Monday, February 02, 2009

What to do with speeding fines

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Having recently left Australia, one of the issues that was plaguing me was the silliness of government. Frankly I am not willing to repress my annoyance at these pathetic people, so I decided to protest from abroad. This was my response to their $80 penalty notice.

Dear NDM,
My brother contacted you without asking me. He probably wants me to pay. I asked him to send the notice to me because I am overseas. I am overseas because (in part) the poor state of justice in Australia. Worse than most semi-free countries. I actually don't intend to pay, though nor do intend to pay $12,000 for court action as some Victorians did fighting a silly law in Victoria. Actually I regard the whole issue of taxing speeding fines as illegitimate for several reasons. This is a constitutional matter so that is the proper place for it. The problems are:
1. The tax is a cynical exercise in taxation - there is no evidence to suggest 'speeding kills'. Road fatalities has more to do with teenagers trying to impress friends. I was pulled over by police overseas, they think Australian driving restrictions are a joke.
2. Speed policing actually increases road anxiety. For the next 3-4 hours after copping that camera I was in a state of stress. Why? Because its the 2nd time I was placed in a state of conflict over a silly process. Its the same with drink driving. I remember seeing recently a story of a guy on his 24th drink driving conviction. Miraculously the guy is still alive. I guess we are all just a bit more logical and reasonable than the government gives us credit for. These silly laws exist only because people do not challenge them. People tolerate them too much. I'm tired of it, so I left the country, rather than deal with your stupid fines.
3. Speed limits are non-contextual. They dont consider weather conditions, road conditions, vehicle weight, visibility, driver training/age/experience
4. I have no faith in the judiciary either because (a) judges are not directly accountable, merely accountable to another judge under appeal. Not good enough. (b) Judges are supposed to reach objective (rational) outcomes by interpreting arbitrary rules/laws, which makes no sense at all. Cases in the US with respect to taxation show that the judiciary in Western democracies apply a self-serving interpretation of the law. They are selective about the judgements they take as law. Basically contradictions are allowed. Of course, like you, they work for the government.
5. Judges and the judiciary was a lovely concept 300 years ago when laws were based on common law, which actually had some sense to it, some semblance of objectivity. Legislation is based on arbitrary rules/laws with no sense of reality at all. The public is divided - half believe they should be good slaves, the other half thinking they should pay a cynical tax because the govt would just use other means to reach the same ends. I reject all forms of slavery. It is not a user pay charge.

Thanks for the opportunity to be a slave; but I'll politely decline your offer. If you are not convinced by my arguments I would happily counsel your analysts or whatever thinkers you have in your department about the unethical framework in which you operate. I'd rather focus on being a productive human being, but the only productive human being are compliant slave by your standards. There was once a time when laws were about protecting the right of people, but the law has become so perverted that your concept of rights and obligations are claims on people. Your Human Rights commission is a joke. A theatrical performance to make it look like you actually care about the lives of people. So are your speeding laws. In any respect you seem intent on placing obstacles on the road. I don't speed by my judgement. I'm not an advocate of arbitrary, self-indulgent action, just I don't abide by rules imposed by others who have no sense.

Andrew Sheldon

ConvinceMe.Net - Anyone up for a debate?