Speeding fines are important

Steven McKiernan writes: Re. “Miranda Devine is right … about speeding fines” (yesterday). It’s nice Jeff Ash quotes an American traffic standard — not a global standard at all — when the current Australian road guidelines use an 85th percentile to set a speed limit on WA and national roads. Also might be useful for Jeff to declare a financial interest in speed limits and safety. He owns a tuning shop here in Perth for making second hand imported Japanese cars go faster. Declaration: I ride a bike.

Mark Freeman writes: It’s disappointing to see you buying into the populist revisionism about speeding fines. The problem is that the successes of road toll reduction are a bit ancient history now and hence ripe for misrepresentation. The Victorian road toll nudged a thousand a year in the mid 70s with a lot less people and cars. There was a lot of work to reduce it but the two main successes were booze bus/ random breath testing and speed cameras. The road toll graphs correlate very closely to these two measures and they each caused a major dip in deaths. There is some fairness arguing for reducing the fine for the minimum infringement but it’s worth remembering the popular adage about driving fines. You’re not getting done just for that time but for all the other times you weren’t caught. Treating traffic fines as just revenue raising is lazy analysis by the commentariat and self serving twaddle by offenders. There is always more that can be done to reduce road deaths bout let’s not sabotage proven measures.

A reminder

John Richardson writes: Re. “Bronnie, it’s time to go” (yesterday). I for one hope that Bronwyn Bishop decides to stand her ground and refuse to resign as Speaker of the House of Representatives. After all, what better way to remind long-suffering Australians of the ongoing abuse occasioned to the public purse by the disgusting political class; ever ready to lecture us about the end of the age of entitlement and the never-ending drive for greater efficiency to underwrite declining corporate profits, whilst gorging themselves at the trough at every opportunity.

Let Bishop swing on the gibbet of public opinion as an ongoing reminder of just how unworthy this ugly, self-serving mob really are. Let the pungent smell of her rotten self-righteousness linger as a lasting testament to the whole grubby charade that daily mocks the pretensions of our phony democracy in its parliamentary playhouse. With very few exceptions, a pox on all of them.

Get more Crikey, for less

It’s more than a newsletter. It’s where readers expect more – fearless journalism from a truly independent perspective. We don’t pander to anyone’s party biases. We question everything, explore the uncomfortable and dig deeper.

Join us this week for 50% off a year of Crikey.

Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
50% off