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NSW introducing fines for drivers flashing lights to warn speeding motorists.

By Che_elle - 2 January 2009 49

I was concerned to see a clip on the local news recently that NSW police intend to fine motorists using the “flashing of headlights” to warn other motorists of the presence of a speed camera or Random Breath Testing (RBT) van. Perhaps I am naïve, but I have not been privy to seeing the headlights used to warn of RBT’s, so this was new for me.

The police argue that flashing headlights potentially warns “drunk drivers” to veer off their current path to avoid the RBT. Perhaps this might be true. This post is intended only to deal with the speeding aspect of the proposed or new NSW law.

I do not condone speeding, I want to be clear about that. Perhaps because people have wised up to the fixed speed camera locations, the revenue base has dropped so the government need to find a new target in order to meet cash flow for future spending proposals.

Flashing headlights by motorists has the effect of slowing traffic when a speed trap/radar is present.

But blatant revenue raising without serious efforts to combat the danger are not helpful. With the introduction of fixed speed camera in the ACT I have noticed a marked drop in the presence of mobile speed units deployed on our roads and even less use of radars than we previously saw. I also find the introduction of this in the holiday period somewhat offensive, although I do note that the holiday period is the greatest danger period on our roads.

My point is this, perhaps the practice of flashing headlights is one effective way of reducing speeding on our roads. Sure the government gets no money for the penance of these drivers, but if these cameras are really here for our safety, and not revenue what is the harm of drivers doing their bit to minimizing speeding as well. But in order for flashing of headlights to be necessary there has to be a police presence on our roads not just a private contractor who has a quota of fines to issue each day.

If a person is determined to speed, they will slow appropriately for the fixed camera or the radar and once a safe distance beyond it increase back to their chosen speed. A greater presence on our roads of traffic police means that people will be more likely to drive slower. Fining other motorists for trying to obtain the same objective is nonsense.

I am interested in the views of other Canberrans and NSW residents on this. I personally hope that it is not an idea that the ACT government endorses.

What’s Your opinion?

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49 Responses to
NSW introducing fines for drivers flashing lights to warn speeding motorists.
Duke 11:39 am 02 Jan 09

Agree with most here. I flash regularly, but only for those nasty white vans which enjoy booking people in a 60 zones. I would never flash for a RBT.

imhotep 11:38 am 02 Jan 09

I’m a bit selective. I warn other drivers of the ACT’s mobile fund raising vans, but I’m always happy to let the cops catch a few, especially those on RBT, who are simply doing their job -no doubt trying to prevent the carnage they often have to clean up as part of their job.

Thumper 11:31 am 02 Jan 09

Or the number of people driving on unfamiliar roads is also much greater.

deye 11:30 am 02 Jan 09

although I do note that the holiday period is the greatest danger period on our roads

Is it, or is it that it is the time of the year that the media takes note of the numbers.

Aurelius 11:04 am 02 Jan 09

I flash oncoming drivers all the time.
Except when there’s a cop hidden in their path.

Thumper 10:50 am 02 Jan 09

Isn’t the point of these devices to stop ppl speeding, not to catch them.

Yes. Interesting dichotomy….

taco 10:40 am 02 Jan 09

I always thought that flashing your high beams to warn oncoming traffic about a speedtrap was already illegal, and covered by the more general fine for using high beams with on-coming traffic

I’d still do it regardless

blaringmike 10:19 am 02 Jan 09

Most times I flash my lights if there is a speed camera/radar ahead.

Isn’t the point of these devices to stop ppl speeding, not to catch them. At least thats what the government will tell you as they quickly pocket the millions of dollars worth of speed camera revenue.

Pandy 10:15 am 02 Jan 09

I am glad for any woman to flash her high beams anytime.

ant 10:03 am 02 Jan 09

I’ve seen just as much flashing around RBTs as speed traps. I always have a glance around for cops before doing my civic duty and warning the next lot of cars. I also use this to warn of a surprising road hazard ahead, like cars stopped for a crash, or a big dead roo still on the road or whatever, they’ll slow down and thus deal withi the hazard better.

blueberry 9:53 am 02 Jan 09

I some times flash my lights when i see sombody obviously speeding towards me, slows them down quick smart, But i wouldn’t do it if there actually was a speed camera or RBT.

If your driving like a dick head you deserve to be caught.

Woody Mann-Caruso 9:50 am 02 Jan 09

Another numpty who thinks having expensive police officers driving around all day in expensive cars so they can engage in dangerous chases is a sound solution to speeding.

There are already coppers everywhere. Wish I had my camera on NYE to take a pic of the double whammy outside Albert Hall – marked vehicle pulled over a motorcycle on one side of the road and an unmarked white 4WD pulled over some purple ricer monstrosity on the other. I see them pulling over somebody most days on my way to and from work. Sometimes they even nab people running the bus lane at the Yamba Dr roundabout.

Do you really think if you were busted by a cop rather than a camera you’d be less of a whiner? I doubt it. Go away and get some stats to support your wild claims that “the revenue base has dropped” and that there has been a “marked reduction” in the number of police on the road- then you can come back and argue like an adult and not some sissy conspiracy theorist.

Pommy bastard 9:45 am 02 Jan 09

I have always flashed to warn others of speed cameras, and have been appreciative of others doing it to me.

I’m no hoon, I drive sedately, but, like most drivers I believe, a little over the given limit. (I find Aus’s limits VERY slow.)

I would not condone flashing for RBT though, as I find drink driving evil.

BerraBoy68 9:35 am 02 Jan 09

I for one have no problem with the Police fining people for flashing their headlights as a warning to others. I don’t, and never will, do it. This practice only helps people that should be caught to avoid getting their just desserts.

Sammy 9:23 am 02 Jan 09

I think the headline you’ve used is spurious. I thought the police officer on the news item was quite clear that they were really concerned about people flashing to warn of upcoming RBT stations, rather than speed cameras. He did mention that both were illegal, but the RBT issue was the one that they were really concerned about.

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