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Old 04-29-2003, 20:27   #1 (permalink)
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Is this a good idea?

Over the last couple of days now, everytime I read the morning paper I see a story on how the WA Government is going to introduce some new law to dramatically decrease WA's road toll, or how they are going to target this demograph of driver etc, without pointing out the real reason people have accidents on our roads - inexperience.

This type of propaganda has spurred me into action which I'll explained later, but first here are some strategies the WA brain trust (Government) has introduced over the last 1-2 years:

1. 50km/h speed limits in built up areas - a drop from 60km/h.

2. Banning the use of mobile phones while driving.

3. Increase of speed cameras (Multanovas).

4. Decrease the tolerance of speed in speeding fines - a drop from 10km/h over to about 5km/h.

5. Outlawing commercials on TV that depict dangerous driving.

6. The introduction of double demerits on long weekends.

After all this, the 10 day period between Good Friday and last Sunday (27th of April), WA had the highest road toll in the country with 8 deaths (only one of those was a P plater). The Police Minister then comes out and says "A number (read: all) of the fatalities didn't result from double demerit style incidents and, in fact, the evidence indicates that it (the strategy) does slow people down". The Government introduced this strategy too decrease the road toll, when it didn't work they turn it around and say "but it slowed people down", which is a good thing? 8 people still died on our roads, what caused them? the one thing our government doesn't want to admit to? inexperience.
So now the government is thinking of introducing higher penalties for speeding fines, and a crack down on young drivers

What is my idea you ask? because I'm so disgusted in the way the Government blames everything on speed (it's been building up for over 5 years now, but the last few days has sent me over the edge), I'm thinking of gathering some friends together that are like minded and form some kind of committee that will not only stand up for the general motoring public, but also car enthusiasts. By car enthusiasts, I mean people that drive their modified cars normally on our roads and respect the road rules, not morons that think it's cool to do 100km/h in a 60 zone while weaving in and out of traffic in their fully sik VL 6 cyl commodores, or bake a tyre as they're leaving Mcdonalds

There's nothing like this over here, but there's a Pedestrian council here that holds some strong power when it comes to not only introducing laws, but conceiving them aswell - one of their brainstorms conceived the banning of bull bars (hasn't been introduced yet). As you can guess, according to them, any modified car is capable of killing millions of innocent pedestrians, so they are all for the introduction of anti-hoon laws, which no one can argue are aimed directly at modified car owners.

You could guarantee this council would have the total support of 99% of car clubs in WA, and with backing and support like that, would hold alot of muscle in the introduction of any new laws (or changing of old ones) that discriminate again the motoring public.

I know this would be the first in Australia, and wouldn't get much help from other groups as they would probably look at us as hoons by trying introduce higher speed limits in the country (combat fatigue), but I think it's worth a shot. I would be looking for people that would be good public speakers, present themselves well and can write a well constructed letter or report. If this took off, people from other states could follow, bouncing ideas and information off each state.

I've also been slowly gathering info on such things as speed related deaths in other countries over the years, so I'm not going into this without any info or stats.

So what do you guys think? is it a good idea or not? If it works, the motoring public, car clubs and car enthusiasts would have an avenue to have their say against such laws as the anti-hoon laws, or the introduction of higher speeding fines, plus we could show the public the real truth behind speed, or the real reason our road tolls are so high, that way maybe, just maybe we could get the Government to introduce such things as driver training - I did say maybe.

Your thoughts.......
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Old 04-29-2003, 20:49   #2 (permalink)
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What can I say... but... Welcome to the Victorian Road laws....
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Old 04-29-2003, 20:51   #3 (permalink)
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The Government isn't really interested in decreasing the road toll.

They are more interested in making out they are while collecting revenue through speed cameras.

Don't get me wrong some of those initiatives listed are good ones (ie mobile phones), however when their main initiative is the use of speed cameras in areas of high traffic volume as opposed to dangerous areas (blackspots, pedestrian crossings) you can see where their intentions are.

