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Are penalties a deterrent?

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' at netrider.net.au started by hornet, Jun 9, 2006.

  1. Queen's Birthday Weekend and at midnight last night in NSW Double-Demerit Points kicked in, and will be in force till Midnight Tuesday.



    The Government-speak is "we don't want road blitzes to be seen as revenue-raising, so instead of doubling the fines, we've doubled the demerit points".

    So, do any sorts of penalties for driving offences act as a real deterrent, or do they just modifiy behaviour at the time of the offence?

    My observation over many years would seem to indicate the latter; I've passed people being booked and been passed by them at illegal speeds only a minute or two later..... So .....

    Has the severity of the fine, or the threat of loss of licence points, made you make a permanent change to your driving/riding habits?
     
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  2. nope, just more careful during double demerits, except for this morning :facepalm:
     
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  3. After Studying Compliance and Enforcement (and working in that field) I'd have to conclude that penalties are not a very good deterrent unless they are coupled with a high probability of getting caught and work in conjunction with public attitudes.

    Unless the public supports a law / rule etc then it is difficult to enforce unless it is very simplistic.

    I personally feel that penalties do not need to be very high to start with as most people get the message faily quickly. I'd like to see an acending curve to it. Start with a small fine. Up the fine and lose licence for continued offences. This works with things like speeding / parking etc but obviously not for Drunk Drivers / accidents etc.

    I changed my behaviour a long time ago. I'm not saying that I don't speed because I do. I just choose my times very carefully and weigh the risks before I do it. I don't speed with my children in the car or with the wife on the pillion. I do however have the occasional blat whilst out riding by myself. I do worry about getting caught however the risk out here is low to very low if you pick your times/spots :wink:

    Cheers, and have a great day.... It's Friday!!!! :woot:
     
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  4. I value my points mostly, moreso than having to pay a fine so yes for me it is a deterrant.
     
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  5. I think that's a pretty major point right there. You could be threatening 20 years jail for speeding, but if there's little to no chance of actually being caught, people will still speed to their hearts content...

    If they really want change the way we drive, there has to me much more work done on changing attitudes, and a much more visible and pro-active* police presence on the roads




    *I know. I hate 'pro-active' too, but the word works...
     
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  6. you know what word i hate? SYNERGY :evil:

    i'm so glad i'm not a businessman, because i'd so beat the bejeezuz out of so many of those synergetic farkers :evil: :evil:

    :p



    ok, on topic, yes and no.

    YES the threat of a licence loss is a pretty good deterrant, or at least it is once you've had it happen once :oops:

    but no, the fines mean jack schitte. think about it, so much of australia is out of the low income bracket these days that $120 once in a blue moon is well worth doing 10k over everywhere you go. there are those that might get a little burned by that sort of money and might actually struggle with the higher fines, but the cars they're driving actually have to be willed to speed. so many cars out there now are WAY to easy to speed in, forget to look at the speedo for a few seconds in an old 1990 929 and you can be doing 20 over without feeling/hearing it one bit, i'm sure its even worse in a new car.


    but what do we do about it???

    who cares, it wont matter in 2 years time because petrol will be so expensive, no one will be able to drive and therefore there will be no speeding :p :p :p
     
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  8. Ah, speed is always the killer eh?

    Except this morning, in quite thick fog, about 60% of cars had no lights on. Some had the piddly little side lights, but the majority had nothing. Car drivers are just dumb.

    Riding home the other night I was next to a (moving) Range Rover with a guy who was taking notes on a pad on the steering wheel. I just rode next to him and stared...he hurriedly put the pad down once he saw me. I hate sharing the roads with people who think the act of driving is a side part of all the other things they can be doing...like SMS'ing, listening to the radio at full volume, eating, drinking, almost anything other than actually concentrating on the task at hand.
     
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  9. I reckon the only way to change peoples driving would be to hit them where it hurts them most - in their pocket.

    I know i dont really care about losing 4 or 6 points but if i knew i was going to get hit with a $1,000 fine then i sure as hell would take more notice.
     
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  10. Problem with fines is they affect people differently - reckon we need the system they use in one of the Scandanavian countries (forget which one) where fines are based on a percentage of your yearly income. There was some rich businessman that managed to clock up a fine around the $200,000 mark - they would have noticed that one.
     
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  11. Start taking their vehicles away? Impounding?

    If it's a shared vehicle, fit some sort of biometric interlock device? That'd be an interesting idea, having to take a retinal scan before you can turn the car on, and the onus of responsibility is equally shared between the driver and the owner of the eyeball if someone lets someone else drive their car.

    Sorry, I'm just having fun with potential big brother conspiracy controls today.
     
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  12. How about when you start speeding, your car gives you an electric shock? :p :p :p
     
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  13. I think fines, demerit points and loss of licence do modify people's behaviour to some extent. I don't have any empirical evidence, but I suspect road users' average speeds outside city areas have dropped over the past 10 years, and to some extent that has to be due to the penalties for speeding and the perceived risk of detection.

    But if TAC and Victoria Police were to launch an ongoing "Distraction Kills" campaign and to back it up with firm enforcement, I would do a little happy dance. :dance:

    And how about rehabilitating the word "roadcraft"? The notion that driving a car on a public road is something that involves skills that are worth developing is quite alien to the vast majority of road users. It shouldn't be.
     
