What are the politician’s claims?

Speeding is the main cause of road deaths There have been plenty of well researched, albeit not well publicised studies that have indicated that this is not the case. Matter of fact the opposite is more likely to be true. There was even a U.S. study that was titled ‘Speed does not kill’ (CATO Institute Report – http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa-346es.html). This report actually found that accidents decreased where speed limits have been increased! In Italy, on implementing increased speed limits the Roads Minister Pietro Lunardi commented “All psychologists and doctors say people who go faster, drive better and are more careful. Only 9% of fatal accidents in Italy were caused by speeding.  Where it is safe to go faster, it is the right thing to do.”  Some Police Departments in Australia incorrectly state that speeding causes 30 or 40% of road deaths. This figure seems logical from the interpretation of data. However drilling down into this data we find that speeding includes ‘travelling too fast for the prevailing conditions’ despite travelling at or under the posted speed limit. The definition of ‘speeding’ therefore includes data from below as well as above the speed limit.  Remember, these are statistics that are used to justify the implementation of speed cameras and laser devices that can only be used to detect people driving above the speed limit, NOT below it. The same general definition of ‘speeding’ and other statements such as ‘involved excessive speed’, ‘caused by speed’ etc are the axis of the lie.  The studies studiously avoid segmenting above the speed limit crashes from those below the speed limit while using definitions such as ‘speeding’ and ‘non-speeding’ in their place. Many statistics for accidents and fatalities grouped in the ‘speeding’ category include circumstances in which the Police Officer without any forensic investigation makes the assumption that speed was a factor – many where people reported the accident at a Police station! The only non-government sponsored research about Australian roads shows that the actual percentage is closer to one tenth of these figures. Safe Speed in the UK (www.safespeed.org.uk) has scientific estimates of 3.75% and RoadSense (www.roadsense.com.au) in Australia shows figures at about 2% of fatalities are related to people driving in excess of the speed limit.  This means that even total compliance to signed speed zones cannot hope to reduce the road toll by any more than a couple of percentage points. However by once again by drilling down into the statistics we find that this includes Police high speed chases, criminal activity, suicides and more. This means that 99% of road deaths in Australia occurred below the speed limit.  Yet not a single study that justifies the use of speed cameras recommends how to reduce the road toll where the vast majority of road crashes occur – below the speed limit! Also speed cameras do not deter speeding on corners where many drivers come to grief, nor do they stop people who become fatigued whilst driving their cars over long distances that lead to fatigue and complacency due to lack of attention- the major cause of most fatalities. Because speed cameras can only possibly reduce the road toll above the speed limit it means that these devices can possibly save 15 lives a year in all of Australia – that is if it were possible to stop everyone from ever exceeding the posted speed limits. Take away Police chases and others that do not involve the average road user then possibly 8 lives could be saved while over 1,550 people die in accidents below the speed limits. Remember this is Australia wide.  In South Australia with 9% of the Australian population this means that possibly 1 life could have been saved – possibly, but definitely not probably! Therefore a road safety campaign that properly targets the real cause of deaths on our road has been abrogated to a campaign that is there to merely justify collection of illicit funds. So do you think that many politicians have blood on their hands? Compare the 100+ people who die in road accidents to the 197 suicides in South Australia in 2010. This massive loss of life due to suicide is attributed to factors such as depression and loss of self-esteem.  Therefore it is interesting to note that drivers who lose their licences, especially when they were not speeding or for trivial ‘offences’, can become both extremely depressed and lose self-esteem. Unfortunately there is no study to our knowledge that has examined this link. What causes motor vehicle related deaths is the collision, not speed. People die in driveway accidents at very low speeds. Of course ‘speed’ is a factor – if two cars are stationary there would be no impact! Higher speed limits will cause more deaths on our roads In actual fact the opposite is true. People maintain a higher level of concentration when driving at a speed that is more sensible for the road conditions and are on the road less time. Why is it that our open road speed limit is 100 kilometres an hour yet many open roads in Europe and the USA are at least 120 or 130 kilometres an hour and on some Autobahns the speed limit is reasonably open. Are we considered that incompetent and stupid by our politicians that we are unable to drive safely at the speeds that are considered OK in many overseas countries? One would initially think that we are all just members of a ‘nanny-State’ however the more insidious reason is that our politicians would rather just use us, the ordinary people as cash cows for any reason they can. Lower speed limits reduce collisions and fatalities. More propaganda and rubbish! The opposite is actually true. Lower speed limits mean more congestion (as if it isn’t bad enough already) longer delays, more pollution, higher transport costs and especially greater driver fatigue. Driver fatigue is probably the greatest cause of lack of attention that causes the overwhelming majority of serious collisions. Many frustrated motorists tend to take more unnecessary risks to get to their destination more efficiently. Furthermore, many collisions are caused by the implementation of slow speed limits as drivers are distracted from the act of driving and are more concerned with watching their speedometer or watching for speed cameras. This has caused a huge increase in rear end collisions as people check their speedometers to make sure they have not accidentally drifted over the speed limit by a few kilometres or tail-gate other motorists in boredom and frustration. Speed cameras save lives. This is total and utter rubbish … a complete lie! We all know this statement to be untrue and a bland cliché that is used by most brainless self-interested politicians and boot licking sycophant bureaucrats sucking up to money hungry politicians.  