I’m an expert and I’m here to help

Ronald Reagan once said

The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.

If Reagan was alive today, he would probably wonder whether it is advice of the experts that is the most dangerous.

Reported in NinFax, Australian road safety expert Emeritus Professor Raphael Grzebieta said:

Speed limits should be reduced to “survivable limits” of 30 to 40km/h as a default on residential streets with children and pedestrians.

Why you ask?  To save lives.  To save the children.

You know what would save more lives and more children:

  • banning all cars and motor vehicles
  • banning all commercially produced food
  • mandatory bubble wrap suits and helmets for everyone
  • a government safety inspector in every house (they could also listen into all dinner conversations like Gillian Triggs dreams of)
  • a police to citizen ratio of 10:1
  • banning all bad things and subsidising all good things

There are probably other things other experts have in mind, but perhaps they consider the actually costs and consequences of their wise recommendations.

Nothing is for free.  Public policies have costs and consequences.

It’s nice to pontificate on policies where you get the upside (through more speeches and consultancy gigs).  The cost and impact on other people, that’s clearly for others to consider.

Yes this man is clearly a hammer looking for a nail.  But those idiots at NinFax publishing this stuff.  They may as well just end the charade and call themselves the ABC.

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56 Responses to I’m an expert and I’m here to help

  1. C.L.

    Nothing is for free. Public policies have costs and consequences.

    It’s true.
    Freedom comes at a cost and it’s a cost we must always be willing to pay.
    The state could ban football, rock-fishing, sky-diving, SCUBA-diving, mountaineering, bush-walking, water-skiing, rodeos, boxing, skateboarding, fast food and alcohol. Thousands would be saved from death and injury; billions of dollars could be saved in emergency services and hospitalisations. Sometimes nanny-staters set up their case by asking “isn’t it worth banning X if it saves lives?”

    No. It’s not.

  2. Muddy

    We could certainly trim the mental health budget by feeding the entire feral media to the lions (or chlamydic koalas).

  3. stackja

    1940s people survived wars, sports, walking etc etc. Road safety wasn’t really important.

  4. Bruce of Newcastle

    Never give an order that you know won’t be obeyed.
    One of the first things the yellow jackets did was destroy almost every speed camera in France.
    In a less polite age they then would have impaled every politician, one per speed camera pole.

  5. Tel

    The state could ban football, rock-fishing, sky-diving, SCUBA-diving, mountaineering, bush-walking, water-skiing, rodeos, boxing, skateboarding, fast food and alcohol.

    Governments have killed more people than any of those, by orders of magnitude.

  6. mem

    Sometimes nanny-staters set up their case by asking “isn’t it worth banning X if it saves lives?”

    Short term perhaps, but think of the built up testosterone, the boredom. the anxiety of sitting around doing nothing for weeks and weeks. You are banned from anything that puts you at risk. Human existence is about taking risk and without it the soul dies. PS I’m thinking of writing my thesis on experts with unpronounceable names that lecture us on how to live eg. the soupalphabet fellow and the good Professor quoted above.

  7. egg_

    I’m thinking of writing my thesis on experts with unpronounceable names that lecture us on how to live eg. the soupalphabet fellow and the good Professor quoted above.

    Add the BoM tards to that list – seems we’ve imported the Eastern Bloc Stazi en mass.

  8. Yet on the other hand other ‘experts’ maintain the banning of things that could save lives, such as electronic cigarettes. And then there are others that wish to take lives for the sake of women’s choice.

  9. Ian of Perth

    We’re talking about speeds just above horse & carriage speeds – pretty sure people died back then too!

  10. Boambee John

    Ian of Perth

    IIRC, Marie Curie’s husband was run over by a horse drawn wagon.

  11. Neil

    Sounds like you are arguing for anarchy. The point always is where do you draw the line.

  12. Petros

    Let’s not forget that when the open speed limits were changed to 100km/hr limited on the highways in the Northern Territory, the road toll went up. If one understands human nature then they would have predicted this. People then drove fast anywhere instead of having the legal, safer option of fanging it out on the highways. The road safety professors don’t like this evidence so they just ignore it.

  13. W Hogg

    Yes this man is clearly a hammer looking for a nail.

