The RAC has called foul on money dedicated to improving our roads being diverted to cover administration. Another transportation broken promise by the Barnett Government. Another example of policy congestion, bad decisions and the wrong priorities.
In a classic case of robbing Peter to pay Paul, the Barnett Government has taken money from traffic fines that should go toward improving our roads and used it to cover traffic fines administration.
This stems from the Barnett Government’s earlier announced cuts to services. Cuts that affected all Government departments, including Police and the Roads and Traffic Authority. To try and make up for those cuts, money from fines, meant for roads, is now being used to pay for administration.
That’s understandable, and the dishonest intention of this maladministration.
When a traditionally apolitical body such as the RAC calls the Government out on a lack of transparency and poor priorities, you know that things are bad.
Of course the problems with Perth traffic go much deeper.
Too little planning and not enough investment in public transport and road traffic are the real and underlying problems here.
Stuck in traffic trying to get home or to work? Feeling time-poor and more likely to speed? Feeling stressed and maybe more likely to drink just that bit more then drive?
As our traffic congestion gets worse these in-built human reactions contribute to traffic offences.
So there was some common sense to the policy and election promise that traffic fine money go toward roads. It helps to make travel quicker, less frustrating and safer.
Investment in public transport, particularly our train and public transportation systems, also makes sense. It takes cars off our roads, make travel time shorter for everyone, and it’s good for the environment!
The Barnett Government has recently touted its plans – some stretching into 2020 - for new transport investment.
The pity is that those investments weren’t made much earlier. If new rail cars had been ordered when advised several years ago, then those extra trains would be on the rails now. If work had begun on the Ellenbrook line as promised, and at the start of the Government, we’d be that much closer to relieving our traffic problems.
Of course, many people have no choice but to travel to work by car, but speed of travel to work has now be reduced to a crawl. Frustration, stress and pollution are the result.
Even the RAC seems to thinks so.