The top half of the infographic is presented as two pie charts, one for Yes, and one for No. They provide an overall summary of the response data from the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey at the national level. The survey question asked “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?” Of the eligible Australians who expressed a view on this question, 61.6% responded Yes and 38.4% responded No. The bottom half of the infographic is a horizontal bar graph which presents the response data at the state and territory level. New South Wales had 2,374,362 eligible electors who expressed a view (57.8%) respond Yes and 1,736,838 (42.2%) respond No. Victoria had 2,145,629 eligible electors who expressed a view (64.9%) respond Yes and 1,161,098 (35.1%) respond No. Queensland had 1,487,060 eligible electors who expressed a view (60.7%) respond Yes and 961,015 (39.3%) respond No. South Australia had 592,528 eligible electors who expressed a view (62.5%) respond Yes and 356,247 (37.5%) respond No. Western Australia had 801,575 eligible electors who expressed a view (63.7%) respond Yes and 455,924 (36.3%) respond No. Tasmania had 191,948 eligible electors who expressed a view (63.6%) respond Yes and 109,655 (36.4%) respond No. Northern Territory had 48,686 eligible electors who expressed a view (60.6%) respond Yes and 31,690 (39.4%) respond No. Australian Capital Territory had 175,459 eligible electors who expressed a view (74.0%) respond Yes and 61,520 (26.0%) respond No.
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory(b)
(a) Includes Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands (within the Division of Lingiari).
(b) Includes Jervis Bay (within the Division of Fenner) and Norfolk Island (within the Division of Canberra).
They are mainly young men and live in southern states, according to a paper, published in the American Journal of Public Health.
Researchers say these young men tend to have grown up in gun-owning households, are politically conservative (Republican) and own more than one type of firearm. Some of these homes own up to seven different types of weapon.
It comes less than three weeks since gunman killed 56 people and injured more than 500 others in an attack at a Las Vegas music festival.
The massacre was the deadliest in the history of the US, which has the highest rate of murder or manslaughter by firearm in the developed world.
The study, compiled by researchers from the University of Washington School of Public Health, the University of Colorado, the Harvard School of Public Health, and North-eastern University, looked at the handgun-carrying behaviour of 1,444 gun owners using data from a 2015 national survey.
Two-thirds of them said they carried their handguns concealed, while 10 percent did so in an open manner.
The research is the first in more than 20 years to scrutinise how and in what manner US adults carry loaded handguns.
Researchers said state laws on handgun carrying have eased since the 1980s and that some respondents to the survey admitted openly carrying a firearm even in regions where it was illegal.
“They do it because they want to get a reaction. They want to see me lash out and it all feeds into this sick and twisted entertainment value to them.” Blogger
The digital revolution has transformed our world. Never in human history have we been more connected to each other in ways that would have seemed unimaginable only a decade ago. But with the rise of social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, and a smartphone in virtually every pocket, the internet bullies known as trolls are only ever a click, tap or swipe away.
“We want to make them cry. We love to make them cry.” Troll
Instead of bringing people together, trolls use the internet to target those they disagree with by provoking, harassing and threatening them.
“It may be that the internet has unleashed a kind of dark demon, within millions of people out there in the general public.” Psychiatrist
On Monday night Four Corners takes you into the dark side of the internet to explore the rise of cyber trolls.
“They send things to my home. It terrifies me to think what they could do, if they wanted to, knowing exactly where I live, knowing where my children go to school.” Blogger
Many trolls go to great lengths to try and hide their identity and as the program explores, psychiatrists believe this is helping to propel the appalling behaviour.
“Anonymity seems to be a very important factor on the internet, in that it seems to make people less inhibited about doing nasty things.” Psychiatrist
One self-proclaimed hard core troll outlines the trolling landscape and boasts about his extensive conquests, all while hiding behind a cloak of anonymity.
“I’ve been associated with all kinds of organised trolling groups…The Internet presented something that was never available to us before.” Troll
And some of the trolls are not who you’d expect.
“The trolls and the really dangerous people that they attract are, themselves, mothers and have small children at home.” Blogger
We meet Britain’s most notorious troll, jailed for sending threatening tweets, and a campaigner in Canada as he goes on trial after a confrontation on Twitter.
