Let me be clear from the outset:
We as a country need a Driving School that offers proactive Driver Education, which is unified across all states, and it needs to be developed as a long term initiative.
The Victorian government alone racks up more than 100 million dollars per year in traffic infringements, and they are currently investing 17.1 million dollars into purchasing the newest and best traffic cameras that money can buy.
What does this say about our governments?
They are as addicted to speeding fine revenue as a junkie is to heroin.
In a recent interview, it was revealed that the Victorian Government are currently undertaking a world-wide search to find the best technology available.
The Police minister, Mr Kim Wells was quoted as saying that, “Technology in this area is advancing rapidly and we will explore all options to make Victoria’s road safety camera network as strong as it can be.” More than 20,000 have sped past the state’s front-facing traffic cameras in the past four years.
Mr Wells said expanding the state’s speed camera system was a key part of Victoria’s 10-year Road Safety Strategy. However, Speed is Not The Problem And Cameras Are Not The Solution!
Speed camera commissioner Gordon Lewis – who first highlighted the problem of lack of a frontal recognition allowing motorcyclists to escape speeding fines – welcomed the promised supercams.
Not once was there any mention of an education based program that would be introduced as a long term plan to curbing the problem.
This is clearly the governments’ biggest agenda.
God forbid that they miss out on the revenue from 20,000 drivers. After all; this equates to an additional 3.5 million dollars. Supercams, which catch motorists across eight lanes as they speed towards and away from the camera, are already in use outside Australia. Once installed, these will eliminate this problem.
Maybe so but it will have zero effects on the driving habits of motorists.
What is needed is EDUCATION.
Recently, Neil Mitchell of 3AW fame weighed into the argument when he spoke to the assistant police commissioner about a newly erected speed camera in St Kilda that had nabbed 2000 drivers in a 27 day period.
According to the assistant commissioner, the camera was installed due to 5 pedestrians being killed over the past five years in this location.
So why then is the motorist being penalized when clearly it’s the drunken and moronic behaviour of this generation that are causing the issue? Maybe the government should erect barriers along Fitzroy Street so that these idiots have no other choice than to cross at the lights for their safety.
Since the invention of the mobile phone, we as a society have become predictably zombie like in our behaviours. We are an age of people that are being led like lambs to the slaughter house.
We are a Throw Away society that have a NOW culture.
If it’s broken we, throw it away and if we want something we have to have it now. Everyone has become impatient and selfish and unfortunately this is a recipe for disaster on the roads.
If we look at the Road Fatality figures over the past ten years, it is clear to see that it is in a downward trend, which is great. But compare this with the amount of speed cameras in operation and the revenue raised and you will see the opposite. Factor in the actual amount of crashes on the roads per 100,000 cars, and you will notice that there are now more people and more cars on the road having more accidents at a slower speed. Therefore, nothing has changed by way of our perception or skill levels over the past ten years.
Road trauma costs this country 27 Billion dollars a year and the only way the government can continue to foot this bill is to keep increasing the fines and come up with additional taxes.
When it comes to driving though, especially teen driving, speed is the enemy, combined with the lack of knowledge and experience.
The number on the speedometer can mean the difference between mobility and paralysis, freedom and prison, and yes, between life and death. It is our job, then, to empower them to make smart choices and teach them the nuances of determining a safe speed in all conditions.
This cannot be done in a constructive and systemized way without a proactive educational program that is built around accountability.
There is no one speed that is lethal. Someone can be driving two miles below the speed limit, and it still may not be safe for the conditions. Speeding means driving too fast for conditions, Period. Conditions could include traffic, the weather, sleep deprivation or a thousand other external factors, but it also pertains to the driver’s own ability, which has everything to do with experience and knowledge.
Speeding and inexperience is a lethal combination, but through a multifaceted approach that includes educating teens and parents alike, we can save lives over the long term.