ONE SERIOUS OBJECTION I have to the humourless, draconian and anal-retentive approach to speed limit enforcement these days is the total lack of enterprise or humour in the approach. It wasn’t always like that. As the main cover car this issue shows, even the cops got to have some fun – witness the idea of a plain-wrapper Falcon 500 with Phase III mechanicals underneath. The original Wolf in a Labrador suit.
Now I think of it, the cops have had lots interesting gear over time. Years ago I came across a pic of a line-up of ACT police, standing proudly beside their early Aston Martin highway patrol cars. A fleet of the things. Good luck getting that through the budget these days.
Which raises a question: what’s the most expensive police car ever used in Australia, outside those ridiculous paramilitary things some of the more ‘elite’ squads like to be seen in? Shoot us a pic either by email or our Facebook page and we’ll share.
Anyway, I’m wandering off track here. What I really wanted to discuss is, why is it so that the police have a monopoly on speed cams? What sort of attitude is that in this society, and particularly one ruled by a federal government which sees nobility in free enterprise?
Come on, it’s time we all had a go. Maybe the competition will lower the fines (that’s how competition is supposed to work), though there is the risk of a lower quality of enforcement.
Cheaper cameras, shoddy tickets, that sort of things. And if you are caught, you could face the ugly prospect of competing ‘services’ fighting over who gets to book you.
Nope, think of it as a very handy fund-raising tool – the government does. But instead of the proceeds going into some nebulous coffer, or a private provider, we should start sending the money directly to community projects. Like building restoration sheds, or racetracks for the elderly.
Different clubs and community groups could take it in turns to have a go, setting the (modest) fines and, just to add a bit of spice, inventing new speed limits. Like 42-and-a-half knots. If the fine’s not too severe, no-one’s really going to mind being pinged and they might even go home feeling good about themselves. “I sped for a good cause today, Dear,” could be heard in every home.
Then there’s the equipment. Every man, woman and their fleabag seems to have gone to great lengths to re-engineer speed detection gear so no-one can see it. Really? Are we slowing people down or playing Spy vs Spy here?
Nope, we need to be loud and proud. Not only that but I reckon we need to dust off the generations of perfectly good old tech sitting in sheds around the country and fire it up again. You know the sort of thing: amphometers with pneumatic tubes sprawled across the highway, radar sets so big that only a Customline could carry it.
Bring back some of the old uniforms and cop cars and you’ll have people lining up to pinged, just so they can poke around the old toys. Think of it as a roadside museum. Next thing you’ll know, they’ll be slowing down so they don’t miss anything...