Reading these posts reminds me of different attitudes taken by the law in other jurisdictions. In my state at least, speeding is a huge no-no. There’s nearly always a television advertisement campaign going (something along the lines of “10 kilometres an hour over the speed limit increases your stopping distance by 50%”). There’s always print ads, even radio ads warning us not to speed (or else). The fines are pretty painful, but the demerit point system is the real sting in the tail. It would be very easy for a driver who persistently breaks the speed limit to lose his or her license.
The strict attitude of this system is reflected in the means by which speeding drivers are caught. It’s quite rare for someone to be pulled up by a policeman in a car. Instead, we have a dozen or so mobile speed cameras (it’s a small city). Other places have fixed speed cameras with signposted warnings when you approach them; our cameras change their location change every day, often several times a day. (Although there’s a thing at the end of the news which (very quickly) lists their general location for the coming day).
It’s like being hunted. The cameras are black and they’re placed under the shade of trees, at the bottom of hills, around corners. In one case, a camera was hidden behind a bus shelter (there was a protest, but the fines stood). They even operate at night - a friend of mine was ‘flashed’ at around 9pm one quiet Sunday night. To rub salt in the wound, there’s a facetious little yellow sign: “You have passed through a speed camera. Thank you for driving within the limit”. Placed, of course, 500 metres down the road so it can’t be spotted before it’s too late. And if you get a fine, forget about protesting. I don’t know anyone who’s managed to wheedle their way out of a speed camera fine, no matter the excuse.
Draconian? Certainly. Mean-spirited? For sure.
But I like it. The less chance I have been run down as a pedestrian - or my car being hit by an out-of-control driver - the happier I am.