Monday, December 04, 2006

Honk if you think I'm a pain in the @rse

The other day I drove past as a police officer was writing out a speeding ticket for some poor fool. It was in a short 60km/h roadworks segment of Gininderra Drive, an 80km/h road. I was thrilled to see this and did a happy dance in my seat... while sedately driving past.

I felt that I deserved it. A few nights before I had been driving home along this road and a car roared out of nowhere, doing at least 100 km/h, past me doing 60. Needless to say this gave me a scare. Part of the reason for the lower limit is that there is no proper shoulder to the road at present, and traffic cones lined up along the edge make it feel narrower than usual.

I was infuriated, and by the time I came home I had formulated an ideal plan.

Arms waving and spittle flying, I announced it to K and the dogs: "there should be speed cameras everywhere! Absolutely. Everywhere. (evil laugh) It wouldn't take long for most people to lose their licenses. Then the roads would be left for people like me. Wouldn't that be lovely?"

Most drivers seem to find it very difficult to actually slow right down to the reduced limits for roadworks. (Well, let's face it, around here a lot of people speed everywhere anyway). This is one of the few areas where I am happy to be a complete nuisance. I take great pleasure in slowing down to the exact speed limit and forcing those behind me to do so too.

They should be thanking me.


Jacket Person said...

Hey... I totally agree with you.

Djaughan Zelmonde said...

Ya, absolutely! I would go further even still and say that apart from speed cameras EVERYWHERE, there should be red light cameras on ALL sets of traffic lights!!! Seriously! That's what I've noticed, that more and more people are running red lights (maybe because they know which are the sets with red light cameras?) - and not just late, but REALLY late. It's just so dangerous, irresponsible and selfish.

mal. said...

I totally agree.
This is the real test of the government argument that speed cameras are about saving lives NOT about revenue raising.
If they are really interested in saving lives, don't put the revenue from speed camera fines into a government slush fund, use it to buy more cameras. Make it a non-profit system!
If the system is really working the speed cameras would eventually be sitting there not taking any photos because everyone was doing the right thing.
It's time for the rhetoric and the reality to at least spend some time getting to know each other.

Olivia said...

Unfortunately governments fear widely and covertly enforcing speed limits (leaving aside whether we road safety people have managed to convince them of the safety benefits of this) because there seems to be some sort of (moronic) unspoken agreement that you only enforce speed limits if there is a particular risk or black spot. And in some cases a sense that covert enforcement is just not sporting (!)

Taphophile said...

If they really cared about speeding as a safety issue, speed cameras would be outside schools and in the side streets used as rat runs, not sitting in vans in the only 60k section of an otherwise 80k road on Sunday mornings.

J said...

I too have spittle inducing hatred for speeding cars and I am in agreement with the 'speed cameras everywhere' proposition. There is one thing that you all may need to explain-y to the girl who doesn't drive though... why do they make cars that are capable of driving so fast and why do they use 'sexy speed' to sell cars? When the majority of messages that people receive about cars are about speed in a 'positive' sense and your car is capable of doing excessive speed with ease - no bloody wonder people speed. There are obviously other factors to this - like why are we all in such a hurry anyway but the advertising of speed is the one that drives me the most crazy... and yes I know it's fun to go fast - just not in the school zone buddy.

Olivia said...

Okay. (Deep breath. I'm afraid of turning this into I have to chime in on car ads because I spent several years of my recent career working on this very thing. We achieved a voluntary code and got the most obviously unsafe driving out of the ads. There remain many ways to promote the sexy speed culture without breaching the code and not much we can do about it in the current system. At the heart of it (and your question about the max speeds of cars) the vehicle industry and many others don't see the world the way we do. Many people don't accept the laws of physics (faster you go = harder you hit). There is a deep love of speed, zoom-zoom, power, it's all sexy.

(I've just written and then deleted about three different versions of next sentences... think I'll just... STOP.)

T said...

Honk Honk !!