“If you’re hurt, if the truth hurts you, it’s not my problem, because I’m just telling the truth.” Canadian Activist
The prosecution of trolls raises uncomfortable questions about how far our commitment to freedom of expression goes. Activists are warning of an Orwellian future of thought police.
“Trolling is a free speech issue and if you aren’t free to hate someone then you’re not free… If we are serious about freedom of speech, then we have to allow people to say hateful, obnoxious, racist, sexist things.” Magazine Editor
RISE OF THE TROLLS, from Canadian film-maker Jonathan Baltrusaitis and presented by Sarah Ferguson, ABC TV (Australia) 19th June 2017
Justine Damond spent her last moments trying to help a stranger.
At 11:27 p.m. Saturday, Ms. Damond called police to report a possible sexual assault, according to a 911 transcript obtained by the Star Tribune Wednesday, later published by the city of Minneapolis.
“I’m not sure if she’s having sex or being raped,” Damond told the operator. After giving her address in the quiet Fulton neighborhood, Damond continued: “I think she just yelled out ‘help,’ but it’s difficult the sound has been going on for a while, but I think, I don’t think she’s enjoying it.”
“OK,” said the operator, “I’ve already got an officer on the way.”
Soon afterward, one of those officers, Mohamed Noor, fired his gun from inside a patrol vehicle and killed Damond.
The death of Ms Damond, 40, sparked international controversy, including in her native Australia, where the prime minister called it a “shocking” and “inexplicable” killing and demanded answers. As the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) investigates, details have been scarce, and the 911 call further explains why the officers were there in the first place. The city also released police and incident reports Wednesday, though they offer limited public details while the shooting is still being investigated.
“I think the BCA is also stymied by a lack of information,” said Gov. Mark Dayton Wednesday in his first public remarks on the case. “I think everybody wants answers.”
The 911 transcript shows that about eight minutes after making her first call, Damond called police again to make sure they took down her address correctly. She repeated the report of hearing a woman screaming, and the operator assured her the officers were en route.
“Thank you,” said Damond.
Officer Matthew Harrity, who was driving, and Noor, in the front passenger seat, arrived at the scene. They drove south through the alley between Washburn and Xerxes avenues S., toward W. 51st Street, with the squad (car) lights turned off. As they reached the street, “Harrity indicated that he was startled by a loud sound near the squad (car),” according to the preliminary BCA investigation.
911 call transcript
Damond approached the driver’s side window of the squad car “immediately afterward,” according to the statement. Noor shot from the passenger seat, across his partner and through the window, striking Damond in the abdomen. She died at the scene 20 minutes later.
Officers canvassed the area that night, but did not locate any evidence of a sexual assault, said Minneapolis Police Assistant Chief Medaria Arradondo, who has served as the face of the department since the shooting. Chief Janeé Harteau remains out of public view on what a spokesperson called a “personal, pre-scheduled” trip out of state, saying she was expected to return Wednesday. A message left asking if she was back in Minneapolis was not returned.
A State Police spokesman would not clarify what the noise Harrity heard may have been, but Harrity’s attorney hinted that the officers may have believed they were driving into an “ambush.” The attorney, Fred Bruno, declined to discuss the investigation, but said, “it’s certainly reasonable to assume that any police officer would be concerned about a possible ambush under these circumstances,” referencing the case of New York City Police officer Miosotis Familia, 48, who was killed July 5 when she was shot in the head while sitting in her mobile command vehicle in the Bronx.
Noor has refused to be interviewed by BCA agents, so his side of the story is still unknown. Noor’s attorney, Thomas Plunkett, did not respond to a request for comment.
After Noor shot Damond, the officers exited the car and started performing CPR until medical responders arrived. Damond was pronounced dead at the scene.
The officers were wearing body cameras, but they did not turn them on until after the shooting, according to the BCA. Investigators say they are not aware of any video or audio of the shooting.
Bruno would not specify what Harrity told BCA investigators beyond what was made public.
Dayton reserving judgement
Governor Dayton called the death a “horrible” tragedy, but said he had no additional information to draw conclusions about what happened.
