Times article 09 Feb

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Dirtylitterboxo, Feb 9, 2004.

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  2. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    Reply sent, as ever:

    ==========================================================
    I have a couple of small problems with this article.

    The first is that speeding drivers are not so much "honest men" as dishonest lawbreakers.
    Lawbreakers, obviously, and dishonest because they push the fantasy that speed does not
    increase danger.

    The second is that cameras are not unpopular. They might be unpopular in the saloon bar of the Rep
    and Vectra but they have the approval of 3/4 of the population as recently polled, and many local
    communities are greatly dismayed by the return of the old body count criteria for safety schemes
    including cameras. Why wait until there are bodies on the road before enforcing what is, after all,
    the law of the land?

    The same libertarian arguments have been applied to opposition to speed enforcement from the outset.
    But the reason speed restrictions and speed enforcement exist in the first place is that drivers
    often go too fast. It's not the only dangerous thing they do, but it is one of the most common and
    it aggravates the effects of all the rest.

    Please reflect on the judgement of a Minister of Transport in the 1950s: crashes are caused for
    the most part not by the taking of large risks, but by the taking of small risks very large
    numbers of times.

    You have an alternative. Driving legally brings no points and no fines. You might even find it's
    more pleasant.

    --
    Guy
    ===

    WARNING: may contain traces of irony. Contents may settle after posting.
    http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk "dirtylitterboxofferingstospammers" <[email protected]>
    wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > The usual drivel about speed cameras. Apparently honest men are being
    hounded
    > by the State. What tosh.
    >
    > See
    >
    > http://www.timesonline.co.uk/newspaper/0,,170-994764,00.html
    >
    > Cheers, helen s
    >
    >
    >
    > --This is an invalid email address to avoid spam-- to get correct one remove dependency on fame &
    > fortune h*$el*$$e**nd***$o$ts***i*$*$m**m$$o*n**[email protected]$*$a$$o**l.c**$*$om$$
     
  3. Peter Grange

    Peter Grange Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, Just zis Guy, you know?
    <[email protected]> writes
    >Reply sent, as ever:
    >
    >==========================================================
    >I have a couple of small problems with this article.
    >
    >The first is that speeding drivers are not so much "honest men" as dishonest lawbreakers.
    >Lawbreakers, obviously, and dishonest because they push the fantasy that speed does not
    >increase danger.
    >
    >The second is that cameras are not unpopular. They might be unpopular in the saloon bar of the Rep
    >and Vectra but they have the approval of 3/4 of the population as recently polled, and many local
    >communities are greatly dismayed by the return of the old body count criteria for safety schemes
    >including cameras. Why wait until there are bodies on the road before enforcing what is, after all,
    >the law of the land?
    >
    >The same libertarian arguments have been applied to opposition to speed enforcement from the
    >outset. But the reason speed restrictions and speed enforcement exist in the first place is that
    >drivers often go too fast. It's not the only dangerous thing they do, but it is one of the most
    >common and it aggravates the effects of all the rest.
    >
    >Please reflect on the judgement of a Minister of Transport in the 1950s: crashes are caused for
    >the most part not by the taking of large risks, but by the taking of small risks very large
    >numbers of times.
    >
    >You have an alternative. Driving legally brings no points and no fines. You might even find it's
    >more pleasant.
    >
    I have some sympathy with the tone of the article. A fully taxed/insured driver passing a speed
    camera at 34mph in a 30mph limit may well be penalised for it, mainly because he/she is easy and
    cheap to find. A motorist with no tax/insurance will most probably not receive such a penalty
    because some effort and expenditure is involved in finding that individual. The emphasis seems to be
    on generating revenue from "criminals" who can be identified with little expenditure from the
    various state departments, whilst clearup rates from assaults, burglaries, and vandalism remain at a
    ridiculously low rate. That, I suspect, is why we see such articles in the press.

    --
    Peter Grange
     
  4. > I have some sympathy with the tone of the article. A fully taxed/insured driver passing a speed
    > camera at 34mph in a 30mph

    Nahh, gotta be way above that shorley. Is there a limit below which speed cameras are not set to go
    off, or does it depend on the police force, or the whim of the guy that sets 'em up?

    > limit may well be penalised for it, mainly because he/she is easy and cheap to find. A motorist
    > with no tax/insurance will most probably not receive such a penalty because some effort and
    > expenditure is involved in finding that individual.

    yebut that's irrelevent 'cos sending of a begging letter asking for £40 doesn't stop the police from
    catching other motorists. Speed cameras stop police standing by the side of the road with radar guns
    & doughnuts and get 'em somewhere else more useiful.

