30 August 2021

Probing the polls: vaccination payments and speeding fines

| Genevieve Jacobs
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Speed camera

They’ve been a controversial new addition to Northbourne Avenue, but there are a few things you can do to lessen the financial pinch. Photo: Dominic Giannini.

As Canberra faces down our first community outbreak of COVID-19 and consequent lockdown, what will it take to get us out of the crisis? Can restrictions save us, or will we have to vaccinate our way out of the crisis? If so, how do we speed that up?

Federal Labor has proposed a national $300 payment to ensure as many Australians as possible are vaccinated by the end of the year. The Commonwealth Government disagrees, arguing that it’s a cheap gesture for a crisis where all Australians should be willing to step up.

We asked, Is a $300 vaccination payment a good idea?

A total of 1647 people voted. Your options were to vote No, it’s a waste of public money and unnecessary. This received 60 per cent of the total, or 992 votes. Alternatively, you could choose to vote Yes, it’s a small price to get an urgent job done. This received 40 per cent of the total or 655 votes.

This week, we’re wondering about all those people who copped speeding fines when the 40 km/h zones were implemented in Civic. There’s been widespread consternation about the fines, which caught thousands of Canberrans unaware, and the reasons behind them.

READ ALSO Speeding fines, parking tickets: why do people complain when they know they’re doing the wrong thing?

But should people be complaining? Our columnists argued that there was plenty of warning and a grace period for the change.

“Watching people lose their heads over the speed limit change in Civic this past month, I’m questioning what they consider the law to be in place for? Is the fact that there are consequences for breaking it really that earth-shattering as a realisation?

“Or is it just that people are fine with rules when they apply to others, just not when they find themselves on the receiving end of a consequence?” Zoya Patel wrote.

Chris Olsen disagreed: “Maybe just maybe pedestrians should take responsibility for the behaviour like not crossing at lights or against the red, but no, let’s just punish drivers because they’re an easy target and a cash cow.”

Simm said: “Lowering Civic from 60 km/h to 40 km/h is as impractical as if it were 10 km/h. Does not work for the majority. The ones who thought 40 km/h was a good idea are just deemed wrong by the thousands.”

READ ALSO Been pinged on Northbourne Avenue? Here’s what you can do about it

But Patrick Murray was on board, writing: “Yes yes yes. This is exactly it. Road rules are the road rules, and although you’re all entitled to your opinions, they’re irrelevant. If you get caught breaking the law, there are consequences. Remember, driving is a privilege, not a right.”

Our question this week is:

Are the speed limit changes and fines on Northbourne a good idea?

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