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Police are to use a new Speed Gun
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peliasson7
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2004 11:42 am    Post subject: Optics? Reply with quote

Anyone know what optics are in these things?

ID a person from 2000 meters away????
Has anyone tried to hold a laserpointer steady at like 100-200 meters?

It sounds like image stabilizers and optics with like "one million" millimeter focal length.

Just Curious

Peter
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timtim
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2004 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

russgun - read the posts
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BrFox
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2004 1:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TIMTIM

Your response “The fact that you may have been driving since 1962 and only had 3 accidents of any consequence (how many inconsequential accidents, and of consequence to whom?) may say more about the skill of other drivers avoiding you than anything else.” was entirely predictable, to the extent that I won a small wager on it, thank you!

It was also patronising, but in keeping with your thinking and persona. The quick rebuttal to that para is that my record, (Sorry, lost for the right words) is down to that old chestnut “Experience” (that’s why all my accidents happened shortly after getting my first car) and Defensive Driving.

Defensive driving does not necessary mean slow, even for Grumpy Old Farts!

Incidentally, what type of person, and how big is the ego, that requires, and attaches, presumably willingly, a tag line of ”I may not know much, but I know what I know”. IMHO “tis better to be thought a fool than open ones mouth and prove it.

Surely just one's sign on name is enough?
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russgunn
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2004 2:31 pm    Post subject: Speed camera clocks motorist at 406 mph Reply with quote

Exert taken from www.theregister.co.uk

By Lester Haines
Published Wednesday 21st January 2004 11:21 GMT

Since we Brits already hold the land speed record as a result of jet-powered Thrust SSC going supersonic in 1997, it seems only natural that we should attempt to be the first nation to break the sound barrier with a petrol-driven reciprocating-engined vehicle.

That at least appears to be what sales manager Peter O’Flynn was attempting when clocked at an impressive 406mph (653kmph) by a speed camera in Cheshire.
The achievement becomes even more admirable when we learn that Peter was at the time at the controls of a humble Peugot 406, until now thought to have a top speed of 129mph.

Heroic Peter is modest about his tremendous effort, insisting: "I rarely speed and it’s safe to say I’ll contest this." Officials, however, say Mr O’Flynn still faces prosecution despite the obvious attack of insanity which afflicted it speed (sorry, safety) camera.

This superb piece of bureaucratic madness is just the latest chapter in the ongoing saga of the government's war against speeding motorists. We look forward with eager anticipation to police slapping the cuffs on the first OAP to reach hypersonic velocities in a battery-powered disabled buggy.
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timtim
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2004 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ahh - personal abuse!
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DavidW
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2004 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There might come a point where the best thing is to lock this thread, though I'm loath to do that as we don't have a policy of stopping discussion on these forums.

Everyone is entitled to their views - though please try not to resort to personal attacks.


For what it's worth, I would support much of what timtim says, based on my own contact with various serving and former traffic officers through the local branch of the RoSPA Advanced Drivers Association.

There are drivers who profess to a long driving record with few or no incidents (it's usually incorrect to call them accidents - there's often little about them that's accidental) - though they might be appalling drivers who cause a lot of near misses and evasive action on the part of other drivers even if no actual impacts.


I had a good example of this last night - a driver of mature years leaving Milton Keynes last night to go south on the M1 at junction 14. The lane discipline was all wrong (despite the roundabout being marked out explicitly with director arrows and broken white lines to divide it into lanes), the signalling inconsistent and wrong (the right signal went on at the point when the correct signal for the eventual manoeuvre was to switch from signalling right to signalling left to leave the roundabout at the next exit), giving the false impression that they were going right round the roundabout to head past MK Coachway back into Milton Keynes. My instinct knew better, though - I felt they'd cut across at the last minute and dive down the M1 slip road, which is exactly what happened. I can't think the driver checked their nearside door mirror before moving across!

The driver then kept hard over to the left on the downhill slip road (so they had no view of the traffic on the carriageway they were approaching) and didn't pick up speed - then, predictably, arrived at the end of the slip far slower than the traffic on the carriageway with a vehicle at their left.

