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
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
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
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
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