Why NSW motorists are getting a raw deal

Submitted: Thursday, Mar 19, 2009 at 05:43
ThreadID: 66966 Views:2411 Replies:6 FollowUps:7
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Here an explanation, with some interesting quotes from this article by Miranda Devine -

"Still, one of his (Costa's) first achievements was to sack the general manager of the bicycles and pedestrian branch of the Roads and Traffic Authority. He believed the organisation was full of people obsessed with lowering speed. "The place has been captured by cyclists", to the detriment of motorists."

"For instance, he complained that while new freeways are designed for 130kmh speeds, the RTA often forces motorists to drive at 90kmh."

" Costa tried to get an obstructive RTA to audit Sydney's busiest thoroughfares to achieve a consistent speed limit, rather than a mess of different speed zones. "

"By contrast, his (Scruby's) hero is Soames Job, director of the RTA's Centre for Road Safety, who has a PhD in psychology and also happens to be a keen cyclist, according to Costa."

"he needs to be kept at arm's length, something few roads ministers seem to manage - except Michael Costa, who called him "Harold Screwball" and banned him from his office."

"Costa inherited a portfolio almost fatally distorted by his predecessor Carl Scully, a vegan cyclist who empowered Scruby and other anti-car activists. "

"Costa regarded Scruby as a menace, constantly demanding meetings and causing trouble. "I locked him out … I banned him from my office. He was really annoyed," the retired MP said. "He wants to bring the road system to gridlock so everyone walks.""
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Reply By: Ozhumvee - Thursday, Mar 19, 2009 at 06:03

Thursday, Mar 19, 2009 at 06:03
Did you also know that the "Pedestrian Council" of which Scruby is the head honcho is just that,HIM, nobody else, no members etc etc.
He established it, maintains it and we probably fund it.
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Follow Up By: OzTroopy - Thursday, Mar 19, 2009 at 12:13

Thursday, Mar 19, 2009 at 12:13
Documented funding from the RTA and NRMA can be found with a little googling ......

FollowupID: 622961

Reply By: Robin Miller - Thursday, Mar 19, 2009 at 08:41

Thursday, Mar 19, 2009 at 08:41
What this shows to me Mike , is the effect a small group can have on policy , and we need to get 4wd organizations up to speed and funded such that we can present our case better.

On a second point from the article the following comment from Costa is very instructive quote -

"As Costa says, the main reason the road toll has fallen worldwide is because of improvements in vehicle design, not the totalitarian tinkering of the RTA and its speed Nazis."

We have had a constantly falling road toll and this has been used to impose harsher and harsher restrictions on people and cause massive collateral damage that is not accounted for in road statistics.
Whereas the reality is that the road toll and the total toll should have dropped even further had it not been for interference from campaigns about speed cameras etc causing people to take their eye off the ball.

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Follow Up By: Honky - Thursday, Mar 19, 2009 at 09:43

Thursday, Mar 19, 2009 at 09:43
Just look at Nothern territory.
As soon as they brought in speed limits it increased the death toll by over 100% and still going up.
I always remember NT at christmas time having no road toll, the only state in Australia to do so
Now they blame deaths on speed so they must increase speeding fines.
Looks like the caught the NSW disease.

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Follow Up By: Alan H - Thursday, Mar 19, 2009 at 10:26

Thursday, Mar 19, 2009 at 10:26
The same old mantra chanted by many, "Speed kills", has swept the World and speed cameras are busy everywhere clicking up the revenue.
The UK at one time had the best death rates in the World when taking into consideration the huge volume of traffic, lousy weather conditions etc.
The roads were well policed with top class traffic cops who didn't just concentrate on speed as the big killer, but watched the overall driver behaviour, road traffic and weather conditions and policed it accordingly.
Now they've mostly gone to be replaced by revenue raising cameras and the death and injury tolls have risen drastically just as in the NT.
The response of pollies abley assisted and encouraged by those who want red flag carriers in front of vehicles to this, is to buy even more speed cameras!
Happy motoring ..... at a snails pace!
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Follow Up By: The Landy - Thursday, Mar 19, 2009 at 11:01

Thursday, Mar 19, 2009 at 11:01

That is a very important point you make, people knock Scrubby all the time, but at the end of the day he constantly gets airplay and the media give him access...and he is only a single voice.