    I suspect he’s a hammer locking for a sickle.

  14. MPH

    Typical arse about face expert… The engineering solution is to separate pedestrians and cars to avoid contact ever occuring, not to try and make things less bad when contact happens. That alone proves to me this person is an ideologist with an agenda, not someone trying to be helpful.

  15. PB

    Governments around the country are already in a race to zero with speed limits. They find children-based reasons to drop them every time the people start to recognize the tricks and traps and the revenue starts slipping.

  16. Rob

    Yes this man is clearly a hammer looking for a nail.

    I suspect he’s a hammer locking for a sickle

    That’s the comment of the week.

  17. egg_

    That alone proves to me this person is an ideologist with an agenda

    Telling the Leftoid Sir Humphreys what they want to hear.

  18. Russell

    Funny statement:

    He also called for the speed limit to be reduced in urban residential streets, where children often play, to a default of 30km/h or 40km/h at the most.

    Do kids play in the streets anymore? Doesn’t it interfere with their screen time?

  19. egg_

    DEATH OF LADY MARY FITZROY Government House Parramatta 17 Dec 1847
    The testimony of an eyewitness of the accident (Mr Walford) is as follows:-” He was passing, on his horse, the Government Domain Gate when he observed the carriage starting from Government House, and the horses skittish; that then, before Sir Charles was seated on the box, they got away, and whilst – so rapidly did the unfortunate occurrence take place – he was deliberating whether or no he should tell the guard to close the gate, he observed the horses rush violently down to the road, towards the gate, and at the avenue of oaks, at the bridge, upset. Mr W. lost not a minute in quitting his horse and running to the parties upset. The guard simultaneously hurried to the assistance of the sufferers.
    Sir Charles Fitz Roy and Lieutenant Master were on the box and were thrown. The Governor escaped with a comparatively slight injury on his knee, but Mr Masters was so much injured that he died about seven o’clock in the evening. Drs. Hill and Rutter were most promptly in attendance, and as quickly as a sofa could be got from Government House, Lady Mary was placed on it, but before she reached Government House she was no more. Mr Walford’s clothes were saturated in blood, and from this some idea may be gained of the internal injuries her Ladyship sustained. Sir Charles’s accident is one of a most painful nature, but he contrived to reach the sofa, and leaning over Lady Mary, receiving, there is every reason to believe, the last dying breath.

  20. teamv

    How many kids die due to vehicle accidents in surburban streets?

    How many kids died before they chanved the sleed limit from 60 to 50 and then to 40?

    I’d hazard a guess the rate hasn’tbeen analysed or if it has, there has been no reduction.

  21. Mother Lode

    You phrase anything in terms of loss of lives and people find themselves unable to argue against it. There us ab implied accusation of not caring if children live or die.

    It is the usual tactic of taking laudable sentiments and using them for cynical manipulation. It is like the way the left so quickly deploy the word ‘racist’. It only really works on people who abhor racism.

    So this is a neat way of avoiding recognising that there is a balance of priorities at stake.

    Driving a car is a risk. Going to the beach or swimming in your own pool is. Have electrical appliances in our houses, taking a train, crossing the street, riding a bicycle, painting on a ladder, open windows, skiing, eating in a restaurant or food you did not grow or kill yourself, or food you did, knives and forks – everything really.

    And how does it come about that kids scattered all over the roads? How about the kids learn to cross? Or when in front of the house little ones not be free to wander beyond the property line.

    At some point the little monsters will need to learn how to conduct themselves and assess risk. Is there some switch that is flipped when they are 13 years old and they are suddenly able avoid danger?

    Millions of years of evolving to survive being foregone because the state reckons it can do it for us better. All we need do is submit.

    It reminds me of a line from an Auden poem: The Adversary puts too easy questions in our path.

    The government whispers to us “All you have to do is this one more little thing and then you and yours will be safer.”

  22. John Bayley

    Well the EU already has a ‘zero road toll’ target – by about 2030, IIRC.
    Easily achievable, once private cars are banned, transport goes electric-only and is powered by ‘100% renewables’.
    After all, the natives living in the highlands of PNG do not suffer any car-related fatalities.
    So all we need to do is emulate their lifestyle.
    Which a determined shift to renewables will help us achieve.
    Expect Australian politicians to emulate that idea before too long.

