What Should Highway Patrol Be Policing?

Dear OzBargain

What should our highway patrol be policing?

We have a lot of so called roadworks near our place towards the end of the m4 in Sydney where there is zero work being done but to be under the speed limit you have to keep up with about 6 changes. The cops are always hiding in the same spots almost daily.

They ignore all these morons in Rangers / Colorados/ Hiluxes that drive up people with a 1/2 second gap and a box trailer.

They ignore the drivers that make right hand turns in an unsafe gap.

Why do they just pick on speeding??


  • +3

    Hate those lazy road works!

  • +10

    Probably because they can do it from the comfort of their car and send out an automatic fine without having to go chase anyone.

    • -3

      The HWP can't do that. They aren't mobile speed cameras. They have to chase you and stop you.

      • Pretty sure they can.

        • Source? Proof?

          mobile speed cameras in NSW are outsourced. HWP use handheld radar/lidar when stationary.

          • -1

            @brad1-8tsi: The fine I paid many years ago which was issued by a stationary cop with a radar gun, who didn't chase me.

      • i think brad1-8tsi is ozbargain's own Ken M

    • Nah, they love to stretch their muscle on VF HSV SSV SS 6.2 LS3 V8 Supercharged

      • +1

        I saw one HWP giving a diesel Bimmer the beans the other day. Seemed to go OK too.

      • They’re not supercharged

  • +6

    They should be enforcing all the laws, unfortunately police do not have the budget to do so. It's not the polices fault they don't have the time or resources to enforce all laws equally. They go after the infractions that are easy to enforce, since they will usually turn a profit rather than cost money.

    • -1

      So the police are allowed to pick and choose what 'laws' to enforce and instead of 'rape and murder' they go for 'minor traffic infringements'? Or could it be that their orders are to collect as much money as possible from all the poor slobs who sneak a few K's over the arbitrarily determined speed limit? BTW, we have cops and ex-cops in the family so I know for a FACT that the highway patrol gets the lions share of the budget. So you are partly right. Maybe if the government allocated more funds to the 'rape and murder' dept. things would be better? But I guess going 4k's over the limit is more important? :)

      • +4

        instead of 'rape and murder' they go for 'minor traffic infringements'?

        In 2018 there was 1140 road fatalities but only 487 homicides. There were 32,300 serious injuries from car accidents and there were 26,000 rapes. So sounds like we should be spending a significant amount of time on both road laws AND criminal laws. Implying enforcing road rules is unimportant is absurd, because there are plenty of life-changing accidents on the roads all the time.

        • -5

          Sure. But don't try to muddy the discussion which is about SPEEDING specifically and not other road rules which are common sense. Now if the govnuts came up with a device that busted people playing with their phones while driving you;d get no complaints from me. :)

          • +5

            @EightImmortals: The only person who muddied the discussion was you bringing in talk about murder/rape into a discussion about road rules.

            I already said they should enforce all road rules equally and pointed out why they couldn't do that.

  • +13

    "Why do they just pick on speeding??"

    Cash cow for the broke governments. This is not in ANY doubt anymore. If the 'war on speed' was working then you see that reflected in the crash statistics, we don't, they stay about the same (or worse) but the yearly revenue grab get's bigger all the time. And yes, those 'road work' areas where there's a never a worker in sight must be like a bonus zone for the tax collectors.

    • -5

      How is speeding a cash cow for the govt? You choose to speed so also choose to be fined and pay for it.
      No one forces you.
      ReVeNuE RAiSiNg! parrot squawk

      • +10

        Because if it was TRULY about increasing road safety you would see more visible police which forces you to slow down at the time you are speeding, not letting you continue along merrily until you get a letter 3 weeks later.

        • +6

          Not to mention the fines would match the cost of enforcement, not far beyond, and the demerit points would be the penalty would be focused around the demerit system.

        • +5

          So basically we're not nanny state enough. Perhaps we need police monitoring every road at every 2km? Or cameras everywhere like China?

          Like children, they don't behave unless mummy is there watching them.

          • +2

            @Ughhh: This ^. Instead of relying on an increased police presence to put the fear into you to obey road rules, how about taking personal responsibility to abide by the rules, if not for your own personal safety, then for the safety of other road users.

    • you will recall that we reported in our last e-mail update about the South Australian government blatantly admitted that they were increasing fines to try and claw back “lost GST revenue”. Well, it appears as though the Victorian Government got wind of that and thought it was a great idea and followed suit – even though they didn’t have any ‘lost revenue to claw back’, they just figured it would be a great way to make more money!

      As this article details - https://7news.com.au/news/victorian-budgets-to-be-hit-with-i... – Citylink tolls are set to rise by 4.25% every year for the next decade! And, on top of that “all Victorian government fines, fees and charges went up by 2.5 per cent on Monday - almost twice the inflation rate.”

      Obviously, the government has done this because they have categorically proven that their existing ‘road safety initiatives’ have drastically reduced the road toll and that clearly justifies those increases in fines because those ‘deterrents’ are working so effectively.

