Contradiction in speed warning messages

In a blatant contradiction, NSW police have collected almost $500,000 in fines from motorists flashing their headlights over the same five years a NSW road safety ad claimed motorists’ lives would have been saved if they had known about a speed camera.

The fines were imposed on motorists flashing their headlights at approaching vehicles, presumably to warn them of a police speed trap ahead.

This is despite the Transport for NSW ad campaign run over the same period which stated: “If he had known there was a speed camera ahead, he would have slowed down and survived.”

Flashing your lights is the most popular method for motorists to warn others of a speed camera ahead. Based on the ad, it could also be one of the most effective methods of saving motorists’ lives.


Yet at the same time as the ad was being run, police pulled over 4736 motorists and slapped them with fines of up to $110 and one demerit point for doing exactly what could have prevented a fatality.

It’s an extreme contradiction!

The ad was part of the Transport for NSW ad ‘Speed Cameras – Slow Down’ campaign. The campaign has since been retired.

This NSW example is just one contradiction in the mixed road safety messages from police and transport authorities.

Support for flashing

Our article about riders warning others of speed cameras or police activity ahead has been met with a majority of support from riders who say they do it most of the time.

That is despite the fact that they face a fine of more than $100 and one demerit point.

Australian Road Rules (2006) Section 218 says you can’t flash high beams within 200m of an approaching vehicle as it can startle other motorists.

Seems strange in the daytime that a 100-watt headlight bulb could be dazzling when there is a  multi-billion-watt lightbulb in the sky! Admittedly, it can be a problem at night.

We can’t recommend people break the law, but you might also consider hand gestures to warn other motorists.

Types of hand gestures bikers can use to warn of speed cameras ahead

Some police say such warnings prevent them from the execution of their duty.

However, we say that is yet another contradiction.

Surely we are assisting police in the execution of their duties – that is if their duty is to make our roads safer and slow down motorists at that particular “black spot” as determined by the positioning of a radar unit!

If police duties are to collect revenue, then, yes, we are preventing them from doing their tax-collecting “duty”.

It seems the collecting of revenue is quite lucrative not just from speeding motorists, but those trying to do the right thing in warning other motorists to slow down.


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