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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.
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Gerry-Built 11:44 pm 03 Jan 09

ant @ #48 – hmmmmmm true that…

ant 11:18 pm 03 Jan 09

The thing is, when you flash someone, they don’t know what’s up ahead, they just know that something is up ahead. All the sanctimony about RBTs versus revenue raising aside, I cannot imagine many people turning around when seeing a flash, just in case it’s a RBT.

Spideydog 11:00 pm 03 Jan 09

@ post 46. You are actually allowed to do that in Oz.

Lenient 10:17 pm 03 Jan 09

In europe people flash before overtaking. Of course, this would be silly in canberra where indicating is optional.

Gerry-Built 7:20 pm 03 Jan 09

Flashing someone to warn them of impending speed traps/RBT is plain stupid. If someone does the crime, let them cop the damned fine. I’m all for the proposed fines. I seem to recall a huge reaction on RA against the woman who hid evidence from the Charnwood Murder – seems to me that flashing headlights is for the crime of speeding/drink driving, what that woman did for the crime of murder (& I am clearly not comparing speeding/drink driving to murder). Let them get caught!

I am, however, all for flashing headlights to warn of accidents, animals or other hazards ahead – just plain courtesy.

ChrisinTurner 6:41 pm 03 Jan 09

I always flash my lights at oncoming speeding vehicles, unless there is a speed camera or police trap waiting to get them. The speed cameras are not there to just to slow people down but to get these drivers off the road, by accumulating demerit points or by license suspension.

Thumper 6:13 pm 03 Jan 09

Agreed, I’ll flash on open roads, but not in school zones or residential areas.

poptop 5:36 pm 03 Jan 09

TAD, knowing that a friendly headlight flash may come from an unmarked police vehicle has made my day.

Kim F 5:35 pm 03 Jan 09

I will flash for speed camera’s in what I consider revenue raising spots. I never flash for speed camera’s in residential areas nor school zones.

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