    > The emphasis seems to be on generating revenue from "criminals" who can be identified with little
    > expenditure from the various state departments, whilst clearup rates from assaults, burglaries,
    > and vandalism remain at a ridiculously low rate. That, I suspect, is why we see such articles in
    > the press.

    I never really thought that many would be caught by cameras, especially when they started painting
    them bright orange. Whatever the reason, the argument that they are just for raising tax is a bad
    one to make - I'd way prefer the government to raise taxes from incompetent/innattentive drivers
    than from me. Instead the tax raising argument has meant that the money left over goes into more
    cameras. So far the anti-camera lobby has succeeded only in getting more of the things out there!

    ---
    Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free. Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com).
    Version: 6.0.587 / Virus Database: 371 - Release Date: 12/02/2004
     
  5. Peter Grange

    Peter Grange Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, Mark Thompson <pleasegive
    [email protected]> writes
    >yebut that's irrelevent 'cos sending of a begging letter asking for £40 doesn't stop the police
    >from catching other motorists. Speed cameras stop police standing by the side of the road with
    >radar guns & doughnuts and get 'em somewhere else more useiful.

    Yes, but, as I have said in this ng before, I firmly believe that once speed cameras have made the
    roads "safer", the politicians will take the attitude that the number of police can be reduced,
    because of the "safer" roads. What is "important" is the quantity of prosecutions, not the quality.
    >
    >---
    >Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free. Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com).
    >Version: 6.0.587 / Virus Database: 371 - Release Date: 12/02/2004
    >
    >

    --
    Peter Grange
     
  6. "Peter Grange" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > In article <[email protected]>, Mark Thompson <pleasegive
    > [email protected]> writes
    > >yebut that's irrelevent 'cos sending of a begging letter asking for £40
    doesn't
    > >stop the police from catching other motorists. Speed cameras stop police standing by the side of
    > >the road with radar guns & doughnuts and get 'em somewhere else more useiful.
    >
    > Yes, but, as I have said in this ng before, I firmly believe that once speed cameras have made the
    > roads "safer", the politicians will take the attitude that the number of police can be reduced,
    > because of the "safer" roads. What is "important" is the quantity of prosecutions, not the
    > quality.
    >

    Neither quantity nor quality really count - the only thing that matters is that justice prevails. An
    ideal scenario would be one where no-one was prosecuted - because there was no need.
     
  7. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    On Sun, 15 Feb 2004 18:15:02 +0000, Peter Grange
    <[email protected]> wrote in message
    <[email protected]>:

    >A fully taxed/insured driver passing a speed camera at 34mph in a 30mph limit may well be penalised
    >for it, mainly because he/she is easy and cheap to find.

    Er, no. You have to be doing 36 or more to trigger a Gatso in a 30 limit (ACPO guidelines). My
    friend who is a magistrate is outraged when presented with cases at "only" 36mph in a 30 limit
    (note: that's 20% over the limit)

    >A motorist with no tax/insurance will most probably not receive such a penalty because some effort
    >and expenditure is involved in finding that individual.

    The uninsured untaxed car is still registered, so the driver will still get his NIP. If the
    computers at the insurance companies and the DVLA communicated he could also be issued with a
    summons for no VED and insurance, but I believe the Data Protection Act prevents this.

    >The emphasis seems to be on generating revenue from "criminals" who can be identified with little
    >expenditure from the various state departments, whilst clearup rates from assaults, burglaries, and
    >vandalism remain at a ridiculously low rate.

    How many poeple die as a result of burglary and vandalism, though? Not that I have a problem with
    targeting them. It seems to me that the right-wing press want zero-tolerance for street crime and
    100% tolerance for motor crime.

    >That, I suspect, is why we see such articles in the press.

    I ssupect we see such articles in the press for the same reason that the journos bleated about the
    drink-drive laws and their enforcement.

    Guy
    ===
    May contain traces of irony. Contents liable to settle after posting.
    http://chapmancentral.demon.co.uk

    88% of helmet statistics are made up, 65% of them at the University of Washington.
     
  8. Nick

    Nick Guest

    Speed enforcement in this country has virtually nothing to do with road safety. It is all about soft
    targets and revenue raising. Who says so? Well for starters there's the Chief Constable of the Met,
    as well as the heads of both the AA and RAC. Ask any police officer (well almost any - there are
    exceptions like the publicity-seeking head of North Wales Police).

    If it was all about safety then why not just have penalty points and no fine? When one of the new
    style digital cameras was installed in Nottinghamshire it caught so few drivers that the Head of
    Transport at Nottinghamshire Council stated they would have to review their plan to install further
    cameras as the first one hadn't raised enough revenue having only caught three speeders. I would
    have thought it should have been lauded as a great success that the camera had achieved its alleged
    aim of slowing the traffic down.

