Tuesday, November 2, 2010

New Safety Camera

Reports are coming in about a new camera that can detect several motoring offences, including speeding, tailgating, out-of-date tax, no insurance and no seatbelts being worn.

Aggressive and inconsiderate drivers are often guilty of multiple offences simultaneously. In particular, uninsured drivers are likely to be involved in other crimes. Perhaps we can look forward to them getting 12 or more points in one go?

The AA commented "Tailgating is more dangerous in most cases than speeding so I think most motorists would welcome it...but it needs to be done as a safety measure, not as a money-making machine." The thing is, it is very difficult not to make money out of policing the roads, because so many people drive dangerously. This is partly because many drivers are under-trained, and don't realize the dangers, some are in denial about the danger they cause,  and some simply don't care. The mentality of driving as fast as possible to their destination is tempered only by the fear of a speeding ticket. Meanwhile the establishment colludes with dangerous drivers. The penalties are derisory in most cases and the chances of getting caught are minimal, and getting lower: between 1980 and 2001 numbers of traffic police in London were reduced from 1063 to 646 and the coming cuts in police numbers are likely to diminish the total further. As  a consequence of this decreased enforcement, prosecutions for careless driving in London declined from 13,829 in 1984 to 4,715 in 2004. 

It would be negligent of the Government not to take advantage of this new technology, as it has the potential to make the roads safer and generate revenue from fines to offset its cost. Unfortunately, the Tories don't have a stellar record on road safety, preferring to pander to petrolheads by refusing to fund speed cameras, and opposing 20MPH speed limits in Westminster.

2 comments:

  1. Hi Crossrider, Mark here from ibikelondon blog. I'm enjoying your blog more and more - your recent post on the Strand is 100% accurate (and depressing!) I wanted to get in touch to discuss a couple of cycle provision ideas with you but can't find your contact details anywhere. If you want to get in touch please go to the 'About Me' at the top of my blog and drop me a line via there.

    Hope to hear from you,

    Mark

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  2. A big part of the problem is the unwillingness of the establishment to ban drivers who have proven themselves inadequate and dangerous. Even when they do ban them it is usually only for a short time. If this camera can be used to increase the risk of acquiring points, good. Without proper penalties for having those points, it loses its sting.

    Making money out of the cameras is fine by me, their presence is only needed because people are arse-holes and the money they collect will only come from people who are arse-holes. This seems completely fair to me.

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