WHAT a short memory the Baillieu Government seems to have.
In Opposition, the Liberals were staunch critics of the former Bracks government's decision to tie annual fine and fee increases to CPI rises.
But that opposition seems to have evaporated now they're in government, facing increasing budgetary pressures during a time of economic uncertainty, and looking to secure whatever revenue they can.
Treasurer Kim Wells has simply signed off on a 2.5 per cent increase to statutory fees and fines, rubber-stamping a bigger hit in everything from speed camera revenue to fees for car registration.
The result means the state is set to rake in an extra $22 million a year.
The CPI increase is automatic, enshrined in law, but, despite his party's earlier criticisms, Premier Ted Baillieu has made no attempt to abolish it.
The Government may argue the increase is less than the 3.1 per cent inflation rate and the money raised represents less than 3 per cent of overall government revenue, but its failure to repeal the automatic hikes smacks of hypocrisy.Add a comment
Jay Hancocks Blog - The Baltimore Sun Paper 14th Dec 2011
I am a traffic conservative. Not counting the speed camera citation I got a few weeks ago, I have received one speeding ticket in the last 30 years. I am the guy obeying the speed limit in my neighborhood while cars pile up behind me tailgating. I'm the person admonishing my wife and kids for having lead feet.
However I can't say, as some readers seem to be prepared to do, that ever-proliferating speed cameras used under almost any conditions are a great thing. The feedback from yesterday's column was pretty evenly divided between readers with their own horror stories (check out the guy who got a school-zone speed-camera ticket in Catonsville the day after Thanksgiving, when schools were closed), who were sympathetic to Jim Hunter, whom I quoted, and those who believe speed cameras increase safety and are a force for good. I agree that ticketing speed violators is a good idea. I don't agree that speed cameras should be allowed just about anywhere, with little warning to drivers.
Hunter's main gripes are that the camera that nailed him wasn't well marked and it didn't seem to be in a genuine construction zone. Those points seemed to have been lost on some readers. Here's a sample of my email feedback on Monday:
It really grieves me that a Connecticut businessman was booked by a speed camera going 67 in a 55-mph zone and given a $40 fine. And that you yourself were snapped going 43 in a 30-mph school zone.
What is this? No one can read anymore? You exceed posted speed limits by 21 and 13 miles per hour and bellyache that you got a ticket? And that it’s the fault of the State of Maryland that needs to fill its coffers with money from innocent drivers?
IMHO (In my humble opinion, for those who don’t use email shorthand), your only reaction should be gratitude that Maryland allows a generous 11 miles over the limit leeway before issuing tickets and that you didn’t hit or kill someone.
Give us a break. Speed cameras do their job of getting “I’m above the law” drivers to slow down and avoid accidents. IMHO, there should be one at every corner.
I received my third speed camera ticket in the last three weeks last night for going 48 mph on a 35 mph stretch of Northern Parkway. The other two were for the same stretch of road next to the State Office Building on Preston Street where it is a 25 mph street on Howard. I have heard they give you a break for up to 12 mph over the speed limit, and I believe each and every one of my tickets were for 13 mph over. It is a big drain on my non existent cash flow, where I live from paycheck to paycheck and have to drive about 25 miles each way to my job. Thanks, Jay. It was very gratifying to know I am not the only one who is suffering and I was shocked to realize it is only Maryland that is doing this on the East Coast.
GREAT piece, Mr, Hancock. Here is the comment I added.Add a comment
The only reason that Maryland CAN be the notorious speed trap state and red light camera trap state is that the traffic safety engineering parameters are deliberately and maliciously done improperly to reduce safety and facilitate more ticket camera revenue.
If all main roads were posted with the speed limits that produce the greatest safety, the 85th percentile speed of free flowing traffic under good conditions, speed cameras could not issue enough citations to even pay their own costs of operation.
If all traffic lights had yellow intervals long enough for the ACTUAL 85th percentile speeds of approaching traffic to produce the minimum number of violations and the greatest safety, they could not issue enough citations to even pay their own basic costs of operation.
Speed and red light cameras are just cynical means to make money with improper engineering and unethical traffic management policies.
In Michigan USA (and other states) the authorities allow nearly 18km/h before they issue a speed camera fine. In Perth Western Australia, the official leeway is 1km/h before a speed camera ticket is issued.
People in Michigan and across the country are up in arms about speed cameras and red light cameras and various states and counties have had enough and are kicking them out. (By the way, their speed cameras are mostly made by Redflex an Australian company.) When Western Australian are told that they are going to get pounded with new fixed and mobile speed cameras over the next few years what do we do about it?
Australians have been hood winked by the "Road Safety" spin and propaganda that state governments leak out into the community like a colourless, odourless gas until we are all stuporous and numb? Road deaths are used as the "thin edge of the wedge" to install more and more speed cameras on our roads. But the truth is that you could replace every speed camera in Australia with potted plants and have the same effect on the road toll.
What about Victorian's? Why do they just allow their state to be overrun with speed cameras and do absolutely nothing to stop it? " VICTORIA - THE SPEED CAMERA STATE OF AUSTRALIA" (Does half the population own shares in Redflex?)
Is the fear of standing up for ones self or the fear of ridicule that keeps Australian from protesting in the streets. Americans have a history of throwing off the yoke of a tyrannical government and hence are more willing to act when their freedom is at stake. Is it more socially acceptable for average people the United States to protest without feeling guilty?
Personally, I think protesting in Australia has be come a dirty word that for too long has been linked to left wing "rent a protestor" groups and crazy tree-huggers with radical green and pink hair. It just isn't normal for well adjusted Australians to get some placards together and stand outside parliament and exercise their democratic right to protest. If it wasn't for the Union movement in Australia there just wouldn't be anyone protesting about anything – EVER!
This is a call to arms people – "Turn the pyramid upside down!"
POLITICIANS ARE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PYRAMID DOING OUR BIDDING – NOT AT THE TOP OF THE PYRAMID PUSHING US AROUND.
by Webmaster - PoliceSpeedCameras.info
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