    Going faster than an arbitrary speed limit may or may not be dangerous, there are many factors that
    determine the safe speed to drive. Removing the need for the driver to judge for themselves the safe
    speed to drive doesn't, in my opinion, add anything to road safety. It is poor, inattentive,
    aggressive driving that is dangerous but the only infringement that can be caught by machinery
    rather than policemen is speeding.

    The real danger is that soon there will be no police at all on our roads and the real road thugs
    will then have a free rein to do what they like knowing they'll almost certainly not be stopped by a
    police patrol.

    As someone who drives a high performance car I admit to ignoring the posted speed limit regularly.
    However, here's what I don't do:

    1. Drive fast in residential areas/near schools/anywhere where I'd encounter cyclists etc.
    2. Drive fast in poor weather
    3. Drink and drive
    4. Drive without my glasses
    5. Drive when I'm too tired

    In addition my car is properly maintained and fully insured and I endeavour to treat other road
    users with respect.

    As a cyclist I'd much rather share the roads with drivers who are attentive to what they're doing,
    not looking out for speed cameras.

    I expect I'll be slated for posting this but I know many people who share this view.

    "Peter Grange" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > In article <[email protected]>, Just zis Guy, you know?
    > <[email protected]> writes
    > >Reply sent, as ever:
    > >
    > >==========================================================
    > >I have a couple of small problems with this article.
    > >
    > >The first is that speeding drivers are not so much "honest men" as
    dishonest
    > >lawbreakers. Lawbreakers, obviously, and dishonest because they push the fantasy that speed does
    > >not increase danger.
    > >
    > >The second is that cameras are not unpopular. They might be unpopular in the saloon bar of the
    > >Rep and Vectra but they have the approval of 3/4 of the population as recently polled, and many
    > >local communities are greatly dismayed by the return of the old body count criteria for safety
    > >schemes including cameras. Why wait until there are bodies on the road before enforcing what is,
    > >after all, the law of the land?
    > >
    > >The same libertarian arguments have been applied to opposition to speed enforcement from the
    > >outset. But the reason speed restrictions and speed enforcement exist in the first place is that
    > >drivers often go too fast. It's not the only dangerous thing they do, but it is one of the most
    common
    > >and it aggravates the effects of all the rest.
    > >
    > >Please reflect on the judgement of a Minister of Transport in the 1950s: crashes are caused for
    > >the most part not by the taking of large risks,
    but
    > >by the taking of small risks very large numbers of times.
    > >
    > >You have an alternative. Driving legally brings no points and no fines. You might even find it's
    > >more pleasant.
    > >
    > I have some sympathy with the tone of the article. A fully taxed/insured driver passing a speed
    > camera at 34mph in a 30mph limit may well be penalised for it, mainly because he/she is easy and
    > cheap to find. A motorist with no tax/insurance will most probably not receive such a penalty
    > because some effort and expenditure is involved in finding that individual. The emphasis seems to
    > be on generating revenue from "criminals" who can be identified with little expenditure from the
    > various state departments, whilst clearup rates from assaults, burglaries, and vandalism remain at
    > a ridiculously low rate. That, I suspect, is why we see such articles in the press.
    >
    > --
    > Peter Grange
     
  9. > >yebut that's irrelevent 'cos sending of a begging letter asking for £40
    doesn't
    > >stop the police from catching other motorists. Speed cameras stop police standing by the side of
    > >the road with radar guns & doughnuts and get 'em somewhere else more useiful.
    >
    > Yes, but, as I have said in this ng before, I firmly believe that once speed cameras have made the
    > roads "safer", the politicians will take the attitude that the number of police can be reduced,
    > because of the "safer" roads.

    Fortunately the police decide where to put their officers. I guess politicians only get to influence
    this indirectly throught the setting of performance targets, but this has been discussed before.
    I've always thought having fully trained police officers driving around in cars to /catch/ motorists
    breaking the law was a bit of a wasteful way of doing things - only /complete/ idiots would drive
    illegally with a police car behind them. I guess this meant they caught only the stupid and the
    incompetant, which are I suppose just as dangerous as the boy racer type.

    I would like to see a decent and simple system in the car that would keep it under the speed limit.
    Something as simple as a button to push couldn't be too difficult. We could all then get on with
    whatever was distracting us from our driving without fear of getting caught by a camera. Does modern
    cruise control do this, or does it turn itself off every time you brake?
     
  10. Nick

    Nick Guest

    I don't recall much opposition to enforcing the drink driving laws.

    Most of the attacks on speed limit enforcement in the press are because there appears to be little
    being done to enforce other laws, both driving and in general.

