Speed Cameras – should we have warning signs?

There is a radical difference in the way NSW and VIC motorists are treated by speed camera policy.

One state at least appears to cooperate and encourage their drivers to ‘slow down’ and obey speed limits through the use of warning signs and other messaging.

The other state prefers to hide, forego messaging, and catch drivers who break the rules. In the human mind, this creates an atmosphere of surveillance to drive compliance, and was demonstrated by the ‘Panopticon’ designed by Jeremy Bentham – a founding father of utilitarian ethics.

Written by Discernable


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  1. I'm beginning to wonder just how much of this is an overcompensation for the Eureka Rebellion. Because that was an exclusively Victorian phenomenon, it never really expanded to the other colonies, the same as most other protest movements I guess. Our population is just way to sparse for anything other then the status quo to enter into the mainstream.

  2. The argument that it is the same is a matter of statistical manipulation. The road toll ISN'T particularly that high compared to the number of trips taken, so in the whole state, there might be a reduction of 2 fatalities, that could be 2 less than 40 from the previous year. Neither of those 2 reductions likely had anything to do with a camera being there. They most likely occurred no where near a camera. I cannot agree that he is a good person if he is going to support such a dehumanised capitalistic view. That is an exploitative arrogant elitist.

  3. A note re: Jeremy Bentham's Panopticon- Foucault(despite a controversial figure) later coined a derivative term 'panopticism' which describes a constant awareness of one being surveilled at any time, thus being deterred from deviating from what is expected of them, eventually conditioning them into constant compliance. This is synonymous to Orwellian phrase "Big Brother is watching you" in 1984. In other words, it's achieving authoritarianism through fear & surveillance while conditioning the inhabitants of a region to comply with little question & resistance. This also exists in abusive relationship/family dynamics, as well as certain vertically(read: top-down) collectivistic cultures such as many traditional oriental cultures in which you are often pressured to give up your individuality for the collective good, or as George Carlin put it:"Groupmind".
    Point of reference: I am ethnically East Asian who has since renegated from the culture I grew up in, also studied sociology & criminology in uni, plus 1st hand witnessed certain mob mentalities within Oz as an immigrant, especially with COVID as well as certain preconceived notions

  4. It’s intrinsic to the Australian psyche.
    Australians in general support these measures.
    It’s just bizarre.
    It’s like we think society will collapse if we don’t regulate and police everything.
    In NSW you need a license to go fishing with your kid on the weekend.
    I don’t get it

  5. It occurred to me recently how many TV shows Australia has had about compliance, RBT, Motorway Patrol, Border Patrol, even Bondi Rescue often had pieces about arresting people. Blue Healers. There's probably 30 more I can't think of.

  6. I loath these things now. I loath even more the thinking behind them, which is simply this; IT WAS ONLY EVER ALWAYS ABOUT THE MONEY ALL OF THE TIME. Victorian speed limits are inconsistently random and as traffic infringements have dropped speed limits on roads have been axed to ridiculous levels simply to increase revenue again. The 110khm freeway past pakenham, now 70-80kmh is exhibit one. Don't get me started on fake "road work" restrictions. 5 kilometers of freeway dropped to a obscene 40kmh just because someone halfway up a hill, behind a safety barrier is picking up rubbish or mowing a lawn, or even better gone home. In the midst of this madness every ten minutes you pass one of Dan's unmarked radar cars parked on the side of the road hoping to catch you out at the new super low limit for as little as 3kmh speed violation. Spend a day driving around, or watch dash cams, an you quickly realise that speed is not and never was the actually issue. People drive, weave, cut in, swerve in traffic like lunatics and as long as they are not "speeding" they remain completely unmolested and entirely free to kill whomever they like. Innocent people continue to die and get injured, the government continue to get rich, and nothing improves.

  7. I disagree with the greatest good approach as the basis of ethics, but I agree with the Labor guy about not needing speed camera signs. A speeding fine is a voluntary tax that I'm happy to let my fellow Victorians pay instead of me, when they choose to speed. We all know the cameras are out there, and we don't need a sign to remind us like a "caution hot contents" sign on a coffee cup.

  8. There are signs in Victoria 😂 when a mate said the same thing and I pointed out the signs he laughed and said he had never noticed them, but I suppose that being a motorcyclist I am more aware of my surroundings. Love your work all the same Matt.

  9. If the policy in NSW gives the same result as the policy in Victoria, he has just proved the government is only interested in robbing people…. because if Victoria put up signs to slow people down, that would save just as many people but the government would lose money.
    Might not be so bad if they put all the revenue into better roads….. but no….. not really interested in saving lives.

  10. "… to take away some freedoms…" Some? SOME Find me something… anything that's not being totally demonised, restricted & basically crushed with no regard, debate or fairness? I've SOOOOOOOO had it

  11. It's nothing at all about safety – it's all about compliance and obedience, of telling you to be obedient to the state, and they get to raise more money at the same time. It's utter bullshit!

  12. They don’t like us calling them speed cameras, they have indicated that they are “safety cameras”
    So my question would be from a logical point of view. Why do they put mobile safety cameras on freeways , where there is not much human traffic. Would it not be more logical to have the “SAFETY “cameras in built up areas where speed limits are 40, 50, 60, this is where active humans are. Active humans are not wandering around country freeways. So are they safety cameras or are they revenue cameras?

  13. I believe in advisory speeds….not limits

    Advisory speeds encourage driving to the conditions.

    Limits result in people putting their brain on autopilot rather than actively driving to conditions.

    I also believe in being aware of everything in my surroundings at all times…. I like to think and be alive and be my own human….not be a robotic compliant slave beholden to arbitrary often bizarre nonsensical rules

  14. It's only ever been about raising revenue. Whether fixed, almost hidden behind bushes or in utes etc. Where safety is the desired outcome, a highly visible living policeman/woman is used.

    WA used to have "you have just past a camera" type signs; yes, after the cameras. Early this week I was in a slow train of vehicles as we crawled past a ute parked right against the kerb. It was in a 70kmh zone that required the world to slow to a crawl merely because of another bureaucratic decision that roads near schools had to have 40kmh speed limits. There wasn't a child to be seen anywhere, so the camera could only have been for revenue. Similarly when these revenue vehicles are parked at the bottom of hills in the suburbs and towns, hoping to catch unwary motorists who have allowed their speed to creep a smidge over the ridiculous 50kmh limit.

    Government in democracies is supposed to be "for the people". Not for the bureaucrats or departments, let alone for the politicians. That the fixed cameras on freeways etc have cameras watching the speed cameras, says that these revenue devices are detested by more than small number of motorists.

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