  23. Penguinite

    We once had a PM who said “My name is Kevin and I’m here to help”. The only thing he helped was his wife business empire

  24. John Bayley

    Just how the statist ideas insinuate themselves into our lives was demonstrated to me once again recently, while having dinner with a friend who happens to be a very successful self-made entrepreneur and certainly is no socialist.
    The talk got to bike helmets – something I have been fined for by the cops in the past. His observation was a classic: ‘Why should my taxes pay for your preventable head injury?’
    To that I responded: ‘Leaving aside the fact that bike helmets offer at best only very limited protection, I would be very happy to have been able to opt-out of the health system altogether. I would stop paying Medicare levy and my private health insurance, which I estimate just over the past 10 years cost me some $130K.
    I would pay for my own injuries then, if any were to occur.
    Instead, you have denied me the option of taking responsibility for my own actions, and then used that as a reason to deny me the choice of how I want to ride my bike.
    Do you consider that an outcome that is in any way defensible?’
    To his credit, he conceded the point, but alas, very few people ever bother to extend their reasoning beyond the – to them – most obvious first item. Hence the ever growing chorus for the ‘government to do something’ wherever one cares to look.

  25. Shy Ted

    Raphael Grzebieta currently is professor of Road Safety at the Transport and Road Safety (TARS) Research unit. Needs to be renamed the Renewable Energy Transport and Road Dubious Safety unit (RETARDS).

  26. Bruce of Newcastle

    In the news today:

    Mandatory Speed Limiters To Be Fitted To All New Cars In Europe Within Three Years

    Here’s what the MSN article says:

    Sitting among a range of new safety features due for all new cars, the mandatory speed limiters come as part of a proposal from the European Transport Safety Council, recently approved by a group of key MEPs.

    Dubbed Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA), the limiters will use GPS data and/or traffic sign recognition cameras to determine the speed limit of the road a vehicle is travelling on. Engine power will then be limited to match this, preventing the car from exceeding the speed limit. It will be possible to override the system by pushing hard on the throttle, however the system will be engaged every time a car is started.

    If you think you can simply keep pressing a little harder on the throttle to break through the system, think again. ETSC also states that: ‘If the driver continues to drive above the speed limit for several seconds, the system should sound a warning for a few seconds and display a visual warning until the vehicle is operating at or below the speed limit again.’

    And you thought nanny Canberra was bad. EU weenies are frothing lunatic nannies.

  27. Dr Fred Lenin

    Boambee john, the horse drawn wagon reminds me of joke .
    Quasimodo is knocked down by a bolting horse ,in the hospital the doctor otders him undressd the nuns peel layer anfter layerof dirtu=y clothes the doctor returns ,”when did you leave school Quas”?”forty five years ago “says Quas “and you never wondered what hsppened to the book satchel you carried on your back “?

  28. Mother Lode

    And you thought nanny Canberra was bad.

    It is.

    The difference is only that the Europeans are original in what suffocating regulatory blankets they layer on their people and then methodically smooth out the wrinkles wherein little pockets of freedoms remain.

    Canberra just copies, but when they learn of something they are as energetic as the Europeans.

    The hunger is the same. The will is the same. It is only in imagination that they are deficient.

  29. The Fifth Bike Rider of the Apocalypse

    Dear TAFKAS,

    You referred to the Nine/TNFKAF – the Newspapers Formerly Known As Fairfax – as NinFax.

    May I suggest a more accurate name for the conglomerate – NeinFax!

    Yours sincerely,
    TFBROTA

  30. John of Mel

    Sometimes nanny-staters set up their case by asking “isn’t it worth banning X if it saves lives?”

    Funny how this argument is never applied in relation to abortion.

  31. PB

    I still remember when the bankrupt and incompetent Kirner Labor government in Victoria waited for a wet weekend to roll out the speed camera revenue operation the following Monday.

  32. egg_

    Is this an Eastern Bloc plot to have us driving Trabants by stealth?