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  14. The easiest way to deter people from speeding is to raise speed limits to match the road conditions, particularly on highways.

    100 or 110 kmh on a straight, wide, flat, long 3-lane freeway is too slow for a maximum limit. 140 would seem like a more reasonable number to me.

    Nobody's arguing 50 or 60 in town, that's a sensible speed to get around at where there's car doors opening, people popping out of drivewyas, jaywalking pedestrians, wayward cyclists and all sorts of things going on - but where road conditions can sustain it, going over 110 is not hooning or being irresponsible. The geelong road and monash fwy are prime examples.

    The majority of people don't want to be criminals, they just want to get where they're going.
     
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  15. I agree with you Loz.

    And i also think they should get rid of so many different speed zones. I mean do we really need 20,40,50,60,70,80,90,100,110? what about consolidating them into say 4 core speed zones?
     
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  16. People speed whatever the limit is. Go to France, 130kmh Autoroute limit. Everyone drives at 140-150kmh. UK, 120kmh limit, everyone drives (or did) at 130-140kmh.

    In the UK they campaign to raise the speed limits. There are always people who think/want to go faster than the posted limit. I agree with you, 100kmh is ridiculously slow, but I guarantee that whatever you raise it to, someone will think it's not fast enough.
     
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  17. Done! Ill take electric shocks so I can speed...

    Ive always thought we could have a "high speed license" system, where the driver/rider would have to undergo extra training to gain certification. They would also need to be driving an approved vehicle (get ye away daihatsu charade!) which would require annual inspections for safety. Different plates would be issued to identify these vehicles. In suburban zones, as Loz suggests there would be no difference. On the freeway, these drivers would be allowed an increased top speed.

    Now, the only problem with this is that in Australia we do not teach people road etiquette. Go to europe on an autobahn and you will not see people undertaking. This means that faster vehicles are not ducking and weaving through traffic. It also means that slower vehicles know to pull over and get out of the way. So much safer than the silly games we play on our freeways with Billy bob in his vt commodore on cruise control swinging across three lanes.

    Id be willing to pay extra for such a license, and to have the bike annualy certified as safe.

    So what does our current system teach us? People might fear the fine, or the demerit points, but since most of us are all speeding we obviously consider that the speeds we are travelling at are acceptable to us. Its not the speed that causes the accident, its the driver. How about we do away with speeding fines and just target reckless and irresponsible behaviour.

    Which is more dangerous: someone going 130km/h on the freeway beside you or the same driver at 100km/h with a newspaper, phone in hand or any other thing he considers more important than your life.

    I dont see any 'mobile phone cameras' or 'your $hit heap is not roadworthy' cameras being set up. Until the penalties and fines are actually associated with something we agree with, we will all continue to flout them to the extent we believe we can get away with it.

    /rant
     
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  18. Agree with everything you say, except this mythical 'perfect' Europe where everyone drives like gods. I lived there for 29yrs, drove the roads for 13 years and saw the most appalling driving. What about going down an autoroute at a steady 135 and young Jacques comes up behind me at 160+, then sits behind me, at a couple of metres distance and then drives off at 160+ again. Idiot French drivers who tailgate at 140 in their diesel 205 that is screaming it's head off trying to go past.

    Then the manic Mercedes driver who bears down on you at 200+ on an autobahn whilst you are overtaking trucks going 80kmh that are nose to tail. All the time, the German is flashing his lights getting you to move out of the way. Where to, you ponder, as he gets closer and closer.

    When I left Europe in 96, the French used to kill around 10,000 of their citizens every year on the roads. For a population of less than 50m, that was appalling. And the Germans, whilst better, still died in droves. The UK, was killing around 3,000 a year.

    Let's face it, the perfect country, driver and perfect road doesn't exist. We all rate ourselves as better than average, yet everyone around us is a worse driver than we are. We all speed, but we only ever do it when it's safe and when there's an accident, it's always someone else who is to blame. All I'd like to see is a more rounded road safety message that doesn't just concentrate on the easiest to detect infringement. I'd be happy to cruise at 100kmh on the Hume if I felt that the guy who's texting his missus is likely to get caught as well.
     
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  19. Very wise words, cejay, I think the inequitability of penalties rankles as much as the penalties themselves...
     
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  20. In my "more perfect" world (which I order according to my omnipotent will. from time to time :wink: ) NO vehicle would have a speedometer, and everyone would travel at a speed they felt was appropriate for the conditions.
    Have you ever noticed how traffic ALWAYS travels at or very near the limit no matter what the coditions are like? It would be a thing of the past, as everyone would have to DECIDE what the best speed was. instead of BEING TOLD.
    Ergo, no speed infringements.
    But there's no freedom without responsibility, so I'd also abolish personal property insurance in the event of an accident. You crash - you pay for it, simple as that. If you crash into someone else, their costs would be paid out of your compulsory 3rd party cover, but you pay your own repairs. Might make some people think a bit before testing their limits on public roads...
    'Course, it'll never happen. Can't really trial it with real live human beings! :?
     
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