School zone Santa needs help

February 2nd, 2005

And I don't mean in a medical sense, (that's debateable)for me to stay at Kogarah.
I do need help. I'll do my bit to slow you down, if you forget, or don't realise its school zone time, for the kiddies safety(not because you will get caught by the speed camera.)
A lot of people think that "school zone santa" is some sort of business,and I'm trying to sell something.
I'm not. It's one bloke who wants to help.
Santa is an ordinary family man spending his time and hard earned money after hours at the moment to try and bring flashing lights to variable speed zones. but to stay here (till the next election if necessary)
I need help
Is there someone out there that could sponser me?
I'll wear your brand sunnies
I'll wear your brand undies
Santa must need a pretty healthy breakfast cereal.( crunchy nut perhaps?)
I'll wear your brand of deodorant(It gets pretty hot in a santa suit.)
I'll even wear a sports bra, like Venus Williams does, (don't tell Mrs santa)if it means that I can stay here"sticking it up the RTA" till we get "flashing lights" at Kogarah

How are your figures now Mr RTA ?
I know by my web stats, that do you come on my site.
Email me your figures from this time last year and of the last few days and I'LL PUT THEM ON THE SITE.

PUT FLASHING LIGHTS ALL ALL VARIABLE SPEED ZONES!!!!!

ANOTHER DAY AT THE OFFICE.

January 31st, 2005

This morning I added a yellow safety vest over my santa jacket so I would be noticed and slowed down lots and lots of cars to help the RTA make the road safer for the school kids.
It has been pointed out to me though, that by me slowing the cars, they don't get caught by the nearby speed camera.
Crikey that means that the RTA/GOV must be losing thousands and thousands of dollars because I can see the no 2 camera up the road flashing like a coach load of Japanese tourists at a koala santuary,and very few drivers get past me breaking the law.
The two speed cameras average about the same revenue.
$3.5 and $3.2 million in 12 months, (2003/2004 RTA figures)

But then speed cameras aren't about the money are they?

Seriously, one thing I might suggest, is to erect a safety fence along the Eastern footpath because when school does come out even 40 klms is too fast and the footpath gets very congested and a bit of innocent sky larking could have tragic consequences.

WE NEED SCHOOL ZONES, BUT WE NEED SCHOOL ZONES WITH FLASHING LIGHTS!!

Schoolday no 1 (pupil free day)

January 28th, 2005

Hello fellow motorists
Well Friday 28th Jan was my first day this year "on station" at the school zone at kogarah and I must admit I did feel a bit foolish crossing the road in my santa suit to get to my spot.

But after I easily managed to slow traffic down to the legal 40 klm, something that the RTA with all their signs ,road markings and speed cameras has trouble doing,I felt a lot less self conscious.

Slowing the cars down made it so much safer for the children.

By coincidence there was a photographer there from the telegrah and a camera man from channel 10.

Although they both did use me,they were there not for School zone santa, but because these are the biggest money making speed cameras in NSW ($6.5 million in 12 months, 2003/2004)and to see mutiple camera flashs with cars and their unsuspecting drivers in the foreground always makes a news filler.

Back on Monday,unless the RTA installs "flashing lights"over the weekend.

"Cranky drivers make cranky voters"

January 27th, 2005

Hello fellow motorists,

Well another school year starts tomorrow and in the next few weeks the first of this years school zone speeding infringement notices will be in the mail.

Maybe the NEW roads minister Mr Costa will give the school/variable speed zone problem urgent consideration.He appears to be a no nonsense type of person.

But would he admit that if 49,500 drivers get fined in one year, at one location at Kogarah, even with all the signs and 2 speed cameras,something else needs to be done.

THERE NEEDS TO BE FLASHING LIGHTS TO HELP DRIVERS TO BE AWARE OF WHEN THE NORMALLY POSTED SPEED CHANGES FROM TIME TO TIME AS IN SCHOOL ZONES OR LIKE THE AIRPORT TUNNEL OR THE M5 EAST.

Of course people should know about school zones ,and do, the signs and road marking are there.But by the numbers of good drivers being caught out it's obvious that people just aren't always aware.

People have emailed me that they've had an unblemised license for 30/40 years untill school/variable speed zones.

You can be distracted by something or some idiot driver on the mobile all over the road and miss the signs and bingo there's a letter from the Hunter region 3/4/5/ weeks later with a bill for about $143 or worse and the loss of points.

