I was driving around Canberra earlier this day, showing a friend from Victoria around the city. After about an hour of driving, he turned to me and said “Where are all the speed cameras?”
I had to think for a while because I only knew the location of five, two on The Monaro Highway, One on Lanyon Drive, one in manuka and one in Civic. Then he asked me where the mobile ones were. His interest being that as a Victorian traffic cop, he had not spotted a single speed camera in the time we were driving around. I replied that in the ten years I’ve lived in the region, I would have seen less than ten speed cameras in the ACT, and less than five in Queanbeyan. He was astounded, and asked if we had any unmarked mobile speed cameras.
I replied that I didn’t think so, but as I didn’t speed, I wouldn’t know. (okay, I may go a few kilometres over the speed limit for very short periods due to keeping an eye on traffic between routine checks of the speedo, but I never intentionally speed). I did point out that the only mobile speed cameras I’d seen in the ACT were big white Tarago like vans with signs saying “your speed
has been checked” on top of them and “speed camera ahead” displayed in front of them in most cases.
My friend was quite appalled. He said he had heard that speed enforcement was a bit slack up here, but had not realised just how slack it was. I did point out though that the road statistics seemed to indicate that there were relatively few fatalities in the ACT. He argued back that for the population size the number of deaths per ten thousand people was probably higher in the ACT that most places except for the Northern Territory which, according to him, consistently has the highest number of deaths per capita of any state. Then he pointed out that technically NT is now a state, which I knew anyway, but figured I’d mention it anyway.
As we drove he pointed out a multitude of traffic infringements of drivers over a one hour period. These included:
- 64 cases of drivers not indicating left when leaving a round about. (yes, we went around lots of round abouts)
- 13 drivers who did not indicate when changing lanes
- 4 drivers who did not indicate when turning.
- 7 drivers not indicating when merging.
- 4 drivers using their mobile phone when driving.
- 1 driver turning against a do not enter sign.
- 2 drivers who failed to give way to pedestrians at traffic lights while turning.
- 3 drivers who did not wait for pedestrians to clear a zebra crossing before moving on.
- 6 probable cases of drivers exceeding the speed limit in a school zone.
- 2 probable cases of drivers probably exceeding the speed limit by 20 km/h, both on Hindmarsh Road hill.
- 1 cyclist not stopping for red lights. (but for two lights)
- 3 cyclists including 2 chidren not dismounting at lights.
- Countless pedestrians walking through “do not walk” signs / symbols.
- 2 seperate traffic accidents in almost the same sppot just under an hour apart.
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Of course, in legal speak those are all “alleged”.
- Now I’m not saying any drivers from any particular geographic are of Australia
are any better or worse than any others. But I am interested in people’s opinions
- Do you think ACT region drivers are better or worse than drivers from other
parts of Australia?
- Do you think there is anything that ACT region drivers do better or worse
than drivers from other parts of Australia?
- Do you think we already have enough speed cameras? Or that we need more?
- And what do you think about unmarked mobile speed cameras? Good for us,
or a pain?
- Finally, do you think penalties for driving while using a non hands free
mobile phone are harsh enough, or too harsh?
And please, unless you have definitive proof from reputable sources that you do provide a link to, please keep your answers racism and sexism free. I don’t have an opinion on much of those questions myself, but I am interested in what other people’s opinions are.