Thursday, November 29, 2012

Works for me

<No_One> Damn my land mine collection is gone.
<No_One> Also so is my shed
<No_One> That's gonna be fun in the morning

15 minutes later.

<No_One> Fuck afk police pulled in
<Dwarf> k
<Dwarf> have fun

10 minutes later.

<No_One> Shiit
<No_One> Someone broke into my shed
<No_One> They won't do that again

3 hours later.

<No_One> Can I be charged with criminal negligence even if the said deceased person used bolt cutters to access something that killed them?
<noregister> I doubt it
<No_One> Good

Monday, November 26, 2012

And the war to demonise mobile phones continues

The mainstream media has today regurgitated up yet another puff piece load of codswallop from the Queensland plod that mobile phones will be the death of us all while driving.


As I previously pointed out - to a police spokesman on callback radio - mobiles have nothing much to do with the issue.  They are just a convenient and (more importantly!) easily detectable scapegoat to blame.

The current "road safety" message attempts to boil down a huge number of factors that cause crashes to a very few points.  What gets up my nose is that those points are not only incredibly oversimplified, but they are all very easily identifiable and fineable by J. Random Plod - gee, isn't that lucky!

What shall we demonise today, o lord?

Speed.  Listen to any plod media drone reporting on a prang anywhere, anytime, and you'll get a statement in a voice learned in the Keanu Reeves School Of Wooden Acting that "speed was a factor".  Of course speed was a factor, you cretin.  The cars were MOVING at the time, because people want to GET SOMEWHERE.  If speed was the issue, half the population would be dead already.  The root cause of the problem is that some people lack the combination of good judgement and skill to handle driving at any speed, and lowering the speed limit to walking pace is NOT going to change that.

What's that, Robert?  It's a "no brainer?".  I agree, no brains at all were used in that one.

'''Research shows if we reduce the speed limit … we will prevent one fatality, nine serious injury crashes and up to 25 casualty crashes every year,'' Cr Doyle said. ''If it saves a single life, it's worth doing.''


The base reality is that society accepts a certain rate of death as a matter of expediency.  None of us want to walk instead of driving, or give up flying in airplanes, or drive at 40km/h either.  We don't like it, but we accept that 0.0001% of the time (or whatever it is) someone will die on an airplane due to mechanical failure, or because someone couldn't drive their digit up their freckle.  So let's stop pretending.

Speed is demonised because it's an easy scapegoat, easily measured by any flatfoot with a hair dryer (or better yet a tax camera) and bloody profitable.

What's next?

Ooh, yes - mobiles!

I can quite legally perform all of the following simultaneously:

  • change the CD
  • eat a pie
  • balance an open Coke in the fork
  • hold a conversation with someone in the car
  • hold a conversation via phone as long as I'm screaming at a handset just far enough that it picks up every bit of cabin noise, or via a gadget mounted to the sun visor where I can't talk and see at the same time due to my eyes being fairly conventionally located in the top front of my head
  • give someone helpful hand signal feedback on their driving technique
  • hold pretty much anything I like in my hand, like a CB radio handset (which involves holding something and having a conversation with someone not in the vehicle, but is, you know, like *totally* safer than using a mobile)
But the PRECISE MOMENT I hold a mobile phone while driving the seas will boil, the sky will fall, and there will be a fatality.


Again, easily detected, easily demonised, and the reality that the precise same combination of factors causes crashes every day is ignored - because it can't be easily, conveniently and lucratively detected.

What's next?  Ah yes, fatigue.  Apparently we're all death on wheels driving home from work now after a long day.


Gee, maybe if we could all just DRIVE and not have to put up with congestion and traffic jams caused by totally inadequate road systems, we got the cretins who can't drive or think the road is a racetrack out of the way, and got the rusted out unroadworth shitboxes off the road... it wouldn't be a problem?

I'm actually surprised the cops bang on so much about fatigue.  They can't test for it, can't prove it, and can't charge you for it.  I'd almost think they were genuinely concerned, if not for the fact that it would be the sole example of it in the midst of every other one of the revenue raising excuses.

To go back to the original article... here's Flatfoot McPlod's 5 top complaints:

TOP 5 DRIVER DISTRACTIONS1. Using mobile phones
2. Changing CDs and choosing music
3. Reading newspapers and books
4. Eating
5. Getting dressed and applying make-up

How many of these have a specific law against them?

What a surprise - only mobiles.  The rest come under " driving without due care and attention" or "dangerous driving", both of which come down to "we couldn't bust you for anything specific, so we've got this nice and easy categorisation where anything  that goes wrong is deemed to be your fault".

As far as I can see, that means that basically *anything* you're doing while driving can be deemed to be at fault if there is an accident, ranging from shooing a fly away to getting a blow job while tooling up the M1.

So what should the plod go and do something about that might actually make a difference?

How about people who patently haven't got a bloody clue how to drive, including use of indicators, ability to merge, or who can't get their act together to get into the right exit lane despite 20km of runup and the fact that they take the same exit every afternoon on the way home?  Nope, we'll just pull a kamikaze across three lanes of traffic.  If you pulled every asian off the road and retested them to some sort of standard half the problem would go away right there.

How about dickheads who think the place is their own personal racetrack?  Surely it wouldn't take much to round up every wog and fully hektik leb in the place with a WRX and put them under the microscope, you'd shift half of the moving violations unpaid fines in an afternoon.  Same for the japs and wannabes who have watched The Fast And The Furious a few too many times and own some old blowing clapped Skyline.  Or are driving around on P plates in V8s and turbos, restriction laws be damned.

Heaven forbid we should introduce numberplate recognition cameras FUCKING EVERYWHERE and start catching some of the pricks driving unlicenced, disqualified, in unregistered vehicles.  Why this isn't done on every major road utterly baffles me.

Gee, how about we develop a half effective roadside drug testing method, and ACTUALLY USE IT?  That's half the reason that politicians won't legalise weed, inability to effectively test for it - the other half being they can't figure out how to tax it effectively if people are growing the stuff in the backyards.

We could get the unsafe shitboxes off the roads, like the van I saw the other afternoon that had such a badly bent chassis that the rear end was tracking a solid 4" to the left of the front.  I was in the left lane about two lengths back and I couldn't see the side of the vehicle.
How about doing something about morons who hoon on the road?  I the car is their, crush it - no warnings, no chances, just get it done.  The lock them up for 6 months or so (to give them a decent chance of getting reamed a few times), fine them $10,000 and disqualify them from driving for 10 years.  While the current laws are a joke both in terms of enforcement and penalty, they are ignored.

But what will we do?  Ban the use of mobiles in cars and buy more speed cameras to catch people 3km/h over the limit on the freeway, because that's obviously the problem, right?


Seriously, people...