Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Mobile phone offending overtakes alcohol offending

Many interpretations could be read into the following statistics. For offences to be recorded they have to be discovered for starters. Police are constantly complaining about under-resourcing (aided and abetted by the opposition) yet they manage to find plenty of staff to man alcohol check points. On a recent road trip across Victoria and NSW the lack of police on the roads was most noticeable when compared to NZ. In a week we saw two police cars (though noted large numbers of police stations). 

My husband was stopped yet again driving home from work last night at an alcohol check point. He asked the officer if they had caught anyone over the limit. The reply was," No. But we've caught people close to it." Husband noted that you cannot "catch" people who haven't broken the law but I think it went over said officer's head.

Anyway, what can be inferred from the statistics below is that banning the use of cellphones while driving has failed. Alcohol offending was on the decline but with the lowering of the limit the trend has reversed. You have to ask the question, with the downward trend what was the rationale for lowering the limit anyway?

And which is more dangerous? Drinking and driving, or talking/texting and driving? The first seems to attract a great deal more societal disapproval but perhaps that's an illogical attitude. Perhaps the use of cell phones while driving is not particularly frowned upon because so many people do it. In which case, what use is a law that is routinely flouted? The revenue is handy though.



Anonymous said...

You might like to correct

"And which is more dangerous? Driving and driving, or talking/texting and driving?"

Otherwise people might think it is a Freudian slip.

Wasn't the police officer nice when your husband was trying to push their buttons. Most people would have understood the mirror language, but he chose to be smart!

Lindsay Mitchell said...

Thank you. My husband may have put it more obliquely than I have suggested and I doubt the officer appreciated the observation. I believe the officer's assertion that they had "caught" people near the limit demonstrates that the pervasive police attitude now is zero tolerance for alcohol even without legislative support. More than once I've heard police advise that the best approach to the lowered limit is to not drink at all.

Mark Wahlberg said...

Living on the main highway and 5 houses from the local police station here in Sleepy Hollow, watching the Highway Patrol mount their checkpoints outside home, has become a recreational pursuit for me in my twilight years.

In past years the presence of the Booze Bus and routine breath testing has been an almost daily occurrence over the Christmas holiday period. But this year they have been obvious by their absence. Not one was evident to my eyes over the xmas, new year period. Usually during these periods there are 4-5 marked cars parked outside the Hoosegow, this year never more than 2. Don't know what it means,just an observation.

What I do see on a regular basis is officers driving to and from the station with cell phones pressed to their ears.

I have in the past been accused by the police of running a vendetta against them. What I do is comment locally when I observe things which make me smile. Such as, after a failed arson attack on the police station, they publicly informed us all the property was now protected by Chubb Security.....

Psycho Milt said...

And which is more dangerous? Drinking and driving, or talking/texting and driving?

Depends. At just over the legal limit for alcohol, drinking and driving is way less dangerous than using your phone while driving because it's not dangerous at all (because the limit's too low for you to be significantly impaired). At three or four times the legal times the legal limit, drinking and driving is way more dangerous than using your phone, for obvious reasons (although possibly not more dangerous than texting while driving, which is basically a suicide attempt that fails until it doesn't).

Anonymous said...

Problem is that normal rational people are just not that when it comes to phones,booze and cars. They think they can do all those things at once.

Most cannot drive and use their phones. Oh they think they can but it is a clash of brain power. Not logical, in fact downright stupid.