Leadfoot Doyle rides again
Fresh from his flogging at the last state election, when he advocated legalising speeding (he called it a ‘tolerance zone’), Victorian Opposition Leader Robert ‘Leadfoot’ Doyle is back at it again, complaining that there are too many speed cameras collecting too much in fine revenue. The fact that Victoria’s road toll is falling substantially (according to the same report “The state’s road toll was 160 yesterday, compared with 185 at the same time last year”) is of no concern to Doyle.
Until now, Victorian politics has been characterised by a bipartisan commitment to road safety which has been reflected in a stunning decline in road deaths. Since 1970, when seat belt laws were introduced (over the objections of people like Doyle),
road deaths in Victoria have been lowered from a peak of 1,061 to 378 last year, despite an increase of 140% in registered vehicles and 41% in population. The Victorian fatality rate in 1970 of 8.1 deaths per 10,000 registered vehicles was one of the worst among motorised countries, while the 1997 rate of 1.2 was one of the lowest.
By contrast, in the US, where people like Doyle have been successful in resisting strong road safety laws and effective enforcement, road deaths are rising.
Doyle is a disgrace. He has no place in Australian politics.