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Top 25 Speed Camera Stories

Date 27th December 2008
Article by Robert Brady

Speed Camera NewsWhat do Muppet's, frowning road signs, punking your enemies and 17 tonne tanks have to do with speed cameras? Read on...

Speed Cameras have featured heavily in the media throughout 2008, so we thought that we'd condense a whole year of news just in case you missed anything.

We include a BBC video of speed cameras causing crashes, teens using speed cameras to get revenge and proof that the French can be polite.

January

Speed Demons Will Meet Their Match on the Piste
Skiers and snowboarders who love the unrestricted thrill of hurtling down alpine pistes on a sunny winter’s day are about to be stopped in their tracks.

Switzerland is introducing speed cameras on the slopes to try to reduce the increasing number of accidents. The first such nationwide controls will treat skiers like cars on the motorway. Speeders will be caught with hand-held radar devices carried by hidden personnel.

Persistent offenders could be fined or have ski passes confiscated.
Speed Demons Will Meet Their Match on the Piste

Chance to Crush a Speed Camera
A businessman is offering motorists the chance to get their own back on speed cameras - by crushing them with a 17 tonne tank.

Bill Bailey, who runs a paint ball business, will set motorists up in his Abbott 433 Self Propelling Gun alongside an expert driving instructor. They can take the caterpillar-tracked tank for a spin around a Somerset quarry, and finish the day off by mowing down a mocked-up speed camera. “It will cost about £100 for an hour in the tank, with an extra charge of £60 to crush the speed camera,” he said. “I think it will be popular with motorists.
Chance to Crush a Speed Camera

February

Posing Policeman Caught on Speed Camera
A policeman has been banned from driving and suspended from duty for giving a speed camera two thumbs-up while answering two emergency 999 calls.

South Yorkshire policeman David Mayes, 34, took his hands off the steering wheel twice to gesture to the camera on the way to each emergency call-out.
Posing Policeman Caught on Speed Camera

Boffin's Black Box Beat Cops' Speed Camera
A software developer claims he has done what millions of motorists have dreamed of doing - beating a speed camera - by using a device he made himself that everyone could soon get their hands on. But the police say his gizmo is no match for their Gatsos. Phillip Tann was driving through Sunderland when he was caught by a mobile camera trap, which clocked him doing 41mph in a 30mph zone. But at the time he happened to be trialling his new invention - a mobile phone speed and distance recorder which he says is comparable to an aircraft's "black box" in-flight recorder.
Boffin's Black Box Beat Cops' Speed Camera

£1,300 Fine For Anti Speed Camera Flash Car Spray Trader
A TRADER from Oxford selling spray which he claimed would make car number plates unreadable by speed cameras has been nabbed by trading standards officers in Dorset.

David Pollard, a director of Oxford Scientific Development Ltd of Wallingford, was fined £1,300 by Wimborne Magistrates Court .

The company director was ordered to pay costs of £700, and said he would destroy all remaining stock of his Safe Plate Anti Flash Protection Spray.
£1,300 Fine For Anti Speed Camera Flash Car Spray Trader

March

Montgomery's Finest Won't Pay Speed Camera Fines
Among the thousands of drivers who have been issued $40 fines after being nabbed by Montgomery County's new speed cameras are scores of county police officers. The difference is, many of the officers are refusing to pay.

The officers are following the advice of their union, which says the citations are issued not to the driver but to the vehicle's owner -- in this case, the county. That view has rankled Police Chief J. Thomas Manger and County Council Member Phil Andrews.
Montgomery's Finest Won't Pay Speed Camera Fines

Police Use Anti-Speeding Horsebox For Speed Cameras
Officers in north Wales are using a horsebox parked by the side of the road to hide a speed camera.

The horsebox with two officers inside was parked near Llanrwst in the Conwy Valley on Sunday.

The force, renowned for its campaign against speeding would not comment on its use but said enforcement activity would increase as the days lengthen.
Police Use Anti-Speeding Horsebox For Speed Cameras

Average Speed Cameras For UK Motorways
The Department for Transport (DfT) is planning to introduce average speed cameras on 500 miles of motorway, in order to ensure drivers constantly obey speed limits.

