STOP PRESS | Why Summer Street will have a fence down the middle

KEEPING YOU SAFE: Anson Street is already a 40km/h zone that drivers mostly ignore. The plan is designed to keep pedestrians safe from being hit by cars, but will it work?
KEEPING YOU SAFE: Anson Street is already a 40km/h zone that drivers mostly ignore. The plan is designed to keep pedestrians safe from being hit by cars, but will it work?

The NSW Government in its Budget has provided $600 million towards road safety measures that included 40km/h limits outside hospitals, railway stations and in busy shopping areas.

The plan is designed to keep pedestrians safe from being hit by cars, but will it work?

Most Orange drivers don’t realise, or don’t care, that the Anson Street ‘Brown’s Cows’ block between Summer and Kite is already a 40km/h zone and has been for some time, although drivers take no notice.

The cops would have a field day with a radar gun because there’s no way people stick to 40km/h, believing they’re untouchable.

The block has some of the worst traffic problems in Orange with one or two wandering across that fool pedestrian crossing holding up cars half way to the hospital and when the cars have a free run, and that’s not often, they go like there’s no tomorrow.

Probably the best solution is a pedestrian mall, something that’s been on and off the council’s agenda for 40 years, because supporters can’t get the green light with the most objections disruption to traffic and loss of parking spaces, while some reckon the weather is too cold for six months of the year for people to sit outside.

But the government’s road safety budget might now enable the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) to go ahead with its plan to build a fence right down the middle of Summer Street.

It’s an option to force pedestrians to use the marked crossings and not just wander across where they feel like it and when they feel like it, which happens now.

The RMS says pedestrians have limited tolerance if forced to wait for a green light so when there’s a gap in the traffic they just wander across, jaywalk, or jay-run if it’s busy, and that‘s risky.

But a fence down the middle? Or a 40km/h limit? It’s won’t impress most people, including Orange City Councillors, but you can bet it will eventually happen.

I SWEAR, IT’S NOT RIGHT TO PUNISH SOME OF US

THE latest figures show police in 12 months have charged 3,732 people for using offensive language, a big increase on previous years, even though the government has upped the penalty to $500.

Yet you can watch so-called comedy shows on Aunty ABC on a Saturday night where unfunny people continually use the eff word to get a laugh.

Meanwhile Gordon Ramsay on Channel 7s Hell’s Kitchen and Kitchen Nightmares leaves shearers blinking with each episode liberally punctuated with the infamous Anglo-Saxon word.

But judges say people swear without second thoughts and eff nowadays was part and parcel of everyday conversations.

A judge ruled that chanting ‘eff  Fred Nile’ at a same-sex marriage rally was not an offence under the legislation, while another Sydney magistrate dismissed a charge against a man who told police to ‘eff off’, saying because he’d used a non-threatening tone it was not offensive.

So does that @#?% mean we can all &#%!@ swear as much as we @#?%* well like? Imagine radio announcers: “Here’s the *%#@ weather forecast. It’s going to be &#%!@ cold today and there could be some @#?% rain ...”

Or Central Western Daily headlines: ”The &#%!@?! City Council approves &#%!@ units development”.

But, unsurprisingly, judicial opinions differ when assessing community standards on offensive language so who the &#%!@ knows where we’re heading.

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