Firstly, let me state that I am against any activities that violate the standard "public rules" of the parks, especially if these activities take place in the public domain. Activities such as mountain bike trails from Olifants, morning walks from various camps, and other "standard, public rule-breaking activities" should be undertaken well away from the general, self-drive, public eye. The generally uneducated public are influenced by the actions and activities of others, and such fund-raising activity and behaviour do influence their own actions, so my view is that such fund-raising activities should not take place in the parks at all, and definitely not in the general public's view.
Having said that, the prime objective of this thread is to curtail speeding in the park, and to suggest ideas of raising funding for this initiative. This can, and should be a self-funding initiative, and I offer the following suggestion:
As we live in the information age, and the world develops more sophisticated electronics, National Parks should consider commissioning the development of a device that replaces the paper currently used at all the entrances to the park. Aside form storing the usual itinerary of the visitor, and all the payments made and due, it could also store information such as average speed, highest speed, duration spent exceeding the limit, route taken, and other information pertinent to their stay in the park. A refundable deposit for each device is payable on entry, and refunded, if no violations committed, upon return of the device on exit. Given that such a device would have to have GPS tracking, it could also identify issues such as speed in excess of 40 on the gravel roads. Given that this device would be used for checking in at each of the camps, violations could be highlighted every time someone moves camps, and not just upon exit from the park. Further, a simple beep upon impending excess speed could warn drivers of this, and provide the immediate opportunity of reducing speed to comply with the requirement. Prevention is better than punishment.
The benefits of such a device could be huge.
- less admin
- quicker service
- less paper
- less speeding, but more income from the perpetrators
- less injury to animals
- and a whole host of other benefits to both the park and the visitors.
Given the availability of current GPS devices (Garmin and Tom-Tom) that are available well below R2000 rand retail, I have no doubt that such a device could be developed and produced for the park for less than R500 each. This required investment would be recovered very quickly, and produce an on-going revenue stream for both this and other initiatives that require funding. The great part of such an initiative is that the rules violators would be funding projects that benefit all.
Just because we have always done something one way, does not make it the best way to do it. There is often a better way!
"Take nothing but memories, leave nothing but footprints"
Photographs help to crystallize memories, but cannot be seen to be a replacement of them!