Photos: Jamilah0525, FlickrThe helmet law debate seems to be a political 'bush-fire' that all political managers resolutely avoid - is this because of their risk averse raison d'etre?
Further, compounded by the looming election next year, the NSW government is going into 'shut-down mode', and no doubt will attempt to dodge any contentious or even vaguely contentious issues at all costs. Careful managment will be the order of the day - the helmet debate (yes! that old chestnut again!) will definitely be shelved!
I completely sympathise with Oliver Hartwich's clarion call, "Political idol: why TV offers more creative answers than politicians", and fervently hope our political representatives take heed of his important call to arms.
His depiction of a Dutch town that ripped out all their traffic signs after a motoring tragedy is almost incomprehensible to us folk here in Australia. Apparently the town's first inclination had been to opt for the more usual municipal approach of speed humps, road signs and other such traffic calming devices but civic funding was neglible:
"What happened afterwards was a small miracle. Drivers felt they could no longer rely on road signs, so they slowed down. Seeking eye contact with other motorists and pedestrians, the streets of Oudehaske became a much safer traffic environment than ordinary road signs could have ever created. The inventor of the scheme, the late engineer Hans Monderman, went on to successfully export his idea of the ''naked street'' to other cities in the Netherlands and abroad."
Hartwich clinically muses whether such a scheme would be considered by Australian politicians, and sadly his summation would be our reality:
"Probably not, and definitely not with less than a year to the state election. Our reflex would be to give the RTA more power, put up a few more signs, install more traffic cameras and increase random breath tests. We would never imagine that we could have achieved much more with less."
Wake up, pollies, we need you to represent us, not manage us; we need your bright ideas and your innovations, and we need you to listen to the experts when you spend our taxes contracting their opinions
...just imagine...Sydney and 'naked streets' - what a thought! - could be so exciting!
...so, Kristina, up for it? - could be your big break!
Research and Reviews in the Fastlane 077
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