Fund more police than speed cameras
Covert speed cameras are another example of the Big Brother mentality of state government - the insidious use of technology to monitor the community. Issues such as speed cameras serve the function of distracting public attention from ineffective road safety strategy and the reduction in number of highway patrol police.
Speed camera technology does not stop drivers affected by drugs and alcohol, nor unlicensed drivers and unregistered vehicles, apprehend stolen vehicles nor stop drivers breaking the law.
That function is best served by uniformed police enforcing all of the road rules and pulling errant drivers off the road immediately. Sending an infringement notice by mail up to several weeks after an alleged offence is too late to effectively prevent fatalities and is one of the least effective methods of changing errant driver behaviour.
Inattention is regarded as the biggest killer on our roads and a cause of inattention is that drivers are spending too much time gazing at their speedometers to avoid punishment, instead of concentrating on the road and avoiding hazards.
To achieve a lasting reduction in road fatalities the first step is to wean state government off its speed revenue greed and replace its current revenue policy with genuine road safety policy.
An article in the January/February NRMA Open Road is calling for an increase in the number of highway patrol police in highly visible vehicles. The heading of this article on page 13 is "Fund Police, Not Cameras".
A. Pryor, Figtree
Vaccine priorities questioned
I am turning 69 soon, so I am not used to being told I am too young for - anything much. But according to the government's rollout plan, I will be too young for the Phase 1 vaccine, which will be mostly the Pfizer dose, and will have to wait for Phase 2, which may be the less effective AstraZeneca jab.
Who's getting Phase 1? Quarantine, healthcare, aged care and disability workers - quite right! Indigenous people over 55 and others over 70. Fine. High-risk workers - police, fire, defence and emergency services - yes, and give them a medal too. And meat processing workers - wait, what?
Killing animals is miserable, dangerous and poorly paid work in settings ideal for contagion, but it is certainly not an essential industry.
The result of shutting down slaughterhouses and retraining the workers would be reduced pollution, improved public health and the end to the terror and agony of millions of animals every day.
And because we know that around 75 per cent of recently emerging infectious diseases affecting humans are transmitted from other species, and factory farms and slaughterhouses are ideal environments for propagation of new strains, we might just avoid unleashing the next pandemic too.
D. Bellamy, PETA Australia
Game, set and match
Let's hope there are no outbreaks here over the tennis period.The government is taking a big gamble, but then again we can blame Dan like last time.
M. Ryan, Fairy Meadow
A sense of balance
The recent tragic drowning of three fisherman off the rocks at Port Kembla was attributed in some media outlets as resulting from a "freak wave". I was amazed at some social media comments more concerned about the use of the word "freak" than the loss of life. Let's maintain some balance.