He said he left a message expressing condolences to Damond’s fiancé, Don Damond, and another message with the Australian consulate in Chicago offering any aid he could. Justine Damond, a spiritual healer from Sydney, was scheduled to marry Don Damond in August.
Dayton said he would not comment on Noor refusing to be interviewed by police because Noor has a constitutional right to remain silent.
“There’s a paucity of information,” he said. “To the best of my knowledge, there are only two living eyewitnesses. One, who spoke yesterday to BCA officials for about four hours, and the other, who has declined to be interviewed, and he’s obviously the key person in this investigation.”
Dayton said the Legislature should “definitely review” the policies on body cameras, echoing remarks from Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman earlier this week that the officers “didn’t have to turn them on, but [they] should have turned them on.”
Freeman’s office has been briefed on the case, but a spokesman declined to comment Wednesday about what was revealed. Freeman said he will decide whether to charge Noor with the shooting, rather than convene a grand jury.
House Speaker Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, said any type of violent incident between police and citizens is “incredibly unfortunate,” but said he’d also reserve judgement until more information is released.
Daudt said he expects the Legislature to take up discussions around police body cameras in the future. But he said earlier talks have turned controversial, as lawmakers seek to balance public safety needs with the privacy rights of people who are filmed.
The speaker voiced his support for law enforcement officers across the state, and urged Minnesotans to do the same. “This isn’t easy when it happens for folks in uniform,” he said. “I encourage people to show support.”
Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune – Staff writers Brandon Stahl and Hannah Covington.
Editorial and Opinion
This shooting of a white 40 year old Australian national, in a safe neighbourhood in Minneapolis by a black Muslim officer has a distinct stink about it! Mayor Betsy states that people cannot compound that tragedy by turning to “racism, xenophobia, and Islamophobia.” It is unfortunate but all these factors exist until proven otherwise.
The Minneapolis police chief Janeé Harteau remains out of public view on what a police spokesperson called a “personal, pre-scheduled” trip out of state. With an incident as big as this which has the potential to blow her department apart, and become a major international incident, she should have returned immediately to provide executive oversight – but no!
What has Officer Noor got to hide. He refuses to be interviewed by BCA officers. Yes, it is his right to remain silent, but as a serving police officer involved in a “gun on none” shooting, he has an absolute obligation to tell his side of the story. Matthew Harrity has given his statement of events BCA officers, but Noor refuses to do so.
Reports state that Officer Noor had already drawn his weapon and had it on his lap, and when Ms Damond approached the driver’s side window in her pyjamas, Officer Noor raised and discharged his weapon across the front and in the face of Officer Harrity, through a closed window striking and killing Ms Damond. Why was this weapon drawn already? Deadly force is used when an officer is in grave and imminent danger! Noor was ready to shoot irrespective of the situation found!
What did Noor think he was shooting at? How had he appropriately assessed the scene, and any possible threat to his and his partner’s safety?
Why were the officers body cameras turned off? County Attorney Mike Freeman stated that officers “didn’t have to turn them on.” If that is the case, then why are they issued? The officers’ failure to turn on their cameras violates Minneapolis police policy, which has been in place for body cameras since at least 2016. In particular, policy 4-223 says that officers should manually activate their cameras “prior to any use of force. If a [body-worn camera] is not activated prior to a use of force, it shall be activated as soon as it is safe to do so.” It also says that officers should turn on their cameras during “any contact involving criminal activity,” “any contact that is, or becomes adversarial,” and “any citizen contact.” All of these rules indicate that the cameras should have been rolling before police shot Damond. However, it’s one thing to have these rules and another to get officers to actually follow them.
Why was the squad cars dash camera turned of? Why are they fixed to the squad cars if they are not used.
Why do American police have this shoot first, ask questions later mentality? US police kill more in days than other countries police do in years.” Between 1992 and 2011, Australian police shot and killed 94 people. In 2015, US police shot and killed 97 people in March alone!
