Saturday, August 26, 2006

Driving Us Mad

Our roads have been in the News a lot this last week - specifically, that people are driving too damn fast on them. The Advocate this week published a list of the worst offenders of recent months, such as the guy doing 152 kmph in an 80 zone, a P-plater (Provisional driver) with an 80 limit clocked at 135, the motorcycle doing 175 in an 80 zone, to name just a few. To be fair, a lot of these worst incidents happen on open highway areas which have only recently had their speed limits reduced, such as the Bass Highway near Latrobe, which for no sane reason anyone can think of has had an 80 limit placed on one 200 metre long section of it. It would be unfair of me to suggest that the stretch in question is an ideal one for speed cameras, with much natural cover. To even contemplate the idea that speed cameras are nothing more than a callous money-making scheme, or that the Department of Roads and Transport would arbitrarily assign speed limits based not on safety concerns but solely on expected revenue-raising potential, would be a terrible thing to do. We all know that the Department is professional and thorough, despite this week's revelations that the Department's official manual for those learning to drive, the Learner-Drivers' Bible if you will, contains at least 185 errors, 65 of which could cause accident or death if followed as stated (such as telling the learner to drive on the wrong side of the road when turning right!) The dedication of our police force, too, to responsible and safe driving, should never be questioned, and our sympathies go out to the six police officers hurt in this week's unfortunate collision between two unmarked police cars, around midnight on a lonely stretch of highway near Brisbane. Don't think for a moment that a game of 'Chicken' was in progress.

Six Police Officers Hurt
Clocked at 205 kmph - 125 Over His 80 Limit

Still, it obviously doesn't happen only in Australia - this English cop has been given a discharge (but no fine or jail) for doing 159 miles per hour (that's 254!! kmph - about 40 kmph faster than the maximum speed I ever did on my Yamaha XS-1100), caught by his own onboard camera:

Police Officer Discharged

1 comment:

Mike Hobart said...

I was once waiting at the trafficlights at a busy intersection in Hobart and just as the lights changed, a car tootled across in front of us completely oblivious to the red light. The driver was happily chatting away on his mobile phone and didn't even notice the stunned looks of all the other drivers to one side of him. Everyone was so amazed that not one person even blew their horn at him!