Friday, June 01, 2007

NSW U-Turn on Lane Cove Tunnell Fines

Yesterday (31 May 07) NSW Roads Minister, Eric Roozendaal, did an about face on fines for motorists caught speeding in the Lane Cove Tunnel.

Mr Roozendaal himself is reported to have said "Clearly there is a problem. Around 13,500 infringements have been issued through the Lane Cove Tunnel". The tunnel was opened in March.

The problem appears to be speeding drivers!

There are a number of problems that ought to concern anyone who values democracy:

  1. The change in mind, after saying, effectively "tough" cam about because there were lots of calls to (commercial) talk-back radio. Such shows are usually run by "shock-jocks", some of whom have had their own brush with speeding fines. Governments depend on the "goodwill" of such shock-jocks, so if they complained to the Premier, the Premier jumped. Should the Premier, or any of his Ministers, intervene in matters of law, just because talk-back radio gets calls?

  2. Should Ministers, or any politician, intervene in any legal matter that might come before the courts?? Not in this democracy, they shouldn't!

  3. Drivers have primary responsibility to read road signs, be aware of changed speed limits, drive at an appropriate speed (even less that the speed limit). Further, they know that there are speed cameras: not only are there signs, but they are highly visible.. If drivers have been irresponsible, or reckless, they ought to be caught on camera and fined.
The State Labor Government's actions were driven merely by political expediency. Mr Iemma and Mr Roozendaal have shamed not only themselves, but our democracy as well.

The Analyst