Constitutionally, US police officers are allowed to shoot under two circumstances. The first circumstance is “to protect their life or the life of another innocent party” — what departments call the “defence-of-life” standard. The second circumstance is to prevent a suspect from escaping, but only if the officer has probable cause to think the suspect poses a dangerous threat to others. Of course, this leads to the unarmed and possibly innocent suspect running away from the vicinity of a possible crime scene, being shot dead with officers using lethal force on limited and/or erroneous information!
The suggestion by officers that they feared they were being ambushed is ludicrous! This dis-information is being spread in attempt to muddy the investigation and to taint the judgement by police and public alike. Where did this information come from? A cynic may suggest from the Minneapolis PD union itself, in attempt to create doubt in favour of it’s members?
Will Noor face prosecution for his actions? Probably not! Even though the victim was white, female, unarmed and the 911 informant, who was shot by a black officer with a limited and erroneous scope of the scene. On the surface of this incident, this seems to be an unlawful shooting, Noor is unlikely to face court. Police are very rarely prosecuted for shootings — because the law allows them wide latitude to use force on the job. It’s because the investigation of the incident often falls onto the same police department the officer is from, which creates major conflicts of interest, and breeds corrupt investigative practices. These police are not motivated to prosecute their own, a position which appears to be supported by the city officials and the judiciary of that location. At other times the only available evidence comes from eyewitnesses, who are not seen to be as trustworthy in the public eye as a police officer.
The vulnerable will continue to suffer and the guilty will walk away.
Phone records and intercepted calls show that members of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and other Trump associates repeatedly contacted with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election, the New York Times reports.
US law enforcement and intelligence agencies intercepted the communications around the same time they were discovering evidence that Russia was trying to disrupt the presidential election by hacking into the Democratic National Committee, three of the officials said, according to the Times.
The intelligence agencies then sought to learn whether the Trump campaign was colluding with the Russians on the hacking or other efforts to influence the election, the newspaper said.
“Surely, these are grounds to call Trump’s election as president into question?
The officials interviewed in recent weeks said they had seen no evidence of such cooperation so far, it said.
However, the intercepts alarmed US intelligence and law enforcement agencies, in part because of the amount of contact that was occurring while Mr Trump was speaking glowingly about Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The intercepted calls are different from the wiretapped conversations last year between Michael Flynn, Mr Trump’s former national security adviser, and Sergei Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States, the Times said.
Michael Flynn had earlier assured Vice-President Mike Pence that he had not discussed sanctions with the Russian envoy.
During those calls, the two men discussed sanctions that the Obama administration imposed on Russia in December.
Mr Flynn misled the White House about those calls and was asked to resignon Monday night.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request from Reuters for comment on the Times story.
On the Russian side, the contacts also included members of the Russian government outside of the intelligence services, the officials reportedly said.
All of the current and former officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because the continuing investigation is classified.
The officials said that one of the advisers picked up on the calls was Paul Manafort, who was Mr Trump’s campaign chairman for several months in 2016 and had worked as a political consultant in Russia and the Ukraine.
The officials declined to identify the other Trump associates on the calls.
Unsanctioned, unofficial contact with another country may be construed as treasonous?
The call logs and intercepted communications are part of a larger trove of information that the FBI is sifting through as it investigates the links between Mr Trump’s associates and the Russian government, as well as the DNC hack, according to federal law enforcement officials.
As part of its inquiry, the FBI has obtained banking and travel records and conducted interviews, the officials said.
Mr Manafort, who has not been charged with any crimes, dismissed the accounts of the US officials in a telephone interview on Tuesday.
“This is absurd,” he told the Times. “I have no idea what this is referring to. I have never knowingly spoken to Russian intelligence officers, and I have never been involved with anything to do with the Russian government or the Putin administration or any other issues under investigation today.”
“It’s not like these people wear badges that say, ‘I’m a Russian intelligence officer’,” he added.
Brussels has simply gone too far. They have crossed the line moving from an economic union to the political subordination of Europe. Now five more countries seek to hold referenda to exit the EU – France, the Netherlands, Italy, Austria, Finland and Hungary all could leave. With Hollande approval rating at about 11%, Merkel is lucky that she is not tarred & feathered, the Front National leader Marine Le Pen has pledged to hold a French referendum. If she emerges victorious in next year’s presidential elections, that means the next major player in the EU after Germany is out and there goes the EU.
