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.