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12/29/2010
Australian Candidate Takes Pro-Motorist Position
Political party campaigns for rational speed limits and fewer speed traps in New South Wales, Australia.

Outdoor Recreation PartyA candidate for the New South Wales, Australia Legislative Council is staking out a bold, pro-motorist agenda. David Leyonhjelm hopes to win a seat in the parliament's upper chamber in the upcoming March 26 election on behalf of the Outdoor Recreation Party. The group's platform stands for a removal of government restrictions on enjoying the use of public land for recreational purposes, including driving.

"We view current restrictions on outdoor activities as symptomatic of a larger problem of excessive regulation, bureaucracy and government intrusion," the party's website explains. "We support efforts to reduce the size of government in all aspects, through less regulation, greater personal choice and lower taxes... Our interests now include not only 4WD users but also fishers, motorcyclists, motoring enthusiasts, bushwalkers, hunters and shooters, skiers, horse-riders, golfers and rural property owners."

The party joined forces with the Liberal Democratic Party, which fields national audience and shares the pro-motoring agenda. The party advocates setting speed limits according to the speed that the vast majority of drivers feel is safe -- the 85th percentile speed. Enforcement of the higher limits would be done with a ten percent tolerance to account for minor mistakes and speedometer error. Radar detectors would be legalized and covert speed cameras outlawed. The party would only allow automated ticketing machines at so-called accident blackspots.

"Australia is a large country in which motor vehicles are a vital means of transport," the website explains. "Our traffic laws need to strike a balance between safety and the need for efficient travel over long distances... Enforcement of traffic laws often has too little impact on risky driver behavior and does little more than generate government revenue. This undermines public confidence in the police and legal system. The enforcement of traffic laws is at times vindictive and oppressive, especially on young drivers."

The party also believes the government should not focus its efforts on seatbelt and motorcycle helmet laws.




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