A lot has been written lately about the latest road toll, and the Mother Grundies have been quick to jump on the band wagon and assert that only a “zero percent” speed tolerance will save the day.
What nonsense! First up, there’s no speed checking equipment available on the market that can measure to a 100 percent degree of accuracy, and most of them have at least a three or four percent error, hence the reason for the extra 10 percent tolerance allowed at the moment. Even reducing the tolerance to four percent is pushing it a bit, as other factors such as rain, billboards, and other vehicles can affect the speed reading.
But the other thing is that it’s very rare that crashes occur on dead straight roads (except for bumper bashing in traffic jams), so why do the cops concentrate their speed trapping efforts there?
Most crashes are caused by the inability of people to get around corners, and more often than not, these crashes happen within the posted speed limits.
At the risk of repeating myself, one really has to wonder if the authorities are more interested in creating revenue than stopping accidents. And even if that’s not true, well, they certainly give that perception.
Fact is, more bad driving would be prevented if cops spent their time cruising and watching out for hoons rather than sitting in their cars and jumping on poor unfortunates who may have strayed over the speed limit.
And what about cell phone use? My bet is that the increase in crashes last year can be directly linked to the use of phones while driving, particularly texting, but even if the cops do stop someone, the fine is pathetically low, and unlikely to be a deterrent.
What we need now is some “out of the box” thinking, not the usual platitudes.
Doing the same thing over and over has not proven to be the answer – in fact I saw somewhere that the definition of idiocy is “repeating the same thing and expecting a different result”, or words to that effect.
If that’s true, do we conclude that the road safety authorities and their advisors are idiots?