Imagine what an active four-wheel drive lobby could achieve...

There seems to be any number of four-wheel drive organisations, but no central voice.

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Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Thursday, Mar 19, 2009 at 11:30

Thursday, Mar 19, 2009 at 11:30
Scrubby has been totally ineffective in lobbying for pedestrians. He's too busy with his own agendas.

If we look at the statistics for Pedestrian death and injury, its a sorry tale of alcohol and drug affected individuals and a group who believe that crossing the road can be an adventure.
AnswerID: 354876

Reply By: OzTroopy - Thursday, Mar 19, 2009 at 12:25

Thursday, Mar 19, 2009 at 12:25
Why ?????????? ....

Simply put ........ the wasted time, money and effort put into non-productive traffic management - but thats OK as long as it generates income and the campaign to blame "speed" as the root of all evils is maintained.

There is no such thing as speeding ..... Its either dangerous driving ... or its not !!!!!!

**" fairness-stuck-in-the-slow-lane "** ........ hmmmmm ......
Average mr plod is qualified to ascertain a speed camera functions correctly but a driver ... regardless of qualifications, has to subpoena albert einstein to be able to show any faults with the reading ..... pfffffft

The constant guessing game as to the speed limit on the section of road you are travelling.
40k ? - 50k ? - 60k ? - 70k ? - 80 ? - 90 ? - .... whatever - constantly looking for speeds signs is as annoying and distracting as having kids fighting in the back seat.

Road Toll ???? .... Who cares if it goes up ???? .......
Every year there are more cars and more drivers .... Statistically - It has to increase.
( a quantity - not personal loss comment people ... !! )
The fact that the yearly variations are actually - so slight or even reduced ... reflects good driving behaviour / veh safety which is rewarded by ... fee hikes and more cameras.

This is the sign I want to see used more often ...... A Real Speed Sign
AnswerID: 354889

Follow Up By: Nargun51 - Thursday, Mar 19, 2009 at 14:14

Thursday, Mar 19, 2009 at 14:14
OzTroopy, you said “Every year there are more cars and more drivers .... Statistically - It has to increase.”

Wrong! Numerically it has to increase, statistically (taken as a ratio of cars on the road, number of drivers or Km travelled depending on your measurement) it may increase or decrease

Since Victoria introduced seat belt laws, numerically causalities in Australia have decreased, and as a ratio of cars on the road, drivers and of Kilometres travelled it has also statistically decreased

Conversations like this on bulletin Boards always bring out the some interesting comments!

Statistically, the distribution of skills, knowledge, ability etc across a large population follows a normal distribution curve

By definition the average person sits mid way within the range of driving skills (ie half way within better than Fangio to injuring themselves with a Dinky toy on the lounge room floor)

By definition half the drivers on the road are below average; or if you want to look back to the standard deviation curve again, 86% of drivers are average or below average drivers.

Unfortunately, laws governing actions in our society are based on the lowest common denominator. Hence, our road laws are based on the ability of a below average driver.

So, stop to think about it; 86% of persons inhabiting this forum are average or below average drivers for this forum (I’d suggest that the curve for this forum would be skewed a little bit higher than the average population because of the average age of the forum)

About 6 years ago there was a small paragraph in the newspaper to the affect that University Of WA(?) had conducted a study whereby 75% of people thought they were above average drivers

This means that there are a huge percentage of people out on the road that do not have an accurate assessment of their driving abilities

The obvious answer to this problem is put into place better and more intrusive standards to both obtain and retain your licence. Without going through real time monitoring of the driver (such as a black box hooked up to EMU and a GPS), the only other option is random sampling of the drivers skills. Speed cameras do that. They tell the police how much attention the driver is paying to the environment in which they are driving, and how much attention they are paying to the control of their car

By what standard do you test your own driving?

You said: “There is no such thing as speeding ..... Its either dangerous driving ... or its not !!!!!! “

If you are speeding through a sign posted area you are not paying attention to the speed of your car, nor are you paying attention to the environment around you. How does that differ from dangerous driving?
FollowupID: 622979

Follow Up By: OzTroopy - Thursday, Mar 19, 2009 at 16:03

Thursday, Mar 19, 2009 at 16:03
Nargun51 ........

Statistically / Numerically ???? ..... Sheesh ... are you one of Harolds mates ????

