Insights from Quadrant

In a fine state

When Victoria’s population was half the size, five times as many people died on the state’s roads.

Senior members of the Victorian constabulary recently joined with road safety experts and academics in proclaiming their shared intention to see the state’s road toll reduced to zero, a proposition that if taken at face value speaks of a wonderful optimism. Back in the Seventies, when the Garden State’s population was half what it is today, it was a rare year when at least 1000 people did not die on the roads, so 2018’s tally of 211 represents a remarkable achievement in every sense. Indeed, one might even conclude that further reductions can only be incremental — unless, of course, our masters in Spring Street ban the private use of vehicles altogether.

One might also conclude that, having won the traffic-death war, Victoria Police might want to declare victory and switch some manpower — sorry, personpower, this is Andrewsstan on the Yarra, don’t forget —  from mailing out fine notices to addressing areas of more immediate public concern. Gangs of violent youths kicking in doors at 1am and rioting on beaches  spring immediately to mind.

Apparently Queensland law enforcement authorities are following the same road as their southern cousins, but unlike Victoria, where we believe everything the Labor government tells us, there remain cynics who see hefty fines for being 3km-per-hour over the limit as having a lot more to do with revenue than a reverence for human life. Friend of Quadrant and frequent contributor Geoffrey Luck is one such specimen. Suspicion of a state-sponsored shakedown scheme incited his muse:

Radar Gun

Police always wait  at the bottom of a hill
Hide behind trees chanting “Speed will kill”
They really don’t care about me or you
All they want is the revenue.

Radar gun!  Radar gun!
Best slow down or they’ll zap you, son!

The speed signs change as you drive along
You don’t really notice, you’re singing your song
From 80 to 40 as you come near a school
And ping! the radar traps another poor fool

Radar gun!  Radar gun!
Best slow down or they’ll zap you, son!

The politician sits back in his white limousine
Dreaming up restrictions even more obscene
The tradesman hurrying off to work in his truck
Sees the radar car too late , and – oh  #*@+!

Radar gun!  Radar gun!
Best slow down or they’ll zap you, son!

The highway speed’s one hundred and ten
Set the cruise control … and then
Nod off to sleep ‘cos Australia’s too wide
It’s a ridiculous limit, so another has died.

Radar gun!  Radar gun!
Best slow down or they’ll zap you, son!

They plaster the roads with signs to engage you
“How fast are you going?” – it’s enough to enrage you
When you see “You’re doing two hundred” – wow!
It’s “$s” not “Ks” the gov’ment’s thinking of now.

Radar gun!  Radar gun!
Best slow down or they’ll zap you, son!
   

Tens of thousands of people each year
Are caught at speed and it costs them dear
But most just stray over the line – and you
And I know it’s the revenue.

Radar gun!  Radar gun!
Best slow down or they’ll zap you, son!

The police are waiting at the bottom of the hill
They sit humming their mantra “Speed will kill”
They don’t give two bits about me or you
All they want is their revenue.

Radar gun!  Radar gun!
Best slow down or they’ll zap you, son!

0 comments
Post a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.