A speed camera will not jump out and stop somebody who is driving dangerously. This is only achieved by putting more Police Officers on the road and giving them discretion so that if people do not create danger with their driving ‘offence’ then the Police Officer will be able to sensibly issue a caution. So irrespective of the constant rote clichés from politicians, we are all aware that speed cameras do NOT save lives. Speed cameras are merely an insidious contraption for fining people for what is usually a very minor transgression of ‘laws’ that have been specifically designed to catch people out. Lately people are even being sent infringement notices for offences that allegedly occurred up to 5 years ago that were ‘lost’ in the system. Some cannot even remember the situation and who was driving their car and just ‘shut up and pay up’. Many say, “What can you do … you can’t beat the system”! Where is the fairness, equity and social justice in all this and why are we tolerating this ridiculous situation? This corrupt ‘system’ needs to change. The facts indicate that the decline in road deaths went from 30% fewer lives lost over an eight year period prior to the introduction of speed cameras. During this period the beneficial decline in the road toll, the irresponsible few who dangerously exceeded the speed limit were penalised by Police. The reduction of road death was only 10% over a second eight year period following the introduction of speed cameras. Under the current system the responsible majority who stray over the limit by 3 to 15 km/h are being penalised – for no benefit. Australia is not alone. The road toll stopped going down with the introduction of speed cameras in every country pursuing the same failed “Speed Kills” policy. Speed cameras are accurate More and more people are challenging speed camera results throughout Australia … and winning! see ‘www.aussispeedingfines.com.au’ Police are under so much pressure to collect money for the Government that they have to virtually stalk members of the public and set up speed cameras and speed traps where it is most likely people will exceed the speed limits without creating danger, NOT where collisions have occurred. These areas include downhill slopes, wide open roads where fatigue is a greater danger than high speed and areas where speed limits have been artificially dropped to catch people who are driving at an appropriate (but technically unlawful) speed. But more and more the speed cameras have not been set up in accordance with the user manuals and are recording spurious speeds that are virtually impossible for most people to challenge unless they spend countless hours in research and hire expensive experts. Most people just pay and get more and more frustrated with ‘the system’ and target the blame at our frustrated Police Officers. Cautions will not work with most people Most people who have been stopped by Police and issued with a caution are both relieved and grateful. At one time people who received a caution may have been required to attend a Police lecture evening where safe driving laws were reiterated and a movie shown with the actual results of dangerous driving.  Over 90% of serious crime is solved only by the active assistance from members of the public.  It would be disastrous if people felt so aggrieved by the actions of Police that they refused to assist in these cases. Speed cameras have reduced the road toll. In actual fact the 8 years prior to the introduction of speed cameras the road toll dropped by about 40% and since this time it has dropped by about 10% … so much for that theory! But we do agree that the road fatality numbers have dropped. However this is more due to better road design, stronger side intrusion bars in car doors, more people wearing seat belts and multiple air bags. Last but not least probably thousands of lives have been saved our wonderful and highly trained paramedics that staff our S.A. Ambulance Service as well as the use of trauma teams that attend serious crash sites and medivac seriously injured victims via rescue helicopter. Therefore for anybody to claim that it is speed cameras that have saved lives are maliciously representing the true facts and not placing credit where it is due. Young drivers (hoons) are the cause of most of the problems Absolutely NOT! Our young drivers by and large are responsible and reasonable when they are driving. It is sickening and annoying to most adults that our young people are virtually dehumanised and vilified by being classified as ‘hoons’ because they spin their wheels, smoke their tyres or do a wheelie. This is a derogatory and insulting term to use on our young people who are usually only committing trite and minor offences. But they are hit with huge fines, lose their licence for extended periods of time and in many cases have their cars seized and impounded for a month and charged another outrageous $1,000 for the ‘privilege’. One person in authority recently advocated that ‘hoon’ cars be crushed. If this attitude to our young people is not gross, disgusting and a nasty ‘jack boot’ approach then we wonder what is! Our young people are the very individuals who will become our responsible adults in a few years’ time. Do we really want them to grow up with a huge chip on their shoulder as a result of this massive over-reaction to largely insignificant actions? Surely many of us can remember a time when we also were young and we were a little silly and spun the wheels on ours or our Dad’s cars? Let’s show a little tolerance and patience with our young people. A kind word and sensible advice to young people from Police will have a much better short and long term outcome than hitting them with this Government directed over-reaction and nastiness. Once again we should not blame our Police.  They are just performing the dirty work as directed by politicians. Remember that many of our Police Officers have also been brain-washed by the constant barrage of Government propaganda rubbish as well. Politicians will be happy if there is no revenue collected because people are ‘obeying the law’. Unfortunately virtually all politicians try to make themselves look good to the public by spending lots of our hard earned money on grand projects. We have particularly seen this in the last decade. Now we are seeing a Government that had broken the bank and now trashed the treasury trying to grab money from wherever they can get it. Firstly by throwing public servants out of their job, ruining their lives and livelihoods and then constantly raising the charges, taxes and fines that hardly none of us can avoid. So do the Government mind if the Police Department do not bring in huge bags of loot each year?  You bet they do! We have personal knowledge of where Police had in the past threatened politicians that they would not issue traffic infringement notices or process speed camera fines in an ‘enterprise bargaining’ situation. They were quickly informed by those same politicians that there would be a matching reduction in their Police budget if they carried through with their threat. Naturally, neither went ahead with their threats. This does demonstrate however that most politicians are more interested in money than road safety. The money collected from these fines benefits us all anyway. More rubbish! All of us deserve the right to decide where and when our money will be spent. We all know that this money goes into general revenue and not as extra funds to improve our roads anyway. If this money is going in the ‘rat-hole’ of Government revenue it is usually wasted on their grand projects and not being spent at our retail outlets. Just think how our retailers would benefit just here in South Australia from an extra $100 million being spent in their shops! Red light cameras stop collisions at intersections Once again this is just propaganda and a revenue collecting scam.  We are still not aware of any red light camera that has jumped out and stopped a car that is about to infringe a red light.  The offence for this situation actually involves ‘entering the intersection after the traffic light has turned to red’. However all photographs produced from these cameras ‘offences’ does NEVER shows a red light, just a grainy grey light and does NOT show the motor vehicle crossing the ‘stop line’, just fully in the intersection instead. Once again this is NOT an offence and these photographs should NOT be able to used as evidence in a red light camera trial. Of course they are admitted because the magistrate works for the Government and most of the time they probably remember where their pay comes from. These photographs come along with a readout that indicates alleged speed and time the vehicle enters the intersection after the light turned red. We all know that many of these devices have been found to be highly inaccurate or just plain faulty. Additionally these devices are not calibrated under the Federal National Measurement Act because of their inaccuracy and unreliability.  The National Measurement Act being a Federal act automatically over-rides any State legislation. This fraud needs to stop!

