Published again in The Age today.
Driving to my Easter holidays this weekend illustrated the madness of our road rules and speed limits.
Joining the M1 at Kingsway I was confronted with a 60kmph speed limit. This on a brand new, multi-million (billion?) dollar road that, if you use the correct ramp and pick the correct lane, is about as idiot-proof driving as you can manage. As we proceeded the was an 80kmph limit, on a stretch of road some five lanes wide. The limit rose further (to 100kmph) as we crossed the Bolte Bridge, and continued at 100 until we reached the outer suburbs and the Calder Park Raceway. I don't know the reason (perhaps it is an effort to convince people living in these suburbs that they are still somehow in the metropolitan region) the limit inexplicably dropped back to 80kmph until well after the raceway. Not long after (a few minutes of doing 100kmph again) the limit dropped back to 80kmph for some imaginary roadworks.
I'm all for a zero tolerance on hoon behaviour, and speeding motorists should cop whatever fine they get for their reckless actions, however the speed limits along our major freeway network are a joke. They force drivers to travel at uncomfortably slow speed, risking arbitrary fines, and the ire of other drivers less respectful of the posted limits than the rest of us.