  33. Entropy

    If you think you can simply keep pressing a little harder on the throttle to break through the system, think again. ETSC also states that: ‘If the driver continues to drive above the speed limit for several seconds, the system should sound a warning for a few seconds and display a visual warning until the vehicle is operating at or below the speed limit again.’

    Eventually of course, through autonomous tchnology, your choice in how the car is driven will be completely removed. The AUTHORITIES will even be able to pull you over whenever they want for a little chat, or even refuse to let your vehicle leave your driveway.

  34. egg_

    ‘If the driver continues to drive above the speed limit for several seconds, the system should sound a warning for a few seconds and display a visual warning until the vehicle is operating at or below the speed limit again.’

    I can see some Nanny State workarounds in the pipeline.

  35. Entropy

    Of course, driveways will eventually be banned as they produce too much heat reflection. Right after swimming pools and lawns.

  36. EvilElvis

    Expert.

    Something that used to be and a drip under pressure.

  37. Fat Tony

    Neil
    #2942476, posted on February 24, 2019 at 8:49 pm
    Sounds like you are arguing for anarchy. The point always is where do you draw the line.

    You know, Neil, if you had a gun when that dog attacked you and were able to shoot it, you wouldn’t be like this now.

    Were you expecting the government to protect you from dog attacks?
    Are you expecting the government to protect you from everything?

    Arguing against stupidity like the proposed speed limits is not arguing for anarchy, but for common sense.

    The “road safety experts” like to point out the statistical chance of being killed every time one drives on the road. However, road safety is not a game of chance – good driving skills allow one to avoid dangerous situations. If I see kids playing near a road, I slow down – if I am going past a school at 3.00pm, I go a lot slower than the posted 40 km/hr.

    But, in your anxiety-ridden mind, one should drive everywhere at 30 km/hr, just in case……
    Really sad.

  38. Grzebieta is obviously from the “speed was a factor” school of accident management. Of course it is. If you’re bloody moving at all speed is a factor. And by the way, how do 40kmh school zones help? As soon as the kids are outside the zone, they become fair game again.

    Many years ago I was obliged to attend a meeting in Newcastle, where a bleeding heart public servant from the Hunter Valley Council tried to insist that all supermarkets needed to ensure that insect spray and similar products should be displayed on the highest shelves.

    Why? Because a couple of idiot parents had pushed their two year old in a shopping trolley up against the shelves and walked away. The kid grabbed a bottle of fly spray, swigged it and ended up in hospital. Somehow that became the supermarkets’ fault. In the end, even the Department of Industrial Relations wouldn’t support the council.

  39. Rayvic

    “Nothing is for free. Public policies have costs and consequences.’

    Yet our gullible politicians, urged on by bureaucratic climate change groupthink, go out of their way to spend billions and billions on that emotive objective, emissions reduction , so as to appease ill-informed constituents who had in turn been brainwashed by bureaucratic-groupthink-driven educators.

    But where is the scientific and economic justification for such massive expenditure, given that:
    . there is no empirical scientific evidence to substantiate the ‘dangerous’ AGW hypothesis;
    . the groupthink is being driven by mistaken belief in invalid computer models, models that do not even explain past climatic behaviour;
    . it is not obligatory to adhere to promises made to the bureaucratic-groupthink-driven Paris Accord;
    . emissions reduction will have negligible, if any, impact on climate change;
    . part-time, unreliable, weather-dependent renewables power is at least double the cost of reliable baseload coal-fired power;
    . the consequences of starving the economy of coal-fired power will include even higher power prices, blackouts, reduced industrial output, business closures, job losses, and forced installation of high-cost standby power sources such as polluting diesel-powered generators and temporary batteries;
    . and, to repeat, there are no identified real benefits of pursuing emissions reduction.

    And given that both main political parties madly capitulate to the bureaucratic groupthink, there appears little chance that Australia will escape such dire, dysfunctional consequences.

  40. Speed limits should be reduced to “survivable limits” of 30 to 40km/h as a default on residential streets with children and pedestrians.

    We should go back to the old regime where a man with a red flag had to walk in front of every motorised vehicle.

    You know it makes sense.

  41. John A

    C.L. #2942283, posted on February 24, 2019, at 5:50 pm


    Sometimes nanny-staters set up their case by asking “isn’t it worth banning X if it saves lives?”

