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TIME TO FORCE CHANGES FOR THE BENEFIT OF MOTORISTS
It is obvious that neither the Liberal or Labor parties care anything for motorists, apart from seeing them as lucrative cash cows who are there to be bled dry in every way possible. Even mainstream motoring organisations such as the NRMA and RACV, that should be fighting for justice for motorists seem to go along with the government's bullshit about "Speed Kills" and that speed and red light cameras really do save lives, when it can easily be shown that not one of these devices has ever saved one life.
Motorists make up a massive number of people with a common cause. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in 2002, the number of licensed drivers and motorcycle riders in Australia was a whopping 14,074,503 - yes, 14 MILLION people. That number in 2013 is probably around 15 MILLION motorists.
Could you imagine the result of an election, if even half of these motorists voted for Motorists Party candidates? The Liberals and Laborites wouldn't know what hit them. They would be wiped out. So it's not that bad an idea, because if the mainstream political parties treat motorists with utter contempt and just consider them to be targets to be ripped off, then they should be swept out and politicians who support fairness to motorists should govern.
As an exercise, I thought that it would be fun to create a hypothetical Motorists Party and draw up a manifesto with the aims of this fictional political party and see if I could come up with enough points that actually made sense, based upon hard facts and solid research. So here it is.
THE MOTORISTS PARTY MANIFESTO
The aim of the Motorists Party is to bring fairness to the single biggest group of citizens in Australia, Motorists do not deserve to be treated as cash cows for rapacious governments that wish to fill their coffers by entrapping and ripping off motorists by using disgraceful and underhanded methods and rigging the justice system to make it as difficult as possible for motorists to contest unfair or wrongful penalties. So the Motorists Party has the following aims and if it wins government, will endeavour to implement these measures as quickly as possible.
- Driver’s licences will become a federal responsibility. A driver’s licence will not be connected to a particular state or territory and will be valid throughout Australia. There will be one set of federal road laws that will apply in the whole of Australia and thus there will be no confusion in regard to road laws for motorists who drive in different states.
- All toll roads will be abolished and will revert to freeways. If past and present governments did not squander the revenue ripped off motorists on stupid failed projects, misguided foreign aid, pork-barrelling to buy votes, expensive overseas junkets and other profligate spending of the taxpayer dollar, there would be more than enough money from fuel excise, fees and taxes and fines to fully fund the best freeways in the world.
- Every single cent that is raised from taxes, excise, fees and levies from motorists will be pumped back into road infrastructure and amenities for motorists. People already pay income and other taxes that end up in consolidated revenue, so it is only fair that taxes specifically taken from motorists are used to benefit them.
- Punitive taxes on motor vehicles such as the Luxury Car Tax will be rescinded. There is absolutely no justifiable reason why a Mercedes Benz car that sells for $35,000 in the USA should cost $90,000 in Australia, considering that the distance to transport the vehicle from Germany to either USA or Australia is much the same. The only reason that such imported cars cost more than double in Australia than they do overseas is because of the greed of governments in imposing a luxury car tax that should have been removed as promised when GST was introduced and gouging and misrepresentation by car dealers who claim that cars such as lower-end Mercedes Benz are luxury vehicles, when they are merely used as taxi cabs in Europe.
- As the Australian car manufacturing industry will not exist after 2017, there is no further need for any protection measures to safeguard local jobs. Therefore all tariffs and imposts on motor vehicles will be completely abolished.
- All speed and red light cameras will be removed forthwith. It has been proven worldwide that not one speed camera has ever prevented an accident or saved one single life. It is a proven fact that wherever red light cameras have been installed, there has been a marked increase in accidents. Yet governments falsely claim that they are safety devices, when that is a blatant lie. These devices are nothing more than revenue raisers and thus are unfair and unjustified taxation machines and will be immediately abolished.
