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Old 04-16-2002, 21:58   #1 (permalink)
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I was wrong - the 50k limit IS saving lives

That's what our esteemed Transport Minister is spewing all over the press today, using Monash Uni research so fortuitously released just a few days after the Opposition Leader started kicking public goals against the Government on the speed limit issue.

The Govt says there's a 13% reduction in deaths and serious injuries in 50k streets, because of the new limits. Really? So how do they explain the average 7% reduction in each of the three years before the limit was introduced? A further 6% in five months of one year is within a statistically insignificant variation range that may have nothing to do with the change, especially when the established trend was already downwards.

The 13% is based on the first 5 months of operation. Statistically insignificant. Which, funnily enough, is exactly what the Govt and TAC etc said earlier this year when the road toll was rising and the 50k limit was under challenge - they'd need a few years before they could tell if it was having any effect. Now five months is good enough. Very selective about face, isn't it?

Police say that 11% of people exceed the limit in 50k areas, but only 2.4% elsewhere. Anyone want to open the betting on how long it'll be before they say they need more speed cameras in (busy = productive = profitable) 50k areas?

Why not put them in the other areas where the vast bulk of the prangs occur and where the speeds are higher?

How come speed is such a big issue if only 2.4% of people in non-50k areas exceed the limit? Of course, if you put a camera on a high volume road, that 2.4% = lots of car = lots of fines.

Why don't they have seat belt cameras, given that 20% - yes, twenty bloody per cent or 1 in 5 - deaths and injuries involves not wearing a seat belt? Doesn't matter whether you're doing 50 or 100k if you're not wearing a seat belt. If they're really serious about doing everything to reduce the road toll, why not bring in really stiff penalties for not wearing seat belts? Anybody not wearing one is bound to be hurt in a prang, where 3 or 6k over the limit means bugger all in the real world if you're wearing a belt. How serious are they about doing anything here?

About 8% of fatalities involve an unlicensed driver. Experience shows that most of them will be people with a history of lawbreaking and a general disregard for others. Why not try to get them off the road? I've been pulled up at random breath tests a fair few times and never once asked to produce a licence. How serious are they about attacking the unlicensed driver problem?

Why are they so wound up about urban areas? 58% of drivers and passengers are killed in rural areas, but only 31% of vehicle travel occurs there. So there's maybe 17% they're not doing anything about. Sorry, yes they are. Drop from 100 to 95 and you'll survive a head-on with a tree, no wuckin' furries, mate, particularly if you're not wearing a seat belt, as you'll be gently ejected through a toughened glass windscreen, carefully avoiding any bodily contact with anything hard, and then lightly deposited on the dewy grass in the misty morning light to dance with the fvcking fairies who make this bullshit up.

Seatbelts at 20%, unlicensed at 8% and rural at maybe 17% adds up to a nice, neat roughly 45% of the road toll. So what do they do? Go gung fvcking ho after the 2.4% of drivers doing a few k's over the limit in urban areas, and ignore close to half of the road toll they could easily do something about. They are NOT, repeat NOT, serious about the road toll, only about road toll measures that are easily implemented at the minimum cost to government. All the propaganda goes in that direction and they do nothing about the stuff that is harder to enforce.

All they have done is cause confusion and contribute sweet FA to road safety, as amply illustrated by the silly, smug, hoity toity female journo on radio last night with the Transport Minister carrying on about how some nasty man had been following her in a 40k zone for some distance between a couple of schools and flashing his lights and then she'd slowed down for the next red light and he'd gone around her and crashed the red light and hit another car. This stupid moll said it was a 40k zone because school crossing flags were out. They didn't come back to her for further comment after the Transport Minister was forced to admit that school flags out doesn't reduce the limit. So, if this silly bitch hadn't been wrong and irritating somebody who probably shouldn't have been on the road either, the poor bastard who got hit wouldn't have been a victim of the confusion the Govt creates and the fools they allow on our roads.

Road safety is bullshit! Get a big, fast car with no plates and go like buggery - you won't do any more damage than the other dickheads the "road safety" experts ignore, and you might have some fun while you're doing it.
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Old 04-16-2002, 22:14   #2 (permalink)
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I gonna vote this for best post ever.

And I agree will almost every word, although I want a speed camera in the 50k zone outside the school next to my place.
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Old 04-16-2002, 22:18   #3 (permalink)
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Mate you have refined the whole issue down to a single post. Top work!!

