It’s still an expense

Recently the significant increase in revenue from speed and red light cameras came to the forefront as a result of the significant boost that it represents to State Government income, and that it certainly is.

However on the other side of the equation there is quite likely to be a significant proportion of this that is also an expense to business. Whilst fines are not technically deductable for tax purposes they are quite often still an expense that the business incurs and thus an amount that directly affects its profitability overall. I remember years ago that one of the major transport and courier organisations that I used to audit treated city parking fines merely as the (non-deductible) cost of operating and parking in the city, fines were no different to parking fees they were simply levied in a different manner. Drivers were reimbursed as the business was after performance from its operators and that simply came at a cost.

Such an approach worked in those days because at that time the costs were minor in comparison to the amounts levied today. From a business perspective, just like all other costs, these become costs that must be managed and more efficient and productive solutions must be sought. As they are often incurred by an individual rather than an organisation the best way comes with training and improved methods. Alternatively finding a new means that avoids the possibility of being fined is also a cure.

But it is not only up to the businesses to find solutions, Governments seeking to improve the lot of their state with the introduction of new as well as the increase in the existing commercial enterprise must also be seeking ways to improve the lot for business operators.

Now I’m not saying this is a plan but the coincidence is simply amazing. If you speak to those in traffic management they work by forming up ‘platoons’ of cars and move them from point to point by using traffic lights. What is amazing though is that a vehicle moving along one main artery seems to get caught around every 900 meters or so as the traffic is brought to a halt. The mere time imposition to drive along a main arterial road is enormous and certainly costly to the business operator. To avoid the repetitive stopping one either speeds up to ‘beat the lights’ or runs the ‘orangy-red’ colour. With the new cameras both become profitable to the Government and costly to business.

Timing lights along major roads to allow a ‘platoon’ to form up at the start and then travel at the desired speed to move steadily the length of the main artery without further stopping would be a boon for the road as well for business.

But that probably only exists in utopia! In the interim businesses will simply have to add it to the costs of doing business in this State!