Stopping crime not always so flashy
IMAGINE for a second that you’re out walking on a Friday night.
As you approach a neighbour’s house you see someone lurking in the shrubs who looks as if they are planning something illegal.
They are carrying what appear to be house-breaking tools – crowbars and such – and are dressed totally in black with a black beanie.
So you stop and, gently, suggest that a break-andenter might not be a good idea.
You remind the person that you have seen them, you can help the police if there is trouble, and that there probably isn’t much worth stealing at your neighbour’s house in any case.
This would be considered a good deed.
It is stopping a potential crime. So what’s the difference if you use your headlamps to warn about a speed trap?
A fine, for a start, if you’re caught. Flashing your headlamps is considered counterproductive in the battle against the road toll, and an inappropriate use of the high beam in a built-up area.
Yet a new survey shows that most of us are happy to flash a warning – and the practice is most widespread in Victoria, which is also the state with the toughest speed enforcement regime.
There are laws against flashing in some states but most people don’t care.
They are more worried about helping a fellow road user and – arguably – helping in the battle against speed.
If speed cameras really are used to combat the road toll, and not just for revenue raising, then surely the idea is to finally have no camera fines.
If there were no fines it would mean everyone was obeying the speed limit.
That would be bad news for government income across Australia, where speed cameras now raise hundreds of millions each year, but good news for the road toll.
So anyone who flashes is potentially helping the battle the toll, because it’s a way to get people to slow down.
It may not bring a cash bonus from a fine, but it achieves the same result.