Kill your speed

PUBLISHED: 11:52 05 January 2006 | UPDATED: 09:24 06 May 2010

Hannah Gray s article, (Comet December 22) concerning speed cameras inspired me to compare British road users against drivers in Australia. In Britain, the maximum limit of 70mph on roads means absolutely nothing to most drivers who routinely travel at 80

Hannah Gray's article, (Comet December 22) concerning speed cameras inspired me to compare British road users against drivers in Australia.

In Britain, the maximum limit of 70mph on roads means absolutely nothing to most drivers who routinely travel at 80, 90 and 100 mph and more and no one does anything about it;

By comparison, few drivers in Australia are prepared to chance their arms or their accelerator pedals; speed limits are 100/110 km/h (60/68mph) on motorways, 60mph on dual carriageways and urban stretches, 30mph in built-up-areas and 25mph in school zones during school hours. All limits are rigorously enforced and in Victoria you can expect to be fined if you exceed the limit, even by 3km/h. It is never a question of if; it is a guaranteed when.

Such stringent policing in Britain would be certain to get civil liberties groups jumping up and down and calling foul for evermore. Australian police do not wear fluorescent lime yellow that can be seen from five miles away; they lay quietly waiting, with hand-held speed cameras between dual carriageway dividing strips, or behind roadside hedges. And the presence of speed cameras is not advertised. The fatuous British complaint that they exist merely as fund raisers do not break any ice. If you go past one and get flashed - it's a fair cop and no whining.

Apart from speedsters in danger of losing their driving licences, the booze-bus can stop anyone - speeding or not, any time - and demand a breath sample. If such a measure were introduced into Britain, it would be certain to send civil liberties groups into paroxysms of road rage.

Policing authorities in Britain could do a lot worse than study the Australian model.

MICHAEL A CARSON, Baldock

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