Monday, August 15, 2011

Phelps talks sense, but it doesn't last.

The Hon Dr Peter "McBain' Phelps is at it again, he starts off talking sense:

I am saying that speed limits are a simplistic solution. They are an arbitrary figure that provides a point above which motorists can be charged for speeding. That is despite the 105-kilometre-an-hour paradox that I explained earlier. On one stretch of road travelling at 105 kilometres an hour is safe and on another it is completely unsafe. That is a demonstration of the ridiculous arbitrariness of speed limits. If members opposite were serious about this issue, they would have increased the scope and range of offences such as driving in a manner dangerous, negligent driving, reckless driving and so on. We would not need speed limits; we could have advisory speed limits. We would then rely upon the good judgement of highway patrol officers to ascertain whether it is safe to drive at 120 kilometres an hour along a dead straight stretch of road on a Saturday morning in dry conditions. That would be the sensible thing to do.

But don't worry, the meds soon wear off and he's back to normal:

......I am told that red light cameras are now also speed cameras.

Dr John Kaye: Are they a socialist plot as well?

The Hon. Dr PETER PHELPS: They are a Bolshevist menace. They are designed to control traffic and individuals on our roads. They are normally programmed by some central planner who will tell motorists when they can come and when they can go.

The Hon. Duncan Gay: Please tell the House that I have no plans to remove traffic lights.

The Hon. Dr PETER PHELPS: The Minister informs me that he has no plans to remove traffic lights. Traffic light signalling is often irrelevant to road conditions, but what they say goes. Their operation is based on hypothetical models that determine that at a certain time and place there should be a certain amount of traffic and the red light should be activated. That is a Bolshevist mindset writ large. How many times have members been driving on a straight, open stretch of road with clear lines of sight for miles only to be confronted by a red light when wanting to make a right-hand turn? That happens much too often. The answer is roundabouts. Roundabouts represent freedom; roundabouts represent liberty; roundabouts represent democracy at its finest. They involve the great cost-benefit analysis and the fabulous Marshallian demand and supply analysis. One asks oneself, "Do I stay or do I go? There is an oncoming truck. Can I squeeze through in time? Must I slow down and stop or can I whiz through in time?" Such a system is entirely dependent upon traffic conditions and individual judgement. Of course, the Bolshevists hate individual judgement.

And this is why Canberra is such a paradise.

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