The Labor member for Kogarah Ms Burton agrees "that motorists were being treated unfairly" at Kogarah and is "Lobbying to have the cameras moved" (See newspaper article)

I heard on 2GB News that Ms Burton is a senior adviser to Mr Carr, and by the date on the news clipping she has been lobbying for over 2 months now and the cameras haven't been "moved" as yet. But as she IS a senior adviser, things are bound to happen soon.

I say LEAVE the cameras there, put ten cameras there if you want, just add flashing lights too.

The NRMA wants flashing lights at Kogarah.

The staysafe committee chairman Mr Paul Gibson (Labor)says that there's "something wrong" with the site.
(This is where there is supposed to be a link to show what Mr Gibson said ,but I can't get this PC to do it.)
In the newspaper article in the shire leader he said "nobody in their right mind is fined or loses points,on purpose.Common sense dictates it is time to look at the road environment in the area"

WE DON'T NEED "AN ENQUIRY" OR "HAVE A PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE TO LOOK AT IT". ACTION IS NEEDED.

I know one thing, that cranky drivers make cranky voters, and how many thousands and thousands of cranky voters will there be by the next election?

All the people that have emailed me agree that if we do need schoolzone at Kogarah, flashing lights are needed too.

With an overhead pedestrian bridge, a fence down the centre of the road and two sets of traffic lights is a school zone really necessary?

If this section of road is such a "black spot" that it needs two speed cameras, who gave permission to have that enormous advertising TV screen above one of the busiest intersections in the south (Cnr Rocky Point Rd and Princes Hwy
A static billboard is one thing, but to allow this gross distraction 100 meters from one of the speed cameras seems a little strange even hypocritical Maybe the RTA doesn't have a say over this sort of sign/TV but they can legally bulldoze a row of houses to widen a road, whether the home owners like it or not, so they do have a bit of clout.

Maybe Mr Costa as roads minister, if he is truly concerned about road safety, should have a chat to the mayor of Kogarah and the RTA staff that gave the OK.

If the land and environment court was involved, that shouldn't be a problem, it wasn't when there was an adverse ruling against the government at a waste trasfer facility..

Since writing the above I've rang the Kogarah council and was told that both the council and the rta had given permisson for ths TV/sign to be erected.

Hello Fellow Motorists

December 23rd, 2004

Story in Leader 23/12/2004 amp;

There was a photo here that was in the Leader newspaper which a passing reporter took on the first morning I was there. For some reason the archives are missing most photos

Thank you to the St George and Sutherland Shire Leader for the article in today's paper.

There is one point however I would like to clarify. I am NOT there to slow the motorists for the speed cameras.

I'm there to slow the drivers for the school children's safety.

That is the whole point of school zones. Even with all the signs and the two speed cameras, 49,500* drivers were caught speeding at this variable speed zone in the 12 months of 2003-2004.

Drivers are just NOT aware of when it is school zone time.

We ARE NOT all clock watchers, when we drive. So I feel it is my duty to help make this school zone safer for the children, until the RTA installs flashing lights at Kogarah to make drivers AWARE of school zone times.

* as this is a variable speed site, not all the drivers are caught during school zone times, but 'after-hours' when the speed limit is 60kms.
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I stood at Kogarah during school zone times all Febuary 2005 slowing down cars and the story it's highs and lows are all in the archives section on the right of page.

I over the years recieved many emails here a three

December 19th, 2004

So far I have stood in the sun in a cheap Santa suit for six hours on Thursday and Friday during schoolzone time waving my ?It?s schoolzone time? sign slowing down numerous drivers to the 40km limit for the children?s safety. Coincidently they also avoided being caught by the ?Fixed Speed Camera? nearby.
There has been a friendly reaction from the passing drivers even a "thumbs up" from police Paddy wagon and and a wave from a truck of RTA employees

Just a thought about our police.

The next time you?re stopped and given a random breath test, say ?Thank you officer, you?re doing a good job?

Because the next drunk that is caught could?ve been the one that comes through a red light and puts you in the grave.

December 15th, 2004

Thank you for your interest.

Why am I dressed up in a santa suit? (I?m not really santa)
It?s to attract attention to this website and also because Santa loves children
The whole school zone thing has me worried.

The normal thing to say is ?They should do something? well I?m trying to be one of ?they? but I could do with a bit of help.

I feel that too many good careful drivers are being caught out at schoolzones.
So please spare me a little time as I?d like to get feedback, if you?ve been booked, and have had a good record before schoolzones.

