Most motorists have their own anecdotal stories to tell of police cars brazenly flouting the traffic laws for no apparent reason.
Now there is hard evidence that these are not just stories. The revelation that last financial year 1433 police cars were caught breaking the road rules without reason is worryingly high, given there are about 16,000 officers in NSW.
But it should be kept in perspective - the lead-foot officers behind the wheel did not get off without consequence. They had to pay their fines, a combined $345,904, and they lost demerit points too, as would any other motorist. And they were subject to internal investigations by safe driver committees, which is entirely appropriate.
But the behaviour of the minority is unhelpful to the overall objectives of reducing the road toll.
There is already building resentment among some motorists about the punitive measures used in NSW to enforce the road rules. State Government policies have been severe, from double-demerit point weekends to a widening network of fixed-speed cameras. Still to come is the roll-out of 200 more red-light cameras, which will generate thousands of $324 fines.
The NSW Police Force is keen to keep the road toll under 400 this year. This is a goal that deserves widespread community support. However, it is obvious the police hierarchy still has a job ahead convincing their own officers to drive safely and lawfully at all times.
Reckless attitudes to the road rules among a minority of officers serves only to undermine public support and confidence.
LEAD-FOOT PUBLIC SERVANTS.
Traffic fines issued to govt agency cars last year.
NSW POLICE, 1,433.
Ambulance service, NSW, 341.
Energy Australia, 321.
NSW Fire Brigade, 263.
Dept of Community Services, 247.
Rail Corp, 199.
Roads and Traffic Authority, 190.
Dept of Education and Training, 153.
State Transit Authority, 149.
Dept of Corrective Services, 145.
Now for the final Straw.
Police fury at Speeding.
Police have taken a swipe at reckless young drivers after arresting one clocked at 237 km/h in Sydney's west.
His licence was confiscated and he is due to appear in Liverpool Local Court on Jan 15.
"I'm disappointed the safe driving message is not getting through to some young drivers, and they think they can drive at high speed without getting caught," the Chief Superintendent said.
Now click on the book picture.
'Waving Goodbye to a Thousand Flies'. By J L Spencer.
Click the Book Pic at top right for Purchase info. Vest has received more books from the publisher, and more will arrive before Xmas, Email me for a Quote for a signed copy, AUSTRALIAN READERS $26..00. Overseas approx $29..00 - $31..00 only one week to go for xmas delivery.
This will be my last post until I return from Gosford Hospital where I shall be having vascular surgery Thurs Dec 18. See you later(hopefully). Vest.