Developing Critical Numeracy Across the Curriculum

Teaching Activity

You're busted!

Grade: 9/10 Stage: 8/9
with emphasis on:

Maths Concepts: number
Context: Society
Critical Numeracy: De-coding, Meaning-making, Using
Date of Article: 19/11/08, p 17
Student Worksheet
Student Worksheet answers

Teacher Guidelines:

This article tells us how much it costs to conduct a drug test on drivers and the number of drivers who were charged. It lends itself to an exploration of the value and cost to society of preventative measures undertaken by the police. Some camps believe that police blitzes are purely revenue-raising while others believe that they effectively reduce the number of accidents on the road.

What are the actual costs of conducting tests for drugs, and drink driving? Do the fines cover the costs or make a profit? How might we put a value on lives saved?

You may wish to start the lesson by inviting students to think about the issue, and come up with arguments or questions. Then encourage students to say where they stand on a line with extremes  - “police are testing motorists to prevent future road accidents”  versus “it is all for revenue raising.” Students who are unsure can sit on the fence.

As they move through the worksheet students will hopefully find that they can make more informed decisions based on exploring actual facts. How does their position change after the process?

Further information about charges and fines can be sought from the police. Drug related driving offences require the driver to appear before the magistrate for fines or sentencing. This is the case also for most drink driving offences. In the past drivers who are first time offenders under 0.1 were fined $240, but now all cases go through a magistrate. In the 2007/08 year there were 679,632 random breath tests in Tasmania with 6,390 drivers charged.

Printer Friendly version of Teacher Guidelines