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Block Their Shot

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by Turd Ferguson, Jan 4, 2015.

  1. VS 5.0

    VS 5.0 Well-Known Member

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    Timely article with some interesting stats on WA.

    Police hope letters to hoons will reduce road deaths

    Grennan, given you live in Glen Waverley, I expect you would be familiar with the Waverley Road hill heading from the Police Academy towards Jells Park. I grew up in the area as a kid and regularly saw police cars parked in people's driveways using the old school amphometer to catch speeders at the bottom of that hill. Their tricks are nothing new.

    FWIW, I am not defending how the authorities manage road safety. My point is that everyone has a choice on whether or not they contribute to the treasury.
     
  2. immortality

    immortality Can't live without smoky bacon! Staff Member

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    I always thought you Aussies had draconian road rules but it seems that when it comes to speed cameras we now take the cake :(
     
  3. Calaber

    Calaber Nil Bastardo Carborundum

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    Australian politicians have always treated the motorist as milk-cows because it was "easy money" through fines, and they could appear to be doing something about the road toll while actually doing very little, (like building expensive new safer roads). There isn't a day that you don't come across some advertising about speeding, yet there are plenty of other offences that can be just as potentially deadly, which don't receive the same level of attention.

    I think it's because speeding offences are so easy to detect without actually having to involve police, therefore, speed enforcement is particularly cost effective for governments. There are cameras which detect you disobeying traffic lights, and even cameras that detect you speeding up to beat the red lights at some intersections, in NSW at least.

    A few years ago, I think it was an episode of Top Gear where the crew visited Australia to drive some new car interstate. Jeremy Clarkson (I think) commented on the incredible frequency of speed warnings and speed limit signs that occurred along the route and said that Australians appeared to have an obsession with speeding.


    Well, not quite, Jeremy. Not all Australians - just their politicians.
     
  4. NU13

    NU13 Well-Known Member

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    SENSE - The Myth of 'Speed Kills' and the Dangers of Slow Driving...

    About halfway down the page this group is aserting that a lower as well as upper limit for speed on a certain road reduces accidents.

    And an interesting read out of the UK; http://www.roadsafetygb.org.uk/news/1730.html
     
  5. immortality

    immortality Can't live without smoky bacon! Staff Member

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    Yeah, when we first got introduced to speed cameras here in NZ they were only used in "speed camera zones" which were based on statistical analysis of accidents or more commonly known as "black spots" They even trialled hidden speed cameras but it was discovered that if the speed camera isn't visible to the motorist then it doesn't actually slow any body down and the hidden camera trail was found to be a failure at reducing speed and the idea was dropped.

    A few years later they changed the operation of speed cameras to "Any time, Any where" and that is what we have now, semi-hidden cameras with the lessons learnt in yesteryear (hidden speed camera trials) long forgotten.

    The article I linked in another thread has the statistical evidence gathered by the AA that average speeds are down, the number of tickets were coming down which when you think about it makes sense (unfortunately that also means revenue is down) and magically the lower speed tolerance public holidays appeared. In the last 12 months (the first full year of the reduced tolerance weekends/holidays periods which have slowly been extended each time) the number of tickets are suddenly back up again and in a big way.

    If average speeds are down then so should be the number of tickets issued and the cops should be happy and congratulate the public for this but instead we get reduced tolerances, more fines and more adverts about "speeding kills". So as you say, we too, the NZ driver are just a cash cow for the NZ government. Sadly, with a 15% jump in the number of deaths on our roads in the last 12 months it seems abundantly clear that speed is no longer the number 1 factor in road deaths in NZ. Not surprisingly the deathly silence from the police says enough. Hopefully they will start to see the pavement from the road and start concentrating on something other than speeding to reduce the road toll here in NZ (not likely though with the heavy investment in the new digital speed cameras they just started rolling out here in NZ late last year).

    Just to reinforce the revenue argument, there has been a large push in NZ to have the blood alcohol limit lowered here in NZ as it was one of the highest in the western world (400mg/litre of breath) and with great support from the public too. Late last year the government finally bowed to public pressure and the limit was reduced from 400mg to 250mg/litre of breath however the penalty for the reduced limit is only a fine and 50 demerit points (we have a 100 point system in NZ). So instead of loosing your license and what ever other penalties the courts may throw at you you get a $200 fine and 50 points (up to the old limit). How serious are we really about reducing drink driving (and by virtue the number of deaths) on our roads?
     