    For instance, many motoring accidents are caused by: tiredness, poorly maintained vehicles,
    driving under the influence of drink or drugs, no insurance etc etc. What is being done to combat
    this. Nothing.

    Meanwhile the head of North Wales police enforces speed limits with the utmost vigour whilst having
    the lowest burglary clear up rate in the UK. Is it any wonder the press seizes on this?

    "Just zis Guy, you know?" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > On Sun, 15 Feb 2004 18:15:02 +0000, Peter Grange <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > <[email protected]>:
    >
    > >A fully taxed/insured driver passing a speed camera at 34mph in a 30mph limit may well be
    > >penalised for it, mainly because he/she is easy and cheap to find.
    >
    > Er, no. You have to be doing 36 or more to trigger a Gatso in a 30 limit (ACPO guidelines). My
    > friend who is a magistrate is outraged when presented with cases at "only" 36mph in a 30 limit
    > (note: that's 20% over the limit)
    >
    > >A motorist with no tax/insurance will most probably not receive such a penalty because some
    > >effort and expenditure is involved in finding that individual.
    >
    > The uninsured untaxed car is still registered, so the driver will still get his NIP. If the
    > computers at the insurance companies and the DVLA communicated he could also be issued with a
    > summons for no VED and insurance, but I believe the Data Protection Act prevents this.
    >
    > >The emphasis seems to be on generating revenue from "criminals" who can be identified with little
    > >expenditure from the various state departments, whilst clearup rates from assaults, burglaries,
    > >and vandalism remain at a ridiculously low rate.
    >
    > How many poeple die as a result of burglary and vandalism, though? Not that I have a problem with
    > targeting them. It seems to me that the right-wing press want zero-tolerance for street crime and
    > 100% tolerance for motor crime.
    >
    > >That, I suspect, is why we see such articles in the press.
    >
    > I ssupect we see such articles in the press for the same reason that the journos bleated about the
    > drink-drive laws and their enforcement.
    >
    > Guy
    > ===
    > May contain traces of irony. Contents liable to settle after posting.
    > http://chapmancentral.demon.co.uk
    >
    > 88% of helmet statistics are made up, 65% of them at the University of
    Washington.
     
  11. Mike Sales

    Mike Sales Guest

    "Nick" wrote
    > . However, here's what I don't do:
    >
    > 1. Drive fast in residential areas/near schools/anywhere where I'd
    encounter
    > cyclists etc.
    Only on Motorways then? Mike Sales
     
  12. Mike Sales

    Mike Sales Guest

    "Nick" wrote
    > Meanwhile the head of North Wales police enforces speed limits with the utmost vigour
    The vast majority of speeders in North Wales get away with it, as elsewhere. Hardly the utmost
    vigour. Mike Sales
     
  13. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    On Sun, 15 Feb 2004 21:01:17 -0000, "Nick" <[email protected]> wrote in
    message <[email protected]>:

    >Speed enforcement in this country has virtually nothing to do with road safety. It is all about
    >soft targets and revenue raising.

    I can think of much easier ways of raising the piffling (in Government terms) few millions that
    cameras raise each year.

    >Who says so? Well for starters there's the Chief Constable of the Met, as well as the heads of both
    >the AA and RAC.

    The AA was originally set up to spot speed traps for its members. You really think they are a source
    of unbiased information on this?

    >If it was all about safety then why not just have penalty points and no fine?

    Because the fine pays for the maintenance of the cameras.

    >Going faster than an arbitrary speed limit may or may not be dangerous,

    Try "is" dangerous.

    >there are many factors that determine the safe speed to drive. Removing the need for the driver to
    >judge for themselves the safe speed to drive doesn't, in my opinion, add anything to road safety.

    Luckily nobody does that. They do, however, require drivers to keep within the speed limit - a
    concept which owes its existence to the fact that drivers left to their own devices drive too fast.

    >It is poor, inattentive, aggressive driving that is dangerous but the only infringement that can be
    >caught by machinery rather than policemen is speeding.

    There is a correlation between speeding convictions and other convistions, and between speeding
    convictions and crashing. The drivers snapped by cameras *are* the poor, inattentive aggressive
    drivers. Who is more likely to speed - an aggressive driver or a calm one?

    >The real danger is that soon there will be no police at all on our roads and the real road thugs
    >will then have a free rein to do what they like knowing they'll almost certainly not be stopped by
    >a police patrol.

    Blame the gubmint's police performance measurement criteria. At least the cameras allow the Real
    Plod to get out and enforce other traffic laws, leaving absolute offences like speeding, red light
    jumping and bus lane infringement to mechanical systems.

