Monday, March 03, 2008

I feel the need......

Feel urged to write this post having had a couple of conversations with people over the weekend.

I do not, have not, and most likely will never have anything to do with speed cameras. I don't have anything to do with where they're sited and I certainly never see any sniff of any "revenue" generated from them. If I did, I might have a fleet car capable of setting one of the things off without a 200 metre run up.

In fact, from photo to court summons it is more likely than not that no police officer will ever have the slightest thing to do with it any point. Its all dealt with by civilian officers from "Safety Camera Partnerships".

I'm sorry, it's a speed camera. Calling it a safety camera is merely trying to rebrand it into something its not. It can only ever deal with speed and the myriad other factors (drink, drugs, bald tyres, leaking fuel pipes etc etc) that have a significant impact on road safety are excluded. The following Top Gear video sums it up nicely.

Should I ever make Chief Superintendent, I wouldn't get rid of speed cameras, for they can have a role. However, I would have the following rules.

1) The relevant speed should be posted on the back of the camera.
2) The camera can only be sited where-
i) There is an accident blackspot
ii) Local residents have requested one, backed up by a speed survey
iii) worker safety (I know someone who works for one of the firms who do engineering work etc on the motorway, who has a few fruity things to say about people who speed past him whilst he's standing protected by nothing more than cones)
iv) a high density pedestrian area, by which I mean town centres and schools. I've never seen a camera in a town centre or by a school.

The reason for said speed camera should be posted on a plate below the camera.

I get just as hacked off with cameras as the rest of you. I have heard a rumour that SPECS cameras are going up on a A road near where I live, on a national speed limit 2/3 lane dual carriageway that I often use to go into work. In the last 4 years or so, I've never known an accident on that road. When I head in to work at 5 am on Sunday when I quite often don't see another car at any point, I don't have an issue bimbling down at 85, or possibly faster if I had a car capable of not sounding like the engine is about to come through the bonnet at said speed. If I was in a job car on a shout, I'd have no problem topping the ton.

But now I'm going to have to constantly monitor the speedo, consider getting flowery non-ANPR reading numberplates (there's never a traffic officer around these days to tell you off, after all) and quietly see nothing at all when I see things like this:

Small print: blah blah I'm a police officer and speeding, and most particularly the wanton destruction of taxpayers money manifested in the form of a speed camera, is highly naughty and illegal and expect to get prosecuted.

(Note- for some reason the comments tab isn't appearing, I have no idea why, hopefully it'll show up again)