with lots of speed changes along a road a pretty cheap GPS will alert you to speed changes and if you are exceeding the speed limit. If you can’t handle driving and staying below the speed limit at the same time how can you possibly handle the huge number of distractions that occur with everyday driving?

  157. Infidel Tiger

    (and as they say its a limit not a target).

    Fuckwits like you should be stoned to death for driving too slowly.

    Once upon a time two cent pieces used to nick your type for obstructing law abiding from getting to the pub.

  158. ugh

    “there is no way someone could be ‘pinged’ for doing 64km/h (reduced to 61km/h) in a 60km/h zone.”

    Sorry Brian but that is cr@p. What you say is true under the law, but that isn’t how cameras are operated in practice.

    I received a ticket for 61km/h (ie 1km/h over the limit) last year while in Victoria. The fine was unquestionably illegal, but it took 2 months of arguments and I had to threaten to take it to court to get it revoked.

    A friend copped a fine the other day, and just for laughs thought he’d get the photo. Guess what? his car wasn’t in the picture – the number plate software screwed up. Again, he had to hire a lawyer etc to get it scrubbed out, legal fees ended up costing more than the fine.

    Of course the police know that, and send out these fines knowing that most people are too ignorant of their rights to challenge the fine, and many others realise that its cheaper to pay the fine than raise it in court.

    You seem to be very naive when it comes to how cameras operate in the real world Brian.

  159. .

    Big difference between having a few police officers doing paperwork (and realistically there are always going to be some who are unable to work in the field for periods of time) and having a lot of them out there trying to catch speeders.

    The difference is I know a former Div 21 copper who said an on duty highway patrol copper saved his life with some organised crime scum after an armed robbery.

    Ah yes, because speed limits are oppression!

    They never used to be. They actually are now.

    Being fined for being driving at 53 km/hr on a road that used to be 60 km/hr?

    Remember too, unlike the rest of the law, you re prima facie guilty.

    It’s oppression.

    If you can’t handle driving and staying below the speed limit at the same time how can you possibly handle the huge number of distractions that occur with everyday driving?

    I can handle driving above the speed limit and not getting into an accident.

    Smart arse.

    The “accident” I got into was an absolute quirk of the law, and happened basically because I was courteous and the first car (out of three) was an idiot who thought the “road ends soon” sign on the M5 meant he was going over edge like Thelma and Louise.

    You really are a knee padder for whatever the Government does.

  160. .

    I received a ticket for 61km/h (ie 1km/h over the limit) last year while in Victoria. The fine was unquestionably illegal, but it took 2 months of arguments and I had to threaten to take it to court to get it revoked.

    A friend copped a fine the other day, and just for laughs thought he’d get the photo. Guess what? his car wasn’t in the picture – the number plate software screwed up. Again, he had to hire a lawyer etc to get it scrubbed out, legal fees ended up costing more than the fine.

    No chris, not oppressive at all…and the CCTV biometrics stuff Gillard brought in…tops. PATRIOT Act…good times.

    You really are a snivelling little supplicant.

  161. ugh

    “Even with lots of speed changes along a road a pretty cheap GPS will alert you to speed changes and if you are exceeding the speed limit.”

    1 – ask yourself why are there so many speed changes in areas that have speed cameras, when road conditions are exactly the same

    2 – if you are staring at a GPS (or your speedo) then you aren’t watching the road – what was that about safety again?

  162. Entropy

    There is a speed camera in NNSW that regularly had its lens painted for a while. Then the fines for vandalising them go too high, and the prankster grew up and had a family. No relative btw.

  163. Entropy

    I wouldnt rely on GPS for speed limits. looking at the tomtom’s idea of speed limits it obviously has trouble keeping up with the changes. And somehow it doesn’t sound like a reasonable defence.

  164. Jarrah

    “And somehow it doesn’t sound like a reasonable defence.”

    Ignorance of the law is no defence, so you can’t say, “Sorry, officer, I didn’t know it was a school zone.”

    However, reasonable ignorance of the facts can be. You could argue that your GPS erroneously told you that the car was in a street with a speed limit of 70 and the facts of the case left it open for conclusion that it was your ignorance of your physical location that caused you to (inadvertently) break the law, you might convince a lenient magistrate to let you off.