  6. Rajesh Koothrappali

    Rajesh Koothrappali Banned

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    Unless I have to brake, I use cruise control. Accelerate to about 40km/hr and press/twist the resume button.

    All we need now is the tech I've seen in some Mercedes to filter down. With it's radar cruise control it will drive in traffic and stop, start, slow down, speed up depending on the traffic around it and never exceed the speed you've set. I just do that manually with the resume button and my break/clutch pedals. You obviously are still in full control at intersections etc.

    But there is no need to be constantly watching your speedo, nor is there ever a reason to speed if you're focused on the task at hand - i.e. driving.
     
  7. NU13

    NU13 Well-Known Member

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    I have seen on TV the guy that runs the dog and lemon guide, Clive Mathew-Wilson ( New Zealand based website on safe and unsafe cars on our roads) saying that something like 80% of accidents happen at or under the speed limit but the police ignore this because to police it would require more resources than they can get out of it with ticketing.
     
  8. NU13

    NU13 Well-Known Member

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    I see some such as Ron Mark of NZ First are saying that the 1km tolerance over the break period has been an abject failure by the police. I have heard others (i wont name them because i can't backup as fact what they are saying) claim that the 1km tolerance trumpeted by police over the break period in New Zealand has lead to the record death toll over the festive break because people have been watching their speedos like hawks and not paying attention to what is happening on the road.
     
  9. immortality

    immortality Can't live without smoky bacon! Staff Member

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    That all sounds good until you realise that the same idiot said the reason for the higher road toll this holiday period was because of the cheap petrol.

    Sadly it does seem that policing is more about the cost Vs return rather then the result been the primary influence. Speed camera = low operating cost for a very high return.
     
  10. immortality

    immortality Can't live without smoky bacon! Staff Member

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    Yeah, it seems a public backlash is starting and it's been led by Ron Mark, one of the more reasonable politicians in our parliament I think.

    The opinion piece I linked earlier in the thread is running at about 99% against this initiative and the comments are most interesting to read...
     
  11. immortality

    immortality Can't live without smoky bacon! Staff Member

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    I didn't think Holden had a cruise control option on manual vehicles?
     
  12. iChris

    iChris New Member

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    Not draconian, just not backwards ;)

    Obviously rules vary from state to state, with Victoria and NSW being considered the backwards nanny states by every other state besides themselves.
     
  13. TwoHeads

    TwoHeads New Member

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    They do. I have a manual with cruise control, not aftermarket either.
     
  14. NU13

    NU13 Well-Known Member

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    I can understand the point Mathew-Wilson was trying to get over to the public with the cheaper fuel meaning more people were/are taking to the roads. However it was ill informed to voice. That said that doesn't preclude Mathew-Wilson from making perfect sense when he points out the subjective nature of road policing in New Zealand and only targeting those areas that can be levied a tarif.
     
  15. Jesterarts

    Jesterarts Your freedom ends where mine begins

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    Everything in the world is ultimately going to be a cost vs return equation.

    Speed cameras are great because they are economical both from a financial and resource usage perspective.

    Just as an example, pretty much every Sunday at around 4pm a unmarked police car sits in the driveway of my wifes parents place and catches speeders along Frankston Flinders road.

    Usually I am working on the boat or outside so I can hear it take off. He gets a work out in that spot. Barely managed to get back into position before he is off again.

    Having him there means that:

    1. There is a cop using fuel to catch speeders
    2. He will miss 2/3 speeders because once he catches someone, there will be 2 or so other vehicles that speed past
    3. He is tied up performing a role that DOESN'T require a judgement call instead of doing something that actually requires judgement like someone driving in the right lane, following too close, etc.

    If they popped a camera in that same spot it would generate more tickets and allow the cop car to be off doing something else.

    The other thing to consider about speed camera's is that they are also a long term strategy. If there is someone who consistently speeds, they will eventually be taken off the road and thus the roads will be safer.

    So while a few people who are 'innocent' get nabbed once or twice due to momentary lapse of concentration, though I call BS on this based on my experience and driving record, the ultimate penalty will only be applied to those to demonstrate a regular disregard for the road laws.

    I'm weird about the whole 'speeding' topic.

    I believe that the speed limits on freeways in Australia are ludacris, but I also feel they are needed given how many complete morons we have on our roads.

    I feel that the message of 'speed kills' is a load of BS focusing on it so heavily is wrong, but at the same time I believe that ultimately the 'speeding' net does catch dangerous drivers and take them off the road so I am willing to live with it.

