Police plot to unseat govt?


Why would police suddenly come out with a policy of zero tolerance on speeding a few weeks before the election?

Could it be part of a plot to unseat the government?

Might it have come from something like this?

Act 1, Scene 1: A meeting room at Police HQ.

Officer 1: The weekend’s protest wasn’t a good look for us. How can we uphold the law when we’re told they’re breaking the law but we’re to educate rather than prosecute?

Officer 2:  What else could our people on the beat do? They couldn’t do anything about the Black Lives Matter marches when the whole country was in lock down, so how could they do anything about this one?

Officer 3: Yeah well, there’s a pattern isn’t there? The Iwi road blocks that weren’t authorised but were sort of okayed, the gang tangi that broke the lockdown rules but we couldn’t touch them, even when they blocked the intersections. It all makes us look ineffective and undermines our authority.

Officer 1: What could we do? We had our orders. Not a good look though.

Officer 2: It’s not going to get any better if the polls are right and Labour win outright or close to it.

Officer 3: It’d be worse.

Officer 4:  But would the other lot be any better?

Officer 2: Well yeah, think about it, who was the best Police Minister we’ve had in recent times?

Office 1: Don’t have to think about it. Judith Collins, she valued and supported us.

Officer 2: Got it in one. And if she was Prime Minister, don’t ya think she’d keep doing that?

Officer 3: Yeah, of course. But we’ve only got four votes and look at the polls.

Officer 1: There’s only one poll that counts.

Officer 4: Now you’re sounding like a politician.

Officer 1: And thinking like one, how about if we gave the polls a nudge?

Officer 3: How could we do that?

Officer 1: Policy. That’s what the pollies do when they want some attention. Release some policy.

Officer 2: But we’re not politicians and we’re supposed to be non-partisan. How can we release election policy?

Officer 1: I’m not talking election policy, I’m talking our own policy. What about changing the speed tolerance from 10 Ks to 0. One K over the limit and we stop ’em and ticket ’em.

Officer 3: That won’t be popular.

Officer 4:  It’ll be very unpopular. Why do it? Will it make the roads safer?

Officer 1: Of course not. I can already hear that Clive Matthew Wilson road safety bloke say:  this zero tolerance approach would pointlessly alienate ordinary motorists without solving the real problem. “The current police anti-speeding campaign will never lower the road toll, because it’s targeting the average motorist rather than the high-risk groups. “That’s like trying to stop bank robberies by targeting shoplifting.”

Officer 4: And he’d be right, wouldn’t he? It will get right up the noses of the ordinary driver who creeps a few kilometres over the limit going down a hill or on one of those long, straight stretches where there’s no other cars except one of ours hidden under a tree.

Officer 3: What about overtaking? No passing lane would be long enough to let anyone pass the slightly slower drivers at 100 k. We start ticketing people going a wee bit faster when they’re passing and they’re going to lecturing us about time exposed to danger, and what’s safer: crawling past a truck on the wrong side of the road or zipping past and getting back to the right side, which is of course the left, as soon as possible?

Officer 2: There will be an uproar.

Officer 1: That’s right, and who will they blame?

Officer 2: Us?

Officer 1:  Well yes, but also the government.  The public’ll be furious and it won’t just be individuals. It won’t take long for the Taxpayers’ Union to call it a cash grab. I can see the media release already :

Did you see the news break yesterday that the Police are abolishing their 10km/h speed tolerance nationwide?

That means that from today Police will be issuing fines for going as little as 101km/h on the open road – even when passing another vehicle!

This Government has put up fuel taxes every year, and introduced the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax.  Now they’re using the Police as tax collectors.

Click here to sign our petition against this nasty revenue grab.

Road safety advocates have labelled the move as “petty, vindictive and ineffective”.  Deliberate speeding is one thing.  But unintentional speeding where it’s a few kms over, such as when a driver is not fixated on the speedo, should not be fined.  Crashes caused by speeding are seldom due to a driver doing one or two kms over the limit.

This new policy that will see thousands of New Zealanders fined for going only one or two kms over the posted limit – even while passing another vehicle. . . 

Officer 4: Ya know I think it might just about work.

Officer 1: It will and we’ve no time to waste. At least one polling company will be taking the political pulse of the nation as we speak.

Officer 2:  It won’t just be the government that takes a hit. We’re going to be pretty unpopular while it’s going on.

Officer 1: We all have to make sacrifices at times, and a wee bit of temporary unpopularity is a small price to pay for a government that supports the police and helps us do our work.

This is all too fanciful, but can anyone think of a better explanation for a policy that will be so very unpopular and do absolutely nothing for road safety?

Did lower speed tolerance work?


Police announced last week that they would allow only a 4 kilometre an hour tolerance above speed limits on all holiday weekends:

“We believe that lowering the tolerance has made a real difference to the number of deaths on the roads over the holiday periods”, said Superintendent Paula Rose, National Manager Road Policing today.

The lowered tolerance was introduced last Queen’s Birthday after a disastrous Easter when 12 people died on the roads. That Queen’s Birthday weekend saw a huge turnaround with only two deaths and a more than 30 percent reduction in crashes.

Since that weekend, during each holiday period Police have introduced the lowered tolerance and have seen a consistently lowered holiday road toll.

“We think that it is making a difference and that as most drivers have now become used to the idea, it seems obvious to introduce it permanently. The lowered tolerance does have the unexpected benefit of making drivers concentrate and focus on their driving and their speed. This has spin-off benefits in making their driving safer,” said Superintendent Rose.

This weekend had pretty good weather and that would also have played a part in reducing the accident rate but the  superintendent’s last point is the pertinent one.

If lowering the tolerance in itself was such an important factor it would be lowered all the time and not just at holiday weekends.

Speed does contribute to accidents but it is not the only contributing factor. The lower tolerance at holiday weekends doesn’t just perusade drivers to reduce speed, it increases their concentration and that makes driving safer.

So does looking out for police because it keeps drivers’ attention on the road.

Although in spite of the warning that more police would be patrolling roads this weekend we drove from home to Wanaka on Friday, Wanaka to Arrowtown and back to Wanaka on Sunday and saw only one marked car.

But coming home yesterday we passed three in less than a kilometre – two in Otematata, a very small township in the Waitaki Valley, and one about 100 metres past it.

Slow, slow, speed up slow


Is there a name for people who drive just slowly enough below to hold other drivers up but not so slowly anyone can pass easily until they get to passing lanes when they speed up to, or even beyond, 100kph, and then slow down again once the passing lanes end?

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