      Oh, whoops, hang on, no, that’s not what’s happened at all. In fact, it’s actually completely the opposite! As the TAC website shows - http://www.tac.vic.gov.au/road-safety/statistics/lives-lost-... - the road toll in Victoria has actually increased by 57.7%!!!!

      If that doesn’t clearly prove that all these insane fines are just about pure revenue raising, we really don’t know what will.

      And, of course, it’s not just Victorian and South Australian motorists that are getting stung with blatant revenue raising fines, it’s happening in NSW as well. Check out this story - https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7144153/amp/Driver-... – where a driver was given a $337 fine for her passenger using her phone! Yes, you read that correctly, she was fined, not because she was using a mobile phone whilst driving - which, we agree, could, indeed, be dangerous - but, instead, because her passenger was on the phone and they claimed that she might get ‘distracted’ by that!

  • +9
    • Keeping left unless overtaking.
    • Indicating all lane changes.
    • Sufficient gap between vehicles.
    • Idiots driving around with fog lights on when there's no fog, but with their headlights off.
    • +4

      Fog lights isn't an issue for me/most people because they're not very bright or distracting.
      What really grinds my gears (nyahaha) are people who have unusually bright headlights, and they're unusually aimed higher. Feels like you're getting an eye exam at specsavers, and makes you blind from your rear-view mirrors. High-beam drivers are just a cvnt, but at least they're honest cvnt, unlike the sneaky specsaver heroes.

      • With a lot of cars, if the fog lights are on that includes a bright tail light (same as a brake light brightness). Some drivers don't know this, but it is very distracting to be following a car with that bright light on.

        • +1

          With a lot of cars, the rear/tail fog light is on a seperate switch to the front fog lights.

          In fact every car I’ve driven that has both front/rear fogs are independently switched.

      • It's the idiots who think the 100W almost-ultraviolet 12000K HIDs work like a charm in their 20 year old car that bothers me the most

  • +1

    Revenue and politics in that order of priority. With a high visible public and political profile, it's measurable, arbitrarily administrated, and doesn't even take manpower other than for the minuscule PR policing show - i.e.speed cameras, and pays bigtime whilst the politicians can hide their scam spinning the noble lies of it being about "saving lives" and "safety", sacred cows which will see any challenge howled down by the mob.

  • +1

    What I find a classic is that people are willing to almost kill themselves to take the church st exit at the last second to avoid the toll and fall into a shit heap. Saw a nice 5 car pileup about 2 weeks ago all to save $5.

    • +2

      The elected Liberal government gave M4 to their mates. Probably better if they had clear toll warning signs earlier. Unethical to have it within 100M of exit. I got caught too. Not worth saving 3 mins for $5.

      • -1

        Labor had their finger in the pie with toll roads too. They are far from innocent, the years of court cases over corruption is all the proof you need.

        • M4 became toll free under Labor. If that's corruption. Bring on more Labor. Any examples of Labor giving roads to mates for tolls or is it only new roads?

          Edit: or making a road toll free?

  • +5

    OP's title asks what the HWP members should be doing.

    One person suggests murderers should be on their list. I imagine that they are. If HWP were to intercept a car and an occupant was flagged as being wanted for murder, I guess they would arrest said person, rather than going 'Not a traffic matter. Off you go and we'll ring the hommies and let them know we saw you today"

    I might sound a little bonkers, but how about HWP do the policing of the highways and the homicide detectives do that whole murderer thing.

    If you object to being fined for speeding, don't speed. If you think HWP should be focusing more on tailgaters or late Lane changers, then write to your local HWP and suggest this.

    • Actually my comment was in the context of budget restrictions and was trying to make the point that maybe if government allocated more resources to serious crimes units instead of revenue collection then may the world would be a safer place. :)


      • +3

        IMO, more budget should be allocated to crime prevention.
        for example, more police presence at night (more patrol) and some indirect actions like employment, etc.

  • +6

    ReVeNuE RAiSiNg! *parrot squawk*

    Play by the road rules and who gives a (fropanity) what the police are targeting. Let the poor suckers that get busted deal with the police and their rEvEnUE rAiSiNg *squawk*…

    What should the HWP be patrolling? I would like to think highways. I would think that the HWP should focus their efforts on administration of road rules as their priority. Sure, if they have some spare time, they could go over help solve some bag snatches and shoplifting cases, but mainly focus on traffic management.

    People already drive like entitled arseholes in this country and it would be an absolute shitfest if the HWP didn’t exist. I have been to and driven in countries where traffic policing was non-exsistent and if you think a few dingbats in jacked up penis-extensions is a nightmare to drive with, don’t leave this country.

    The road rules exist and if you don’t want to pay the totally optional sTaTe ReVeNuE collection, then don’t break the rules.

  • +9

    Tail gaters, aggressive driving.

    Those that cry "sob sob" about "revenue raising"… you choose to break the law!!!.. suffer the consequences and cop it like an adult. Stop driving like an entitled moron.

  • +6

    It's a joke.

    The number of people out there who can barely keep a vehicle in a straight line, let alone actually drive a car safely within a 100m radius of someone else is astounding.

