The USS Quad Damage

Fixed Place Speeding Cameras

So my sister recieved a notice from the state debt recovery agency or what ever it’s called about doing 93kph in an 80 zone headed north on the eastern distributor at oxford street at 5:33pm 3 weeks ago. Is this a variable speed zone?Iif so whey don’t they also list when the zone last become an 80 zone?

Anyway she’s on her P plates which basically means that she’s apparently still learning to drive thus can’t take alcohol, is restricted from using powerful cars and has a maximum speed limit below the highest posted speed limits within NSW.

Now here’s the problem. Lets say your pulled over by a police officer. First up since you’ve been pulled over you’ve probably automatically decided that the last few minutes of driving are important so it’s been classified as longterm memory and you’ll replay them in your mind again and again and again until you’ve taken all the relevant experience from it.

Next they’ll tell you what you did wrong. You’ll run over the last few minutes, traffic conditions, signs, what was going through you head. Basically piece together what happened such that you may have commited an offense.

If your lucky and it was a mistake you might get let off with a warning. If not you’ll receive a ticket either then or in the mail. Either way the event and events leading upto it will stand out in your mind and be remembered allowing you to draw on the experience of those events to avoid breaking the law later on.

Now lets say you were done in by a fixed place speeding camera. First up the RTA only supplies a date, time and place. If you want a photo it’s $11. Ofcourse that photo won’t tell you about the events leading upto the event and is only really useful for identifying your car to make sure no one has ripped off your plates.

So you have very little if any memory of the events leading upto the offense thus no real experience to draw on. Thus no chance to learn.

If you really wanted to you could retrace the route which leads to the fixed place camera and try and work out why you went too fast. However this also requires you to risk being fined again at the same location. Additionally most speed cameras are located on busy roads so you can’t take your time crusing well below the speed limit to take in everything. Thus you’ll need to find parking and walk potentially being mugged or hit by a car in the blackspot where most fixed place cameras are.

Not only that but because of the delay you may have offended multiple times and already inadvertantly learned behaviour which is against the law. Coupled with your almost complete lack of feedback makes it much more likely that you’ll reoffend even while attempting to do the right thing.

I suppose in summery the difference between being pulled over by a police officer and being fined by a fixed place camera is that with the police the result is getting bad/inexperienced drivers to drive better by having them draw on their experience leading upto an offense. With a fixed place cameras it is to make bad/inexperienced drivers not drive by taking their licence away and throwing them in goal if they drive without a licence.

An interesting read on speeding in Australia which I recommend is an article in The Australian called Lost in the rush by Bill Tuckey | January 09, 2008.