    No. It’s not.

    That’s because nobody ever explores precisely what the “IT” in the sentence actually refers to.
    “It” actually means forfeiting freedom and surrendering autonomy to an outside agency, via the detailed proposal being proposed by the so-called expert.

  42. Dr Fred Lenin

    All those repressive regulations are implemented by career politicians to further their own careers ,the only thing these maggots are concerned about is polls and keeping their lucrative non productive careers .
    Abolishing career politics by limiting oliticians to one term in a lifetime would make a great difference. Also forcing ALL public employees on to one year contracts with performance based salaries and self funded super and pensions .
    Might help to clean up the foul swamp they have created .

  43. Tator

    Even as a now retired Road Safety Educator, I find this crap appalling. This is nothing but nanny statism at its worst. Here in SA we currently have a hodgepodge of suburban speed limits due to councils pandering to such crap.
    So far, blanket speed limit reductions have done sweet fuck all to the road toll as the bulk of the reduction of lives saved is through engineering of safer motor vehicles. Modern cars are so much more survivable in motor vehicle collisions than cars built 20 years ago. Even motor vehicles are now being engineered to be safer for pedestrians.
    Without seeing the actual data, my guess would be that most suburban road pedestrian fatalities really are unavoidable at any speed due to the pedestrians lack of care when moving onto the roadway. If children are involved, the tunnel vision that they have until they turn 16 ish can only be offset by education on how to cross the road safely and even that won’t help in situations where the child forgets where they are when chasing a ball etc onto the road.

  44. Fat Tony

    Do we ever get any analyses of all these road safety “initiatives”?

    Does anyone know if the 100 hours of driver training on L plates (Qld) prior to going for the P licence has benefited anyone except the driving schools?

    What has been the safety benefits of all these speed cameras (apart from more fatigue-related deaths due to going too slow on the highways)? Analysis anyone?

  45. Our super woke youngsters of today – educated by super smart knowalls – can easily tell us about our complicated climate and how to fine tune it, they can tell us how to run world wide economies, but the little fcukers can’t cross a road.

    The argument that humans are natural risk takers (as MEM has stated above) isn’t going to wash because humans are not natural risk takers. MEN are natural risk takers. Men encourage their kids to take risks. Women on the other hand are exactly the opposite (not all not all not all, but by and large).

    So what do we think is the end result of having women in positions of authority at home, at school, at local council level, state level and federal level? You slowly become a NANNY STATE. The clue is in the word nanny.
    A nation can become a socialist dictatorship by 2 means, either quickly by force, or slow takeover by re-distributionist nanny staters. Venezuela, Cuba et al are of the former category and are carried out by men. Australia, NZ, Canada et al are of the latter category and are carried out by women.
    In either case, there is no turning back without violence.

  46. Neil

    But, in your anxiety-ridden mind, one should drive everywhere at 30 km/hr, just in case……
    Really sad.

    The question as always is where do you draw the line. We have laws, speed limits etc for good reason. WE have borders between countries. Without laws/borders you have anarchy

  47. Fat Tony

    Neil
    #2942978, posted on February 25, 2019 at 3:05 pm
    The question as always is where do you draw the line. We have laws, speed limits etc for good reason. WE have borders between countries. Without laws/borders you have anarchy

    The less laws the better.

    Personally, I don’t think there should be speed limits anywhere – just the requirement to drive safely. This can be reasonably demonstrated by not having prangs.
    The speed limits we have – the good reason for these appears to be revenue raising and looking like the government is doing “something”.

    If we were allowed to have guns (the means to defend ourselves), our porous borders would not be such a problem. Nor would dog attacks.

  48. Neil

    Nor would dog attacks.

    Pitbulls and rottweilers are fighting dogs and should be banned. Furthermore crazy people tend to own them. I think speed limits and borders are related. If you don’t believe in speed limits you should also not believe in borders between countries

  49. Fat Tony

    Neil
    #2943011, posted on February 25, 2019 at 3:54 pm
    Nor would dog attacks.

