Monday, 21 April 2014

"Speed cameras save lives"

or so the government would have us believe. Apparently our state's speed cameras managed to earn their maintenance this last year - all $13 million worth. In a state of just over a million people that's not a bad sum.
The other day I was waiting to cross a major road - at the correct point for pedal power - when I noticed something flash. Then I noticed that, since my last pedal along the route, they had installed a tall grey pole with a camera on top. Right.
I have no doubt that the location is designed to collect revenue. Indeed the camera will probably pay for itself within twelve months.
I have never been caught for speeding. It is rather difficult to speed on a tricycle. I know someone who was pulled over on his bicycle and told that he was exceeding the speed limit. He was not fined just "advised" that he was actually going rather quickly. He was going downhill at the time and was merely trying to keep up with the traffic. Most of the cars must have been speeding.
I have no problem with fining those who speed. If you don't exceed the speed limit you won't get fined so it is a sort of voluntary tax if you will.
But people will continue to fill the government coffers - because they speed. Some will fill those coffers more than once. Indeed I know someone several streets from here who has just had his third notice in twelve months. He is furious but it has not changed his driving style. His wife if not sympathetic. She told me, "When he loses enough points to lose his licence I am not going to drive him to work. He can catch the train." Personally I think he should start catching the train now. His style is such he should not be behind the wheel of a car - ever.
The revenue from speed cameras continues to rise and rise. There are demands to raise the speed limit. Those caught often say they are unaware they are speeding, that the limit is too low for modern cars. I watch people hurtling down the major roads as if they were being chased by demons. They need to get somewhere - and they need to do it fast. They need to be there - now. Then they have to brake and wait at the traffic lights or a pedestrian crossing - if they have not run the red lights. They forget that two cars colliding at the 60km speed limit have a combined impact of 120km - and the higher the speed the higher the impact.
Those who speed will often tell you "But I'm a good driver..." and "It's other people who don't know how to drive..." or "People who don't keep up with the traffic flow are the problem..." - even when other people are doing the right thing and, although not keeping up with the traffic flow are sitting on the speed limit.
I don't know if speed cameras save lives but I wish some of the revenue went towards training drivers who speed - but perhaps nothing will stop them except an accident.

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