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Capital punishments

By Skyring - 24 February 2010 29

There has been a rash of horrific fatal accidents recently, and the kneejerk reaction of governments around Australia has been to increase fines and punishments in legislation. Seize the cars of persistent offenders and crush them. Lock the buggers up. Fine the daylights out of them.
The idea is that, knowing there’s a savage penalty in store, drivers will fall into line, obey the road regulations in every respect, and the problem vanishes.
As ACT Chief Minister Jon Stanhope said, announcing tougher laws, “We are sending a clear message to the community that Canberra’s culture of dangerous driving will not be tolerated.”

Government is out of touch. The accidents have been fatal. The crime of being stupid on the roads is one that is punishable by death. Drivers know this, so what possible notice are they going to take of any lesser penalty? A hefty fine for going around a corner too fast and sliding into a tree is nothing when you compare it to having a branch speared through your trunk.
Sending messages to the community and paying for advertising campaigns doesn’t work. Jon Stanhope could be sitting beside some of the morons on the road, reading out the regulations, and they are still going to slug down a six-pack and whip out on wet roads for a pack of fags.
When self-policing obviously isn’t working, you need to get real actual burly police out there on the roads doing the policing.
The point for the government is that police are expensive and fatal car crashes are free. Apart from replacing the odd light pole it’s a user pays situation.
Well, Chief Minister Stanhope, I’m about fed up with some of these public artworks you’ve been scattering round interchanges and motorways. A pile of painted rocks and twisted metal girders may be art in your book, and well worth a couple of hundred thousand dollars to the “artist”, but it’s another useless roadside obstacle for drivers to run into if they lose control on a wet road, and it’s the cost of a car full of policemen patrolling the streets to catch the lunatics driving dangerously.
And there are lunatics out there. I’m a cabbie. I see them every day and night. They don’t care about the death penalty, and they aren’t going to care if you ratchet the dangerous driving fine up to a million bucks. It’s not going to happen to them so why should they worry?
Well, make it happen. Get a couple of coppers in an unmarked car appearing out of nowhere when they least expect it. That’ll send a message.

What’s Your opinion?

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29 Responses to
Capital punishments
Danman 12:56 pm 25 Feb 10

Mount a large barbed iron spike that ends centimeters from the face and body on the steering wheel of every P plate car.

imhotep 12:01 pm 25 Feb 10

chewy14 said :

Speeding High Range – Sleep Deprivation (Celine Dion protocol)

Now that’s a step too far I reckon.


troll-sniffer 11:55 am 25 Feb 10

chewy14 said :

So what you are saying is that we need the government to install a punishment for road offences that is worse than death?

I can see it now, The ACT Road Torture Division.

Speeding Low Range – Waterboarding
Speeding Mid Range – Sleep Deprivation
Speeding High Range – Sleep Deprivation (Celine Dion protocol)

Running a red light and speeding – Sleep Deprivation (Celine Dion and Max Bygraves mix protocol)

Other Driving in a manner dangerous – Constant repeats of Whitney Houston’s first two shows with eyelids propped up a la Clockwork Orange

chewy14 11:23 am 25 Feb 10

So what you are saying is that we need the government to install a punishment for road offences that is worse than death?

I can see it now, The ACT Road Torture Division.

Speeding Low Range – Waterboarding
Speeding Mid Range – Sleep Deprivation
Speeding High Range – Sleep Deprivation (Celine Dion protocol)

phil m 10:55 am 25 Feb 10

There should be a “getting people home safely” tax applied to alcohol served in pubs and clubs so that when people need to get themselves home after enjoying some drinkies they are eligible for a subsidised cab fare. Perhaps a $10 flat rate cab for up to a certain KM from the licenced venue to local residential address and the govt pays the rest of the fare from that tax revenue. People could collect taxi stamps when they buy a drink to ensure eligibility. Might actually promote more demand for Taxi drivers around this place, as I know they are usually pretty job-less.

