I have a confessions to make. I stick to the speed limit and in over 25 years of driving cars and riding motorcycles, I have never had a speeding ticket. That may make me sound like a grumpy old fart but I can’t see how it can be worth putting yourself and others at risk for little return.
A constant source of disappointment comes when I reduce my speed to match the restrictions in areas where roadworks are occurring. I stay in the right lane to allow the speeders to get past without causing me problems. I would hate to be a road maintenance or construction worker. In some circumstances, the only protection for these workers is a fluorescent vest. Fixed worksites are luckier as they can erect signs, traffic control lights, concrete barriers and other control measures.
Yesterday (23 June 2008 ) in Melbourne two truck drivers had their rigs confiscated for traveling at 90 kilometres per hour in a 40 kilometre zone. Victortia has legislation that is principally aimed at reckless young drivers who drag race and do burnouts but speed is also covered under this “hoon” law and it is under this law that the vehicles were confiscated.
The drivers will receive their vehicles back in two days but I wonder what their employer said to them when the vehicles did not come back. I wonder what the employer said to the customers who did not receive their goods.
I have a neighbour who speeds along my street because she sees the low speed restriction as stupid. But this is a workplace safety blog and I have to say that in the case of the speeding trucks, the police followed the hierarchy of controls and eliminated the hazard at the source. I can only hope that this action is supported by the transport industry and not protested with claims of victimisation. I am sure the roadworkers out there won’t protest.
The ABC has released a video interview with a representative of the Victoria Police who provides additional details on the confiscation of the vehicle.
The Police & Emergency Services Minister, Bob Cameron (a former minister for WorkCover) stated
“You’ve got people doing excessive speed, effectively through a workplace, and it is totally appropriate that they’re impounded.”
Here are a couple of links for Australian workplace traffic management that you may find useful. There is quite a bit of information available but not a lot is focussed on the road user.