This entire civil uprising in Europe is underway ever since two months ago when Dutch voters overwhelmingly rejected a Ukraine-European Union treaty. Angela Merkel’s Germany now faces having to pay an extra 3 billion euros a year to the annual EU budget once Britain leaves. This alone is prompting German government officials to propose that Britain is offered “constructive exit negotiations” to keep their dues coming in. Some are now talking about a quasi-membership for the UK calling it an “associated partner country” to keep the money flowing.
Yet the French government of Hollande just does not understand. The governor of the French central bank will exert pressure on UK banks. They are taking the view that it would be paradoxical if Britain could retain privileges after the withdrawal from the EU. First Banks are preparing apparently preparing to shift part of its employees in London to the continent. They obviously fail to grasp that it is European continental banks that are on the brink of collapse – not British.
Italian ministers warned on Saturday that the European Union MUST change course or risk total collapse after Britain’s vote to leave the bloc. The Italian Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan said. “A double reaction to Brexit is under way, one financial, one political. The financial one, at least until now, is limited. I am more worried about the political one.” Indeed, the unthinkable is happening. And they worry the pound might crash? Pay attention to the euro.
Meanwhile, another critic of the EU has been the leader of Poland’s ruling party. Poland’s Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski also now responded and said that the UK referendum result shows the need for reform of the EU. “This is bad news for Europe, for Poland. This is a great dilemma for the eurocrats, we all want to keep the EU, the question is in what shape.” He continued: “We will be trying to use this situation to make the European politicians aware why this happened. And it happened because this concept, which was created some time ago, is no longer popular in Europe.” Then again, the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán intends to campaign in the British press for the UK to remain in the EU, according to a Hungarian government spokesman. Orbán is clearly one of those who is out of touch with the people and fails to understand that a federalized Europe is not going down very well with the people. He is extremely arrogant to think that he has any right to intervene or suggest that the vote be ignored.
To add insult to injury, Turkey proclaims the “Crusader union falls apart” demonstrating that memories in Europe go back centuries, and yet they might be fast-tracked into the Union. Americans did not want to enter World War II. Roosevelt even traveled to Boston promising that American boys would never defend Europe. Boston was a very Irish community and they were upset at being asked to defend Britain after their migration to the USA because of Britain. Old wounds never quite die.
In a matter of days, the UK electorate faces its biggest choice in more than a generation — whether to remain in the EU.
While the campaign to exit the bloc says a decision to remain would be the bigger risk, its opponents contend that breaking up with Brussels would be a leap in the dark.
Here is a selection of Financial Times news and analysis of the steps after Brexit.
The promise: the UK would seek to leave the EU by 2019 and would be prepared to defy Brussels over immigration laws, according to a leading pro-Brexit minister.
The risk: George Osborne, the chancellor of the exchequer, has warned of a £30bn black hole in public finances if Britain should vote to leave on June 23.
The immediate aftermath: David Cameron would probably face the end of his career as prime minister as EU membership was put aside.
The politics: the political and constitutional questions caused by a vote to leave could open up a period of profound uncertainty for the UK and the EU.
The legal analysis: the referendum is advisory rather than mandatory; what happens next is a matter of politics, not law.
The mechanics: the UK would have two years to negotiate a deal after triggering the exit clause of the EU treaties; extending talks beyond that would require unanimity.
The economics: the professional consensus is clear – leaving the EU would hit growth. The size of that impact would depend on factors such as trade, productivity and foreign direct investment. But champions of Brexit argue that the economy would prosper outside the EU.
Immigration: the record influx of EU nationals has proved a powerful rallying call for the Leave campaign. Some three-quarters of EU citizens working in the UK would not meet current visa requirements for non-EU overseas workers if Britain left the bloc. But such restrictions are likely to apply to new entrants rather than to EU migrants already in the UK.
Trade options: leading Leave campaigners say they would not seek to join the EU’s single market — which requires free movement of labour. Instead they would seek a trade deal with the bloc. Treatment of the service sector, which accounts for 80 per cent of UK gross domestic product, would be a huge issue.