    IANAL and this is not legal advice.

  165. Jarrah

    For ‘it was a school zone’, replace with ‘the speed limit was 40′.

  166. ugh

    “You could argue that your GPS erroneously told you that the car was in a street with a speed limit of 70 ”

    Unless its a *really* lenient judge you unfortunately won’t get away with it – has been tried many times. If you read the legal notice with all GPS devices it basically says “we don’t guarantee accuracy, you can’t sue us if you get a fine etc etc”.

  167. Gavin R Putland

    ugh wrote:

    Again, he had to hire a lawyer etc to get it scrubbed out, legal fees ended up costing more than the fine.

    Of course the police know that, and send out these fines knowing that most people are too ignorant of their rights to challenge the fine, and many others realise that its cheaper to pay the fine than raise it in court.

    A situation in which it’s cheaper to pay up even if you’re innocent is incompatible with the rule of law and therefore automatically unconstitutional: http://is.gd/pyrrhic .

  168. Holden

    Ask anyone who regulary attends accidents, it’s not speed, not alcohol, not drugs most of the time the driver has simply gone to sleep. The fact truck drivers, driving up to 40 tonnes, are actively pursued for using amphetamine (when it should actually be a job requirement) is insane policy itself. If you think wiping off 5, when a B double (or car) is crossing over to your side of the road while they are fast asleep is going to help you, fine away.

  169. Chris M

    Holden – yes fatigue is a real killer. I’ve recently been doing some insane work hours like 26 hours work, 2 hour sleep then back to work for another 18…. only 1 or 2 full nights sleep in a week. It is very dangerous driving in this state, I have to really concentrate just to make the 30 minute drive home.

    And I think the lower country speed limits seem to make fatigue worse.

  170. Monkey's Uncle

    “That’s probably how the police see it, but I disagree. Law and order should be about crime.” – Jupes

    Jupes, in an ideal world the police would devote the vast bulk of their time and resources to targeting the most dangerous criminals, and would devote little time and effort to levying fines for trivial legal violations or harassing regular citizens or pursuing victimless crimes etc. But we don’t live in an ideal world. And people need to think through the possible unintended consequences of the policies they advocate in such an imperfect world.

    Anyone who demands more police on the street, votes for politicians who promise more police and more “law and order”, but then whines and bitches when they get a fine for some minor violation is an idiot who cannot think through the consequences of that which they demand. Of course, most people are gullible sheep who are easily manipulated through base emotions like fear, greed and prejudice, and are incapable of thinking things through or operating through basic principles. All you have to do is make the right noises, lay out the bait, and round them up. Most people are craven and short-sighted enough that they will accept creeping authoritarianism if they think others are more likely to be the victims than themselves.

    Of course many people support the idea of having more police around, because they like the idea that the cops will be there if something happens or they are a victim of a crime. But they don’t think through whether they also want the police to be there every time they drift slightly over the speed limit, or every time there is just a bored cop on the beat who decides he doesn’t like the look of you. Police cannot be everywhere, or prevent every harm. And nor would you really want them to be everywhere. But those who worship Big Brother and Safety are too dim to understand the consequences of the policies they advocate in the real world, as opposed to the la-la-land they live in where some benevolent incorruptible authority protects them and solves all their problems.

  171. jupes

    We are in agreement MU.

    As far as “law and order” is concerned, I would rather see raised speed limits and less, if not zero speed cameras. Extra coppers would be useful but rather than them harassing me on the road, they could be, for example, concluding the investigation into Thomo or the AWU.

    I would also like to see the legal profession more interested in punishment and public safety than the rights of the criminal. Remove and/or punish those judges and parole board members who leave the public at an unnecessary risk.

  172. Justin

    I don’t wish to make light of serious incidents of reckless speaking but Victorian motorists have become conditioned monkeys into just accepting an ever intrusive police state in which to part with there hard earned money and smile and feel embarresed doing so. Wipe off 5 is totally arbitrary. Why not 10 or 15? How many fatalities are people speeding 5km over the limit? Are speed cameras located where most accidents occur as a result of speed? What about other countries with far less putative speed laws such as Germany? Is there correlation between speed and fatalities? What about car design and safety features? My guess is that correlation between design and fatalities is much greater than putative road rules and big brother speed cameras. But there goes the argument for all that fine revenue.