Or better yet, fund such a scheme from taxes already collected from alcohol or fines from DUI and other road offenses. I guess all of that currently just gets rolled in to consolidated revenue?

Such a strategy might also stimulate movement around the city and encourage people to get out and inject cash into local pubs, creating jobs for locals.

Grail 10:46 am 25 Feb 10

We need to reinforce that driving is a privilege, not a right.

When someone gets their licence suspended because they caused an accident which killed people, they should prevented from getting their licence again. If you drink and drive, you should lose your licence. Not lose a few points. Not have it suspended. The privilege to drive should be permanently revoked.

How many people here have recovered from alcoholism? How many of you think it’s okay to get back on the booze again after you’ve been dry for a couple of years?

My opinion is that dangerous drivers are in the same situation as alcoholics – the only way to get them over their problem is to take away the catalyst. Cars or booze, they have to go. One third of that population might, if exposed to their vice again after a period of abstinence, never return to their dangerous behaviour. The problem is you can’t tell which two-thirds are the ones that will bee-line for the mortician’s bench.

Suspending a licence for a year or two is only postponing the inevitable.

Aurelius 9:55 am 25 Feb 10

For everyone running around crying “More police on the streets!”, may I recommend an alternate chant? “I will pay higher taxes if you implement my idea”
We get the government, and level of service we pay for. And the reality is that the punters out there in radio and TV land think lower taxes are more important than whatever you’re yelling about this week.
Like it or not, that’s the reality. Change the reality, and you might find yourself living in a better city. Until then, yell as much as you like, Nero’s not listening.

Clown Killer 9:28 am 25 Feb 10

Yawn. Here we go gain I suppose …

Thumper 8:25 am 25 Feb 10

Young women with P plates and frangipani stickers should be banned.

pptvb 8:08 am 25 Feb 10

Growling Ferret said :

Bring back the public shaming for DUI offenders by listing them in the Canberra Times

+ 1

Punter 11:25 pm 24 Feb 10

Wow. It’s been a long time since I’ve read such tripe. “The crime of being stupid on the roads is one that is punishable by death”? Beleive it or not, drivers at fault in fatal collisions aren’t always the ones who die. Perhaps if we started locking up people and taking their cars away from them for killing and seriously injuring others on the road, drivers may take notice and think twice before driving dangerously. And fatal car crashes cost considerably more to government (read taxpayer) than the cost of the odd light pole. Consider the emergency services and medical services involved, the costs of autopsies, Coroners and relevant staff. It’s not all about fatal crashes, consider the costs involved in people who survive with serious injuries, again with emergency and medical services, carers etc. and the list goes on. What’s the cost to the surviving family and friends? And your answer is a couple more cops on the road in unmarked cars? Dude, it’s you who is out of touch.

cleo 11:09 pm 24 Feb 10

Yes and they can start on Forbes street where most of the petrol heads roar up the street to avoid traffic camera’s on Northbourne!

Felix the Cat 10:16 pm 24 Feb 10

Cops need more marked cars, not unmarked. Plenty of lunatic drivers out there, cabbies being quite high on the list actually. Agree that there are much better and more important things the govt should be spending money on rather than public artworks. Why is it the hospital has to get a radio station to organise a fundraiser for a humidicrib but the govt has tens (hundreds?)of thousands of dollars available for a pile of scrapmetal to be dumped alongside GDE?

Growling Ferret 9:38 pm 24 Feb 10

Bring back the public shaming for DUI offenders by listing them in the Canberra Times

bd84 9:24 pm 24 Feb 10

Stanhope can find every excuse in the book to create more cameras on poles, useless safety signs and random poles in the ground that he calls artwork. None of those are going to prevent people like the bogan idiot in the blue falcon with the pink australian flag captioned “aussie pride” on back windscreen, who I had to brake hard to avoid when he cut in front of me this morning as he was in the wrong lane to make his exit. Off he sped with his young child in the back with the right rear tyre half flat, the image of a caring family man.. Police visible on the roads are the only way people will take notice, they might not catch every idiot, but it will make people think twice.

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