All sorted for Es and Whizz

by Lord Sutch

hero-33868_0So people are up in arms, in ARMS about the Police’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy towards speeding over the Christmas period. And by zero tolerance I mean that if you went over 100/kmh by even 2km you got a ticket.

Over at Kiwiblog, that bastion of reason, David Farrar has said:

I predict the Police will reach the same conclusion as the Minister, and decide to get rid of the zero tolerance policy. If not, then they need a bollocking.

A  bollocking! How dare you police! How dare you enforce the law as its written! Because remember, 100kph is the speed limit. THE LIMIT. That’s the maximum. If you go over the maximum, you are no longer within the allowable limit, that being 100kph.

On the open road there will be around twice as many fatal crashes when the average speed is 120km/h, rather than 100km/h.

That’s a fact box on the AA Website (source). Clearly speed is a factor in road fatalities. So I would expect that our police, whose job it is to protect its citizens, would patrol speeding. And if someone is breaking that law then they get penalised. That’s pretty much the building block of law and order in any civilised society.

So why are people so upset about it this time?

Because the death-toll on our roads over the Christmas period was double last year. And last year they didn’t employ the zero-tolerance policy. And this year they did. That means that the zero tolerance policy must be responsible for all the deaths! That’s right, the police being more vigilant on speeding caused more fatalities.

What sort of fucked up reverse statistical world do these people live in? You might as well believe that police replaced their speed guns with actual guns and that’s why the road toll was so high.

The police were excited with their new tools to combat speeding motorists.

The police were excited with their new tools to combat speeding motorists.

People have said things like “it’s more dangerous if I have to check my speedometer so frequently”. Like for reals, that’s their argument. Frankly, if  looking away from straight ahead creates a dangerous scenario then maybe you shouldn’t be driving. Because there are a lot of reasons one might not look straight ahead – if you were looking in your rear-view or wing mirrors as advised to in the road code.

Other people have said that when a car is doing 90kph you can’t overtake it without speeding over 100kph and that’s true, but the police have discretion on overtaking, and provided it’s not done dangerously then they allow momentary increases of speed. Also the accusation is that those driving at 90kph create frustration in motorists behind them who then do something stupid. That’s not the fault of the zero-tolerance there pal, that’s your short temper. The law isn’t here to accommodate your irrational reaction to things, so get over yourself.

New Zealand roads are notorious for being shit. And so we do have a relatively low speed limit compared to the rest of the world. And most of you people seem to love National, and National love roads so maybe this will fix itself and we’ll see an increase in speed limits as our roads improve. I dunno, I’m not psychic. All I know is that currently you don’t have an allowance for doing a “little bit of assault” or a “little bit of murder”, 100kph is the law dummy, and if you break it then you get punished.

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5 comments

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Archy January 14, 2015 - 5:34 pm

Hell yeah, well said. Can’t believe the whinging I’ve heard over this!
I liked Little’s comment in the Dom today about the police minister’s review being “flakey”. Too right.

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Rick Rowling January 21, 2015 - 4:12 pm

“…but the police have discretion on overtaking, and provided it’s not done dangerously then they allow momentary increases of speed. ”

So here you’re saying that it’s not *zero* tolerance, it’s *sometimes* tolerance.

Like you can’t be a little bit pregnant, you can’t have a little bit zero tolerance, it’s either zero or it’s not.

Are you agreeing with the zero tolerance policy only because it’s actually non-zero tolerance (for overtaking)?

Or are you the dude that follows the cattle truck all the way to Matamata at 97 km/hr?

Or the dude that overtakes the cattle truck at 100km/hr exactly, meaning that you’re the only one to get any benefit from the passing lane, everyone else can suck up that bovine faeces smell, suckers?

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Lord Sutch
Lord Sutch January 22, 2015 - 7:48 am

Sigh. Ok I’ll bite.

So you’ve highlighted a supposed inconsistency with my position. So I’ll make it clearer: the zero tolerance policy when you have no-one to overtake is a perfectly acceptable, if not safe position, for the police to take.

Does that remove ambiguity?

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Rick Rowling January 22, 2015 - 7:42 am

” On the open road there will be around twice as many fatal crashes when the average speed is 120 km/h, rather than 100 km/h.

That’s a fact box on the AA Website ”

But this is about a 2 km/h tolerance. So how many more fatal accidents will there be at 102km/h, rather than 100 km/h?

We all know that the 120 km/hr scenario is covered and policed. That’s not the question here.

Supporting evidence needs to be consistent with the argument.

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Lord Sutch
Lord Sutch January 22, 2015 - 7:49 am

You’ve cherry picked here. And not very well. The example I used – the 120kmh – was evidence that speed has a factor in crashes. That was all. Not that 120kmh is the magic number where it becomes dangerous. But a number of people have argued that speed doesn’t impact fatality numbers. Well they’re wrong.

Also, you seem to be focussing on the minutiae of my piece rather than looking at the broader image. But that’s cool, you can argue whatever logical fallacy you like.

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