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Saturday, May 2, 2009

A Nation of Criminals

Australia is full of criminals. I am one and you probably are too. From our convict roots through to our tumultuous present, we break the law without care or regret...except when we get caught. Then we vent our displeasure on the catcher, the enforcer of the law...Officer Friendly or his electronic comrades in arms: speed and red light cameras.

We have the strictest road rules in the world and courtesy of a small population, our boys in blue have a relatively successful time nabbing offenders. Backed by expensive and powerful advertising campaigns, our laws cover every conceivable aspect of driving and road usage. I am committing a crime when I drive 50kph in a school zone and also when I fail to ensure that all my passengers are wearing seatbelts.

These laws are all for our benefit. They are intended to keep us all safe.
Why is it that a nation of generally law abiding citizens, decides to rebel against traffic laws. We put those laws into a different category. No one would consider themselves to have committed a crime if they exceed the speed limit or park illegally (whether they get caught and fined or not). Yet the definition of a criminal is someone who breaks the law, isn't it?

Are you a a wrongdoer when you do wrong, or only when you get caught doing wrong?