Our Premier Mike Rann has been under the gun recently for not bringing in new blood to replace the older, less functional cabinet Ministers. Now, he does have to appease the factions, so in the last couple of months he appointed Tom Koutsantonis to be Road Safety Minister. He appears rather like a bully and seems to be in the media daily about his plans to crush hoon cars after two offences.
The breaking story in our media is that Koutsantonis has had 30 driving offences since 1994; 27 involving speed offences (20 - 30 k's over the limit); three red light convictions, and 1 for speaking on a mobile phone. He has lost his licence, and paid over $10,000 in fines.
Love this - he says "I am guilty of speeding just as much as everyone else.''
27 Freaking times!
Magistrates Court records show the new minister - who now has a chauffeur-driven Government car - still has two outstanding unpaid fines worth a total of $948. One of those dates back to May 2007.
A fine of $538 for running a red light on May 7, 2008, is also unpaid.
As recently as Wednesday, Mr Koutsantonis, a former taxi driver, branded speeding motorists as "stupid and shameful''.
On March 29, he told the Sunday Mail: "Extreme behaviour on our roads, such as speeding, is unacceptable and won't be tolerated.''
On March 30, he went further: "Unfortunately, you can't legislate to avoid stupidity.''
At his first press conference as Road Safety Minister in early March, he said he was "sick and tired of idiots driving on our streets . ."
The minister also has said: "The real effects of reckless driving and speeding are death, injury and damage. The real consequence is emergency workers performing gruesome work and police knocking on the door of a family home to tell parents that their son or daughter is never coming home. People on our roads who drive their cars as if they have a right to kill and take another innocent life . . . it's not a road safety (issue), it's a crime. It's a criminal act.''
Did I also mention he is Minister for Correctional Services?