The move comes because of rising concerns that drivers know they are unlikely to be prosecuted at speeds of up to 85mph on motorways.
Average Speed Cameras For UK Motorways

April

Norfolk Speed Camera Crash Video
Speed cameras causing crashes. Video of crashes caused by heavy braking in response to the presence of speed cameras. Authorities attempted to suppress this video since it was first broadcast on April 21, 2008.
Norfolk Speed Camera Crash Video

May

Remote Control Number Plates Foil Speed Cameras
Speeding drivers in south China are getting clear away thanks to machines which switch the numbers on their licence plates in seconds.

'More than 50 per cent of cars caught on camera for speeding and other offences either cover up their plates or use a fake licence plate,' a traffic policeman in the Guangdong city of Yangjiang was quoted by the Beijing Youth Daily as saying. 'Our chances of capturing them is next to nil.' The price of the remote-control device starts at around 800 yuan (S$156), while a more advanced apparatus with the ability to flip over the numbers in less than three seconds costs more than double.
Remote Control Number Plates Foil Speed Cameras

French Speed Camera Bomber Scores Own Goal
A French postal worker and alleged speed-camera bomber reportedly had both hands blown off by one of his own improvised bombs yesterday, at his flat in Clichy-La-Garenne to the west of Paris.

The Telegraph reports that an unnamed post office employee, 41, is suspected by police of belonging to a mysterious group variously referred to as the Front Nationale Anti Radar or Faction Nationaliste Armée Révolutionnaire. The bomber was said to have exclaimed "I am from the FNAR," when fireman-paramedics arrived at his flat following the explosion.
French Speed Camera Bomber Scores Own Goal

Workman's Van Disguised By Police To Target Motorists With A Hidden Speed Camera
Many motorists have long suspected the police of being a little too enthusiastic in their fight against speeding.

And their worst fears look like being confirmed by a scruffy blue van. For the Renault, complete with filthy paintwork and a GB sticker in its back window, is a speed trap that just happens to look like a builder's vehicle.
Workman's Van Disguised By Police To Target Motorists With A Hidden Speed Camera

Mother rushing to her dog-mauled son's hospital bedside gets £60 speeding fine... even after she's appealed
When Stephanie Cornwall was called to say her six-year-old son was in hospital after being mauled by a dog, her only thought was to get straight to his bedside.

So although the public relations executive spotted a mobile speed camera van parked along her route, she felt confident that any ticket she received for travelling a few miles an hour over the limit would be rescinded when she explained her predicament.
Mother rushing to her dog-mauled son's hospital bedside gets £60 speeding fine... even after she's appealed

June

'Big speeding ticket scam' - 15 Blackburn arrests
A huge speeding tickets fraud in which motorists have paid up to £500 to avoid prosecution has been uncovered, police said.

In return for the money, officers suspect a man used fake identities for the fines and penalty points. Around 50 officers arrested 15 people, including an 80-year-old man, after launching a series of raids across Blackburn.
'Big speeding ticket scam' - 15 Blackburn arrests

July

Speed Cameras: A Flash of Irritation
The reputation of the French as being rude is completely unfounded, at least when it comes to speed cameras.

While other European countries — and American cities — love to hide revenue-churning speed cameras in the sneakiest locations, the French are polite enough to install signs that warn drivers of impending cameras. Placed several hundred feet beforehand, these road-signs alert drivers to slow down or run the risk of being flashed.

The rationale: It’s better to have everyone slow down in a controlled manner, rather than have drivers slam on their brakes once they’ve spotted a camera at the last second.
Speed Cameras: A Flash of Irritation

Council Scraps Speed Cameras - Because They Are 'A Blatant Tax On The Motorist'
A Tory council plans to pull £400,000 out of a speed camera project, claiming the devices are a 'blatant tax on the motorist'. Swindon Borough Council in Wiltshire wants to spend the money on local safety measures, such as vehicle-activated speed signs.

Its proposal is believed to be the first time a council has publicly accused the Government of installing speed cameras to make money rather than prevent accidents.
Council Scraps Speed Cameras - Because They Are 'A Blatant Tax On The Motorist'

August

Speed Camera Vendors Engage in All-Out Battle
State of Arizona hears contract argument of speed camera vendor claiming illegal actions on the part of a rival.