    Pitbulls and rottweilers are fighting dogs and should be banned. Furthermore crazy people tend to own them. I think speed limits and borders are related. If you don’t believe in speed limits you should also not believe in borders between countries

    The fuckwittery is strong in this one. Please tell me how speed limits and open borders tie into each other.

    The reason i don’t like speed limits is because they tend to make people go at that speed regardless of circumstances.

    Not wanting speed limits, to me, means going as slow as you have to, not as fast as you can.

    I gather you’ve never driven where there are no open road (at least) speed limits? Very safe and relaxing, going at a safe speed and not constantly watching your speedo and looking out for cops. Much safer.

  50. Fat Tony

    Neil
    #2943011, posted on February 25, 2019 at 3:54 pm
    Nor would dog attacks.

    Pitbulls and rottweilers are fighting dogs and should be banned. Furthermore crazy people tend to own them.

    That generalisation is the only crazy thing i see here.

    I’ve never had a “pitbull”, but our rotties have been wonderful gentle dogs.

    Try and get over your fear of dogs and guns – it’s unseemly for a “man” (best guess).

  51. Neil

    I think speed limits, gun ownership, dog ownership and borders are all related. You either believe in speed limits or you don’t. The question for those who believe in speed limits is where you draw the line. Same goes for borders, gun ownership etc? I do not believe people should be able to own a nuclear device. But rifles and hand guns don’t bother me too much. Speaking of rottweilers

    https://www.smh.com.au/world/oceania/mute-dog-attack-victim-suffers-60-puncture-wounds-to-face-and-head-20180611-p4zkt0.html

    An autistic man from New Zealand’s South Island suffered more than 60 puncture wounds when he was attacked by two Rottweilers while on his daily walk on Sunday.
    Oliver Beaumont, 22, from Winton, near Invercargill, has been discharged from hospital and is now at home recovering.

  52. Fat Tony

    Neil
    #2943048, posted on February 25, 2019 at 4:48 pm
    I think speed limits, gun ownership, dog ownership and borders are all related. You either believe in speed limits or you don’t.

    It’s pretty hard to argue with this level of scholarship…….

    Let’s see: believe in speed limits, believe in global warming, believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster….

    Speed limits encourage people to drive at that posted speed, regardless of conditions (cos it’s “safe”). Not having a speed limit but requiring driving safely is sensible, and is demonstrated by not having prangs (“accidents”).

    Unfortunately (or probably fortunately for me), I cannot see the relationship between owning a dog and open borders and speed limits and gun ownership.

    Perhaps you could show how they all tie in together?

  53. John Bayley

    What has been the safety monetary benefits to governments of all these speed cameras…

    FIFY. That’s about it sum total of it and there has indeed been plenty of it.

    And yes, the fewer rules, the safer and better for everyone it gets.
    But that approach removes the need for ‘planners’ and other assorted bureaucrats. Hence it will not happen.

  54. Neil
    #2943011, posted on February 25, 2019 at 3:54 pm
    Nor would dog attacks.

    Pitbulls and rottweilers are fighting dogs and should be banned.

    Neil, you are clueless. Rottweilers are cattle dogs. Caesar used them to herd beef on the hoof when he took his army across the Rubicon. Having owned several rotties, I know they are wonderful, protective and gentle animals. However, the proviso is that they are properly socialised when they are pups and unfortunately too many dog owners (of any breed) are self-obsessed idiots and fail to do that.

  55. Eyrie

    C.L.
    #2942283, posted on February 24, 2019 at 5:50 pm

    ” Nothing is for free. Public policies have costs and consequences.

    It’s true.
    Freedom comes at a cost and it’s a cost we must always be willing to pay.
    The state could ban football, rock-fishing, sky-diving, SCUBA-diving, mountaineering, bush-walking, water-skiing, rodeos, boxing, skateboarding, fast food and alcohol. Thousands would be saved from death and injury; billions of dollars could be saved in emergency services and hospitalisations. Sometimes nanny-staters set up their case by asking “isn’t it worth banning X if it saves lives?”

    No. It’s not.”

    They won’t outright ban the activities but they will hedge them with licences, permissions, restrictions and fees so that they become unattractive and the organisations representing these activities will applaud as the governments do so as the people running them then get to feel important as they are carrying out an approved government function and being recognised for it.

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