Archive for January, 2012

Is it safety, stupidity or revenue raising

Monday, January 30th, 2012

Okay first and foremost it is against the law to speed so the very first and last argument that can be had (and the one that those who don’t wish to have the discussion or actually look at the argument) is just that – it is against the law and therefore if you do and you are caught you deserve the consequences.

I can’t argue against it. I can argue the STUPIDITY of how, when, where and why the roads speeds are placed and how when where and why they are policed. Or in fact not actually ‘policed’ – ie by the police – but how people are caught and fined by a privately run company that is largely owned by one of our large banks (I believe but could be mistaken) – REVENUE.

Yes this is about the speeding fine I received in the mail today. It was for doing 66kph in a 60 zone. In fact they take 3 kph off just in case their equipment is faulty so they say my actual speed was 69kph. Of course one must ask if there equipment could be out by 3kph couldn’t it read lower and higher ie plus or minus 3kph thereby my reading might actually be 66kph which they could then take 3 kph off to give me a reading of 63kph?? However that is not the point.

The reason they don’t like us speeding – they being the police is because they say it is dangerous. So me doing 6 kph over the speed limit driving up a very long straight and very wide road with clear, open vision for at least 6-700 meters ahead is apparently dangerous?? In the three years I have been driving along this road there has never been an accident in this road and in fact it is the sort of road that you will often see sign posted at 70 or 80 kmh. In fact it joins on to a road that is sign posted at 80 and then becomes a 90 for 1 kilometre before returning to 80. The fact is though that speeding along this road is not dangerous at least not if you are speeding by 6 – 10 kph over the limit as most traffic does daily on this road.

The reason a speed camera is put on this very straight, very safe, no incident road is that because it is so wide and has such great open forward vision people tend to drive along it safely but over the limit and the private company operating the speed cameras know it can make good money on this road – REVENUE!

I am teaching my daughter to drive and I am always telling her to be careful of her speed and she will complain about how often she is looking at her speedo instead of the road – a very common complaint from many many drivers – the fact that the speed police have us watching our speedos and taking our eyes off the road creates a very dangerous environment for road users and you could fairly say is an environment created by the speed police – STUPIDITY!

The police often say there is no such thing as safe speeding but in fact there are many people who would agree there is. There are plenty of stupid, irresponsible and criminal drivers out on the road and there are plenty of weird and inappropriate speed signs posted in strange and ill advised areas. Worse there are plenty of plain clothed camera cars sitting on very straight and safe pieces of road making good money out of people doing less than 10 kph over the limit – yes they are speeding according to the law but you cannot say they are being in any way, shape or form dangerous.

Sadly these camera cars and the revenue (and profit they make) have nothing to do with caring about our safety for if they did they would be patrolling known danger spots where their efforts could actually make a difference – would in fact save lives.

As for me I let my guard down, usually I spot these camera cars well in advance and check my speed and if I am over the limit then I adjust to the relevant posted sign and then when well away from the camera car do the smart and safe thing when driving on the road with lots of other cars – drive according to the conditions around me. Sometimes this means exceeding the posted limit and sometimes it means going slower than the limit – amazingly I was given my license because I was seen as a responsible, mature person able to think for myself and to operate a motor vehicle with prudence, intelligence and safety.


My Dad a Member of the Order of Australia

Saturday, January 28th, 2012

GUS Mercurio has been described as a man with great passion and respect for Australia by his son on the day he posthumously receives a Medal of the Order of Australia.

Vale Michael Dragan

Saturday, January 7th, 2012

My heart and thoughts go out to all my cousins in Wisconsin who will bury their youngest brother today. He was killed on the 29th of December when his car was hit by a train as he was crossing the tracks. Michael leaves behind a loving wife and three wonderful children. I cant imaging the shock of being given this news it is to me unfathomable and because of this I cannot imagine the pain that his brothers and sisters must be feeling – so unexpeceted, so violently sudden that there are no goodbyes, no last words, just an ugly dark hole ripped open and shoved unwanting and within all that loved him nestled coldly against our hearts.

I only met Michael and his wife Pam when I was in Wisconsin filming a year and a half ago. He was the youngest of 9 – the eldest brother Roger died of cancer some years ago so the family know loss but the sheer tragic nature of this will hurt for a long time.

I send my love and thoughts to you all I know it hurts so please be gentle with yourselves.

RIP Michael