The European response: European leaders have stepped up secret discussions for an EU without Britain, drawing up a plan B focused on closer security and defence co-operation.
The recent arrest of an Australian 60 Minutes TV crew in Lebanon, has had (Australian) media outlets outraged that a TV crew could be arrested for reporting the news.
What they gloss over in their outrage is that the crew were filming a kidnapping and abduction of two children of an Australian woman who was in Beirut with their Lebanese father. True, the father had failed to return the children after an access visit, but still a kidnap and abduction has occurred.
The TV crew was not just there filming the abduction. No, it is alleged that the 60 Minutes producers had actually financed the abduction by hiring a professional company to carry out the grab. it is alleged that AU$115,000 was paid by Channel 9.
That makes the TV crew complicit in the action, and an accessory to kidnapping and abduction, assault and conspiracy, all serious crime in the Lebanon.
The mother and the TV crew could find themselves in detention in Lebanon for some time to come.
If found guilty, they could face up to 20 years in jail.
Dr Denis Muller, a media ethics expert at University of Melbourne, believes Channel 9 did the story because they thought it would “rate its socks off”.
“An Australian mum was rescuing children, bringing them back to a great life in Australia, that’s what it was all about,” he said.
“I can’t imagine Channel 9 looked into the risk and I can’t imagine they would have knowingly put their staff at risk like this”. But it appears they did just that.
However, the reporter at the heart of the issue, Tara Brown, has maintained a level of integrity stating, “I cannot talk, I don’t want to jeopardise anything. It has been fortifying to get messages of support, support from my family, friends and colleagues. I am being treated extremely well and the other women here are incredibly generous and kind.”
Will this action receive unbiased reporting from the Australian media?
Speed kills. Speed cameras save lives. We have heard it all before. But, two-hundred and forty-nine people people died in fatal traffic accidents on Victoria’s roads last year — a 2.5 per cent increase from 2013’s figure.
This is despite a record number of fixed and mobile speed cameras deployed on roads in Victoria, and around Australia.
For years, the governments have been claiming that speed cameras save lives and that speed is the greatest common factor in fatal car accidents.
But with road deaths on the rise, could it be that speed cameras actually don’t save lives and in fact are contributing to our road toll by breeding poor driving practises?
Since Saab introduced seat belts as standard in 1958, occupant safety has been improving every year, and the sedans, wagons, utilities and SUVs we drive today are safer than ever. And safer cars will undoubtedly go further in reducing the road toll than speed cameras.
Speed cameras certainly have their place in society, but not with the draconian enforcement of low-level speeding and covert tactics, such as hiding in bushes and unmarked mobile speed cameras, as occurs in Victoria, at least, more needs to be done.
The proof is in the numbers. People are still crashing, they are just safer doing so.
The figures show that revenue from speed cameras alone — on the spot police fines are not included in this figure — in 2010 was around $236 million. Fast forward to 2013 and that figures jumps a whopping $57 million to $293 million. Imagine ripping almost $300 million from government coffers; speed cameras have become like a drug addiction that governments can’t help but feed off.
Included below is a graph (click here to see larger version) that shows the relationship between hospital stays shorter than 14 days, longer than 14 days, fatalities and revenue from speed cameras. The graph shows that the increase in revenue from speed cameras isn’t commensurate with a reduction in hospital stays. Hospital stays of fewer than 14 days and more than 14 days during this period trended steady.
When asked about speed cameras and levels of enforcement, a spokesperson for the Department of Justice and Regulation told CarAdvice:
“Broadly speaking the rate of people being fined by cameras is not changing, but as the population grows, so too does the number of fines issued.
“The overall number of infringements issued annually is increasing as Victoria’s population grows and there are more cars on the road.
“Over 99 per cent of vehicles passing fixed cameras and over 98 per cent of vehicles passing mobile cameras comply with the speed limit.
That’s because people know that they are there. Drivers slow down for the cameras, and then once past them, they resume their normal driving habits – Ed.
“Fixed and mobile road safety cameras reduce speeds and cut road trauma because they are placed in high-risk or high-speed areas, areas with history of road trauma, or areas that will provide a road safety benefit.
