Prioritise Safety and Efficiency on our roads instead of Revenue Raising!
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In WA, we have a horrible fascination with "speed cameras" that hide behind bushes and fine people extortionate sums of money for less than 10kmh over the speed limit. Meanwhile, we have people causing congestion by sitting in the right hand lane of our Freeway, 10kmh under the limit. This isnt covered with these cameras, and doesn't do anything to solve our congestion issues.
My proposal is not to totally abolish speed cameras, but rather repurpose them in combination with other techniques to improve safety on our roads.
These cameras should be placed in high risk areas, such as school zones, and be highly visible as a deterrent to speeding. That way the fines only impact those that have a disdain for the safety of others. People wont speed through an area that is clearly marked as having a camera. If they do, they suffer the consequence.
Police should focus on enforcing the "Keep Left" law which eliminates congestion directly. Fines for this can be increased to counter the "loss" from low range speeding fines. I dare say that it may actually be more profitable than fining for low range speeding...
My final point is to use more common sense when making speed limits on our roads. For example, Gnangara Road used to be a dimly lit single carriageway with a comparatively poor road surface with a limit of 90kmh . These upgrades made the road a dual carriageway, with better lighting and smooth roads, and it is now only 80kmh! Leach Hwy is a three lane highway, yet is only 70kmh!
If we set our speed limits according to the 85th percentile rule, and focus on targeting drivers who fail to stay left, not only will our roads be safer, they will also be much more efficient. To determine the 85th percentile of certain roads, we could use speed cameras to measure the speeds of people on these roads, take an average from it, and implement it safely. This could be done on the Mitchell and Kwinana Freeways as a start. Obviously, police presence would be required to dissuade hoons from doing unsafe speeds on the road compared to the flow of traffic.
These are a few issues I've identified driving on our roads, and hopefully they can be assessed in the near future. Let's make our roads safer!
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