  173. Tel

    All the speed limits were reduced by 10kph a decade or so back, to allow for a 10kph margin of error.

    We all know, “there’s no such thing as safe speeding” but one day there’s no such thing as being safe over 80kph, the day after there’s no such thing as being safe over 70kph. Go figure.

    Anyhow, motorists have more important things to do than keeping their eyes glues to the speedo all the time. Watching the road for example.

  174. Tel

    Are speed cameras located where most accidents occur as a result of speed?

    The statistics work like this: police have a bit of a look to see if anything obvious is wrong (bad brakes, etc) and usually they have no idea what caused the crash. Then if there are skid marks on the road, it must have been speed, because the driver tried to stop but failed. If there are no skid marks, it must have been driver fatigue.

    No surprise that the two biggest statistical killers are speed and driver fatigue. Because those are the default answers when no other easy answer comes to mind.

    The fact the modern cars are programmed not to leave skid marks might start to click at some stage.

  175. Tel

    Now if we are going to carry on about the safety issue, let’s get some perspective here. At Granville station, in Sydney they decided it was a “black spot” so they put up “road fungus” all over the place.

    Part of what they put up was a bunch of those flat-top part speed hump, part crossings to slow traffic and let people cross. I have no problem with these in the middle of a shopping center. However, one of those flat-toppers was on the BYPASS road that goes AROUND the shopping center. This is where all the trucks go, and other through traffic, so now every big truck must slow down and bump-bump over this stupid thing.

    Because people started using that crossing, they went back and put up iron fences along the sides to prevent people from crossing at the place where the traffic has to slow down. So how are pedestrians supposed to cross? Well they could try using the overpass pedestrian bridge THAT HAS BEEN THERE MORE THAN 30 YEARS AND NEVER HAD ANYTHING WRONG WITH IT IN THE FIRST PLACE!

    That’s right, there was absolutely no need to make any changes to that particular bit of road… they just couldn’t help themselves.

    I’m only getting started with the local idiocy.

    * INCONSISTENCY *

    We have cross roads leading onto major roads where the dotted line (i.e. the point where cars are supposed to wait for a gap) can be arbitrarily forward or backward by several meters (on some streets you have to wait well back, on others you apparently are supposed to push out more).

    We have random traffic islands that are unrelated to any intersection and serve no conceivable purpose. They look a bit like they might be intended as a place for pedestrians to cross, except that someone in their great wisdom has filled the middle of these things with meter tall tufty grass to prevent anyone walking over that, and to reduce visibility for anyone walking nearby.

    * VISIBILITY *

    We have a roundabout where the whole approach to the roundabout also has thick, tall plants designed to reduce visibility, and a curving approach at that just in case you thought you might get a straight glance along the road (and each approach is a new and creative curve).

    They recently put a zebra crossing between the two driveways of a petrol station, and under a big shady tree so pedestrians don’t get sunburn when they are halfway across. At night, the light for this crossing is conveniently situated behind said tree, to ensure you are crossing at the darkest place possible.

    So if it is all well and good to put me under thread of fines and loss of licence for my supposedly dangerous driving — how about the same rules for the people designing our roads? Whoever made these decisions is in no position to tell me what is safe and what is not, because they clearly have NFI.

  176. Tel

    Yes, obviously any copper who supports road safety cameras is excactly like a jack-booted SS soldier, or trench-coated Gestapo thug, or possibly just an agent of the KGB or Stasi…

    Yeah, that whole “zero tolerance” mentality really sucks when you get on the wrong side of it.

    I agree, there are degrees of wrongness, and the degree is important… but try explaining that to a cop on the side of the road.

  177. Nonsense

    Look at the performance indicators for speed cameras in Victoria. They aim to have less than 1 in 100,000 people tested (ie, that pass a speed camera) fail (ie, exceed the speed limit) and this is achieved. That suggests the enforcement is neither too harsh or that revenue is the objective. 99,999 out of 100,000 drivers passing a speed camera don’t get fined.

  178. .

    That suggests the enforcement is neither too harsh or that revenue is the objective. 99,999 out of 100,000 drivers passing a speed camera don’t get fined.

    Yet they issue millions of fines every year.

    It might dawn on you that in a single year, a driver drives on many roads on many days.

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