EDITORIAL: Safety first, or just plain revenue raising?
- 28th May 2009, 10:58am
On a recent event I had the pleasure of driving a 6-speed Fiat 500 Sport for two days, steering the car through the Snowy Mountains and across some of Victoriaâ€™s best driverâ€™s roads.
At $27,990, this is a fantastic car that offers superb handling, and plenty of punch from the 100 horsepower, 1.4 litre, 16 valve engine. Admittedly it struggled on big hills, but other attributes of the car more than made up for this.
Fitted with 15 wheels on 45 series tyres, the Fiat was like a go-kart to drive, handling like it was on rails, and with four-wheel disc brakes that allowed it to stop on a five cent piece. Road noise was an issue, due to the wheel and tyre package, but the performance, in my mind, was exceptional from such a small car.
Iâ€™m of the firm belief that driving is a sport, and it is something that should be enjoyed â€“ particularly in a nice car. Mr Fiat spent a lot of time and money developing the 500 Sport, and he didnâ€™t loan it to me to drive around town at 60km/h.
Therefore, once presented with an open road and a mountain range, there was nothing more certain than I was going to have a â€œplayâ€.
Being wary of the police is a constant thought in the back of your mind, and I couldnâ€™t agree more that theyâ€™re out there doing a job, and trying to protect the community. But sometimes things get a little bit too far outside the square.
Having ascended a mountain range I came to a relatively flat piece of road on the top of the range. I was more than 40km from the nearest major town, yet there, in all its glory, was a blue four-wheel drive, complete with speed camera attached to the front.
Fortunately for me I was awake to their nasty tricks and was travelling below the speed limit of 100, but in my mind, thatâ€™s beside the point.
Why would you park some poor bloke on top of a mountain range in a speed camera car, when you could be spending those valuable resources on catching real criminals, or saving lives?
Okay, so the guy in the car is not a policeman, but is this really our tax money well spent? Not only was this car parked in isolation, on a mountain range, on a Sunday morning, but he was on the straightest stretch of road within a 40km radius.
Is this really looking after the safety of other road users, or simply blatant revenue raising? Iâ€™ll let you be the judge of that â€¦.
To my mind, the money spent on the speed camera car, and the wages for the gentleman inside, would have been far better spent in town, pulling over cars and performing roadworthy checks. As motoring enthusiasts we all know (and loathe) how many suspect cars are driving around our roads, not only risking the lives of the drivers and passengers, but of you and me as well.
Itâ€™s time we took a stand, but somehow I donâ€™t think it will do any of us any good whatsoever. As someone famous once said, the only two certainties in life are death and taxes.
SUBSCRIBE BELOW TO READ THE FULL STORY
By clicking "Subscribe Now" you agree to receive news, offers and updates on RallySport Magazine. If you do not wish to receive marketing communications, you can update your preferences in My Account.
We will commence charging your payment method after the 7 day free trial expires. If you cancel after expiry of your trial, cancellation will take effect from the end of your current monthly subscription period. You will not be refunded any fees paid to RallySport Magazine unless otherwise set out in the terms and conditions.