    I also believe that there is way too much focus on beating people with a stick when they do something wrong, when we should focus on better driver education and testing. I feel that while the first biggest killer on our roads is stupidity, the second biggest is ignorance and uneducated drivers.
     
  16. Jesterarts

    Jesterarts Your freedom ends where mine begins

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    Not sure I have read this correctly, but are you suggesting that manual Holdens don't have cruise control?

    If so, my old clubby, my older VX and my wifes old cruze would all disagree.
     
  17. immortality

    immortality Can't live without smoky bacon! Staff Member

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    I actually agree with a lot you have said, that said, enforcing a 1km/h tolerance seems to suggest that revenue is the primary factor when previously they only ticketed the fastest 10% (based on average speed studies of the area) which works on the basis of targeting the more dangerous speedsters. Unfortunately the NZ government seems to have less morals when it comes to speed camera placement because they are placed in locations where it is natural for a car to accelerate i.e on a down hill section of road and they are quiet sneaky about it, the camera is never at the bottom of the hill because by then most people have realised they have picked up to much speed and have braked the vehicle back down to the posted limit. No, the camera is placed about half way down the hill, a good point where the vehicle will most likely have picked up a little speed but not enough for the driver to have to suddenly brake hard to control it.

    I agree with the education comment as well, but don't see it coming to fruition any time soon either :(

    It's good to know things have changed.
     
  18. Jesterarts

    Jesterarts Your freedom ends where mine begins

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    I agree that enforcing a 1kmph tolerance is a bit harsh, but I have two points in regards to that:

    1. You have to draw the line somewhere. If tomorrow they reduced all the speed limits by 4kmph and made the tolerance 5kmph, would you be more happy with that?
    2. In NZ i am assuming it's 1kmph as you stated and in Vic is 3kmph. So this seems harsh. However, given that all modern cars have a built in tolerance of about 4kmph, technically you have to be driving at a speedo indicated speed of 5kmph over the limit in NZ and a speedo indicated speed of about 7kmph over the Vic speed limit to get done.

    I've compared GPS to speedo in the wifes old cruze, her new peugeot, my x-trail, my old clubby and my sister in laws Mazda and all seem to read about 4kmph higher than your actual speed.

    While this is probably an odd way to look at it, since it's based on the fact that speedo readings are slightly inaccurate, it does mean that the average drive who is traveling along a road that is 100kmph and has their speedo needle bang on 100kmph, they are very safe from accidentally creeping up beyond the limit.

    And for those who choose to sit on a higher speedo indicated speed knowing it's closer to the actual speed limit but also eating up the buffer between the indicated speed and the real speed point where they get flashed, less that is their choice.

    Hope that comment made sense. I think it did, though my way of looking at it may challenge people.
     
  19. immortality

    immortality Can't live without smoky bacon! Staff Member

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    Yep, I know about the deviation in factory calibrated speedo's, I too think ours in the VX is about 4km/h faster than actual.

    The thing is, when you have driven at 55km/h indicated for many years which would be completely safe now you may get a ticket. You also have people who don't understand this speedo calibration variance and drive 45km/h indicated so are actually closer to 40km/h.

    Ultimately the tolerance isn't the huge issue, it's how the cameras are been used. You won't find one at an accident hot spot, you'll find it where it gets the most revenue and this is the issue that was raised by the AA here in NZ and this is what gets my goat. If the police claim these are to reduce speeding accidents and save lives than at least place the cameras where the bloody accidents occur mostly and not hidden on the side of the motorway half way down the hill.

    The other bug bear is the fact that the reduced tolerance holiday periods have been 4km/h tolerances for the past 1.5 years, normally for stat days or long weekends then suddenly just before December that tolerance was dropped to 1km/h and for the entire months of December and January. So driving to the standards that are acceptable for 10 months of the year will now get you ticketed. No fore warning, no driver education etc. If this was a genuine campaign to further reduce speeds there would have been an education campaign long before a the actual now tolerances were enforced.
     
  20. TwoHeads

    TwoHeads New Member

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    I'm sorry, but I don't seem to understand why there needs to be a driver education campaign or forewarning to let you know that the speed limit is the same!!

    I do agree though, that speed cameras would be better placed in "black spots", instead of "revenue spots" if the authorities were genuine about the "speed kills" message.

    Me however, I choose not to contribute to the revenue anymore (I was caught twice at the same place near Berry in NSW).

    Remember, if you do get pulled over and the police say you were doing over 50 in a 50 zone, and you say "I was only going 55 by my speedo" then that is an admission of guilt.
     

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