Time to fight back – Snag reckons the Australian motorcyclist is soft and scared – By Greg Leech
I have just returned from Vietnam. Part of the trip saw a bunch of us take an eight-day road trip with a crew called Offroad Vietnam. We rode XR250s and my youngest pillioned with me. The elder bloke rode an XR of his own.
Apart from being incredibly beautiful and cheap as chips to travel there, one thing struck me large while over there. Traffic.
The traffic is simply insane. There is no way to explain it. There are no road rules, other than ‘biggest wins’. And there is zero road rage. People make room for one another, and once you get used to claiming your space and that horn is not considered at all offensive, you kinda get into it.
Now, it’s not perfect. There is quite a few people in Vietnam and scooters make up 95 percent of the vehicles on the road. The country, with a population of 80 million, has now nearly 10 million motorbikes, one of the highest per capita levels in the world.
And they knock quite a few off on the road. In fact, the Ministry of Public Security reported over 11,000 deaths in 2010; but the Ministry of Health registry – usually collected via the hospital system — lists 15,464 deaths.
A few road rules may not go astray, but in the main, the thing runs remarkable smoothly.
Now. Let’s contrast things back here in Stalag Oz. The rozzers in Adelaide have taken to camouflaging speed cameras. Because they make more money that way. If you see them, you won’t speed and there’s no quid on that. It does slow traffic down when they are in plain sight, but why would you want that? Speed Kills, apparently, but getting a fine a month after the event is very effective at slowing you down on the day of the offence right? See how much bullshit we are eating here?
Anyhow. A young bloke named Jamie Hampton put his bonce in front of one of these camouflaged poker machines and posed with a double thumbs up. Just a bit of humour, no one got hurt. He posted it to a Facebook page called ‘Adelaide Police Locations’. Story is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzvx08wlj1E Well, the daddy-issue-riddled hardarsed cops in Adelaide (they get a bit lost for something to do if there are no bodies in barrel for a week or so over there) got all mopey about that. So they are taking the kid to court and he could face a year in jail or a $5000 fine! What? In fact his bike was not in shot, so how they can book him for ‘interfering with a speed camera’ because his bike was deliberately blocking the view of the camera is beyond me.
The bigger picture here is the fact that police in this country have become the spokespersons for legislation. It’s almost as though they take the commission of an infringement as a personal affront. As though we are doing it directly to them. Guess what Plod old mate, you work for me. When I want your opinion, I’ll ask for it. In the meantime, would you mind doing something useful?
Australia has this hidden myth of a laid-back, humour-filled paradise. Well, I’m calling bullshit. We are wound tighter than a new starter motor, lay down like scared puppies and take this stuff as though it is normal. Well, it isn’t. It’s your civil liberties going straight sown the long drop.
That photo was funny. The bloke had a laugh. Remember that? Humour? Fun?
It’s high time we took a stand against all this. If this was France, those camo cameras would be torched quicker than it takes to send back a poorly baked croissant.
Australian motorists are copping it like a five-footer sharing a cell with a six-footer.
Meanwhile, in Vietnam, well, they are happy.
Stop remaining quiet. Stop the loss of the fabric of what motorcyclist’s were once made of. Argue, go to court, don’t comply. I’m not gonna.
See you on the road.