Chief Minister talks tough about drink driving

johnboy 9 February 2009 31

Jon Stanhope retains the services of a Chief Justice and a Minister for Corrections who have both been caught DUI in recent times.

You have to wonder what sort of message that sends to the community.

But that hasn’t stopped our Chiefly Leader from putting out a media release condemning the high number of drink drivers caught in January, which might in part be related to the very welcome much higher numbers of police out on the roads.

    “”It is completely unacceptable that some members of our community cannot see that drink-driving poses a serious danger not just to themselves, but to other Canberrans,” Mr Stanhope said.

    “The ACT Government and ACT Police are working closely to target and reduce drink driving through road safety cameras, strongly-worded message billboards and a greater police presence.”

Also apparently in Stanhope-world the point to point speed cameras are going to combat this scourge… No seriously!

And then the push to essentially de-criminalise drink driving is presented as a tough measure against it:

    “I have also asked the Attorney General Simon Corbell to take urgent advice on adopting the Victorian system for dealing with drink-driving offences, where offences carry a mandatory fine and licence disqualification period, depending on blood alcohol level and almost never involve a court appearance.”

He finishes with a little lecture to you all:

    I want every Canberran to understand that road rules exist for a reason: to make our roads safer for everyone,” Mr Stanhope said.

What's Your Opinion?


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31 Responses to Chief Minister talks tough about drink driving
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Holierthanthou Holierthanthou 10:51 pm 10 Feb 09

How would you distinguish between mobile phone using drivers and passengers, public transport users etc?

I wouldn’t, the police would. Note that i said the mob phone company would inform the police, not urban services who would then automatically fine the culprit. This info would only be of use if the phone user was able to be subequnetly identified by police on patrol or otherwise photgraphed (maybe by red ligt cameras). Naturally, phone use at high speed is not illegal, just while driving.

Won’t happen of course, telecoms can hardly get a bill right let alone a coplex system like this. It’s just mob phone drivers get me sooooo angry. arrrgh red mist must kill phone users.

Lenient Lenient 10:22 pm 10 Feb 09

“You’re a smart guy! So passengers of the car also cannot use mobile phones while the car is moving.

Genius!”

He is smart, he said “send details to police” obviously meaning police on the road or in mobile speed units who could photograph or witness. Not sent to police sitting scoffing doughnuts at a desk. Duh.

jakez jakez 9:15 am 10 Feb 09

old canberran said :

I spent a month in Woden Hospital Intensive care ward many years ago compliments of an 18 year old .185 who didn’t know what a give way sign was for or that the speed limit was a lot less than 80.
He was fined a large amount of money and had his licence cancelled for 3 years. My son saw him driving a week after the court hearing. So much for penalties.

Did he have to pay you restitution?

tylersmayhem tylersmayhem 9:14 am 10 Feb 09

You could catch mob phone drivers by getting phone companies to send details to police about users who shift recpetion between 3 towers wthin a time that could only be done by car travel.

You’re a smart guy! So passengers of the car also cannot use mobile phones while the car is moving.

Genius!

Granny Granny 3:58 am 10 Feb 09

That really sucks, old canberran!

old canberran old canberran 2:12 am 10 Feb 09

I spent a month in Woden Hospital Intensive care ward many years ago compliments of an 18 year old .185 who didn’t know what a give way sign was for or that the speed limit was a lot less than 80.
He was fined a large amount of money and had his licence cancelled for 3 years. My son saw him driving a week after the court hearing. So much for penalties.

johnboy johnboy 11:06 pm 09 Feb 09

Take a hint. Let’s not.

miz miz 11:02 pm 09 Feb 09

yes PM, I’m agog – Tell us more!

Deckard Deckard 9:08 pm 09 Feb 09

PM said :

driving one’s government funded car through scrub to catch up with one’s mistress is as deserving of a patronising tone as drink driving?

I’d like to know more about this though. Anyone we know?

Deckard Deckard 9:07 pm 09 Feb 09

How about making them display the P plate upside down. Everyone would know to keep a distance from someone with ‘d’ plates.

Special G Special G 8:58 pm 09 Feb 09

Makes plenty of sense. Most states do this for a range of minor offences such as shoplifting, fighting in public, drink driving low range. Nothing is decriminalised just if people are prepared to plead guilty they pay the fine and accept the charge – this cuts out the Court factor reducing costs to the community. If people plead not guilty they make representations to the fact then Police prepare the brief as usual. Currently in the ACT everything goes to Court. Court costs are about $55 – somehow I think it costs more to the public coffers than $55 to send someone to Court.

Last year ACT Govt brought in on the spot fines for a couple of things – urinating in public and graffiti – bring it on I say.

southeeplace southeeplace 8:55 pm 09 Feb 09

Holierthanthou said :

You could catch mob phone drivers by getting phone companies to send details to police about users who shift recpetion between 3 towers wthin a time that could only be done by car travel.

How would you distinguish between mobile phone using drivers and passengers, public transport users etc?

Holierthanthou Holierthanthou 8:19 pm 09 Feb 09

You could catch mob phone drivers by getting phone companies to send details to police about users who shift recpetion between 3 towers wthin a time that could only be done by car travel.

I have never been rtb’d in 30 years of driving.

pug206gti pug206gti 3:37 pm 09 Feb 09

It seems to me that there’s a decided lack of visible policing of drink driving in the ACT. In NSW it seems the popo set up RBTs regularly and in all manner or places, so much so that drivers expect to be stopped and act accordingly.

Having never once been stopped for an RBT in 4 years in the ACT, and having only ever seen them operating 5 times (10am on the Parkway doesn’t count!) it’s unsurprising that the culture of the huns is to avoid a $40 taxi fare and get behind the wheel because 99 times 100 they get away with it.

Get serious about making ACT Policing do RBTs and you’ll get serious about stopping the drinking driving happening. It’ll take a year or two but it’ll happen.

monomania monomania 3:24 pm 09 Feb 09

proofpositive said :

Drink drivers first offence – Put them back on “P” plates for 3 years with a 0.02 alcohol limit.
Speeders 20km/h+ over the speed limit first office – Put them back on “P” plates with 4 points for 3 years.

Drink Driving laws at the moment seem to be fine. They are harsh enough for what is a serious offense but one that may be committed for the first time when a person makes an error of judgement. Why set up first timers for repeat offenses by reducing the alcohol limit.

Stigmatizing people caught speeding 20km/h+ by putting them back to P plates seems harsh. Various speed traps around Canberra seem designed to catch the unwary when 80Km/h changes back to 60Km/h for instance.

Very Busy Very Busy 2:04 pm 09 Feb 09

Yep, and I think speed cameras must also be the most successful method for catching mobile phone users, those that fail to use their indicators and those that cross unbroken lines. Well done Mr Chief Minister, I feel so much safer on our roads now!!!!

Thumper Thumper 1:38 pm 09 Feb 09

You’re sadly mistaken Mr Toad, the best way to reduce drink driving is to install more speed cameras.

Everyone knows that.

barking toad barking toad 1:09 pm 09 Feb 09

The best way to reduce drink/drive offences is to make it 0.10 instead of the girly 0.05.

Then, even the minister for lunch wouldn’t get sprung.:)

tylersmayhem tylersmayhem 12:56 pm 09 Feb 09

@powell01: crap, what happened (if you are prepared to talk about it)?

baldilocks baldilocks 12:53 pm 09 Feb 09

Actually two of the 4 permanent judges of the ACT Supreme Court have been caught DUI. The Chief Justice and also Justice Gray (March 2002) – 50% of the resident ACT Supreme Court judges have been done for DUI. A good example to the rest of the community. NOT.

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