- Samuel's Blog - http://samuelgordonstewart.com -

Mark Colbran’s weasel words do him no favours

I see that Superintendent Mark Colbran has done it again [1], using words of deceit to scare the public.

One driver, a 17-year-old man from Gilmore, was detected driving 45km/h over the 80km/h posted speed limit on Adelaide Avenue in Curtin about 10.30am. A total of 13 traffic infringement notices were issued by police at this location.
[..]
“These results have not come from a specialised operation or identified initiative – they are the results of every-day policing, and drivers who flaunt the speed limits and put your families and love ones at risk need to lose this mentality that they won’t meet with any consequences,” Supt Colbran said.

Ah, sorry Mark, but you had one of your RAPID and vehicle inspection operations at that location, at that time. Technically, this might not be a “specialised operation”, but those of us out here in “sensible use of phrases land” regard having a bunch of police officers and vehicle inspectors congregating in one spot to check drivers’ speed, licences, cars and breath alcohol content, to be an “operation”.

If you hadn’t used the phrase “these results have not come from a specialised operation or identified initiative”, then I wouldn’t have a problem with your statement, as these operations have certainly become a very regular sight on Canberra’s roads in recent times and can be considered “everyday policing”, however you have a careful balancing act to perform. As the head of traffic operations (ooh, that word again) and the head spokesman for traffic operations, the increase in number of these operations with the recent addition of vehicle inspectors has and will annoy a lot of people…if you’re honest about your intentions, and honest about your methods, then the vast majority of us mere civilian drivers will respect the job that you and your staff are doing, however every time you bang away at your keyboard to write misleading drivel, you lose points.

You have a simple message to convey Mark: “do something wrong, and we will catch you”. It’s a good message, but you will have a much better chance of getting your message across if you convey your message accurately and with integrity. If not, you can bleat about how “disappointed” you are all you like…but the public doesn’t like dishonest or misleading officials, and will treat you, and through you your officers, with contempt.

Samuel