  • Speed cameras, red light cameras and radar devices do not need to comply with the National Measurement Act

Ken Harris, an inventor of a measurement device himself, proved in the Victorian County Court  27 February 2002 (11 years ago) that no speed measurement devices currently being used by State Governments complied with the National Measurement Act and hence readings from them could not be used as evidence in a court of law. NO speed detection devices are pattern approved by the National Measurement Institute as required by the National Measurement Act. The hierarchy of laws in Australia states that Federal Acts always overrides any State Act. NO State court can unilaterally declare that a Federal law does not apply just because they wish to appease their Government masters that pay their wages. Similarly no State Government can pass ‘Mickey Mouse’ laws that they claim can over-ride Federal Laws. Simply, speed cameras cannot be pattern approved as they are not reliable to any reasonable certainty in the situations in which they can be used. Matter of fact under the National Measurement Act any Police Officer who has to use these illegal speed measuring devices is liable to a personal fine of up to $6,000 and State Governments should be issued with a fine of $30,000 for each time a speed measurement device was used. Naturally this is not occurring proving what a sham the whole process has become.   The only non-government sponsored research …. Also see: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2337208/Speed-cameras-increase-risk-fatal-crashes-New-RAC-investigation-raises-doubts-usefulness.html   Politicians also claim that fixed speed cameras are there to ensure ‘black spot’ intersections are made safer. What a load of rot! Many of these fixed speed cameras are on straight roads with no intersection or junction anywhere in sight. These are roads where most people travel at a sensible speed albeit one that has been set artificially low to catch people out. This is a plain and simple scam and we all know it! Also these ‘black spots’ are merely intersections that have been poorly planned or designed. Sometimes the solution is as simple as extending the light phases so that when one traffic light turns red the other road will only turn to green a sensible time after.  But … that wouldn’t bring in the loot would it?  Governments prefer to rip money off people and profit from the misery they have caused people instead of fixing the problems. Of course we all hear the pious rhetoric and ludicrous mantras that we are constantly bombarded with on TV, the radio of newspapers … naturally using millions of dollars of our money … so that many people have effectively become brainwashed or at least confused as to what the real truth of the matter is. Don’t be fooled … this system is a vicious vile scheme to rip off and a scam that ignores sensible solutions to this serious problem!

Speed cameras have saved 50 lives over the last 10 years … what a load of total crap!

Yes, there has been a reduction in the number of fatalities but to assign this to speed cameras is grossly disingenuous.  For example, what about:

  • The better tyres that are now available for all vehicles
  • Anti-skid braking systems that are now standard on most cars
  • The installation of Electronic Stability Control on many vehicles
  •  Excellent side intrusion bars on most vehicles
  • Air bags on most vehicles
  • The almost universal wearing of seat belts
  •  The more experienced driving behaviour of our aging S.A. population
  •  The incredible trauma treatment our S.A. Ambulance Paramedics undertake at accident scenes
  • The helicopter rescue service that has probably saved hundreds of lives alone
  •  The advanced skills of our hospital trauma surgeons So let’s put credit where it is due and not just let some idiot politician hoodwink us to justify the use of these revenue raising rip-off speed cameras.