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From: "Bill Sloman"
Subject: Re: Defeating Breathalyzer Ignition Interlocks
Date: Tue, 7 Jan 2003 00:30:20 +0100
Organization: Planet Internet
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"Mike Harding" wrote in message
> On 6 Jan 2003 04:28:10 -0800, firstname.lastname@example.org (Bill Sloman)
> >The aim is simply to change people's behaviour
> Can't agree Bill. Here in Victoria (Australia) the real aim is
> very much about making money for the state - I don't have
> the figures to hand but the state income from speeding fines
> is _huge_!
Then it is a tax on stupidity, which I applaud. As far as I can see the
vigourous enforcement of anti-speeding laws in Victoria really has changed
peoples behaviour. During our last visit to Victoria we drove up to
Harcourt to visit some old friends and my wife's cousin who is married to a
wine-maker of genius. It was very noticeable that the bulk of the traffic
was driving at or slightly below the legal limit - in marked contrast to the
country traffic that I remember from the 1960's.
> >As John Fields has pointed out, you don't need absolute pitch to use
> >the engine note to judge your speed pretty accurately - trying to
> >drive at a constant speed via visual feedback from the speedometer is
> >just stupid, and anyone who tries it and runs off the road is just
> >exhibiting evolution in action.
> Not much choice here in Victoria where the tolerance on
> the posted speed limits has been reduced to +3kph, You
> try keeping your speed to 100kph and not varying by more
> than 3%! (Especially when vehicle construction regs. only
> require your speedo to be accurate to +/- 10%!).
I actually calibrated my car's speedo against my GPS, which has eliminated
that source of uncertainty, and I aim to drive a few kph below the maximum
to accomodate a certain amount of hunting in the control loop. As a strategy
it seems to work for me.
> They target speed because it's easy. "It's mainly down to speed"
> they say. What it really means is they don't have to tackle
> the much more difficult causes of accidents.
Okay - come up with a practicable alternative suggestion. Anti-speeding laws
are now enforceable, and work, and do save some lives. They don't stop
accidents, but they make them less likely and and less damaging when they do
Could you come up with an image analysis system that could detect and
document "careless driving" in the same sort of way? The authorities would
absolutely love the extra revenue and you could become very rich ...
> >One of the downsides of living in a democracy is that from time to
> >time you have to subordinate your judgement to that of the population
> >as a whole.
> Nice theory. But no one has ever asked them, have they?
Every election. If enough people were genuinely upset it would be an
> And it very much depends upon your definition of a democracy
> I don't accept that a two party system with partisan MPs
> constitutes a democracy.
Then what does? Do you want to go back to ancient Athens, or off to
Switzerland? Or do you want to go over to European style proportional
representation, which virtually guarantees a coalition government?
Australia's single transferrable vote system in one-member electorates is
actually pretty odd, but most commentators regard it as democratic.
All these systems can be referred to as democracies and are often are
referred to as such.. You may wish to redefine the word to mean exactly what
you'd like it to mean, but that leaves you speaking your own unique variety
of English, with very little chance that your listeners will interpret your
utterances (if they can be bothered listening to them) in the way you
Bill Sloman, Nijmegen
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