Speed cameras alone cannot account for dangerous conditions and drivers on our roads.
Victorian Police Minister Peter Ryan’s announcement of an inquiry into the accuracy and effectiveness of the state’s speed cameras comes in the wake of a culture of public skepticism about speed cameras in Victoria, and recent furore in NSW.
Victoria pays some of the highest speeding fines in the country. The Brumby government budgeted them to raise $476 million this financial year alone, so it is little wonder they have been pigeonholed by many as ‘revenue raisers’.
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We should cut the coppers some slack as they grapple with the public handling of the attacks on Indian students in Melbourne.
Policing has long been a closed culture. Less than a generation ago the only way police reporters could get stories was to spend months or even years hanging around the Police Club, drinking with detectives and slowly building enough trust to get the inside running on big stories. These days, whenever a cat gets stuck up a tree there’s an expectation that an all-in press conference will follow within the hour to discuss its breed, name, and how the pesky little varmint got up there in the first place.
There is no point in police complaining about this. It’s a reflection of the public’s legitimate conviction that information should flow freely from every arm of government. People have a right to know what is happening in their community and, these days, it is the job of the police to tell them.
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