    >As someone who drives a high performance car I admit to ignoring the posted speed limit regularly.
    >However, here's what I don't do:

    As someone who drives a moderately high performance car I admit to keeping within it.

    >As a cyclist I'd much rather share the roads with drivers who are attentive to what they're doing,
    >not looking out for speed cameras.

    There is a fundamental weakness in this: anyone would rather watch for cameras than slow down and
    devote the right amount of attention to the road is a dangerous driver. They won't get any less
    dangerous as a result of failure to enforce the speed limit. Tey will be just as dangerous, but
    faster. And less likely to lose their licence under totting-up.

    People are much less likely to crash in the month following a traffic conviction. What we really
    need is more convictions :)

    Guy
    ===
    May contain traces of irony. Contents liable to settle after posting.
    http://chapmancentral.demon.co.uk

    88% of helmet statistics are made up, 65% of them at the University of Washington.
     
  14. On 15/2/04 9:01 pm, in article [email protected], "Nick"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Speed enforcement in this country has virtually nothing to do with road safety. It is all about
    > soft targets and revenue raising. Who says so? Well for starters there's the Chief Constable of
    > the Met, as well as the heads of both the AA and RAC. Ask any police officer (well almost any -
    > there are exceptions like the publicity-seeking head of North Wales Police).

    That's actually a willful misrepresentation of what he said. He stated that he was against cameras
    being targetted purely to raise revenue. He didn't say that a large proportion or even the
    majority were.

    >
    > If it was all about safety then why not just have penalty points and no fine?

    Because there is a cost involved in providing justice. How about just crushing the car instead? That
    would prevent further offences being caused int hat car and would readily close the loophole
    allowing two drivers who 'couldn't remember who was driving' to get off.

    > When one of the new style digital cameras was installed in Nottinghamshire it caught so few
    > drivers that the Head of Transport at Nottinghamshire Council stated they would have to review
    > their plan to install further cameras as the first one hadn't raised enough revenue having only
    > caught three speeders. I would have thought it should have been lauded as a great success that the
    > camera had achieved its alleged aim of slowing the traffic down.

    If the local plod posted a bobby to stand outside my house 24/7 and I was not burgled, would that be
    a great success or a wasteful use of resources requiring review?

    > Going faster than an arbitrary speed limit may or may not be dangerous,

    it is however always illegal for the normal motorist.

    > there are many factors that determine the safe speed to drive. Removing the need for the driver to
    > judge for themselves the safe speed to drive doesn't, in my opinion, add anything to road safety.
    > It is poor, inattentive, aggressive driving that is dangerous but the only infringement that can
    > be caught by machinery rather than policemen is speeding.

    Speed cameras do not remove the need for you to judge the safe speed at which to drive. They do
    however enforce the maximum permitted speed. Machinery can catch erratic driving, tailgating (in use
    in Norway), red light jumping, unregistered vehicles.

    > The real danger is that soon there will be no police at all on our roads and the real road thugs
    > will then have a free rein to do what they like knowing they'll almost certainly not be stopped by
    > a police patrol.

    Or instead they'll be having to do manually what a machine can do, hence letting the thugs get
    away with it.

    > As someone who drives a high performance car I admit to ignoring the posted speed limit regularly.
    > However, here's what I don't do:

    I not ethat you are so arrogant that you consider yourself competent to complete a full traffic
    safety assessment upon a fleeting glimpse at a road. You care nothing for the professional expertise
    of the road engineers who have assessed not only the safety of the car driver (which tends to be the
    only consideration in a self assessed 'safe speed') but also the impact of that speed upon the local
    community/wildlife.

    >
    > 1. Drive fast in residential areas/near schools/anywhere where I'd encounter cyclists etc.

    So you only go fast on motorways then. At least that is a start.

    > 2. Drive fast in poor weather
    > 3. Drink and drive
    > 4. Drive without my glasses
    > 5. Drive when I'm too tired
    >
    > In addition my car is properly maintained and fully insured and I endeavour to treat other road
    > users with respect.
    >
    > As a cyclist I'd much rather share the roads with drivers who are attentive to what they're doing,
    > not looking out for speed cameras.

    Drivers only need to look out for speed cameras if they are speeding. I don't speed. I don't spend
    my time gawping for speed cameras. And if I was, I'd check the website for the local SCP and find
    out when and where they are operating cameras. Speeding fines are a bloody obvious tax on the stupid
    and/or antisocial.

    > I expect I'll be slated for posting this but I know many people who share this view.

    Most with points on their license.

    ..d
     
  15. On Sun, 15 Feb 2004 21:01:17 -0000, "Nick" <[email protected]> wrote:

    snip.

    >As a cyclist I'd much rather share the roads with drivers who are attentive to what they're doing,
    >not looking out for speed cameras.

