Police suffer in state’s revenue-raising race

Safe zone: Too many drivers are punished for breaking the speed limits by small margins, says reader Steve Rayfield.

I DISAGREE with John Gilbert’s assessment that every driver who speeds is an idiot(Letters, 4/4). To me, the problem is in the notion that published limits are real world limits. If they was then a 110kmh zone would have drivers travelling at between 10kmh and 110kmh which would certainly cause mayhem.

In reality, a 110kmh zone means that all traffic moves at or above 110kmh.

Likewise all other limited zones. To have a punitive system where drivers of infinitely better braking, accelerating and handling cars with enormously improved passenger and pedestrian friendly features are heavily fined for exceeding limits set many years ago on roads that are better surfaced, safer and wider than when these limits were first imposed is simply unjust.

Yes, John, there are idiots on the road but they’re not those who exceed often stupid limits by comparatively small margins.

To me the real losers are the police because their reputation is damaged every time they sneakily nab someone drifting over the limit in a safe way. Our roads are not made safer by police hiding behind trees with hand-held radar. All that really does is lower the public’s opinion of the police force at a time when these hardworking, generally decent people increasingly need our co-operation and respect.

Have you heard about domestic violence,home invasions andthe ice epidemic? Fair enough, if you haven’t seen the fixed radar signs then you aren’t paying sufficient attention and perhaps should pay a finefor that butthe roads are littered with so many signs these days I wonder whether we’d all be safer if left alone to just look at the road.

Steve Rayfield,Warners BayMining isn’t for everyoneI WAS at the Knights’ Voice for Mininggame on Sunday. It was basically a day to promote the mining industry. To mark the occasion, the Knights chose to wear an orange and black strip. On the same day they played the West Tigers –very odd.

In any event, after multiple news reports in recent times of record autumn temperatures and massive coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef, and even a suggestion that the earth’s axis has been altered by melting ice caps, it seemed jarringly ironicto be subjected to a barrage of propaganda before and during the game about the blessings of digging up billions of tonnes of coal out of the ground and burning it.

Perhaps the Knights could change their sponsor, and we could instead have a Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority day, or a solar industry day, or an electric car day.

Or just a world survival day.By the way, go the Knights!

Michael Hinchey,New LambtonRoyal Newcastle HospitalNEXT Monday, April 18,will be 10 years since the Royal Newcastle Hospital closed and relocated as the Royal Newcastle Centre to the Rankin Park Campus at New Lambton.

A hospital had existed at the top of King Street since 1817 when Commandant James Wallis turned a jail into a convict hospital.

Several years after the 1989 Newcastle earthquake and the subsequent demolition of the York Wing, the 1914 North Wing was converted into 12 apartments. After 2006 all remaining hospital buildings on the site were demolished and today ‘The Royal’ site consists of several multi-storey apartment blocks, a hotel and restaurants.

The site’s historyis preserved in the name of the present apartment blocks – Nickson, Hannell and McCaffrey. A timeline with photographs is found on the wall leading to the lift from King Street to the Shortland Esplanade and an 1970s Newcastle City Council plaque in the footpath at the top of King Street.

Long may we remember the Royal Newcastle Hospital and the very important part it played in Newcastle’s history.

Suzanne Martin,NewcastleBetter safe than sorryALLAN Earl opines against the purchase of F-35 jets and new submarines because he can’t see any threat to Australia (Letters 11/4).

Neville Chamberlain thought the same thing right up until Germany invaded Poland.The UK prime ministerwas correct in thinking that Hitler wanted peace –a piece of Czechoslovakia, a piece of Poland, France and Russia.

Surely Allan is not naïve enough to believe that he doesn’t need to insure his house because he cannot see a threat to it?

China is reported to be already not producing enough grains to feed its people and I don’t believe that country will want to copy it’s 1950s record of 30 million dying of starvation.

Indonesia has a recent record of major food shortages and has a military strength of around 876,000 against Australia’s 104,000, including reserves.

Allan also complains about Australia following the US into wars.It will be a bit difficult to ask the US to assist us in any battle against a bigger opponent if we haven’t pulled our weight within the alliance.

Mike Sargent,Raymond TerraceShow us the figuresNEILAllen is correct in seeking our Newcastle Labor representatives to put public pressure on Premier Mike Baird to reveal the cost benefit analysis for not only the alternatives but the actual light rail plan (Letters, 11/4).

I also agree with Mr Allen that Mr Baird is actingin a manner that is a ‘my way or the highway’ approach to this issue. You only have to look at Transport MinisterAndrew Constance last week. He breezes into Newcastle to patronisingly totell us what they will do –we should think ourselves luckyand opponents can jump in the lake.

Well, we won’t jump in the the lake. Ex-mayor Jeff McCloy admits he was wrong in supporting the scheme initially, although he had strongly suggested to the government that buses were the real solution.

Respected long-term retailer Collin Scott essentially says the current plans area retailing killer,and that the trams should share the road with cars.

Finally ex-Liberal candidate Karen Howard has broken party links and criticised the government’splans.

I smelt arat when they so quickly removed the heavy rail but now there seems to be aninvasion of ratsand Iencourage our representatives to get more publicly active in demanding to see the cost benefit analysis so that we the taxpayers can see the whole picture.

Ralph Spring, Cardiff