    But these idiots never seem to get taken off the road.

    Oh, but if you can't keep up with the constant speed changes around non-existent work sites or for other arbitrary reasons, you'll be gone a motza bEcAuSe sPeEd kIlLs.

    Nothing but a renamed branch of the tax office.

  • +1

    Ozbargain do not fund the highway patrol. Why not direct your energy somewhere that might have an impact?


    For Compliments and Complaints


    • +2

      they have red and blue lights

      you can speed safely too if you put red and blue lights on your car

      • Added to this, most police undergo additional and/or extensive driver training to drive like they do.

        Most average civilian drivers got their license off the back of a weet-bix box.

  • Easy money. Makes quota.

  • What Should Highway Patrol Be Policing?

    Everyone, except for me :b

    • That was a joke !

  • Bikies.

  • +5

    What Should Highway Patrol Be Policing?

    Mobile phone use. It must be the most dangerous thing that a driver can do, as they are not paying attention. Although I don't support drivers speeding, even that is probably done with more attention to their surroundings that someone using a mobile.
    And if a way can be found to detect if a driver is using a device, just automate the penalty (I think there are some roadside cameras in trial for this specific purpose).

    France are about to introduce mandatory automatic license loss for mobile phone use while in control of a car. Easy.

  • Biggest danger on our roads right now is mobile phone use. It should be number one priority, but as long as they keep a bit of focus on drink/drug driving and speed as well.

    Agree that road work speed limits are over used. I just spent about an hour in an 80km/h zone, with occasional drops to 60 in the road works from woolgoikga to Baliina. Probably half the 80k zone was no more dangerous than normal old school 100km/h highways in the rear of Aus.

    • It seems there is no penalty for misuse of roadworks signage by companies that leave them there for weeks or months after the works are completed. If there is an compelling argument for fining drivers for not following the speed restrictions, then it is only fair than an appropriately larger penalty is due to the roadworks businesses (for increased traffic congestion, accidents, and overall economic costs borne by all road users), whenever these signs are displayed beyond their required time.

      • It is our over enthusiastic work safety regime that causes the dumbing down of roadworks signage. They have to cater for the worst 10% of drivers, and he ones that play silly buggers with lawyers when they stuff up (reference the number of threads here that try to get out of stuff).

        You also need to consider the workers that would need to remove and reinstall some of that signage, they need to kept safe too.

        Still, the nanny stare tryig to protect us from ourselves quite a lot.

    • Tailgating
    • People who sit under the speed limit in the right hand lane on the freeway for no good reason
    • Mobile phone use, including the positioning of "hands free" devices which in a lot of cases impedes their view of the road

    They also should be prohibited from issuing fines to people going 0-5km/h over the limit, unless it's a school/roadworks zone.

    • If people know that they will not be penalised for going up to 5km over the limit, that (limit + 5km) becomes the new speed limit.
      And so on.

      The limit is a limit; it is not a goal.

      • I don't believe it's fair or ethical to penalise people a days wage for going just 2km/h over the limit, do you?

        • +1

          It is a road rule, with defined penalties for breaching the rule.
          To avoid the penalty, don't breach the rule.

          • -1

            @GG57: It's easy to say that but it's even easier to accidentally accelerate slightly too much down a hill and be unlucky enough for some muppet to be waiting with a speed gun!

        • -1

          @Levathian you are 100% correct. This is why so many people have a problem with the situation. The fines are simply draconian at the lower end, but get behind the wheel high as a kite on drugs, tell a sympathetic magistrate a sob story about your dead dog and end up with a fine not much higher than for some parking infringements.

          Or just drive around with your head up your @rse and you'll be sweet so long as you don't "speed" through a non-existent freeway work zone.

  • +2

    If speeding kills, they should just remove the speed limit. No one would die of speeding related accidents anymore.

    Waits for Noble prize

    • At least you aren't claiming the Nobel prize.

      • The noblest of the prizes. Yes. I'd take one of those, too.

  • -1

    Its a well known fact that Highway patrol are the Dicks of the police force.
    Any General duty policeman will tell you that.

    So in true Dick style they target us easy picking "innocent offenders" to rack up fines. (Im sure they are on a quota)

    Yes you'd think they would focus on safety related infringements but thats way too hard because they have to go looking for them. Hard way to make up one's quota.

  • -1

    I find the people who rant about speeders tend to be the worst drivers, often they think that because they set the cruise control to the speed limit they are good but they are oblivious to their surroundings and create rolling road blocks and don't let people merge. If its all about saving lives give all the revenue back to the people at tax time
    some people want the police to follow every little thing as if you want cameras following you around every where, do you really think that lives are going to be saved if someone doesn't put on their indicator 1 second late
    I drive on the highway everyday and the vast majority of people are pretty good drivers, if you find that other drivers are idiots all the time when you drive well maybe the issue isn't other people
    to people who say don't break the law, well it used to be legal to rape your wife. Sometimes laws are wrong

  • You're all wrong, correct answer is 'Highway's'

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