I?d like to know your age as I think a lot of older drivers, who drive to the conditions, get caught. People who would never endanger children.

To mount an argument, I need statistics.

I have a lot of newspapers articles and photographs that I want to put on the site, however being a beginner with the internet, I'm having troubles putting them on. The site should be "perfect" soon.

Please contact me after you have had a look over the site.

Naughty Picture

December 11th, 2004

What do you do when you find yourself in the middle of a school zone? Does your heart skip a beat?

Do you say ?Oh dear? or worse and frantically look at your watch and speedo?

Did you ignore the warning signs?

You didn?t see them?

Is it because there are just too many signs?

Is it because it?s only at a certain time and only on school days?

Why DO drivers get caught out at school zones?
I think good drivers get caught ?out at school zones, because they don?t see the signs and they just don?t realize it is school zone time.
Driving a car becomes automatic. You look ahead driving at a normal safe speed and then all of a sudden you?re in a school zone.
How many good normal drivers with excellent or even unblemished driving record, get caught out at school zones?
Why would 2GB feel it would be a public service to warn it?s listeners both morning and afternoon when it?s school zone time.
It?s because they get so many complaints from drivers about the zones.

40 km/h school zones were introduced to help ensure school children?s safety before and after school. At face value, an excellent idea. But even with large signs and signs painted on the roadway, 49,500* drivers were detected speeding at one school zone in 12 months.
The RTA will admit that they never imagined that they would catch so many drivers, and still do, so long after school zones were introduced. They assumed drivers would learn.
Well 49,500* motorists in one year haven?t learnt and were endangering children.
Obviously signs alone, don?t work.
For the children?s sake, something more is needed.
At any place where the speed changes from the normally posted speed, as at school zones, road works etc, flashing lights are needed to make drivers aware of the ?new? speed.
WE DON?T NEED MORE ?TRIALS? THERE?S 49.500* REASONS AT KOGARAH ALONE, FOR FLASHING LIGHTS.

(DT Tuesday 12 October 2004)
State Labour MP for Kogarah Ms Cherie Burton has said, [St George and Sutherland Shire Leader 9/11/04] that while the cameras would have caught many dangerous drivers, other drivers were being treated unfairly and she is lobbying the RTA to have the cameras moved and ,Ms Burton is on the SAME team as Mr Scully the transport minister

The NRMA P & C Association and Pedestrian Council of Australia have all called for flashing lights to help motorists observe the limits. However, Mr Scully?s office said a study of an initial trial at 11 school zones was ?not conclusive?. The study found that motorists did slow down at some schools but not at others. In some cases drivers even increased their speed, the spokesman said.

Of course there are some drivers who take no notice of any road rule. These people think that rules don?t apply to them. They weave in and out of traffic, get on the back bumper of cars traveling at the correct speed to intimidate them, cut corners, don?t indicate, pass on double lines etc. These arrogant morons need to be caught and taken off the road.

How could flashing lights on school zone signs not work? If flashing lights wouldn?t attract driver?s attention, then why put them on police cars, ambulances, fire trucks, emergency vehicles and even on RTA vehicles. The RTA says that the benefit of flashing lights is ?not conclusive?.
Perhaps it?s because if they said that the flashing lights do work, then more pressure would be there to install them. If they say they don?t work, someone will prove that they do.
The NRMA did a survey and found that76% of drivers asked were in favour of flashing lights and I think the other 24% haven?t been caught yet.

With flashing lights normal law abiding people would slow down, that is the whole point of school zones. If they were aware of them, and the time, there wouldn?t be a problem.
Normal drivers would never endanger children.
We need flashing lights at the Kogarah school zone at least.

Leave the two speed cameras there and also put up flashing lights, use the existing timer on the speed camera to switch them on and off, then we?ll see how ?inconclusive? it is.

Looking at the figures from these two cameras alone and all the other sites, it?s quite obvious that signs alone don?t work. It?s not just the school zones with speed cameras that have the problem of unaware drivers. At any school drivers sail past all the signs, oblivious of doing wrong. SEE RTA?S Figures

Put up flashing lights and anyone then caught speeding at school zone time, and some will, fine them $500 no excuses and put the money raised to help fund more lights. What do you think?

*NB The speed camera site at Kogarah is a? variable speed? zone. So not all the 49,500 would be for school zone violations. However even if half were, that?s still a huge number of unaware drivers caught that pose a risk to children.

