WA Transport Minister Liza Harvey appears to suffer from the ‘Buswell disease’: an inability to sniff the wind of public disquiet, in this case over speeding fines.
You work for the ‘numpties’, Minister
Police minister Liza Harvey should remember that the “numpties” who oppose the placement of speed cameras on freeways with long, straight roads, barriers on both sides and wide separation from oncoming traffic are her employers, says Civil Liberties Australia.
“Her comment to the media today that people who see the placement of cameras, not at accident blackspots but beside freeways, are ‘numpties’ shows an alarming disconnect from her role as a Member of Parliament and a Minister,” said CLA State Director Rex Widerstrom.
“There is a valid argument to be made that the camera program as it is presently structured is simply not working,” Mr Widerstrom said. “By the Minister’s own admission, if the fixed freeway cameras were in place all the time, the police wouldn’t be able to cope with the number of infringements that would be issued. Each year, millions of dollars are raised by fining people who are traveling less than 10kmh over the limit on Perth’s freeways. Meanwhile hundreds continue to die on country roads, at intersections and where the majority of accidents are known to occur. One could even argue that, with 18% of motorists exceeding the limit on the freeway, it’s time to review the 100kmh setting.
“WA has been poorly served by a succession of Police Ministers who’ve been completely unwilling to listen to the people who put them in office when it comes to issues of road safety and speed limits,” Mr Widerstrom said, “but this is the first one I can recall who openly insults those who disagree with her.
“A Minister who understood her role would be saying ‘well, you have a view that’s different to the Police, how have you arrived at that? Let’s debate it’, not be denigrating people.
“Our message to the Minister is plain. You work for us, Ms Harvey. Some of us have opinions – which most can back up with reference to facts and data – which differ from yours. That doesn’t make us ‘numpties’, unless by holding an opinion which differs from that of many of your constituents, you’re a numpty yourself.”
Contact: Rex Widerstrom