Thursday, 7 May 2009

Speed Cameras

In the last blog I didn't even mention my bugbear regarding speeding drivers. There are many people who have accidentally broken the law and find that they are driving at 31mph. There used to be a 10% leeway to take account of this. My bugbear is speed cameras for a few reasons. People decelerate when they see one coming up, and then accelerate away from it. These are the same people who will say they are safe and it is the slow drivers who have the accidents. You may have your own stories. I heard about a motorbike rider who managed to put his foot over the rear registration number as he was speeding through a camera.

Now that speed cameras are established, the only people who get caught are the people who are generally law-abiding. If the government was serious about reducing speed on the road it could impose satellite tracking to each car. We have the technology. The problem with this is even the boy racers occasionally break the speed limit by accident. It would not take long before none of us could drive.

A much more sensible response would be to use the technology but allow some percentage error and allow some discretion e.g. taking a relative to hospital. I am always wary of discretion because it could translate as let your friends do what they want, but a system with discretion and checks on that discretion would be much better than a camera that fails to catch the real criminals.

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