P Plate Driver Crisis

December 11th, 2004

To help ?Stop the carnage!? I would suggest that we should triple the number of highway patrol cars, and make all the new cars " UNMARKED"


Have you ever seen a "P" plater [or any other driver, for that matter] hoon past a marked police car?


Marked police cars as a "visible" deterrent have their place, but they only deter bad behaviour when visible.


Miscreants might think twice about driving in a dangerous unlawful manner, when that ?normal ? car nearby, could be a police car.


To stop frivolous complaints against police by disgruntled drivers, all car should be fitted with video to log the offences and this would
also guard against possible police corruption.


All cars to have two officers for safety.


We need more highway patrol not more cameras!


Highway patrol can catch the real culprit.


Fixed cameras only allow the registered owner of the vehicle to be fined, as speed and red light cameras don?t identify the driver.


Because they are on probation "P" platers can only make one "mistake" and automatically lose their license for three months with a second offence as they run out of points.

How many doting grandmothers are on the RTA?s records as being the nominated driver of a grandson?s ?he?s a good boy really? WRX or V8 ute caught by a speed or red light camera?


Highway patrol officers get the driver!


Then we need, [this is where we could have a bit of trouble] no nonsense magistrates or judges, that back up our police who endeavor to make our road safe. We need Courts that don?t listen to stories of broken homes and bed wetting. Drivers have to accept responsibility for their anti-social conduct. The ?P? on the P plate in my eyes stands for PRIVILEGE. It?s a privilege to be allowed to drive a car.


Extra driving training and education for learner drivers is on Mr Scully?s discussion paper. Will it work? Yes for some but what percentage? We ARE dealing with teenagers.


Do all teenagers take notice when told of the dangers of smoking, drugs, drinking and sex?





Even with speed restrictions and fewer demerit points, P plate drivers are abusing the privilege of driving a car, putting themselves, passengers and other road users at risk.
Teachers might find it a little difficult, to teach young people responsible road behaviour while they have to avoid flying chairs and warding off knife thrusts.

Over confidence, peer pressure, youth and testosterone will often negate all common sense. The loss of license will often be enough to educate some drivers.
But it?s the rat bag element who think rules aren?t meant for them that need more stern attention.

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WHEEL CLAMPS WHEEL CLAMPS WHEEL CLAMPS
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There is provision in law to confiscate (for a set period) the car of a driver caught doing ?burnouts Maybe the law could be amended to accommodate this idea

On passing the driving test, the new probationary driver is asked to sign a form to show they realise what will happen when road rules are broken
.It should be made clear that driving if disqualified is?. NOT an option. Anyone caught while driving while disqualified has his/her car wheel clamped, (with an official RTA wheelclamp) at their home for say, 6 months. NO EXCUSES. This would remind this person of their bad behavior every time they walked past it, and there would be no storage problem for the RTA.

If the wheel clamped vehicle is moved for ANY reason without official permission, it is confiscated and sold. No exceptions.
Tough problems need tough action.

The ?P? plate driver could be caught driving disqualified using the family car.
What then?

Then the onus is on the owner [the parents] to make SURE that this person doesn?t drive while disqualified
.

If he/her can?t be trusted not to drive, buy a good steering lock and keep the key under the tongue, because the car WILL be wheel clamped if the disqualified person is caught in it, and with all the extra highway patrol cars that would be a distinct possibility.


It is law to have a firearm under lock and key ? Penalties apply


A car in the wrong hands, is just as dangerous, so make sure it can?t be driven.
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Update 16/2/07

Reading back through the above, Ex Justice Marcus Einfield comes to mind for some reason.
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Update 25/6/07


This announcement was in the paper





So I sent this into the Telegraph and it made the 22/6/07 edition.



Differing speed zones

December 11th, 2004

TO GET BACK TO MAIN PAGE CLICK ON SANTA AT TOP OF PAGE

(110)(100)(90)(80)(70)(60)(50)(40)(10)(variable)

What Next?

A man in front of the car waving a white flag? Where is the common sense in 10 different speed zones? Do you always know what the speed limit is wherever you are?

We must drive at a safe speed and obey the other road rules. To have speed limits constantly changing can be very confusing and stressful especially, if on unfamiliar roads and you?ve missed a sign post. On any trip now it?s not ?ARE WE THERE YET?? but ?WHAT SPEED IS IT HERE??