    I'd rather share the roads with competent drivers. Competent drivers are quite capable of knowing
    what the limit is and sticking within it. Presence of cameras is irrelevant to a half-decent driver.

    And don't start the old ABD mantra "...but it's not safe to drive with your eyes glued to the
    speedo..." Drivers who that unaware of their vehicle's behaviour should be taken off the road asap
    and if a few flashes help achieve that, then great.

    >I expect I'll be slated for posting this but I know many people who share this view.
    >

    Yes and yes.
     
  16. Nick

    Nick Guest

    Well you obviously have a different opinion to me on this matter and that's fine, but it is just
    that, your opinion.

    > I can think of much easier ways of raising the piffling (in Government terms) few millions that
    > cameras raise each year.
    Such as?

    > >Going faster than an arbitrary speed limit may or may not be dangerous,
    >
    > Try "is" dangerous.
    Who says so? You - are you an authority on this then? It's only safe to drive at a an arbitrary
    limit no matter all other factors?

    > >It is poor, inattentive, aggressive driving that is dangerous but the only infringement that can
    be
    > >caught by machinery rather than policemen is speeding.
    >
    > There is a correlation between speeding convictions and other convistions, and between speeding
    > convictions and crashing. The drivers snapped by cameras *are* the poor, inattentive aggressive
    > drivers.
    >
    Do you have any evidence to support this?

    > Who is more likely to speed - an aggressive driver or a calm one?
    Anyone can creep over the speed limit, even you I suspect.

    >At least the cameras allow the Real Plod to get out and enforce other
    traffic
    > laws, leaving absolute offences like speeding, red light jumping and bus lane infringement to
    > mechanical systems.
    You're kidding, right? I work in Birmingham and virtually never see a police patrol car on my drive
    to work any more.

    You'll no doubt be pleased to hear that it is my intention to leave the UK to live in Spain :)


    "Just zis Guy, you know?" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > On Sun, 15 Feb 2004 21:01:17 -0000, "Nick" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > <[email protected]>:
    >
    > >Speed enforcement in this country has virtually nothing to do with road safety. It is all about
    > >soft targets and revenue raising.
    >
    > I can think of much easier ways of raising the piffling (in Government terms) few millions that
    > cameras raise each year.
    >
    > >Who says so? Well for starters there's the Chief Constable of the Met, as well as the heads of
    > >both the AA and RAC.
    >
    > The AA was originally set up to spot speed traps for its members. You really think they are a
    > source of unbiased information on this?
    >
    > >If it was all about safety then why not just have penalty points and no fine?
    >
    > Because the fine pays for the maintenance of the cameras.
    >
    > >Going faster than an arbitrary speed limit may or may not be dangerous,
    >
    > Try "is" dangerous.
    >
    > >there are many factors that determine the safe speed to drive. Removing
    the
    > >need for the driver to judge for themselves the safe speed to drive
    doesn't,
    > >in my opinion, add anything to road safety.
    >
    > Luckily nobody does that. They do, however, require drivers to keep within the speed limit -
    > a concept which owes its existence to the fact that drivers left to their own devices drive
    > too fast.
    >
    > >It is poor, inattentive, aggressive driving that is dangerous but the only infringement that can
    be
    > >caught by machinery rather than policemen is speeding.
    >
    > There is a correlation between speeding convictions and other convistions, and between speeding
    > convictions and crashing. The drivers snapped by cameras *are* the poor, inattentive aggressive
    > drivers. Who is more likely to speed - an aggressive driver or a calm one?
    >
    > >The real danger is that soon there will be no police at all on our roads
    and
    > >the real road thugs will then have a free rein to do what they like
    knowing
    > >they'll almost certainly not be stopped by a police patrol.
    >
    > Blame the gubmint's police performance measurement criteria. At least the cameras allow the Real
    > Plod to get out and enforce other traffic laws, leaving absolute offences like speeding, red light
    > jumping and bus lane infringement to mechanical systems.
    >
    > >As someone who drives a high performance car I admit to ignoring the
    posted
    > >speed limit regularly. However, here's what I don't do:
    >
    > As someone who drives a moderately high performance car I admit to keeping within it.
    >
    > >As a cyclist I'd much rather share the roads with drivers who are
    attentive
    > >to what they're doing, not looking out for speed cameras.
    >
    > There is a fundamental weakness in this: anyone would rather watch for cameras than slow down and
    > devote the right amount of attention to the road is a dangerous driver. They won't get any less
    > dangerous as a result of failure to enforce the speed limit. Tey will be just as dangerous, but
    > faster. And less likely to lose their licence under totting-up.
    >
    > People are much less likely to crash in the month following a traffic conviction. What we really
    > need is more convictions :)
    >
    > Guy
    > ===
    > May contain traces of irony. Contents liable to settle after posting.
    > http://chapmancentral.demon.co.uk
    >
    > 88% of helmet statistics are made up, 65% of them at the University of
    Washington.
     
