Sunday, December 27, 2009

The great road toll lie

I can’t take it any more. The bullshit that I and all others have had to endure over the festive season. The great road toll lie perpetuated over and over and drummed into us relentlessly through the press and huge government safety campaigns.

Here are the statistics from the Australian bureau of statistics of the underlying causes of death in 2004 for the state that I live in

Cancer 3409

Testicular cancer 218

Endocrine metabolic diseases 474

Diabetes 346

Mental illness 239

Nervous system diseases 486

Heart disease 3704

Lung disease 894

Digestive system disease 406

Road accidents 201

It is one of those unfortunate situations where the press and the politicians both want the same thing. As a result they never question each others motives for lying to the public about the road toll. They both want the dangers of road deaths greatly exaggerated. It is to both their advantages to have the public believe that road fatalities are a significant threat to us. They aren’t. Road accidents amount to one thousandth of one percent of the states population each year.

More men die of testicular cancer than the entire road toll for both men and women. Thus testicular cancer is more of a threat to us but you just never hear the press and politicians talk about it.

Cancer and heart disease are a far more serious threat to us than car accidents and you hear about them much, much less often. Why?

Dangerous curves

Reporting the road toll obviously sells for the press. It makes them money. If it didn’t they certainly wouldn’t report it at least as much as they do. Over the festive season it is reported relentlessly. It also works for the politicians. If they can get in the public eye talking about the road toll and say things like zero tolerance and mandatory sentencing they know they are on a winner which they are as they know the public believe the great road toll lie.

Then there is the police commissioner who is forever huffing and puffing about the road toll. He actively and knowingly misleads the public about the dangers to it. Remember - one thousandth of one percent. Why? Because it is he and his department that are the main recipients of all that public money wasted on the road toll when it could be spent on far more serious threats in the community. In this years festive season an extra 5000 police man hours are being funded for policing the roads we are told. How much does that amount to in wages?

So the police, politicians and press never publicly question each other as to why they are misleading the public and unfortunately it is the public who suffer by having vast quantities of public money unwisely spent. I can’t recall ever hearing a politician state this view presented here or ever recall hearing this argument being presented in the press.

Every time you see one of those huge booze buses crawling with truck loads of police think of one thousandth of one percent and all those who are dying from cancer, heart disease and so forth as all that public money is wasted on a far less dangerous threat to us.



  1. i have to agree with you Tony!!

    Its amazing at how the tax money is used sometimes!

  2. Hi Shraddha,

    The wonders of democracy!


  3. Democracy? Like the word 'love' the word 'democracy' could mean any number of things - now THAT's annoying!

    Car accidents may - repeat 'may' - be avoided but cancer and heart desease... well they're a little more tricky to tackle.

    There is an amount of blame for car accidents but for the other killers... well, they're even bigger money spinners, hence, they don't want to talk about that at all.

    So... you're having a lovely holiday week end I see. I hope you're taking notice of the 'fire' warnings and such over there. AND, more importantly, i hope you're drinking plenty of fluids aka... water?

    Keep as cool as you can and take care of your self... please? *Giggles* There's only one of you you know?

  4. Cancer and heart disease and the death from those can be avoided Roses.

    I am sure there would be many walking around alive today if all that money spent over many years on preventing something that very few of us die from (road accidents) was spent on early diagnosis, treatment and research on heart disease and cancer.

    Their deaths would have been prevented and it would probably more than 201 per year, but powerful interest groups want the public money spent on a small killer because it benefits them financially and otherwise.

    Heart disease is 18 times more deadly than road accidents. Which one do you focus on and keep out there in the public arena?


  5. Like the expensive shark nets at some beaches the expense for minimising road deaths is perhaps based on shocking ways of dying in public?

    People tend to not listen or learn and they find ways of killing themselves anyway. If it wasnt for the "road awareness" campaigns we might have roads strewn with mangled cars and bodies still to be cleaned up for morning commuters.

    Lets face it, with the number of cars on the roads the probability of more carnage is there.

  6. Well you do make a point kenoath,

    If there is less money spent on road awareness and safety then the road toll would go up. However if you take that money and spend it on heart disease then deaths from that will go down.

    heart disease is 18 times more deadly then the road toll at the moment.


  7. Tony said, "I am sure there would be many walking around alive today if all that money spent over many years on preventing something that very few of us die from (road accidents) was spent on early diagnosis, treatment and research on heart disease and cancer."

    Roses says, Oh Tony, I am agreeing with you again. But it's not so much that the money could be used on early diagnosis, treatment and research that will prevent much disease and cancer... its getting rid of mobile phones, stopping the chemical concoctions that we consume in our foods, water... I mean, we can often see the air we breathe - its actually that bad! The metal content in the fish... we even water our home gardens with cloride and floride. Like we're silly enough to believe that carrots need to toughen the enamel on their teeth!

    I wouldn't mind the 'toughening enamel on our teeth' story if everything in my body were coated in enamel too. But it isn't.

    Someone once asked me the question; if our teeth were coated in brass does that mean that every human should drink brasso? Yeah, one of 'those' questions but it made me think.

    Just get this human world to change its ways. It won't work. It seems that humans enjoy their suicidal tendencies whether we recognize it for what it is or not.

    Geez! Got me a tad fired up about that one Tony. Hope your new year treats you well... cheers!

  8. FINALLY, someone else who calls bullshit on the roadtoll.

    It's entirely hype. As the population grows with births and immigration, there are more and more users on the road which the road toll does not reflect. If it was presented as a ratio, say "deaths per 10,000 road users" or "deaths per 10,000kms driven" it could be taken seriously. As humans aren't designed to travel at speeds above running pace, there will always be deaths on the road. It's called an inherent risk. Sadly, Governments are more concerned with using scare tactics in order to justify speed infringement revenue.


  9. But one should take into account years of life lost too. Not all deaths are equal and I guess that proportionally more old people die of cancer whereas road deaths (mostly?) afflict the young.