Now to go and somehow graffiti this entire post onto parliament house.. :s6:

Something is going to give, on this issue. We are a generally lazy country, so it'll take some doing to shake us into action, but I think in terms of this issue, the time is getting close. Now, who wants to step up to the plate and form a political party??
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Old 04-16-2002, 22:29   #4 (permalink)
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I'll join ya Sparkles.. PAPB.. People Against Political Bullshyte.. We could tackle just about everything Govts are on about!

Excellent post too EA S.. Bloody well said
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Old 04-16-2002, 22:37   #5 (permalink)
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In all seriousness maybe an edited version should be sent to some newspapers and/or Transport Minister.
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Old 04-16-2002, 22:41   #6 (permalink)
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PAPB a subsidiary of BSR corp right????
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Old 04-16-2002, 22:42   #7 (permalink)
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Already onfowarded to The Age and Herald Sun!
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Old 04-16-2002, 22:52   #8 (permalink)
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Very well put EA - doubly so 'cos you saved me the trouble of writing much the same (if nowhere near as eloquently). After hearing the same bullshit on the late news last night I was absolutley convinced I'd been transported into that parallel universe I keep thinking about where fantasy and reality are reversed.

But then we are all speed crazed, baby killing lunatics who should be locked away for having the temerity to NOT drive bland, four cylinder Toyotas (which don't EVER speed).

Mind you if we are speaking of temerity how could you possibly have the gall to suggest that our political masters would ever stoop so low as to manipulate statistics ? Have you no shame at all ? No respects for our community leaders ? Are you (perhaps) a Communist seeking to break down society as we know it ? Surely as an intelligent individual you must realise that the Government is seeking to protect the ordinary citizens from the fringe elements (like us) who put them at risk - the extra revenue is just a small bonus for them.

... slowly drifting into that parallel universe dribble, dribble, bleat, bleat ...
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Old 04-16-2002, 23:19   #9 (permalink)
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I've sent a clean version to the Leader of the Opposition, with encouragement to press the issue, as he's copped a bit of flak from some quarters about his earlier comments being irresponsible and he might back off.

I'll predict that The Age ignores it. I submitted the stuff that eventually got a run via a journo in the Sun to The Age first and never heard anything. Although I read it daily, The Age is just an uncritical mouthpiece for the government on this issue and publishes the press realeases without any independent analysis.

The journo at the The Sun that picked up my stuff was John Mansanauskas (not sure of spelling), if anyone wants to follow him up.

I'd like to see the Monash stuff before doing anything more specific. I don't trust the Minister's interpretation, particularly as he previously misrepresented the facts and stats to claim that the 50k was a success earlier this year when it clearly wasn't, which Mansanauskas published.

This is clearly political spin to counter Napthine's (our Opposition Leader) success and wide press coverage on the issue.

I agree with Mr Sparkle - there's a huge groundswell on this and I think we're gaining e.g. one of the current affair TV programs did something on speedos the other night, which I didn't see (can you believe it - I was working) and the letters columns of the papers have had this issue popping up for some time.

Once the momentum gets going it's hard to stop, and I think we might be on the way, if everybody (not just FF) keeps pushing.
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Old 04-16-2002, 23:33   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by russellw
Q1: Mind you if we are speaking of temerity how could you possibly have the gall to suggest that our political masters would ever stoop so low as to manipulate statistics ?

Q2: Have you no shame at all ?

Q3: No respects for our community leaders ?

Q4: Are you (perhaps) a Communist seeking to break down society as we know it ?

Q5: Surely as an intelligent individual you must realise that the Government is seeking to protect the ordinary citizens from the fringe elements (like us) who put them at risk - the extra revenue is just a small bonus for them.

A1. Experience

A2. Yes. When I'm dining at Government House, I still don't fart at table. Or is that just manners?

A3. If they're politicians, No.

A4. Communism is passe. I'm an egalitarian misanthropic incredulous antiestablishmentarian. This means I hate and distrust all people in authority equally.

A5. The most dangerous actions undertaken by governments are usually dressed up us as being necessary to protect society or the nation, which is usually doublespeak meaning to give government more power over individuals to prevent government's bad actions being revealed or challenged and to deny citizens effective remedies against government misconduct, incompetence, or stupidity. Hence A.4.
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