Friday, 11 January 2008

Speed Cameras

Well, I definitely can't be turning into a Daily Mail reader because I have no problem with speed cameras either!

Wherever you drive, you should know the speed limit. It's clearly posted everywhere, and on roads where it's not posted it's easy to remember the rules. If you drive above the speed limit and happen to get caught by a camera, then you've been caught, fair and square.

Cameras are actually set to trigger at a level of +10%+2mph anyway, to allow for inaccurate speedometers, so if you're caught by a speed camera in a 50mph zone, you were probably going at over 57mph (regardless of what your speedo says!).

Some people argue that councils use them as a way of gathering revenue. I'm not sure I believe that - after all, if everyone drove at, or under, the limit, the cameras wouldn't gather any revenue at all, so councils can't rely on the money coming in from speed cameras. And anyway, even if they did, so what? If you don't want to pour money into the coffers of the local council, then don't break the speed limit - it's not a difficult equation.

Having said all that, I don't believe that successive governments' attitude to speed limits is necessarily right. The speed limit on motorways could probably be safely increased to 80 or 90mph - maybe with a statutory decrease in "bad weather". Then again, I also think we need more enforced 20mph zones in built-up areas (i.e. on housing estates, etc). But, we do currently have these speed limits and everyone knows what they are, so there's not excuse for getting caught.

More than anything else, we need better driver training and for people to take more care and attention on the roads. I regularly drive a route which has a 60mph limit along country lanes, dropping to 40mph, then 30mph, as it passes through a village. Most times I get stuck behind someone driving at 45-50mph along the fast bit, then barely dropping their speed to do 40-45mph through the village. This sort of thing can only be down to not paying any attention to the speed limit signs and a complete disregard for safety.

Right - that's enough serious stuff from me for now. No more rants!


chux said...

oooooo very grown up!

Tell John Wall about this, he still drives like a 17 year old.

I think all speeders need a good twating. If they kill or injure they need locking up for longer too,

jomoore said...

OK - you're off the hook. Your anti-Daily Mail credentials are in tact.

Mima said...

Hi there, I have been blog surfing (not what I was supposed to be doing) and found your blog - couldn't agree more with you about speed cameras, if you speed, you get caught! I have to admit though that sometimes I am one of those slowish cars that you get stuck behind (I am in the back in my wheelchair and wobble around, so we have to go slow)!

Delmonti said...

Being a motorcyclist and an member of the IAM debates about speed cameras tend to be heated and frequent. Just about all of what you said I agree on.... my own riding plan is this... 30's are 30, 40's are 40, 50's fifty...... Nation speed limit sign for me is "appropriate speed"... that means using my training and absorbing what the environment is telling me is "safe". This is more or less what the diminishing "patrol cops" would use in their discretion when deciding whether to throw the book at you or give you some helpful advice when they stop you doing 90mph on the M25 at 3am in the morning...... something a camera cant do.......

Cameras have their place but they should be doing a range of activities, not just speeding but they should also be checking for tax and insurance and if the vehicle has been nicked.... It should then shoot a high powered lazer beam that cuts the offending vehicle in half and then laugh in a robotic way just like ED-209 in "Robo Cop". I'm currently working very closely with Richard Brunstrom in getting this off the ground.

PS: I bought the Sunday Mail yesterday for the first time in years.......... I had to stop reading when I hit the "Diana" story. Do you think anyone at the Mail knows she's dead?