Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Sydney, Australia
As for the pics... It was a feel-good photo opportunity going begging. I'll take a couple of current ones this arvo.
Worth noting some overseas experiences: Various US States budgeted on increases in the camera revenue, but people began to slow down. As the cameras were operated by companies like Lockheed US on a profit-share basis, the sh!t hit the fan when their income dropped; they sued for contract renegotiation; the cities and towns lowered the speed limits in response - more fines.
Similar problems have been reported there with red-light cameras - people obeying the signals more. I have heard of successful challenges to red-light fines in the US, based on Constitutional rights infringement. Unfortunately, our Constitution is not so fair to us.
The next generation of cameras is pretty scary. Fully digital red light cameras with real-time feed to a database; they also sense speed if someone runs the orange. (Needless to say, they have interference detection.) Even more chance of getting nicked. Combine that with the "averaging" methods for prosecution of speeding and you have a good chance at being "taxed" heavily.
Advocacy groups that succeed in the interim will only spur on the introduction of more sophisticated methods of fining. The Life of Brian is still a salutary lesson in small-time politics. The last political play that really succeeded (to my memory) was the "Save the Franklin" campaign that kicked out Mal Fraser's Liberals. Even though, now, are we better for it?
My prediction for the future? More people will lose their licences, but fines for unlicensed driving will be levied more often, as opposed to jailing. Fining makes money, jailing costs. Institutions are already softening us up to the idea of a lifetime in debt, and the Governments will be happy to tag along.