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Old 04-29-2002, 00:43   #1 (permalink)
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Reply from Dennis Napthine

Thank you for your email dated 10 April regarding my comments on the State Government's speed camera revenues and speeding in general.

It is my view that the only way to reduce speeding in Victoria is to have a commonsense cooperative approach between Government, police and all Victorian motorists.

Reducing the road toll requires the support of the community and all
drivers and is a task that we must work toward achieving in a sensible
manner.

However, recently I have commented that the State Government is making
villains out of ordinary Victorian motorists by lowering the speed camera margin from a ten per cent variance to just three kilometres per-hour.

This move has also been criticised by the RACV and has found to be
fundamentally flawed with many innocent drivers unknowingly driving
vehicles with speedometers, that may be out by more than three kilometres per hour.

Australian motor vehicle design standards state that speedometers should be built to within "ten per cent" accuracy. This means that the policy of lowering speed cameras to catch drivers at just three kilometres per hour rather than sticking to the existing ten per cent variance is against current Australian motor vehicle standards.

Also, all cruise control devices in motor vehicles operate with a ten per
cent variance for driving up and coming down hills. With many drivers
using cruise control devices to stay on or just under the speed limit, the
lowering of speed camera detection levels may actually catch many drivers
who are trying to do the right thing.

Of more concern, the State Labor Government now has a massive and growing revenue base in speed camera fines, that is starting to divert the focus of speed cameras from road safety measures to revenue state government raising machines.

Through new measures such as the introduction of unmarked fixed speed
cameras ? a practice that no other state in Australia employs - the State
Government will increase its revenue base from speeding fines from $91 million in the 1996/97 financial year to a projected $206 million in 2001/02.

The Liberal Party believes that strong enforcement of road rules is an
imperative, however traffic fines must only be an important deterrent to
speeding, not simply a vehicle for building Government revenue.

We believe that Victoria should fall into line with other Australian States
and ensure that all fixed speed cameras have warning signs before them, thus informing the driver of the presence of a camera and thus adding to their awareness not to speed.

The Liberal Party also believes that Victoria should continue the national
trend of a ten per cent variance on speed cameras. This would ensure that those who are driving sensibly but who are just over the speed limit or have a vehicle with a slightly inaccurate speedometer are not fined, but that those who do speed and drive in a dangerous manner are the ones who are caught.

There is also a responsibility on the Government not to penalise those who
have exceeded the speed limit by a negligible amount or who are driving a
vehicle that has a slightly inaccurate speedometer.

Only together can we combat the instance of speeding and only through a fully cooperative and sensible approach will the Government have broad community support in their means of cracking down on speeding drivers.
Once again I thank you for your feedback. I appreciate your
correspondence.

Yours sincerely,
DENIS NAPTHINE MP
Leader of the Parliamentary Liberal Party Leader of the Opposition
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Old 04-29-2002, 03:52   #2 (permalink)
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Sounds about right i guess!? thats about all he can say i suppose.
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Old 04-29-2002, 03:59   #3 (permalink)
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I wonder about the legality of fining at 3k's where the Standard says 10%. And what about classic vehicles built before these Standards came into effect. Unless the government is willing to offer free speedo calibration to within 3k's, I would think anyone willing to contest the fine would possibly win.

Where did I put that number for Slater and Gordon, this one is right up their alley. Class action against government for 3k limit, get their money back and fine the government the same amount for each offence.
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Old 04-29-2002, 05:51   #4 (permalink)
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Sounds just about the right reply with an election looming...
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Old 04-29-2002, 07:23   #5 (permalink)
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let me be a bit cynical here... (just for a change:s2: ). wasnt the liberal govet in power in vic up to about 2 years ago? and what did they do then? piss all. i am afraid that this guy sounds like another pollie on the gravy train trying to increase his vote count.

in wa we had our govt change over about 18 months ago. oine of their promises....redirect ALL revenue from cameras back inot road safety. have they done it? have they f*#k!! and the libs who introduced the bloody things also promised that all revenue raised would go into road safety. did it??? you knw the answer. instead, our new labour govt havent touched the fines redirection, and even better, made a drunk dirver our transport minister, who subsequently lost her loicence for a points accumulation. got caught speeding in a country town. and was she sacked? no, just a p[ortfolio reshuffle.

sorry, but i dont believe him...geese and golden eggs spring to mind...

also, i think if the 10% issue were to be challenged in court, you would win. where there sia discrepancy between federal law (the speedo tolerance) and the state law (the variation allowed on cameras) federal law over-rides every time.

there was also the issue of the bloke in the uk who was going to the international court for human rights to argue that identifying the person driving the car at the time of the picture was a violation of his right to privacy. that would scupper the cameras.

i hope he wins :)
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Old 04-29-2002, 07:36   #6 (permalink)
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Ask your self this question, if this dennis character was in power would you have expected a reply from him, shit all would be my answer. also you reckon if he was in power he wouldn't love them extra bucks from fines to spend on a brand new Chauffeur or a bigger christmas bonus or one of those special team building excersise in Hawaii. I wouldn't trust a pollie as far as i could throw them, or kick them for that matter :00\
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Old 04-29-2002, 17:48   #7 (permalink)
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Me got reply last week, too. Identical with russellw's. Didn't post because just predictable big yawn and me don't believe a word any politician says. They just bunch of carping self-seeking shits jostling each other for a space to get their nose in the trough and they'd sell their mother to get into power.

Or maybe Dr Napthine very nice and wise man, and everybody being rude about him for no reason. Maybe we need to trust politicians more and world will be a better place, everbody get enough to eat, no more wars, etc etc. Yeah, that sound right, for sure!
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Old 04-29-2002, 17:55   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by rsgerry

also, i think if the 10% issue were to be challenged in court, you would win. where there sia discrepancy between federal law (the speedo tolerance) and the state law (the variation allowed on cameras) federal law over-rides every time.

:)
It will probably be decided that as these are strict liability offences (intent is irrelevant - you're just not allowed to do it) then regardless of the reason you're over the limit, you've committed the offence.

The constitutional argument should fail as the Commonwealth doesn't have power, and hasn't attempted, to make any laws governing speed limits in the states, so there's no inconsistency between a state and Commonwealth law and no scope for the principle to apply to strike down the state law.

Still, it'd be worth running if you had nothing to lose, e.g. you'll lose your licence if you go down anyway.
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Old 04-29-2002, 18:04   #9 (permalink)
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I got an identical reply last week too.
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Old 04-29-2002, 18:22   #10 (permalink)
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No trust in our politicians ??
Are you all cynics ??
Where is your faith in the system ??

Surely you must know that these people are our elected representatives whose sole aim is to work for the common good and to serve the electorate selflessly. Furthermore
they tirelessly devote themselves to the task and accept a mere pittance and the satisfaction of a job well done as their only reward.



oooh ...
I've woken up ...
.. bad dream that ....
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