4CA - Queensland's Home for Fake News

4CA - Queensland's Home for Fake News
4CA - Queensland's Home for Fake News Led by John "Cueball" Mackenzie

11 March 2015


The Cairns QPS PR machine published the results of a speed trap on the Cook Highway from over the weekend.  We all know the location - the two block section of the Cook Highway that to most drivers reasonably looks like "the end of town", with businesses off the highway and sight-lines expanded.

Virtually everyone we surveyed said that this area is clearly just a "speed trap".  The purpose of electronic speed enforcement is SUPPOSED to be road safety.  In most areas of the world, cameras and other devices are used to this end, and in many jurisdictions (most of Europe, Canada, and the USA), laws exist to prevent the police from setting up "speed traps".  

When 404 law-abiding citizens are sent infringements with
crippling fines generated from a low-traffic period on a SUNDAY, this to us smacks of money raising, not safety.

Not that long ago, radar guns were used by stationary police on the roadside, sometimes around a curve or over the crest of a hill, in areas where legitimate need to strictly enforce speed limits was obvious and important.  Near a school, for example.  

And when one was caught speeding, we were waved over and given the chance to both proffer an excuse, as well as view the evidence.  While the "excuse" part was not very likely to work, the interchange between the police officer and the violator was a useful and important element of driver education.  It affirmed the need to follow the law with the driver, and gave the police an important few minutes with the public.  And if the driver felt the infringement was unfair, he would have this moment to argue his case.  A system that worked well for decades, and was part of a strategy that saw the road death toll reduced numerically, and dramatically.

The "speed trap" however is threatening to undo all this good police work in Cairns.

Sending motorists an infringement weeks after it has occurred has no way of providing an educational moment to the drivers.  It's another bill in the mail to pay.  Unless obviously wrong (car owner interstate, or rego misread), that's it.  

Most professionals in the road safety business believe that intelligent road system design is one of the key factors in road safety.  The Cook Highway from the Airport Road to Kewarra Beach is a design travesty.  Over 20 speed changes in less than 16km.  This isn't an intelligent road design, it's a patchwork of "fixes" implemented by politicians, not any professionals.  

The 85th percentile rule is the core of speed enforcement in most countries, and the criteria for determining if a "speed trap" has been implemented.  It's the gold standard for road safety.  This standard is based on the science that the large majority of drivers are reasonable and prudent, don't want to have an accident, and desire to reach their destination in the shortest possible of time.  A speed at which 85% of the people driving select.  This works because unless there are unseen dangers, drivers can generally work out what speed is appropriate.

The 85th Percentile rule is NOT used in Queensland, where speed limits are determined not by a black spot history, or a nearby school, or even by neighbour complaints.  They're set by political processes and money-raising needs by the government of the day, an implemented by the brain-dead boys and girls in blue.

Even more enlightening is the Solomon curve, a long-accepted engineering study that shows not only that the most dangerous drivers are the 30% SLOWEST drivers, but the least danger is at the 90th Percentile.  Naturally, this is also not any part of highway engineering in Queensland.

The most unfortunate result of the current speed trap campaign is the decline in respect for the Queensland Police Service that is the direct result.  As constables hone their skills at deception and cunning (which we generally only expect from the crims), we will in the not too distant future see them donning tree costumes, hiding in trash bins, and perhaps even wearing croc suits! Continually reminding the public that the government has little interest in lowering the road deaths, but plenty of interest in more of our dosh.

Years ago, I got my first radar gun ticket near Freshwater Christian College.  As I came around the curve, a young copper waved me over and gave me the bad news - this electronic device had determined I was going too fast.  He showed me the radar gun and explained the problems they were having in the area.  Almost 20 years later I remember this incident like yesterday, and am reminded of it when I pass this spot even today.

But a high-tech speeding infringement today?  Three weeks after the fact the announcement comes in the mail not much different that the Telecom or Ergon bills.  A cursory glance (yep, that's my ute) and we pay it like the good little sheep we are.  And we can't even remember the circumstances surrounding, and we've learned nothing.  We don't even get the benefit of a sign after-the-fact anymore.  And that's how they want it.

The new TruCam systems CAN be fitted with a printer to
issue an infringement directly to the speeder, if the police were really interested in using this event to do a little road safety education.  Queensland passed on the printers.  Easier to bang out 404 video infringements in three hours. And that's how they want it.  

Just give us the money and STFU.  


Frank said...

The 404 citizens who received infringement notices are not law abiding; they broke the speed limit. They might be otherwise law abiding but does HBW have proof of this?

Anonymous said...

Interesting that the article in the Cairns Post this week that reported the 404 tickets issued on Sunday, had the comments turned off. Guess they knew there would be at least 404 posts from outraged drivers and the Post wasn't interested in hearing it.

