OPINION: Revenue raising? The more the merrier
IT'S BEGINNING to look a lot like Christmas... and there's sirens in the air.
The holiday crackdown on speeding and other bad behaviour is in full swing.
And as sure as Rudolph's nose is red, the complainers are also out in full force.
A story on our website on Thursday sparked a debate on whether it was okay to flash your lights to warn people of speed cameras ahead.
It was a good discussion, with valid points made by those on both sides.
Are speed cameras vital for safety or just revenue raising?
This poll ended on 11 December 2017.
It keeps us safe. If you don't speed, you don't have to worry.
Revenue raising. They should spend time on more serious matters.
Sure it's revenue raising, but the money needs to come from somewhere.
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
But the common thread was that speed cameras are designed for "revenue raising".
Here's my question - why is that a bad thing?
As far as I'm concerned, the more money the government can raise from people who have done the wrong thing, the less they have to raise from the rest of us.
In an ideal world, you'd be able to fund the whole government like that.
Do the right thing and you wouldn't have to pay a cent - and that's coming from someone who has copped a fine or two in his time.
Of course the focus has to be on making sure everyone actually slows down.
And if every single camera was hidden in the bushes or around a tight bend, there'd be plenty of reason to complain.
But most speed "traps" - and police campaigns - are highly visible and advertised well ahead of time.
Talk to any police officer and they'll tell you you need a mix of highly visible and more subtle deterrents.
The whole idea is to keep us on our toes - and that's hardly a bad thing when it comes to people's lives.
In the meantime, there's an easy way to make sure you don't get caught out.
Andrew Thorpe is a journalist at The Observer.