P-Plate Gabfest

Will anything of substance come from the current gabfest on what to do about our P-plate drivers?

I’m predicting we’ll simply see a range of draconian rules instituted that will prove of little value.  Why? Because there’s no point having rules if you don’t have the “referees” to see that they are being obeyed.  In this case, I use the term “referee” to mean police.  One of the surest ways of making sure that drivers adhere to the road rules is to have a highly visible police presence actually on the roads.

We don’t need more rules for these new and inexperienced drivers – they’ve already got enough to learn and think about.  What is needed is better education (both in attitude to driving and actual driving skills).  This, combined with a more visible police presence, will do far more than trying to legislate a solution to the problem by creating even more road rules.

The current NSW Government seems to think that by cutting spending and reducing the police force’s manpower and using static speed cameras instead is good management. How wrong they are!  This is a very good example of what happens when a Government tries to do too much with it’s resources and tries to run everything on shoestring budgets.

In my opinion, the NSW Government should make spending money on infrastructure an absolute priority, and put the minority projects back in their rightful places at the bottom of the “have to be done” list.  Public funds should be giving priority to health (hospitals, etc), schools, public transport/roads and our police force.  The NSW police force has been shrinking for a number of years now, and it needs a drastic increase in numbers (i.e., we need hundreds of officers added to the force) just to get back to the level it was 5 years ago, and more still to get it to the appropriate ratio for our population level.

If ever there was a case of “Nero fiddling while Rome burns” one only has to look at what the NSW Government is doing.

Might I suggest that the two Ministers responsible for police, roads and transport issues in NSW (Mr Eric “Bus Lane” Roozendaal, and Mr John Watkins) get together and work out the priorities of their respective Ministries, and then go to their Premier, Mr Morris Iemma with a co-ordinated plan. In fact, perhaps Mr Iemma, as the Minister for State Development, needs to demonstrate some real leadership by making some hard decisions on spending priorities and then start cracking a few of his Ministers’ heads together to make them wake up to reality.

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