- Speed limits on roads will be reviewed and all artificially low speed limits will be adjusted, commensurate with the standard of every road and according to the Solomon Curve, using the 85 percentile grouping. It has been proven that increasing the speed limit on good roads actually reduces accidents. For instance, the Hume Freeway from the outskirts of Sydney is a six-lane divided road that is better than most German autobahns that have no speed limits. However, the speed limit on the Hume Freeway is a ridiculously low 110 kph and it will be raised to at least 160 kph and the same will apply to all other similar freeways. Speed does not kill.
- Speed limits at school zones will be removed completely. It has been proven that a reduction in speed limits at those places has not achieved a reduction in accidents or deaths, therefore a lower speed limit has not achieved its intended purpose. However, motorists will be obliged to exercise extra caution in school zones during times when students are coming and going from schools.
- Pedestrian bridges willl be built over all main roads at school zones in order to provide safe crossing for students. However, if such facilities are ignored and students choose to risk their lives by crossing busy roads and are injured or killed, then it will be their fault.
- School zone warning signs will be changed to indicate the exact times and dates when schools are actually operating with students attending. There will be no more school zone signs stating that the zones are in force "On School Days", because the only official information about this is only published in the Government Gazette that can only be obtained by subscription. The average motorist does not have access to that information, therefore school dates and times must be placed on the school zone signs.
- Schools will be authorised to display school zone signs only when schools are operating and sudents are present, but not on pupil-free days. Those signs must be removed at all times when schools are not operating, so as not to hinder or distract motorists.
- There will be no more traffic infringement notices. Every person has the right to the presumption of innocence. Sending infringement notices to motorists infers that they are guilty of offences and tempts them to pay penalties instead of taking those matters to court to be properly determined. Only a court will have the power to impose a penalty or fine.
- Traffic offences are criminal offences, however the legal principles of "mens rea" and "actus reus" will be reinstated for these offences. Therefore, all prosecutions for traffic offences will have to be heard in a properly convened court of law and the presumption of innocence of the defendants will be maintained at all times.
- All the rules of evidence in criminal matters shall apply to traffic offence matters. The government and police will have to prove beyond reasonable doubt in a court of law that a motorist had committed an offence. If the case is dismissed, the accused motorist will automatically be awarded compensation and exemplary damages, not just court costs.
- All “Operator Onus” laws that "deem" motorists to be guilty of a traffic offence merely because they are the owners of vehicles that were booked will be abolished. To prosecute any traffic offence, the state must prove the identity of the drivers at the actual time of the offences beyond reasonable doubt.
- Vehicle owners will not be required to confess that they were the drivers at a time when their vehicles were photographed committing a traffic offence. Vehicle owners will not have to nominate anybody as the drivers of their vehicles at the time of alleged traffic offences. All people have the legal right to silence and the legal right to refuse to provide anything that may incriminate them. Therefore vehicle owners will not be required to make any admissions or provide any affidavits or statutory declarations under any circumstances. The Crown will have the entire burden of proof in all traffic matters, just as it has in all other criminal matters.
- Penalties shall only be determined after an appearance before a judge or magistrate in a properly convened court of law. Penalties shall only be allowed by a court if a person or persons are injured or killed or property has been damaged by the actions of a motorist. For a crime to have been committed, there must be a victim or a loss has to be suffered. If there are no victims or losses suffered in any traffic matters, motorists will have no case to answer.
- If a motorist under the influence of alcohol or narcotics causes injury, that person will be charged with causing grievous bodily harm and sentenced as if that person had used a deadly weapon. If a motorist under the influence of alcohol or narcotics causes death, that person will be charged with murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. There are no mitigating circumstances for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics and such activities will not be countenanced as a means to reduce penalties.
- The entire court procedure when dealing with traffic infringements will be revamped. The system will operate so that a defendant will not have to waste two days going to court and being out of pocket. The Crown will have to make a solid case against a defendant to a tribunal that will determine whether a matter is fit to go to court. The prosecution will have to produce hard evidence that the actual defendant committed an offence, along with hard evidence as to the accuracy of any measuring equipment that will be used to support the prosecution case.
