SLOW DOWN: Andrew Gale has gone decades without a speeding fine . . . . until recently.
SLOW DOWN: Andrew Gale has gone decades without a speeding fine . . . . until recently. Mike Knott BUN240816LIDAR1

SPEEDING FINES: Warwick ex-cop slams 'revenue raising' claim

I JUST read Michael Nolan's piece "HOTSPOTS: Where Warwick Police catch the most speeders" in Saturday's Warwick Daily News.

It was a very good story. Knowing what I do through keeping my ear to the ground though, I wasn't surprised at the content or any of the high-ticket locations.

Nor was I surprised by the comments on Facebook when it ran there. I knew before looking the words "revenue raising" were going to feature in a comment or two.

Speaking as a former copper, I can assure you the last thing I ever had on my mind when enforcing traffic regulations was "revenue raising".

I never had "quotas" or "kill sheets" thrust upon me by anyone.

We did have performance indicators for stations/units and individual officers.

They generally related to the amounts of time spent per week or shift on traffic enforcement, but there was never any demand that a certain number of or dollar value of infringements were issued.

Mind you, I wrote plenty of tickets. I've always strived to do my best in any job I've ever done. If I was doing a few hours of traffic duty I would go where I knew I would be more likely to do some actual enforcement.

So rather than just sit on the side of the road and smile and wave, I'd target where I knew offences were being committed. Same as I do when I engage in my favourite pastime. fishing.

There's no point going fishing where there ain't no fish.

It never was really that hard to be motivated to enforce those laws. Some people like to argue that police are on a "power trip" or some other malarkey when they book you. I've never been that complex, to be honest.

To me it was always about making the roads safer.

Dealing with the aftermath of road trauma always kept that "front and centre" in my head.

Enforcement of traffic regulations needs to be a priority of the police to save lives on the road.

It's simple to see how effective things such as mandatory seat belts, random breath testing and speeding enforcement have lowered Australia's road tolls in the past 50 years.

In 1970, a staggering 3800 Aussies died on our roads. That was at a rate of 31 persons per 100,000 population. Compare that to last year where this figure was reduced to under 1150 fatalities.

That's now less than five persons per 100,000 population. Still too many, but a massive improvement.

When you look at these figures over that time period you can see sharp drops every time there was a new tactic brought in by the authorities, be it seatbelts, RBT or speed cameras.

As far as traffic enforcement being revenue raising, well by the nature of it, of course it is.

But it's entirely voluntary.

Break the law and get caught and you volunteer to contribute. Simple.

Fines need to be high to deter people from speeding.

The "lowest" speeding ticket (less than 12 over the limit) costs $174 now.

A voluntary contribution I've managed to avoid for the past 33 years or so. Well at least until last month. Ooops.

Hey, Michael, I need to add another location to the list, though technically it's not in the Warwick area. The Cunningham Highway opposite the service station near the RAAF base at Amberley.

It used to be 100 but now it's an 80 zone. My fault entirely. I'll cop it and remember the pain of paying it.

The only problem I have is the photo shows the back of my car, not the front.

For $174 I'd at least like to be able to see my smiling face in the picture, at least I could use it for my passport!!