Poll: Why is speed trapping not slowing us down on our roads?

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Thread: Speed limits.

  1. #1
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Speed limits.

    Having a fleet of vehicles on the road, I can't help noticing that speed "enforcement" has become big business. Traffic officials have really got high tech to slow us down on the road - because that is supposed to be the goal - right?

    It's an interesting conflict between technologies.

    The general speed limit has stayed the same in urban areas forever (well as long as I can remember, anyway).

    The roads have improved. Heck, we have three lane dual carriageways that look like highways with a traffic light every kilometer or so with 60 km/h speed limits.

    The cars have got better. We have radials instead of cross ply tyres. Suspension and roadholding is massively improved. We have disc brakes instead of drum brakes. In short, our motor vehicles can stop a lot faster than they used to. Unfortunately they can generally go a lot faster too.

    And they do. Travelling at 100 km/h nowadays feels more stable (and slower) than travelling at 60 km/h some 30 years ago in a Mini Cooper.

    And the great technological counter to slow us down - virtually invisible speed monitoring and recording.

    It used to be that we knew we were speeding because a guy in police uniform used to jump out of the bushes and inform us of this fact. Before this camoflage era you could actually see the guys waiting down the road to check your speed.

    Heck. That one worked for me - stayed under the speed limit every time, and the one time I did get caught I blame myself for not paying attention. If you're not paying enough attention you shouldn't be driving in the first place, right. I got off lightly and got better at not being distracted by attractive passengers. Lesson learnt.

    So where is the problem? Why aren't we slowing down?

    Is it the improved safety of the motor vehicles?
    Is it the improved technnology of speed trapping?
    Or is it the fact that we've moved on and speed limits haven't?
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    This article on M&G deals with aspects of camera speed trapping.

    Camera speed fines are only valid if the camera is manned and if motorists are warned beforehand, right?
    Wrong. The National Prosecutions Authority has dispelled some myths regarding the legality of speed fines, in particular fines generated by cameras.

    --and--

    "Speed prosecution cameras are also only obligated to be calibrated every six months. As far as summons in the post carrying any weight to contest a fine in court is concerned, that will depend on whether it is accepted by the court or not, but the motorist is allowed to contest it in court if he wishes," said NPA spokesperson Makhosini Nkosi.
    I notice they're a bit coy on the subject of postal service of summons.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

  3. #3
    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    I actually don't think it has anything to do with car safety, roads or anything else. There is really only one reason drivers have not slowed down.

    They have chosen not to.

    It seems that everyone always has an excuse for speeding, ranging from the car they drive to how they are a better driver than everyone else. Dave Barry said it nicely, "Everyone thinks that they are an above average driver."

    To me, the problem lies deeper in our society.

    It seems that in South Africa there is some sort of underlying issue with the law. Everyday we chose to be above the law in some way. Whether it is not wearing out seatbelts, driving too fast, or fraud, there is a general disrespect for the law. It seems that the way people choose to drive is indicative of a greater problem rather than the actual problem.

    Ducking the law seems to be something that is admired, rather than shunned. When was the last time you noticed how awed people tend to be when hearing about someone driving a BMW at 220km/h, and avoiding getting fined because they saw the lines and used their ABS/EBD etc.?

    Road laws in particular are a good example because they are there to protect people. The reality is that if you're driving too fast/not wearing a seatbelt/don't have a roadworthy car etc. someone's life is in danger (it may be yours, a passenger's, or a pedestrian's).

    Why do we in South Africa see the law as something to work against rather than work with?

    It is time to start choosing. Choose to obey the law and don't make excuses about crime and "Why should I if they don't have to?" and so on. Make the right choice today, not because you have to, but because you want to.

    I saw an AIDS poster in the SARS office the other day, "I wondered why somebody didn't do anything, then I realised - I am somebody."

    It starts with me - I'm trying to make the right choices.
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  4. #4
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsd
    Road laws in particular are a good example because they are there to protect people. The reality is that if you're driving too fast/not wearing a seatbelt/don't have a roadworthy car etc. someone's life is in danger (it may be yours, a passenger's, or a pedestrian's).

    Why do we in South Africa see the law as something to work against rather than work with?
    Having nearly got wiped out yesterday by a taxi going through a red traffic light because his brakes couldn't stop him in time, I tend to see your point.

    So who are our worst traffic offenders? Our professional drivers.

    Pretty well anywhere else in the world (at least the parts I've visited), the professional drivers are models of how to drive, as in within the law, not as per Need for Speed.

    The "Professional Driver's Permit" system is a joke.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

  5. #5
    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Alcock
    So who are our worst traffic offenders? Our professional drivers.
    Definitely true - first thing to do is weed out corruption with drivers licenses. Should be done in parallel with taking unlicensed drivers + vehicles off the road (government must speed up the recap programme).

    My point is more that we should each take responsibility and then model that to whoever we can.
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    Those new taxis seem to go faster than the old Hiace. And more bodies on board too. Was this a good idea?

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    Silver Member Candy Bouwer's Avatar
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    first thing to do is weed out corruption with drivers licenses.
    ...Recently I applied again for a learner drivers license because I want to learn to ride a motor bike. Talk about corruption...I am convinced that the whole system is rigged...... I have been licensed for the last twenty years and find this whole thing a charade as they make the answers to the questions so similar that it is virtually a guessing game. The newly introduced system at Rossburgh was implemented recently and and on the day I wa s there the chief of the traffic inspectorate boasted to us before the test that the current pass rate was 3 in 600. Could this be one way to keep the number of learner drivers down... let alone have them out on the roads. A little to late me thinks but now it has spoilt things for the rest of us.
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