Eight people killed on the roads over one long weekend is a tragedy.
The tragedy of this weekend’s road toll is that police were led to pursue a flawed traffic policing policy this holiday weekend on the basis of believing their own headlines.
They were put off by the statistical anomaly of Queens Birthday weekend, when a weekend with no deaths on the roads followed the announcement for that weekend of a traffic policing policy of “zero tolerance” for speed. (A policy that also generated a huge uptick in revenue.)
All the authorities trumpeted that the policy caused the triumph with the road toll. They were so certain they re-imposed the policy this weekend, and re-ran all the ads and notices warning motorists to watch out for policemen watching them.
But they forgot that correlation is not causality.
Trying to convince drivers that speed is everything—that driving a few kph over the speed limit is going to kill us all—and convinced themselves by their own publicity, they succeeded only in fooling themselves, and being surprised this morning at a number they thought they had no right to expect.
Eight people killed is a tragedy. Perhaps some of those drivers might not have died if police over the weekend had focussed on dangerous driving instead of sitting on their bums to collect revenue from motorists driving a few kph over the speed limit.