- All motorists will be legally entitled to trial by jury of their peers for every alleged offence of which they are accused. Motoring offences are criminal matters and must be treated as such. Motorists will be given the choice as to whether they want their matters to be heard by a magistrate or by a judge and jury. If motorists choose to have their matters dealt with by a judge and jury, the costs for this will be borne by the prosecution, police or the parties who instigated the matters. Motorists who choose to defend themselves in court will not be penalised by court costs, even if they are found guilty of the offences, but will only be liable to pay the prescribed penalty for the particular offence for which they are before the court.
- Local councils will be prohibited from issuing any form of penalty for parking or other alleged offences. Councils are not recognised as an arm of government and thus are not permitted to levy fines, according to the Australian Constitution. Various Local Government Acts passed by some states allegedly confer the power to levy fines upon local councils, but because those Acts have not been given Royal Assent as required by the Constitution, they can be proven to be unlawful and unenforceable.
- There will be no parking fines as such. Motorists pay registration fees and all sorts of taxes and charges to legally use the road infrastructure. This will confer the inherent right for motorists to use legal parking places on the sides of roads. Obviously parking in dangerous positions will be prohibited, but unfettered parking will be permitted everywhere that is safe and that is not kept clear for flow of traffic, such as clearways at certain times. Penalties for parking in prohibited places will only be able to be issued by police.
- The offence of not carrying a driver's licence while driving will be abolished. If police can check up on car registration validity by using computer recognition systems, they can check up on a motorist's bona-fides and whether he is licensed to drive without the motorist having to physically produce his driver's licence. Police cars carry computers linked to the national police database and police are able to bring up a motorist's licence and photo instantly.
- All traffic offences that do not impinge on others will be abolished. For instance, the law forcing motorists and their passengers to wear seatbelts will be rescinded. If drivers and their passengers wish to risk their lives by not wearing seatbelts, that will be their choice, not the nanny state's requirement. The same will apply to motorcyclists and cyclists who will exercise their choice whether to wear helmets or not. However, if they are severely maimed in accidents as a result of not wearing seatbelts or helmets, they will not have any recourse to compensation or any grounds to sue anybody for anything.
- The stupid and unjustified offence of leaving windows of parked cars open will be abolished. However, motorists who leave their vehicles unsecured and those vehicles or their contents are stolen will not be able to seek compensation from their insurers or anybody else. Any other law that does not affect any person except the perpetrator will be repealed.
- Holding and using a mobile phone while driving will be legal. The famous Bhargava-Pathania Study proved that there was no correlation between this practivce and accident rates, therefore there is no reason for it to be illegal, except as a pretext for revenue-raising.
- Police will not be granted any exemptions in relation to performing acts that are prohibited to ordinary motorists, such as flashing lights, activities which are currently illegal. If it is considered dangerous for motorists to flash their high beams at motorists, then it is just as dangerous when police do the same. These idiotic laws must be rescinded and flashing high beams at other motorists to warn them of speed traps will cease to be offences.
- Entrapment of motorists for the purpose of booking and fining motorists will be outlawed. Enticing motorists to speed and then booking them is a disgraceful form of entrapment by police who hide behind bushes and around corners and hope that motorists will speed, so that they can be booked. Police can stop motorists from speeding merely by displaying a visible presence on roads, but of course that does not raise revenue - it just achieves the effect of slowing motorists down.
- Police will be prohibited from entrapping motorists with loaded questions, such as trying to entice confessions of speeding from them. Police will not be permitted to ask a motorist who was pulled over by them how fast the motorist thought he was driving. Police will be restricted to asking the names and addresses of motorists and looking at their driver's licences. Police will not have the right to interrogate motorists about anything further without their legal representatives being present.
- Police will be prohibited from forcing motorists to incriminate themselves in any way. The common law privilege against self-incrimination entitles a person to refuse to answer any question, or produce any documents or items if the answer or the production would tend to incriminate that person. Such incriminating items obviously would include breath samples, blood samples, saliva or semen samples, DNA samples, documents or other items. Before asking anything of motorists, police will be compelled to advise them that they do not have to speak to police, volunteer any information or provide any evidence that may tend to incriminate them, including breath samples, blood samples, DNA samples or anything else.
