So, after seeing HADECS 3 speed camera (flash) going off a few times in a 40mph variable speed section of the M25 (J29 anticlock)
the other day got me looking into it all and wondering what the *actual* point was and where we might be going with all this.
In a nutshell, I think I remember these 'Safety Cameras' being originally being installed (initially grey then they were forced to paint them yellow?) in 'known accident blackspots' and in situations where it might be prudent to keep people down to the speed limit (like outside a school, even though that could still be way too fast in the fog or snow etc). ;-(
Since then we seem to have moved to a situation where against those original intentions we are could all (?) become 'soft targets' to receiving a fine (~50% of your weekly wage) and 3 points on your licence for momentarily straying up to say 41 mph in a (temporary even) 40mph zone, even where there is no practical, logical or safety implication for limiting a section of road down from 70mph to say 40 mph at_that_time (e.g. No road works, no debris on the road, no congestion there or for many many miles, perfect weather conditions etc etc).
I think the old NPCC or ACPO guidelines were perfectly reasonable and they typically stated things like...
"1.1.3 Speed enforcement is expensive - it is both time and resource intensive and competes with other important policing issues of equal public concern. Enforcement is mainly reactive and should not be seen as a preventative measure to achieve vehicle speeds. Prevention has to rely on public support and compliance by the majority and enforcement of the minority who ignore the law."
So, is drifting up to 42 mph on a clear, dry free moving motorway (to say get past a HGV that has started indicating to pull out as you were beside it) intentionally / directly 'ignoring the law' (by any RW view of such things) or in any other way 'driving dangerously or inconsiderately'?
Even if it was, how does that sort of action compare with those driving under the speed limit but who actually were driving erratically or dangerously but completely unrecorded by said cameras?
And then we come to the legal matter of 'De Minimis', where, in a real_human world, very few things will be *that* precise and we may well see an increase in road traffic accidents because of people fixating on their speed rather than the road around them?
We don't have a zero threshold for say alcohol in the bloodstream or many people would be 'done' after using a mouthwash or from the party two days earlier.
Is this just a way of pushing for vehicle speed automation or maybe even just raising revenue or will we all be just going 5-10mph under the speed limit from now on?
Maybe they can now raise the national speed limit to 80 mph rather than not bothering to prosecute at anything below 79 as they have been doing?
Cheers, T i m
p.s. I read of a case where a driver has his fixed camera location speeding offence prosecution dropped because he measured the spacing between the white lines on the road (secondary speed measurement) and found them 3" too close together. I wonder if all the previously issued / questionable penalties were withdrawn after that was discovered? ;-)