  17. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    On Sun, 15 Feb 2004 21:19:45 -0000, "Nick" <[email protected]> wrote in
    message <[email protected]>:

    >I don't recall much opposition to enforcing the drink driving laws.

    Opposition there was, and still is. For example, random breath testing is verboten - you must wait
    until the drunk has got int he car, driven sufficiently badly to give reasonable suspicion, and then
    stop them.

    >Most of the attacks on speed limit enforcement in the press are because there appears to be little
    >being done to enforce other laws, both driving and in general.

    Cobblers> Most of the attacks on speed enforcement in the rpess are
    because journos like driving fast and keep getting points. A Mori poll found three quarters of the
    population approve of speed cameras.

    >For instance, many motoring accidents are caused by: tiredness, poorly maintained vehicles,
    >driving under the influence of drink or drugs, no insurance etc etc. What is being done to combat
    >this. Nothing.

    As has been said before, speeding is an offence which, unusually, permits of automatic enforcement.
    The speed limit has been there since well before I learned to drive, there was never any doubt that
    speeding is illegal.

    Also the probability of fatality in a crash increases with the fourth power of speed. And the
    probability of crashing on a given road also increaes with speed. I cannot think of any circumstance
    where speeding improves the safety of a road.

    >Meanwhile the head of North Wales police enforces speed limits with the utmost vigour whilst having
    >the lowest burglary clear up rate in the UK.

    Er, no he doesn't.

    - it's a safety camera partnership of which the Police is but a single member
    - the cameras are tended mainly by civilian staff, so have minimal impact on police resources
    - the "utmost vigour" would imply that most speeders get caught: this is simply wrong, as most
    drivers continue to get away with most offences
    - you have an alternative: obey the law and forget the cameras.

    I can see why it would be important for a self-confessed serial offender to have resources diverted
    to the detection of those offences he chooses not to commit, but there is no such thing as a law-
    abiding speeder.

    Guy
    ===
    May contain traces of irony. Contents liable to settle after posting.
    http://chapmancentral.demon.co.uk

    88% of helmet statistics are made up, 65% of them at the University of Washington.
     
  18. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    On Sun, 15 Feb 2004 22:09:11 +0000, Martin Family
    <[email protected]> wrote in message
    <BC559E87.D610%[email protected]>:

    >> If it was all about safety then why not just have penalty points and no fine?

    >Because there is a cost involved in providing justice. How about just crushing the car instead?
    >That would prevent further offences being caused int hat car and would readily close the loophole
    >allowing two drivers who 'couldn't remember who was driving' to get off.

    Tee-hee! I like that idea :)

    Guy
    ===
    May contain traces of irony. Contents liable to settle after posting.
    http://chapmancentral.demon.co.uk

    88% of helmet statistics are made up, 65% of them at the University of Washington.
     
  19. On Sun, 15 Feb 2004 20:36:28 -0000, "Mark Thompson"
    <[email protected] (change warm for hot)> wrote:

    >> >yebut that's irrelevent 'cos sending of a begging letter asking for £40
    >doesn't
    >> >stop the police from catching other motorists. Speed cameras stop police standing by the side of
    >> >the road with radar guns & doughnuts and get 'em somewhere else more useiful.
    >>
    >> Yes, but, as I have said in this ng before, I firmly believe that once speed cameras have made
    >> the roads "safer", the politicians will take the attitude that the number of police can be
    >> reduced, because of the "safer" roads.
    >
    >Fortunately the police decide where to put their officers. I guess politicians only get to
    >influence this indirectly throught the setting of performance targets, but this has been discussed
    >before. I've always thought having fully trained police officers driving around in cars to /catch/
    >motorists breaking the law was a bit of a wasteful way of doing things - only /complete/ idiots
    >would drive illegally with a police car behind them. I guess this meant they caught only the stupid
    >and the incompetant, which are I suppose just as dangerous as the boy racer type.
    >
    >I would like to see a decent and simple system in the car that would keep it under the speed limit.
    >Something as simple as a button to push couldn't be too difficult. We could all then get on with
    >whatever was distracting us from our driving without fear of getting caught by a camera. Does
    >modern cruise control do this, or does it turn itself off every time you brake?

    On my last car (Merc) you could set a maximum speed which would stay programmed in after braking;
    unlike cruise control.
     
