Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Melbourne Drivers

Melbourne drivers are said by some to be the worst in the world, I must defend them, the drivers in PNG and much of Asia are a slightly worse. Today I was merging where two lanes become one, the done thing is for each lane to let one car at a time in front of them, thereby allowing the traffic to keep moving and it is fair to all. When my turn came to merge I placed myself to blend into the adjacent lane behind the car already in that lane. As I did this a silver commodore sped up and tried to stop me from merging, being a forcible mood I just kept going and inserted my car into the spot. Next thing the silver commodore pushed himself into the next lane and slowed down next to me and started waving a piece of paper at me, I think he was trying to tell me he had my number. He then took off at a great rate of knots to get to the next traffic light before me. Was I in the wrong?

I have driven in many countries where the police are more forgiving the people let each other in and generally they behave in a civilised manner. In England you the speed limit on the motorways is 115kph however as long as it is safe and the traffic quite the police will not bother you until about 135kph. England has the lowest per capita road toll in the world and the safest roads, perhaps if Mr Bracks and Senior Sergeant Ritchie concerned themselves with peoples behavior and less with fining people we may move forward and get a lower toll. In my line of work I attend serious and fatal road accidents regularly, after 22 years I can say I have rarely seen a an accident caused by speed, rather it is nearly always dangerous driving, failing to give way or gross stupidity that has been the cause. When was the last time a police officer booked someone for dangerous driving? How many fines go out each day for 5 to 10 kph over when it is safe to do so?

I dream of the day when our governments move to a free society where people are not fined into behaving the way the government of the day thinks they should. Ross Stevenson said recently "Victoria is a place where everything is compulsory or it is banned" I couldn't put it better myself.

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