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Speed Cameras - A Personal View

Article by: Darren Griffin
Date: 20 Aug 2009

pocketgpsworld.comRarely does a week pass without speed cameras getting a mention in the news somewhere. It's often claimed that the the Police "love 'em" but the truth is often quite different and many of those Police Officers charged with Policing the roads would much rather the opportunity to speak to the driver at the time than have a robot camera issue a fine which the driver will receive long after an event.

Speed Cameras don't educate drivers but they do embitter them and as always it is Police Officers who face the brunt of their ire. But they're cheap, they operate 24/7 and they earn Government money. if speed camera revenue went back into policing or road repair etc then maybe we'd all think slightly differently but it doesn't. Councils are slowly comiong to realise that not only do they have little or no effect on road safety but that they are not new sources of income for them and consequently they're dropping them.

I was always one of those who took the 'if you don't have anything to hide then what's the problem' line of thinking when someone complained about ever more CCTV and monitoring or ID cards but the more I read and discover about Government the more concerned I think we should all be about how they treat data.

With new speed cameras coming into force that are digital and interconnected (SPECS3), how can we ever be sure that these won't morph into a country-wide surveillance network?
Posted by mostdom on Thu Aug 20, 2009 9:26 am Reply with quote

Just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean they are not watching you! Shocked


HERE LIES PND May it rest in peace.
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Posted by BigPerk on Thu Aug 20, 2009 10:24 am Reply with quote

I agree - Darren's 'the problem' lies in the motives and intentions of the information gatherer. If they are well intentioned then we should all support them tracking down or discouraging the 'ill-intentioned'. 'Free' societies and 'police/totalitarian states' both use similar surveillance techniques. But they have different views on what is legitimate and what isn't.

I can remember many years ago during the Yorkshire Ripper era, cars were being monitored going in and out of the red light districts - a perfectly legitimate exercise in my view, but a privacy-sensitive one none the less, requiring considerable tact when subsequently dealing with 'innocent' drivers.

(Navigon 70 Live, Nuvi 360)

Posted by navver on Thu Aug 20, 2009 6:54 pm Reply with quote

You're absolutely right, we should all be concerned. A great cornerstone of our freedom is the right to a fair trial. The speed camera NIP always has the option of settling the matter by accepting the £60 fine and 3 points. They don't have to prove who actually committed the alleged offence. They don't issue any evidence unless you choose the court option. All very one sided. I know of many who's wives/girlfriends etc have taken the hit instead, to save the insurance premium hike. The prosecutors haven't got a clue how widespread this is. Some justice system!!!

Unfortunately the great british public just puts up with it and accepts the fine & points, and yet, if we all asked for the court trial, the justice system would grind to a complete halt. The financial cost to the state would be unsustainable.

Undoubtedly, many of the cases would be found not guilty. With a decent solicitor the 'evidence' would soon collapse. Simply asking them to prove beyond all reasonable doubt, the identity of the driver would be the first insurmountable hurdle.

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Posted by gem on Thu Aug 20, 2009 8:29 pm Reply with quote


We "need" these cameras to save lives. They make our roads safer. The cost must therefore be largely irrelevant.

So if councils are scrapping them on cost grounds they are proving the sheer hyprocrisy of defending them by saving lives.

Yesterday (approx 6am) was a fatal crash on the M74 south of Glasgow. Why?? Question A few months ago another in the same area (caused by road rage and deliberate actions). But all is fine as the speed cameras will mean we require less policing.

I am sure those folk involved would have preferred more police on roads and to detect dangerous/careless drivers. (and drivers that try to cause death/a crash - per above). Crying or Very sad

Posted by JockTamsonsBairn on Thu Aug 20, 2009 11:21 pm Reply with quote

Off Topic

gem Wrote:
A few months ago another in the same area (caused by road rage and deliberate actions).
Can you point me to any info on this incident? I presume this was related to the signs on the M74 asking for witnesses and mentioning a grey transit?


TomTom Go 940 LIVE (9.510, Europe v915.5074 on SD & 8.371, WCE v875.3613 on board)

Posted by Snudge on Fri Aug 21, 2009 12:20 pm Reply with quote

I believe that there will be a day when the conservative Englishman will say ‘enough is enough’ and there will be widespread vandalism of these unwanted cameras to rid this green and pleasant land of this scourge.
Let us not forget that the English people are capable of revolting - remember the poll tax riots that were the end of Thatcher's career in government? The government was seriously rocked by the conservative Englishman who has a reputation for being reluctant to complain. What would have happened if the law had not been changed? When does a riot become a revolution? The people will follow if they have a leader and I don't know if Captain Gatso is still active but someone like him could start a serious campaign.
Napoleon once said "A picture is worth a thousand words" so look at this picture of London 1990 during one of the poll tax riots.
This building is on the corner of The Strand and Northumberland Avenue.

Posted by telematicsman on Fri Aug 21, 2009 3:10 pm Reply with quote

Sadly you are a bit late to worry about the survellance network, it has been here a few years now. There is a national network of ANPR cameras that automatically record time, date and registration of ANY vehicle that passes them and stores this for up to five years. It is was set up by MI5 originally to track terrorists but now comes under the Police. It probably best known for catching the second vehicle in the Glasgow airport attack. The Cherokee that caught fire was accompanied and the ANPR network told the Police the second vehicle was on the motorway and it was intercepted. If a vehicle is reported stolen or involved in soemthing criminal as well as getting a track on it, they can also mine the accumulated data to see where it was & what it was doing before it came to their notice. There is a paper on the ACPO website about it and giving the official operation guidelines.

I am not aware of them using the SPECS cameras but in theory any camera capable of resolving a car number plate could be connected, after all ANPR is a computer image processing algorithm that could be applied to any suitable video feed.

The full list of ACPO policies is here


Rolling Eyes

Posted by navver on Fri Aug 21, 2009 9:37 pm Reply with quote

They even have ANPR at all our council tips,sorry, Civic Amenity Sites, along with CCTV cameras. You are greeted on arrival with a display of your number. The two cars in front of me each had one digit wrong. 2 out of 3 wrong!

At least they've found a cure for paranoia. How can you believe every ones watching you when they definitely are.

Tomtom Go520, App 8.010, Map UK&ROI 810.1870

Posted by joneri on Sat Aug 22, 2009 8:56 am Reply with quote

Just got back from Spain where I saw a couple of speed cameras with bullet holes in them. Obviously somebody was unhappy about speed surveillance. I beleive this is prevalent in the USA as well.

Posted by culzean on Sat Aug 22, 2009 9:10 am Reply with quote

I am doubtful about speed cameras effectiveness, and they do alienate drivers against the police. I am more concerned about use of mobile phones and other attention diverting (and normally totally unnecessary) devices by drivers. Satnavs are a positive aid to safer driving, which cannot be said of many other devices people have in their cars.

Have a look at the U-Tube video link below - it's pretty graphic and may well make texting drivers think again about their nasty habit.


Posted by mostdom on Sat Aug 22, 2009 10:29 am Reply with quote

[Rant on] On a recent trip home I decided to see how many people I could spot driving with no seat belt on. For a 20 odd mile trip I managed to count about 15 cars with one or more occupants with no seat belt, including a mother and father with a child.

While all blame lies with them if anaccident occured, it is still selfish in that you would cirtainly feel a little guilty if you were the other party and someone died, and then what about their next of kin etc.

These were things that plod on the road delt with but the lack of presents seems to be becoming visualy obvious in peoples attitues on the road.

Does a camera give a ticket or stiff telling off to the non seatbelt wearer?
[Rant off]


HERE LIES PND May it rest in peace.
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