Ian's Blog

Nanny State and Draconic Traffic Laws!!!



After Lewis Hamilton was stopped for doing a Burnout when Leaving the Formula 1 Track My first Impression was How Bloody Stupid the Police are and haven’t they Got anything better to Do??? Then I saw this article which is copied below:


I actually see now I am not the Only one who thinks we have Over Policed Draconian Laws in Our So Called Developed Countries??? That is Why I am Happy to be living in Thailand!!! A Couple of Points worth Noting Here:

1, I can still have a few Beers with Mates and Drive Home without being Arrested and Treated like a Mass Murderer??? This doesn’t Mean Getting Totally Pissed to the Point where it is Dangerous as this I don’t Condone?

2, I can Ride My Motorcycle at just about any Speed I like without Fear of Being Arrested and Possibly having My Bike Confiscated and Sold and having a Fine of Ridiculous Proportions.

In both these and all Cases Common Sense is Required which is Sadly Lacking in Our Over Pampered, Over Policed Poofter Society??? Drive within Your Own Limits, Obviously if You have Trouble Standing it is a Good Idea Not to Drive??? And if You are in the Middle of Town 160 kph might be a Bit Dangerous??? Bear in Mind My Bike probably has the Same if Not Better Performance than Most Super Cars Sold and can  Accelerate and Brake accordingly!!! Fortunately I get to Enjoy this Performance Here in Thailand on the Incredible Roads on the Frequent Trips I take with Good Mates, We get to Enjoy Our Beers at the end of Each Days Ride as well!!!  On the other hand Back in New Zealand My Cousin & Best Mate has a Cracker Holden Commodore SS V8, Fantastic Car capable of Blistering Performance, Unfortunately He can never Use it as the Nanny States Law is 100kmh??? And when we drive to the Local Pub for a Beer His Wife has to Drive Us Home so He doesn’t have to Take out a Mortgage to Pay the Incredible Fine and of Course Risk Losing His Beautiful Car??? Lucky Bugger I am!!!

Cheers Ian.

See the Article below:

Snarl, you’re on nanny camera: a cynical lurk to drive us crazy

April 1, 2010

Don’t Melbourne police have worse people to arrest than the formula one driver Lewis Hamilton? His “crime” was to smoke his tyres while doing a bit of a fishtail as he left the grand prix circuit at Albert Park.

A stiff talking-to might have been in order, or perhaps an offer he couldn’t refuse – to appear in a road safety ad. But detaining him? Impounding his Mercedes C63? Charging him with “improper use of a motor vehicle” by “deliberately losing traction”? What a joke.

Hamilton is one of the safest, most skilled drivers in the world.

If we had more motorists with a fraction of his ability our roads would be safer than they are with all the cameras and rules and signs and speed limits and penalties dreamed up by car-hating bureaucrats and money-hungry politicians.

But Victoria took Hamilton’s harmless Friday night show so seriously, the Roads Minister even called him a “dickhead” on radio.

So now, instead of a handful of onlookers seeing Hamilton’s antics, the whole world knows, vastly increasing the number of copycat admirers, if that’s the concern. You may as well arrest the entire cast of Top Gear. No wonder the homegrown driver Mark Webber came to Hamilton’s defence this week, blasting Australia as a “nanny state”.

”I think we’ve got to read an instruction book when we get out of bed – what we can do and what we can’t do,” he said. ”It’s certainly changed since I left here. It pisses me off coming back here to be honest. It’s a great country but we’ve got to be responsible for our actions and it’s certainly a bloody nanny state when it comes to what we can do.”

NSW is almost as bad as Victoria. Despite all the promises last year from the Roads Minister, Michael Daly, of a new age of commonsense for drivers, it seems the lunatics are back in control of policy.

The latest attempt to hammer NSW’s beleaguered drivers into submission is the introduction in July of mobile speed cameras operated by the Roads and Traffic Authority with the usual ruthless efficiency government instrumentalities reserve solely for revenue raising.

The Premier, Kristina Keneally, doesn’t want us to be the wowser state, when it comes to acting on the sensible concerns of a coalition of health and emergency workers about drunken violence outside all-night pubs. But she’s quite happy for us to be the nanny state with speed cameras. As one newspaper letter-writer, Joan Moss, of Malabar, wrote: ”Rolling out more speed cameras will only raise revenue from ordinary safe-driving mums and dads travelling a few kilometres over the speed limit … The real culprits – car thieves, drunk drivers, sections of irresponsible testosterone charged youths – most of whom have little or nothing to lose, are let loose with a bit of a reprimand from our legal system to do the same thing again and again.”

We are heading into another double-demerit Easter in which driving 11km/h over the speed limit or not wearing a seatbelt will lose you six points a piece. Do both at once and you’ve lost your licence.

Yet, despite this punitive regime, and the growing number of speed cameras, the road toll is getting worse, not better, with a 25 per cent increase in fatalities last year.

The response of authorities is to do more of the same that hasn’t been working. It’s time for new thinking.

Replacing flesh-and-blood police in highly visible patrol cars with cameras has been a flop. The more draconian the speed limits, fines, penalties and the more ubiquitous the cameras, the worse the road toll. The 5 per cent of really dangerous drivers speed with impunity, knowing where the cameras are and adjusting their behaviour accordingly.

As Michael Lane, spokesman for the lobby group the National Motorists Association of Australia, points out, despite the increasingly harsh restrictions on drivers, the road toll has increased, especially in Victoria, the state with the most vigorous camera regime. ”So much for the alleged benefit of speed cameras.”

In Germany, where autobahns have no speed limits, the road toll has dropped significantly over 20 years. In NSW, the RTA keeps pushing its mantra of “speed kills”, and when the road toll is going the wrong way, it just redoubles its efforts, like any good ideologue incapable of change. Yet the people who are the most dangerous on the roads are good at avoiding speed cameras, or working the system to avoid losing demerit points.

In December, the RTA even dropped the speed limit on the Newell Highway from 110km/h in places to 100km/h, prompting the NRMA’s regional director, Graham Blight, to claim it was part of a hidden agenda to drop the limit across NSW to 90km/h. Driving so slowly would mean you would spend more time driving to your destination, thus increasing the likelihood of crashes caused by fatigue, not to mention boredom and inattention when you are forced to travel at a speed below comfort level.

Police have been largely cut out of traffic enforcement by technology and have lost any discretion to apply the sort of commonsense which makes our roads safe – the sort of discretion which would have given Lewis Hamilton a slap on the wrist rather than create an international incident.

In Queensland, the Police Union has openly scoffed at the latest rollout of speed cameras, saying: ”There has been a big increase in the money collected by speed cameras in recent years, but there has been little discernible positive impact on the road toll. It’s time the focus moved more towards increasing traffic enforcement by officers … who are capable of detecting drink-driving, unlicensed or dangerous driving and unroadworthy vehicles.”

Amen to that.

Of course, as we get into our cars this Easter we need to take road safety seriously, especially on slippery roads. But driving safely means being competent behind the wheel, and paying attention to the road conditions, not making the speedometer your priority.


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