The Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), announced yesterday that in legislation passed last week in the ACT Legislative Assembly, all speed limits have been abolished in the ACT. He said that, for the benefit of all motorists and so that there is no confusion during the change-over, the legislation comes into effect immediately. Where awkward situations arise ACT Policing Officers will be on hand to advise motorists of their new rights to drive at whatever speed they wish.
The Chief Minister went on to say that the Government had been receiving very many complaints from people getting speeding fines and that the Government was raising too much revenue as a result of all the fines. He said "We decide to do something about it, and abolishing the speed limit seemed to my Government an eminently clever way to stop people receiving speeding fines and to reduce the revenue we are getting from them."
The Chief Minister explained in detail that now there are no speed limits in the Act. Anyone can now drive at whatever speed they like without having to watch for Police and speed radar traps. "We have restored to the ACT one of the basic rights of all motorists to drive at whatever speed they like." he claimed.
Asked if this new legislation might cause problems for pedestrians, the Chief Minister answered that they would just have to be careful. He went on the say "Motorists pay to use the road, by paying licence and registration fees, whereas pedestrians don't contribute to the upkeep of the roads, so we are giving the motorists the benefit of spending their money." "Pedestrians should stay off the roads, they are nothing but a nuisance to motorists, causing accidents and blocking the roads." he added, "If they get hit by a car it's their own fault for going on the roadway."
The Chief Minister announced that the state's speed radar vans will be sold off to other states who are still behind the times and persecute their speeding drivers.
The Leader of the Opposition was critical of the Government's actions, saying that they were long overdue. He said "They always leave important matters until they become critical before they do anything about them. They should have made this move many years ago, and alleviated much of the misery that goes with getting a speeding fine and demerit points on one's driving license."
He was heard to add to an assistant "It's a very clever idea. I wish that we had thought of it first. We could have used it in our next election campaign."
The Chief Minister responded by having a political dig against the Opposition Leader and his party, saying "That's the Liberals for you, always behind the times and trying to steal the Labor Party's brilliant ideas."
The National Motorists Association (NMA) praised the ACT Government for its wonderfully foresighted legislation. The Secretary of the Association said that the ACT Government has set a brilliant precedent for other states to follow. She said "Many of our members have said that they are going to take advantage of the new ACT legislation right away, and will be campaigning for other states to follow the ACT's lead in this very important direction."
"I would never have believed that any Government could act so quickly and so well to resolve a problem." she added. "The ACT Labor Government has shown how much they really care for the ordinary motorist on the road. They should be praised and admired by all drivers for their actions in removing a very big problem that had affected all motorists."
Premiers of other states have indicated that they will not be introducing legislation following the ACT's lead "in the immediate future", but that they will watch ensuing events in the ACT "with great interest".