If you are caught speeding, you are a fool. So say the government and the police. But that didn't stop 2248 drivers from doing just that over Christmas-New Year on Illawarra and South Coast roads. Not only did they cop heavy fines but were also slugged with double demerit points, inevitably leading to some of them losing their licence.
Many of them would agree they were fools, but not because they were breaking the law, rather because they were caught in the act. Ignoring the fact that speeding is one of the leading causes of fatal accidents on our roads, these drivers regard themselves as blameless, just targets of "sneaky" police operations and government "revenue raising".
And therein lies the problem with modern society, this victim mentality where 'big brother' is impinging on so-called rights. "I was only just over the limit" or "I was still driving safely" they say. Well the fact is the law is the law and if you break it, it's on you.
This arrogant "I'm all right Jack" attitude has now spread to COVID restrictions where a vocal minority of people are protesting and even defying new rules to wear masks to help prevent the spread of the disease. "There's hardly any cases down here, why are we involved" is the oft-heard refrain in Wollongong. Well, like it or not, it's the law and if you don't like it, just like speeding drivers, prepare to be fined.
These restrictions are not just for fun. This virus is a killer. There may be few cases locally, but just look at what happened in Victoria, and still worse look what is occurring overseas.
After the speeding and drink-driving stats were released this week, Traffic and Highway Patrol Command Acting Assistant Commissioner Stephen Hegarty said one of the hardest things for a police officer to do after a fatal accident was to deliver news of a loved one's death. How would you feel if someone's loved one died just because you were going to "stick it to the man" and selfishly not wear a mask?
For details on the use of masks and other restrictions go to https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/what-you-can-and-cant-do-under-rules/greater-sydney