An Arizona-based vendor is going all-out in an attempt to win back a lucrative statewide speed camera contract from its Australian rival. American Traffic Solutions (ATS) issued a formal contract challenge last week seeking to unseat Redflex, saying the Melbourne-based company had won the right to issue speed camera citations on Arizona freeways only after using what ATS labeled "underhanded" and "illegal" tactics.
Speed Camera Vendors Engage in All-Out Battle

September

Blackburn Vandals' Twisted Speed Camera Bid
Vandals twisted a speed camera away from the road in an apparent bid to stop it catching motorists.

But the person responsible did not realise the camera, in Audley Range, Blackburn, had not been working for three years.
Blackburn Vandals' Twisted Speed Camera Bid

October

German police seek speeding British Muppet
German traffic police have been left looking like proper muppets by a British prankster. An Audi TT with British registration plates has been repeatedly caught speeding on roads in the Bavarian city of Bayreuth. But because continental speed cameras are set up for left-hand drive vehicles, the cameras keep missing the driver’s face.
German police seek speeding British Muppet

Frowning road signs 'have short-lived effect on driver speed'
Road signs which feature a face frowning when motorists exceed the speed limit are being widely ignored, a study has found.

The rectangular black signs, which were initially welcomed by motoring groups as a less aggressive alternative to cameras, have sprung up on more than 1,000 roads around the country.

Councils and police forces who encountered fierce opposition to each speed camera they put up found they were not criticised by drivers for installing the reminder signs and, given that they cost around £3,000 each compared to £20,000 for a camera, their roll-out seemed to be a no-brainer.
Frowning road signs 'have short-lived effect on driver speed'

November

UK Speed Cameras Give Police a Headache
Thousands of motorists are getting away with speeding because the police do not have the money to take them all to court.

The Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset Police, Steve Pilkington, says speed cameras are so effective that if his force prosecuted everybody they caught he would have to take officers off the beat.
UK Speed Cameras Give Police a Headache

December

Don't Like Speed Cameras? Use Them to Punk Your Enemies
Whenever a new, relatively unpopular technology hits the streets, you can always count on teenagers to try and exploit it for their own gain. Such is the case with speed cameras, as high school students in Maryland have begun playing the "Speed Camera Pimping Game," wherein they attempt to punk the not-so-accurate cameras by creating faux license plates that can be traced back to peers and teachers they have it out for.

The trend has parents and law officials worried, and it raises even more questions about the cameras' usefulness.
Don't Like Speed Cameras? Use Them to Punk Your Enemies

Speed Camera Tech Helps Prevent Cot Deaths
Robot babysitters will soon be able to check life signs with Doppler radar. The radar technology that enables speed cameras to save lives on the roads could soon be doing the same in nurseries.

Researchers at the University of Florida have built a prototype baby monitor that uses Doppler radar to detect a sleeping child's breathing and heartbeat.

"It's the same Doppler radar that police use to catch speeders, but in our case, we don't measure constant speed, but rather back-and-forth motion — sort of like vibration," said Professor Jenshan Lin.
Speed Camera Tech Helps Prevent Cot Deaths

Mum Falls Foul of Speed Camera on Fast-Food Trip
A hungry mother was caught speeding twice in three minutes, 23 seconds, by the same camera – and found time to stop for a McDonald’s in between.

On August 22, Gill Whitmore was twice clocked by a mobile camera going at 38mph in a 30 zone on Ryhope Road in Sunderland.

She had travelled a distance of around three-quarters of a mile up and down the road and bought a snack at the Drive Thru hatch in three minutes, 23 seconds, according to the police speed gun.
Mum Falls Foul of Speed Camera on Fast-Food Trip

Naughty Santa! Leave That Speed Camera Alone!
Jolly red guys go on sabotage raid. Santa has delivered an early gift to drivers in Tempe, Arizona. Or maybe he just didn't want to be photographed speeding with his reindeer-powered sleigh.

Whatever the reason, a video on YouTube shows not just one but a whole gang of Santas sabotaging three speed and red light cameras in the desert town of Tempe, just outside Phoenix, by wrapping them in gift paper, covering them with boxes or draping them with a festive red sheet.
Naughty Santa! Leave That Speed Camera Alone!

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References

Manufacturers Website

PocketGPSWorld.com Speed Camera Database

Pocket GPS Contributor

Robert Brady

Pocket GPS Contributor Website

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