Monday, 31 January 2011

Would you flash for a stranger ?

to warn them a police car is up ahead or around the next bend ?

After witnessing what speeding and drivers over the legal alcohol limit can do to 'families' my conscience says if other people are speeding they're taking their own risk of getting caught and fined.

They shouldn't be warned about the police presence in the vicinity.

I know it is also illegal to flash your lights as a warning that police are in the area ... and you can be fined. Drivers still flash their lights despite this.I witness it regularly.

I don't feel sorry for many of those who get caught as a consequence of poor driving decisions. I do a little when signage is confusing and it's tough when the road limit changes suddenly or you aren't paying attention or are just over and get pinged.

I worry if you are busy warning others you really aren't paying attention to your own driving. I would also hate to cause an accident by alerting others to the presence of police and they went on to hurt someone else...I mean I wouldn't really know but it's a risk.

I may not be completely law abiding driver myself (100% of the time ;) and when drivers flash me I automatically check my speedo and touch the brakes. It is natural reaction to slow down not just because of police but they may be warning of another accident or hazard around a bend.

Most of the time I travel within the speed limit. I may sound hypocritical but I try not to speed , sometimes I just creep over the limit a little.
There is feeling that there are gray areas in the battle between law enforcement's technology and safety .The feeling in the community that the allegedly speeding countermeasures - radar traps in concealed places, mobile & fixed cameras are more about revenue raising than saving lives.

Active police presence seems to have diminished. If the revenue from fines went to road improvement & repairs or victims' support instead of the government coffers it would be less controversial. It isn't the fault of police though.

Essentially, the police are there to protect us / our families . If they stop someone who is speeding/drunk maybe they will prevent loss of life or injury to innocent victims often involved in car accident by being just in the wrong place at wrong time, or the driver themselves and their family. A good friend of ours works in Highway patrol as a police officer. I don't envy her job when I hear the stories she tells.

I do flash strangers only if they have forgotten to turn on their headlights at dusk/dark or for cars overtaking & coming straight at me in my lane or a road hazard like water over the road (to slow down).

Flashing means different thing to different people too sometimes it is to warn of road hazards or other driving courtesies

Very rarely I have flashed my lights for someone in the opposite direction driving recklessly or speeding to prompt them to slow down ONLY if the Police are NOT on the road... to give them a subtle hint.

I digress the early hours of Saturday morning about 12.30am on our way home from the farm and about 8km from home  my husband was given a direction to pull over to the left lane (a section of road in between was marked off by orange witches hats/cones) for 'alcohol' breath testing.
The Police officer greeted my husband with " I can tell you haven't been drinking Sir ! "
He still produced the breathing testing device and asked my hub to 'count'.
No problems there.

I was puzzled why the Police officer had said it ...
I asked DH - Ah ha ... DH was towing a car trailer 7m long , behind a Landruiser 5.5m and he didn't knock even one cone over. He eased in between the cones, swiftly too. I hadn't noticed. Lucky it wasn't me ...I may have knocked them all down LOL or NOT if they taken me away.

DH said police officer must not have seen the trailer behind the 4WD (it was dark & night).Usually when he has been towing trailers or caravans they rarely pull him over unless it is in a wide open space because of the tight spots they set up random breath testing in. He definitely doesn't drink & drive anyway.
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Anonymous said...

I understand what you are saying and you are probably right. Too many still die in traffic through speeding accidents.. But i DO sometimes flash for strangers, but it depends on the situation. if I see someone roaring like a madman down a street that is curvy, busy and framed by bouquets indicating traffic deaths, I will certainly NOT flash and warn another speed monkey. but sometimes the police seems to set themselves up for 'big harvest' and like most people, I'll be a bit 'over' (10-15 km/h) in zones like that. i like to be warned in those situations too.
I think that fixed cameras are often very wisely positioned tho, and the warning signs before them (not existing in all countries you know) have the same effect than the friendly meant flash of the oncoming traffic. it's a reminder to slow down at danger points..
(i lived in France when they put up the first big grey boxes there. one close to us was destroyed at night 3 times in a row! one time, they smashed it with a tractor! - total rebels, the Frenchies..)
most times, my gps will nag when i am over the limit though, too, it's annoying and i shout at it at times, but it keeps me alert to my speed. Even my son yells "WE KNOW!" at 'jason' now, but i DO slow down.

Mum-me said...

I don't 'flash' oncoming drivers to warn about speed traps, but I do if I have just passed an accident some kind of traffic hazard.

Langdowns said...

Ditto Mum-me. I flash for accidents. Speeders need to get a wake up call in the form of a whopping big fine. But then again, if it's a newly instated speed zone or if a a sneaky policeman is just across the zone line and trying to get people unfairly then I might flash a little. But mostly I agree with you all the way ...

Freedom23 said...

I Think that most motorist appreciate a good flashing. I know i do when i creep above the limit. However i won't flash for others. If your silly enough to speed your silly enough to pay the price!!! There is nothing more satisfying then seeing an idiot scream past to overtake you only to see them 5 km up the road being booked!!!!

Laura said...

I'm like you, Trish, I flash for the wallies who've forgotten to put their headlights on.
Rarely seems to help, though. SIGH!

Posie Patchwork said...

I have never & will never flash my lights. I don't speed, so i'll never get caught. I don't drink & guess what, even with driving strange hours with late night jobs while at Uni, in 17 years i've still never been breathalised!! My children now ask police who are checking licenses & registrations if they'll breathalise me too, on the school run!! I drive a Landcruiser as well, clearly mine screams "don't bother with this mummy". The ACT is very heavily policed, we'd see a camera almost every day, they must catch someone?? Love Posie

Cate said...

No, I don't flash for speed cameras. If you get caught then that's just less tax I have to pay!!
I do flash for traffic hazards though (esp in the country)
PS: good thoughts for tomorrow ♥

Cate said...

Now, obviously when I said "if you get caught" I wasn't meaning *you* Trish (LOL) - just people out there in general!!

Louisa said...

I must say I do flash. There are so many areas where the speed limit drops suddenly in a clear ploy for revenue raising and that really annoys me and that's why I flash. Whe the first changed the speed limit near my parents house they set up a police patrol to catch people and it was just rotten. I remember being in the car with my Dad and he was so incensed that he drove up and down the street warning people.

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