If they were serious and accountable they would behave differently - until then the road toll is on thier hands.

I.E. If what they are doing is not decreasing the toll are they policing the wrong issues??????????????????????
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Old 04-29-2003, 21:13   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Is this a good idea?

Quote:
Originally posted by skip
...in their fully sik VL 6 cyl commodores...
Hey I resent that *looks at signature*
nar j/k

Sounds like a good idea in theory, but I dont think you'll sucseed when the police are involved, especialy when dealing with motorists. :(

This is like the victorian rules, that are slowly leeching into other states, like 50km/h in SA now.
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Old 04-29-2003, 22:08   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bluey
The Government isn't really interested in decreasing the road toll.

They are more interested in making out they are while collecting revenue through speed cameras.
that's exactly what they are doing, so shouldn't someone stand up for the motoring public and point this out to them? If more people new the truth, the bigger the backlash will be towards speed cameras and speed traps, just look at what's happening in the other direction, the Government is pushing the "speed kills" message and the public believe it.

Quote:
Originally posted by Bluey
Don't get me wrong some of those initiatives listed are good ones (ie mobile phones)
But this law was only introduced to create more revenue, you are still legally allowed to adjust your radio while driving, talk to mates in the car, turn around and smack the kids in the back seat or look for a new CD, but the mobile phone was the only one singled out. OK I'm not saying it's a stupid law, but it was only intruduced because of the "lowest common denominator" effect, the idiots that can't drive while doing other things. These are also the same people that eat breakfast or do their makeup while in their car driving to work every morning. The introduction of this law didn't stop people using their phones, it just made more money for each state.

Quote:
Originally posted by Bluey
however when their main initiative is the use of speed cameras in areas of high traffic volume as opposed to dangerous areas (blackspots, pedestrian crossings) you can see where their intentions are.
Again the public is being misinformed, the Government tells us one thing (introducing speed cameras to be used in blackspots), but does another (uses them on safe, straight roads with speed limits well under what they are designed for). Even using dangerous areas as an example, the Government could fix these so speed cameras would become obsolete.

Blackspots - why doesn't the Government fix these parts of roads instead of placing speed cameras there? if the road is off camber fix it, if people run off the road at one particular point and hit trees, remove the trees.

pedestrian crossings - put them under the road, or over the road, set it up so people can't cross at the road, no need for cameras then.

Quote:
Originally posted by Bluey
I.E. If what they are doing is not decreasing the toll are they policing the wrong issues??????????????????????
Yes they are, but they would never admit to it because it brings in so much revenue, hence the reason for a committee to point it out to the public, as it is, the public believes the Government because "they would never lie to us"!!

Sorry I picked your post, I just wanted to answer your points
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Old 04-29-2003, 22:41   #6 (permalink)
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What's wrong with these changes?

1. 50km/h speed limits in built up areas - a drop from 60km/h.

Studies in Victoria have shown a decrease in deaths since the introduction of this law, it only makes common sense, ie, chances of killing somebody if hitting them at 50 compared to 60. I have no problem driving 10km/h slower in back streets and getting to my destination 30 seconds later.


2. Banning the use of mobile phones while driving.

As somebody who has used a mobile while driving, I know how distracting it can be. Put your handsfree on before you start the car and you should be fine? When I see people swerving everywhere and chatting on their phones, I wish I was a cop everytime so I could pull them over and see what excuse they have. And if somebody was to seriously argue that it in no way affects your driving and concentration, I would have to doubt their sanity. Again, world wide studies done on this subject prove it has negative effects.


3. The introduction of double demerits on long weekends.

Long weekends are usually times of congestion on highways/country roads. Again, if this is going to make people think twice about speeding, then why should it not be done. Have you ever known anybody, a family etc that has gone on holiday and never returned because of a car accident that could have been related to speed? I'm sure there a plenty of people affected out there that would love to tell how their lives are now, after losing loved ones. Or people that are now disabled?