I'd like to suggest we get a dedicated group together to start fighting these assholes. We make signs that say, Police speed trap ahead", then when some sees a speed trap they report it to a phone list of people that have the signs. Then someone goes out and puts the sign 200m down from the trap. It would cause them so much trouble they would have to give up.

Anonymous said...

Wow frank you have to be joking? 404 people driving on a lazy Sunday on a straight road who maybe went 5 or 10k over the limit are in your opinion crimInals who deserve a $100-200 ticket? And how exactly dioes this save lives on the roads?

Bob said...

I don't understand. It's not difficult to obey a speed limit. The people who broke the law should be annoyed....at their own stupidity.

At what point is it "ok" to break the law? 5klms over, 10klms over, 30klms over?

You should be thankful that you don't live in Victoria.

There the speed cameras are outsourced. This has lead to cameras being placed in wheelie bins and all manner of devious hiding spots. Coupled with the zero tolerance of drivers getting fined for being 3klms over and it truly meets the concept of a revenue raising state.

If you break the law and get caught then cop the fine and stop ya' bloody whining.

Shanghai said...

The police do it for safety not revenue what has got to be put in our thick heads is drive to conditions and be patient and focus on task at hand that means leave that fucken phone alone actually all learners should spend a day in the morgue to teach a lesson but I dare say that wont happen due to claims to government for pts ps weekend warriors on Harley's buy shares to impress me I'm sick of driving past your dead mates on the cook why on sundays

Anonymous said...

Sounds like someone has sand in their Vag cause they got caught. Stay on or under the limit and they can't get you. Too Easy.

Anonymous said...

WTF Shanghai your disappointing me your starting to make sense, maybe all those feeds at Yum Char are starting to pay off, or your sober.

Anonymous said...

Statutes created by our fearless and incompetent elected representatives in the House of Parliament are never intended primarily for the purposes of reducing risk or saving lives as this does cost money, the statutes are only a tool for raising revenue and that is why they are presented to the Parliament as Bills, a cost on the community that has to be paid by the community for the public policy that is imposed on you as LAW. If you apply for a licence or register your vehicle to the State and you agree that you will comply with all of the terms and conditions of the statutes and regulations and you inadvertently breach that trust reposed on you, you have already agreed to pay if one of our brothers in blue costume, with or without their speed detection equipment, make the allegation you are deemed to be guilty until you prove otherwise. The State is in debt over your heads and you are the secondary obligors for the debt and all of you will pay one way or another.

Anonymous said...

So let me get this right, 404 people were caught speeding in a 3 hour period. Wow the carnage must have been horrific. I mean all those dangerous drivers going over the speed limit must have caused SO many accidents right? And for the police to once a month set up a speed camera in this location, a straight road, divided hwy, that is void of any pedestrians and right before a speed change sign, it must be an extremely high traffic accident area right?

To say that these people were given tickets because they endangered the public, rather than the truth, that it generates revenue, you’d have to be a complete and utter moron. It’s no wonder this city is in such a state when so many people even on this forum can’t see that.

And by the way Bob, I was given a speeding ticket in Victoria about a year ago. When i got the ticket back in Cairns, I wrote to them explaining the situation and they let me off with a warning.

Anonymous said...

Well, in my forty years in this town, and doing lots of miles (km's), I have never seen ONE fucking prang on that section of road.
Dangerous road ?? NO.
Great for revenue ?? YES.

Anonymous said...

Bob R....still a dickhead

shanghai said...

what the fuck can any one in cairns explain to me why aquis are sponsoring the brumbies a Canberra based rugby team instead of the reds a qld based rugby team and why do our locally and state politicians continually suck up to the fungs they are treating us like idiots fuck them off now they don't care about cairns/qld go to Canberra

DAZA DUKE said...

Look the answer is simple. When you are on that stretch of road just take it easy and when you get passed Kewarra roundabout just fang it because he'll be the only copper out there. The new 40k speed limit on the roundabouts is dangerous as I'll fall off my bike for going too slow. This is not on.

Anonymous said...

I received a ticket in October at the same section where i allegedly was doing around 88kmph headed towards Northern Beaches. The reason i gave and has been verified by Queensland Ambulance service in writing and ratified by a JP was that my wife was on an ECG at our house and QAS were in emergency attendance- I had received a call to that effect. I explained this with a copy of letter confirming the Ambo's attendance at the exact time i received the infringement. I appealed a $150 and 1 point penalty (my first ever ticket)to QPS and thgey rejected my appeal and i have elected for Court decision. I firmly agree this is just a money making racket.

Anonymous said...

So putting others road users lives in danger because of your wife shows just what a fucken selfish prick you are.
Always thinking of yourself.
Selfish prick.
Hope they increase the fine.

Anonymous said...

The Solomon curve only shows overall accident rate, not severity of the accident; just to spell it out, the slower you go the LESS severe, the faster you go the MORE severe the accident is, in this case after faster = more deaths.