Border Mail letters: readers have their say on the issues of the day.

Need for speed: Governments preach road safety but are loathe to reduce the cash cow that motorists provide, according to one reader.

Need for speed: Governments preach road safety but are loathe to reduce the cash cow that motorists provide, according to one reader.

Feeding the speed cash cow

I take issue with The Border Mail editorial ‘Reward should not come in form of speed’ (September 19) with exaggerated assertions about the dangers of “speeding”.

The writer has made broad brushed and generalised comment that any type of "speeding" is inherently dangerous, even 5 km/h over the limit which has little basis in fact or reality.

Australia has some of the western world's slowest freeway speed limits despite a world class major highway network. Germany, France, Italy and many other countries have 130 km/h speed zones as general guide. However, police there rarely book for that and have a far more mature, realistic, pragmatic attitude to speeding based on the situation and behaviour of motorists rather than just a technical breach of a speed sign.

The reality is that if any speeding was always dangerous then the hundreds of thousands of motorists who get booked annually, some for 3 or 4 kms over the prevailing limit, must, by logic imply many thousands of road deaths, which isn't the case at all.

All governments preach road safety but are loathe to reduce the cash cow that motorists provide under the false flag of “safety”.

In my 11 years on NSW HWP we gave a tolerance of 120 km/h in 100 zones and, on occasions, we had a zero road toll in days before the multiple lanes and freeways and generally a very commendable low road toll.

Fast forward to 2016 with dual carriageways, better signposting, better rest stops, better, safer cars, and yet motorists are limited to 110 km/h. It makes no sense.  Little wonder the motoring public remain cynical and disrespectful of the government’s motives.

The writer failed to mention that improved driver education and training were critical to lowering the road toll and was transfixed that speed must be the main cause, which it simply is not, because this is the same feeble mantra that generations of governments foist upon us.

Mr Tilley is correct in calling for an open and informed parliamentary enquiry into Australian speed limits but I suspect all governments would panic at having their road safety campaigning challenged, except perhaps the Northern Territory which has had unlimited speed zones for several years with no adverse effect upon their road toll.

George Krooglik, Albury

Constitutional change 

I watched the program on ABCTV about recognising the first Australians in the Constitution, where Linda Burney and Andrew Bolt were attempting to persuade the other about their views.

Whilst I am not a fan of Andrew Bolt, I came away after the program impressed by his participation in the debate and that he may be open to change. 

However, he didn’t appear to understand or comprehend that the first Australians have a deep culture and connection to their land, but this is not recognised in the Australian Constitution. My ancestors came from Ireland and when I have returned I feel at home and a sense of belonging in a way similar to the first Australians to their connection to this land. 

Towards the end of the program, Linda and Andrew attended an Australia Day celebration, where two flags were flown and the anthem was sung in an Indigenous Language and English and Andrew’s comment, ‘Why?’ I see no problem in recognising a flag or a song of an earlier era. 

Australia has a rich history going back over 40,000 years, however this is not recognised in the Constitution and it was only in 1967, when the constitution was changed to recognise the first Australians as people and afford them the ability to vote. 

So, now let’s correct another wrong in the Constitution and recognise there were people here before 1788 that had a strong connection to their country. 

Australia can never be one until at least we do that. 

Peter Hood, Albury

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