Not that I don't agree with some of your points, but when people just whinge because they are either bitter about getting caught or don't like the government of the day(not implying this with you) you're hardly getting anywhere are you? I think if everybody looked at the death toll and it's decline in the last 20-30 years(apart from technological advances), ask yourself why this has come about and do your bit to lower it more, DON'T SPEED! I don't agree with the heavy camera presence that has come about in recent years but I think there should be an educational campaign about the time people will save when they go that bit faster. That 10-15km/h extra will save you minimal time depending on your trip, but it is hardly worth risking your life or the life of others is it?
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Old 04-30-2003, 01:31   #7 (permalink)
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1. In WA there was an increase of 17 pedestrian deaths at 50km/h within the first year of this law coming in. A human body can only withstand a hit from a car at very low speeds, if I remember correctly, about 20km/h so this law does nothing to argue this point. The reason it was introduced into WA was so cars can stop in time IF a pedestrian does run out in front of you, but this is not taking into consideration all the factors like: weight of the car, brakes, tyres, reaction time, field of view, traffic, road conditions etc.

2. I didn't say this was a stupid law, but it was only introduced into WA about a year ago, years after the Eastern States. To introduce this law to reduce road deaths? what about the REAL reasons here? incompetence, inexperience and uneducation. Why does our Government continually introduce knee jerk reactions to our raising road toll, when they must know the real reason (if we all do, their advisors must know).

3. Most of our road deaths are in the country, and as the Government won't admit it, most would be from fatigue. Having driven from Perth to Victoria heaps of times (and even as far up as Qld in my Walkinshaw) I know first hand what fatigue is. They say "rest every 2 hours", fatigue can set in way before 2 hours is up, and it's all because the cars we drive today are whisper quiet at 110km/h, no road noise and hardly any car or engine noise. This combined with roads that are dead flat for miles and nothing to look at sends people to sleep. The way I got over fatigue was to drive faster, usually sitting on 130km/h. I found I was very alert and was aware of my surroundings at all times, much safer than drowsy, bored and not paying attention.
I saw alot of accidents in my time because people just fell asleep at the wheel, and when asked how long they had been driving (as I was usually the car behind them, therefore stopping to help out), they usually answer within the 1-2 hour range.
Italy has just increased their country speed limit to 150km/h to keep drivers alert and combat fatigue, which was a major contibutor to their road toll, why doesn't our Government use initiation like this? because if they did, it would throw years of brain washing the public into believing speed kills out the window.

To finish up, I haven't had a speeding fine in over 5 years (I was driving back through a small town in NSW), and I think our State Premier is a very good one, it's just the Police Commissioner and her goonies I don't like. I'm just sick of all these band aid solutions to a problem that will not go away, and our Government will not do anything to fix except collect revenue.

The death toll in WA over the last 10 years (the best I could find) has dropped 251 (1974 deaths in 1992 to 1723 last year). I would say that technical advances in car safety systems would take up a large amount of those, like the introduction of airbags, ABS, IRS, bigger brakes, safety cells, better seatbelt technology, better tyres etc.
With that in mind, have all these simplistic measures introduced to reduce our road toll worked?

The country is the worst, we are driving on roads that are dual lane, have 50-100 metres distance between the direction of traffic, and are designed to be traveled on at speeds of 160+km/h, why are we traveling on them at 110km/h? this should be lifted, it would reduce fatigue, and therefore reduce our country road tolls. Why is there a difference in country speed limits between states? WA it's 110km/h, Victoria it's 100km/h and NT it's unlimited. Are the best roads in Australia in the top end? and are the roads in Victoria so bad that they can only be traveled on at 100km/h? I think not.

One last point, I'm not saying people should be allowed to do 100km/h in 60 zones and not get done, but there should be a 10% (at best) or 10km/h tolerance on speeding fines, this lets people do what they are suppose to do, and that is concentrate on the road ahead, not the speedo.
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Old 04-30-2003, 04:00   #8 (permalink)
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