If the number of vehicles/drivers per year and the number of accidents per year ... were assessed over a period of years that would provide the statistics to give a numerical figure .... hows that grab ya ?????.

Seatbelts ... nothing to do with cameras ... but certainly one of the items I would call vehicle safety, as mentioned in my 2nd last paragraph.

How to assess a good driver ... Thats quite an issue ........ Are speed cameras really the answer ??? ....

I doubt it - plenty of dangerous drivers out there travelling below posted limits ... Have you never had to avoid the 30kph veh that U-turns in front of you with no indicators ... or the one travelling at 50kph in the middle of a highway on blind corners ???? ..... I guess a good driver would have been travelling at a speed to avoid both incidents and a bad driver would have been travelling at the max allowed ... conditions regardless and ... become an incident.

Theres a big difference between being aware of ones surroundings and not adhereing to sign on a stick ... which may or not be easily seen. As it is in urban areas ... speed signs are lost in the mishmash of other govt and private signage and worthless ...

A school area / train station / shopping centre etc dictates a slower speed and more observant driving manner ... City traffic requires maintaining traffic flow, braking distances, area knowledge ... and a max allowable speed of 60kph IMHO ... Highway driving requires the legal ability to travel and overtake at a reasonable speed that does not induce boredom or danger ... and a max allowable speed of 130kph IMHO.

And then a good driver will always know there are exceptions to the above conditions ... e.g. when its raining/foggy, traffic congestion, twisty sections of road, different times of day, even different days of the week ...............

A bunch of speed cameras checking that the brainless sheep are driving from sign to sign doesnt ensure a good driving population ... it just means people are to busy looking for constantly changing / hidden speed limit signs instead of watching out for other traffic or stray kids.

There is no such thing as speeding ..... Its either dangerous driving ... or its not !!!!!!

One year I was in Canberra as a kid driving on a 4lane section at 80kph .... The Officer who was following me for 20min suggested at a set of lights, that I lose 10kph ... and pointed to a 60kph sign in the bushes ..... So Nargun51 ...... was I driving dangerously or speeding ?????
FollowupID: 623000

Follow Up By: robak (QLD) - Thursday, Mar 19, 2009 at 18:52

Thursday, Mar 19, 2009 at 18:52
OMG. Nargun51 has posted a rational argument on an internet forum with no emotional drivel about how he is a victim of the surrounding cicumstances.

FollowupID: 623039

Reply By: Member - Mike DID - Thursday, Mar 19, 2009 at 17:38

Thursday, Mar 19, 2009 at 17:38
From the Pedestrian Council of Australia website, here is its structure

Dame Leonie Kramer AC DBE
The Hon Sir Laurence Street AC KCMG


Harold Scruby (Chairman/CEO)
Member of the National Road Safety Strategy Panel (Australian Transport Safety Bureau)
Member of the Road Trauma Committee (Royal Australasian College of Surgeons)
Member of the Australian College of Road Safety (Formerly on National Executive Committee)
Formerly Deputy Mayor of Mosman and Chairman of the Traffic Committee for 5 years
National spokesperson

Assoc Professor (Dr) Rob Atkinson - Representing the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons - Road Trauma Committee - Spokesperson South Australia

Eva Martinez (Secretary) - Representing Australian Institute of Traffic Planning and Management

Professor (Dr) Danny Cass - Representing Kidsafe

Stan Imer (Retired) - Representing Council on the Ageing

David Hope - Representing Federation of Parents and Citizens Association

Ray Shuey - Former Assistant Commissioner - Victoria Police (Traffic) - Spokesperson Victoria

Michael Simpson - Representing Vision Australia (formerly Royal Blind Society) and the Blindness Sector

Ross Turner - Representing ParaQuad, ACROD and the People with Disabilities Sector

Assoc Professor (Dr) Daryl Wall - Representing the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons - Road Trauma Committee - Spokesperson Queensland

Honorary Solicitors:
Robert C Minter

AnswerID: 354953

Reply By: robertbruce - Thursday, Mar 19, 2009 at 21:33

Thursday, Mar 19, 2009 at 21:33
if "everyone" had to pay for there own fuel bill then "everyone" would be screaming for more economical road speeds......

end of argument!
AnswerID: 355007

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