  20. Nick

    Nick Guest

    >I not ethat you are so arrogant that you consider yourself competent to complete a full traffic
    >safety assessment upon a fleeting glimpse at a
    road.
    >You care nothing for the professional expertise of the road engineers who have assessed not only
    >the safety of the car driver (which tends to be the only consideration in a self assessed 'safe
    >speed') but also the impact of that speed upon the local community/wildlife.

    The tone of your response perhaps indicates why it is frequently not possible to have any meaningful
    debate about this subject.

    "Martin Family" <[email protected]onder.co.uk> wrote in message news:BC559E87.D610%martin-
    [email protected]
    > On 15/2/04 9:01 pm, in article [email protected], "Nick" <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > > Speed enforcement in this country has virtually nothing to do with road safety. It is all about
    > > soft targets and revenue raising. Who says so? Well for starters there's the Chief Constable of
    > > the Met, as well as the heads of both the AA and RAC. Ask any police officer (well almost any -
    > > there are exceptions like the publicity-seeking head of North Wales
    Police).
    >
    > That's actually a willful misrepresentation of what he said. He stated
    that
    > he was against cameras being targetted purely to raise revenue. He didn't say that a large
    > proportion or even the majority were.
    >
    > >
    > > If it was all about safety then why not just have penalty points and no fine?
    >
    > Because there is a cost involved in providing justice. How about just crushing the car instead?
    > That would prevent further offences being caused int hat car and would readily close the loophole
    > allowing two drivers who 'couldn't remember who was driving' to get off.
    >
    > > When one of the new style digital cameras was installed in Nottinghamshire it caught so few
    > > drivers that the Head of Transport at Nottinghamshire Council stated they would have to review
    > > their plan to install further cameras as the first one hadn't raised enough revenue
    having
    > > only caught three speeders. I would have thought it should have been
    lauded
    > > as a great success that the camera had achieved its alleged aim of
    slowing
    > > the traffic down.
    >
    > If the local plod posted a bobby to stand outside my house 24/7 and I was not burgled, would that
    > be a great success or a wasteful use of resources requiring review?
    >
    >
    > > Going faster than an arbitrary speed limit may or may not be dangerous,
    >
    > it is however always illegal for the normal motorist.
    >
    > > there are many factors that determine the safe speed to drive. Removing
    the
    > > need for the driver to judge for themselves the safe speed to drive
    doesn't,
    > > in my opinion, add anything to road safety. It is poor, inattentive, aggressive driving that is
    > > dangerous but the only infringement that can
    be
    > > caught by machinery rather than policemen is speeding.
    >
    > Speed cameras do not remove the need for you to judge the safe speed at which to drive. They do
    > however enforce the maximum permitted speed. Machinery can catch erratic driving, tailgating (in
    > use in Norway), red light jumping, unregistered vehicles.
    >
    >
    > > The real danger is that soon there will be no police at all on our roads
    and
    > > the real road thugs will then have a free rein to do what they like
    knowing
    > > they'll almost certainly not be stopped by a police patrol.
    >
    > Or instead they'll be having to do manually what a machine can do, hence letting the thugs get
    > away with it.
    >
    >
    > > As someone who drives a high performance car I admit to ignoring the
    posted
    > > speed limit regularly. However, here's what I don't do:
    >
    > I not ethat you are so arrogant that you consider yourself competent to complete a full traffic
    > safety assessment upon a fleeting glimpse at a
    road.
    > You care nothing for the professional expertise of the road engineers who have assessed not only
    > the safety of the car driver (which tends to be the only consideration in a self assessed 'safe
    > speed') but also the impact of that speed upon the local community/wildlife.
    >
    >
    > >
    > > 1. Drive fast in residential areas/near schools/anywhere where I'd
    encounter
    > > cyclists etc.
    >
    > So you only go fast on motorways then. At least that is a start.
    >
    > > 2. Drive fast in poor weather
    > > 3. Drink and drive
    > > 4. Drive without my glasses
    > > 5. Drive when I'm too tired
    > >
    > > In addition my car is properly maintained and fully insured and I
    endeavour
    > > to treat other road users with respect.
    > >
    > > As a cyclist I'd much rather share the roads with drivers who are
    attentive
    > > to what they're doing, not looking out for speed cameras.
    >
    > Drivers only need to look out for speed cameras if they are speeding. I don't speed. I don't spend
    > my time gawping for speed cameras. And if I
    was,
    > I'd check the website for the local SCP and find out when and where they
    are
    > operating cameras. Speeding fines are a bloody obvious tax on the stupid and/or antisocial.
    >
    >
    > > I expect I'll be slated for posting this but I know many people who
    share
    > > this view.
    >
    > Most with points on their license.
    >
    > ..d
     
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