This is not always so! In 2011 a NSW review of the placement of speed cameras was carried out by the Auditor-Generals Department, and a large number of cameras, 38 in fact, were identified as being placed to interrogate the speed of a large number of passing vehicles, or where the speed limit had been reduced from a higher limit; e.g. passing from a 90kmh zone into a 70kmh zone, with no identified high risk factors or adverse trauma history – Ed.
“100 per cent of the money from camera fines is allocated to the Better Roads Victoria Trust Account. The funds from this account are used to improve road safety for all road users.”
With an enforcement focus skewed on speed, ask yourself this question: how many speed cameras did you travel through (whether it be a fixed or mobile one) in the past month? Now, ask yourself how many times were you stopped to be tested for drugs or alcohol over the same period?
Similarly, in the past 10 years, how many times did you undertake driver training to improve your skills?
The unfortunate reality of speed camera-biased enforcement can be demonstrated with the tragic death of pedestrian Anthony Parsons and husband and wife Savva and Ismini Menelaou, who were passengers in a Ford Falcon struck at the intersection of Warrigal and Dandenong roads in Oakleigh, Victoria last year.
Brazilian national Nei Lima DaCosta was high on ice and drove through one fixed speed camera at 30km/h over the speed limit minutes before careering through the intersection of Warrigal and Dandenong roads at 120km/h (40km/h over the speed limit) through another speed and red light camera. He killed three innocent people. These two cameras did nothing to help save the lives of three innocent people.
This particular example illustrates why so much more needs to be done on enforcing and dealing with poor driving, whether it be due to drugs, lack of skills or visible policing.
There seems to be a reluctance, at least in Australia for police to perform in a pro-active role. Whenever police are seen on highways, it is always in the role of enforcement, speed checking, number plate recognition activities and the like, revenue raising activities – Ed.
Speed cameras alone will never be a useful immediate enforcement or protection tool against drivers excessively speeding, or people who don’t know how to drive to start with.
Those people that use the idiom “don’t speed and you won’t get caught” simply don’t understand the reality of driving safely. If I had the preference of watching the road or my speedometer, I know which one I would choose.
What is needed is an overhaul of driver training, the proper blitzing of drink and drug driving testing, along with the removal of low level speed enforcement. Who would have an issue with being stopped twice a day for drug or alcohol testing if it meant impaired drivers were taken off the road more promptly?
We also need more transparency on where the money generated from speed cameras goes and where it should be spent.
With all the roads around NSW in such poor condition, serious doubt has to raised as just where income from fines is actually spent on – Ed.
George Brown is a decorated soldier and health professional and 40 year veteran in the field of emergency nursing and paramedical practice, both military and civilian areas. He has senior management positions in the delivery of paramedical services. Opinions expressed in these columns are solely those of the author and should not be construed as being those of any organization to which he may be connected.
He was born in the UK of Scottish ancestry from Aberdeen and a member of the Clan MacDougall. He is a member of the Macedonian community in Newcastle, and speaks fluent Macedonian. While this may seem a contradiction, it is his wife who is Macedonian, and as a result he embraced the Macedonian language and the Orthodox faith.
His interests include aviation and digital photography, and he always enjoys the opportunity to combine the two. Navigate to his Flickr site to see recent additions to his photo library.
Џорџ Браун е украсени војник и професионално здравствено лице и 40 годишен ветеран во областа на за итни случаи старечки и парамедицински пракса, двете воени и цивилни области. Тој има високи менаџерски позиции во испораката на парамедицински услуги. Мислењата изразени во овие колумни се исклучиво на авторот и не треба да се толкува како оние на било која организација тој може да биде поврзан.
Тој е роден во Велика Британија на шкотскиот потекло од Абердин и член на Kланот MacDougall. Тој е член на македонската заедница во Њукасл, и зборува течно македонски. Иако ова можеби изгледа контрадикција, тоа е неговата сопруга кој е македонски, и како резултат научил македонскиот јазик и ја примија православната вера.
Неговите интереси вклучуваат авијација и дигитална фотографија, и тој секогаш ужива во можност да се комбинираат двете. Отиди до неговиот Фликр сајт да видите последните дополнувања на неговата слика библиотека.