Don't Get Caught Members > DGC News Oct: Our Views on Road Safety vs Revenue
DGC News Oct:  Our Views on Road Safety vs Revenue

Oct 1, 2009

Our Views, Road Safety vs. Revenue Raising: We are asked for our thoughts many times a week by customers and the media about the speed enforcement system. The following sums up some of our views and we welcome any feedback you have on these views.

Mobile camera use is on the rise across Australia but these cameras do nothing to support road safety. These cameras are commonly called “flash for cash” and “revenue raisers” by drivers. The problem with these cameras is that they do not change a driver’s behaviour once they take a picture of a speeder. If a speeding driver does not see the camera flash then they will continue to speed, which could still cause accidents down the road. Alternately, many drivers who do see the flash may continue to speed because they have already been caught by a camera in that area and it is unlikely that another camera will be anywhere nearby.

Any psychologist will tell you that an immediate consequence to any action, reinforced consistently and/or repeatedly over time will help change a given behaviour. Receiving a fine a couple months after a camera has flashed a driver will not change a speeders behaviour because too much time has lapsed between the action and the consequence. However, a radar detector will give the driver an audible and visual alert to a camera, making sure they check their speed and slow down if necessary. This changes the driver’s behaviour and encourages the driver to check his/or speed and slow down.

Just like Pavlov’s dogs, the next time a driver hears a beep they will check their speed and slow down. This is where the argument of “revenue raising” vs “road safety” comes into play and this is where radar detectors play a vital role in keeping drivers aware of the consequences they face given a certain behaviour such as speeding. If the goal of speed cameras is to increase road safety then more radar-based cameras should be put on the road and drivers should be encouraged to use radar detectors. The false alerts a radar detector user receives would ensure consistent checking of ones speed.

On the flip side, whenever a driver sees a police car, their immediate reaction is to check their speed and reduce it if necessary. We feel that a greater police presence on the road and the increase in use of car-mounted radar systems or laser guns will achieve a higher level of road safety while also increasing jobs in the law enforcement field.

Customers should note that we do not support breaking the road laws and honestly feel that people who are exceeding the speed limit to a point where they are creating an unsafe driving environment for the other vehicles around them deserve to get caught. However, drivers who are caught speeding by police waiting at the bottom of hills, overtaking a cars or being flashed for cash deserve a fighting chance against a system that is mixing law enforcement with enterprise profiteering.

WA Local News: The new Perth-Bunbury Highway is a goldmine for the police revenue raising system. In it’s first seven days of operation over 8,000 drivers were caught exceeding the speed limit. That is 25% of the total number of cars that travelled the road within that time.

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