- Police will not have the right to search a motorist's car without a search warrant or without very just cause to do so. The ordinary motorist is a law-abiding person who does not deserve to be treated like a criminal by police. If police search a motorist's vehicle without just cause, they will be liable to be prosecuted and be liable to pay punitive cost penalties for violating the motorist's right to privacy.
- Police will not have the right to seize or examine a motorist's mobile phone unless it is strongly suspected of being used in an indictable crime not directly connected to driving offences. Citizens have the inherent right to privacy and police should not have the right to trawl through a motorist's mobile phone and have access to private material which they have no right to see. Motorists who lock their phones to prevent such scrutiny will not be compelled to reveal the passcodes to unlock their mobile phones in such circumstances and should never do so.
- Individual police officers will become personally legally liable for any offences they commit in the line of duty. There will be no state or federal protection against criminal charges or lawsuits against them. The "Nuremburg Defence" that they were just following orders will not be acceptable, as every police officer will be expected to know and understand what is right or wrong, just as members of the public are expected to understand this.
- There will be a near-zero blood alcohol and near-zero drug limit on all motorists. If it is good enough for commercial and private pilots to be alcohol and drug-free 8 hours before flying aircraft, then it is good enough for motorists to be alcohol and drug-free when in control of two-tonne killing machines on the roads. The penalties for drink-driving and drug-driving will be an automatic two year driver's licence cancellation and the second offence will carry a lifetime ban on driving. If people are too irresponsible or too stupid to understand the danger they pose to others by driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they are too irresponsible and stupid to be allowed to drive at all.
- Random breath and drug tests will be abolished. Every person has the presumption of innocence and the act of stopping a motorist to administer a breath test is an accusation that the motorist is guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol or stupefying narcotics and the test is administered so that the motorist can prove himself innocent. This is a deliberate abrogation of a person's presumption of innocence. The only time breath or drug tests can be administered is if motorists exhibit clear signs that they are impaired by these substances and obviously these tests will not be done at random.
- Motorists will be permitted to purchase, own and operate all devices that will help them stay within speed limits, such as radar and laser speed detectors. It has been proven in much independent research, including the famous Yankelovitch-Clancy-Shulman Study, that motorists using radar and laser speed detectors are safer drivers. The only reason that governments have banned radar and laser speed detectors is that these devices help motorists avoid being booked because it makes them slow down to the speed limit and isn't that what the real aim is - to get motorists to drive at or below the prevailing speed limits? Of course not. Governments want motorists to speed so that they can be entrapped and booked and that is why radar and laser speed detectors are currently banned. They will all be made legal.
- Citizens will be permitted to possess certain items that are currently prohibited because there is no valid reason to prohibit them or require their licensing, such as the following:
- Bulletproof vests and body armour - These items are not offensive and cannot harm anybody.
- Paintball markers - These are sporting items.
- Low power air rifles - We grew up with these toys without a problem.
- Imitation firearms - These are mostly toys like the famous Transformer robot that turns into a toy gun.
- Switchblade knives - These merely save users from breaking fingernails opening them and are no more dangerous than any other knives that are legal.
- Butterfly knives - These are the same as switchblade knives and are no more dangerous than regular knives that are legal.
- Throwing knives - These are no more dangerous than any other knife that is legal.
- Ceramic knives - They are just knives. If security x-ray machines cannot see them, then the security needs to be improved.
- Fireworks - People can do stupid things with them, but we grew up with fireworks and managed to stay alive and unharmed.
- Nunchakus - Two steel spanners chained together are legal, so two broom handles chained together are less dangerous.
- Slingshots - We grew up with slingshots without a problem.
- Extendable batons - These are no more dangerous than baseball bats that are completely legal.
- Laser pointers - These can be home-made anyway using high power laser diodes so they cannot be stopped.
- Defensive sprays - Many women would have prevented rapists and attackers if they were permitted to carry Mace or capsicum spray.
There are many more items that the Nanny State prohibits for no good reason and the people should be allowed to possess these items without harassment, licensing or any other restrictions.
More items will be added to the manifesto when I think of them. This is a work in progress.