Normal experienced good drivers don?t need the signs. They drive at a safe speed for the conditions. Those that don?t drive SAFELY need to be punished. This is by police who need to be able to use a bit of discretion. If an officer in a patrol car sees someone driving in an unsafe manner they should be able to take appropriate action, whatever the speed. Booking a driver doing 55km/h in a deserted section of a 50km/h posted road does nothing but cause animosity. However it can be highly dangerous and yet technically legal to drive at 50km/h through a busy suburban shopping centre. We need common sense law enforcement.
The mish-mash collection of speed zones we have now makes criminals of us all. I?ve yet to see anyone do 10 km/h in the ?shared zone? in Eton St Sutherland.Which raises a question.

Can someone tell me who is at fault if a car runs over a pedestrian who uses the speed humps in the "shared zone" as a pretend pedestrian crossing, the driver , the pedestrian, the council or the ratepayer.

It wasn?t so long ago when we had 3 speed limits, 35 mph in the city, LSZ (limited speed zone) on the outskirts of town and unlimited speed out of town.

There?s no fun in just going for a drive anymore.

Give the good sensible drivers a bit of slack.

Is there Corporate Responsibility in Advertising?

December 11th, 2004

TO GET BACK TO MAIN PAGE CLICK ON SANTA AT TOP OF PAGE.

The advertising industry has a ?code of standards?. What is it?

I think it is to charge a lot of money to show how to target a market to sell your product, even if the method used is irresponsible.

Another three young people and an unborn child die in a road accident (DT 25 November 2004). A car is torn apart which would indicate speed. What a tragic loss of life and sorrow for their families. To help stop this sort of carnage on our roads, there should be a ban on all car advertising which emphasize speed.

To have a slogan ?there?s no holding back? and to depict a young father speeding down a narrow road with a young child in the back child seat, both with stupid grins on their faces, is totally irresponsible in my view. Then to show this advertisement on television during the rugby league final with a big? P? plate audience, it?s no wonder we have the number of deaths on our roads and all the young drivers and passengers whose lives are ruined through injury in car smashes.

GMH has the slogan ?There?s no holding back?. What does this suggest? To me it does not mean ?to show restraint?

The passengers killed in the above mentioned smash would have had a chance if the driver in that car, HAD held back!
At the funeral of this driver it was said ?He lived his life for a good time, not a long time.?
The precious little unborn baby had no time at all, good or otherwise.

On the radio at the moment there is an advertisement for the new Mitsubishi Colt. A mother is depicted day dreaming at the traffic lights, revving the engine continuously until her young son tells her that the lights have changed[to green] amid the sound of car horns, from presumably cars behind. Above all this, the? voice over? person tells us about the car?s powerful new Maytec engine with the catchphrase, ?engineered to excite?. This tells me to buy this small car because even though, it?s a small car it does have a powerful engine. and the revving at the lights, would that be setting a good example to a young son?

In the advertisement for the new Holden ute, we don?t see the vehicle but from behind a fence with a sign saying ?Private Property? there is smoke from what I assume, tyres and the sound of the roar of a powerful engine. If a young person buys a ute like this and hasn?t got access to ?Private Property? where does he do burnouts to impress his mates? Show a little responsibility GMH and stop the brainwashing of our kids, that cars to own, must be able to exceed all our speed limits in second gear.
Ford isn?t blameless. What is meant by NO BOUNDARIES on their advertising? Are speed limits boundaries? Are double lines boundaries?

There has been a win of sorts.

Reported in the Sunday Telegraph 5 December 2004, this ad for the new Holden ute has been ?pulled? due to ?a number of complaints? to the Advertising Standards Bureau.

A Holden spokeswomen said the ad did not depict speeding and was meant to demonstrate the driving characteristics of the new Holden ute ?in a responsible and entertaining way?.

In the ad for the ute all we see is smoke and hear the roar of the engine from behind a fence. How does that show the ?handling characteristics? of the ute? If she is reported accurately, I can only assume that this spokeswomen could have been promoted into her job after selling used cars in a ?dodgy brothers? car franchise.

She thinks there is nothing wrong with this ad.

Who allows these advertisements with this content to be published and broadcast? responsible adults?

All this sort of advertising would stop if all media (TV, papers and radio) just said NO to all advertisements which emphasize speed and power to sell cars.

The car companies WOULD still advertise but just change content.
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Update
!3/9/05
The car ads are getting better and the "There's no holding back" nonsense has gone as is the "No Boundries".

We've just had naked people buying a new car. Does this mean that there's no money left for clothes after buying this model.

Update 16/11/07

Latest Holden ad goes through the engine power of their cars over the years including the latest model's hp reading and ends with the line

"GO HARD"

What does that imply?