I held right back on the slip road, then accelerated and looked for a gap in lane one to pull in to, which got me out of a mess. I drive a diesel people carrier, which, with two passengers on board and my heavy power chair in the boot, is not exactly generous on power (80bhp in a vehicle with an all-up mass of around 2000kg) and therefore acceleration. I know I have to drive within the capabilities of the vehicle - it will not corner that hard because of the relatively high centre of gravity, also the acceleration is not uniform because of the turbocharger.


Defensive driving is not always about driving slow. I was told when I started my advanced training that advanced drivers tended to take some roads faster than before and some slower - which is exactly what I found.

Defensive driving is certainly about trying to form an opinion on the behaviour of other drivers - if it concerns you, make allowances!


This particular driver would probably have got through unscathed had people not given them more room - but could easily have caused a couple of "accidents" in the five minutes and two roundabouts I followed them through.

As this was an older driver driving an old car, I suspect it's someone that probably doesn't do much mileage and has got out of touch with modern road conditions. I have not and will not give the gender of the driver.


It is worth getting someone to take an objective look at your driving. We all have bad habits - myself included - and they can easily get worse over time (I'm sure we've all seen people with IAM badges on their grilles relating to an IAM test that they may have passed thirty years ago, who are awful drivers). I found myself feeling in much more control and more aware of all that was happening around me when I passed my first RoSPA advanced test. Indeed, I found I enjoyed my driving more - and I was told I was far from a bad driver when I started my advanced training.




People tend to be very defensive about their driving. I believe that the best attitude is to regard driving like all skills - a lifelong learning process in which there's always more to learn and improve on. If we could all adopt that kind of attitude and take constructive criticism from others on our driving, the roads would be much better for it.

I will shortly be getting back out with a RoADA observer - and I'm sure I'll have a long list of faults to work on. I treat this as a worthwhile opportunity to improve my driving, for the sake not only of myself and my passengers, but for everyone else.


However, I appreciate people will not share my views. Remember too that in this textual forum we can neither assess each other's driving nor comment on their attitude to driving when they're actually behind the wheel.

I ask just one thing - if you want to disagree with my views, please do not resort to personal attacks so we can keep this thread unlocked.



David
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timtim
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2004 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DavidW

Finally had chance to look at the RoSPA site - very interesting especially the quiz. If this thread has served any purpose it's at least prompted me to review my own driving and I've arranged for one of RoSPA's instructors to take me out.

Like you I thought I was a fair driver until I started my training. If anyone's interested (and bearing in mind things have probably changed a little since I left): the first course I went on was a "Standard Course" - four weeks long and by the end, drivers were up to about the same standard as the civilian Advanced test.

After that, the "Advanced Course" was six weeks long, and where you were taught to drive at speed. If anything other than the national speed limit applied you had to stick to it, but once you reached the national limit, you had to drive as fast you could whilst remaining safe, whether that was 15 mph in a country lane or 140+ on a straight motorway with a good view and little or nothing on it.

By the end of the second course I thought justifiably that I was a pretty good driver, until I had a days pursuit training. I was in a 3000i Senator (that dates it!) and I had to chase one of the instructors driving a 1.8i Cavalier. I couldn't touch him!! The only chances I had of coming close were on the straight, on bends I've never seen driving like it.

Like the cliche says, the more you know the more you realise there is to learn.

Thanks for your support and keep the thread open, the Q&A threads elsewhere about technical stuff are v. useful, but it's good to have a chance for a discussion - heated or otherwise.
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DavidW
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2004 11:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Getting a little off topic - as a Class 1 certificate holder, you would be entitled to become a RoADA examiner. Even if you're not interested in that, I'm sure you'd have a lot to offer to your local RoADA group - as well as being able to benefit from their observers.

I've got as far as tracking down who is now my training co-ordinator - I'll try to give him a ring in the next couple of days.


I came across several interesting people during my training - one was a serving police officer who was also a police driving instructor. His description of what driving safely at 130mph on an A road really involves was worth listening to.

I believe your description is pretty similar to what happens now - but I'm afraid there's no chance of me ever getting to find out, as I'm seriously ill and rather disabled. I would have loved to have a go at either a PCV or LGV licence, but I'm almost certainly medically unfit to hold a vocational licence of any sort (which is a shame, not least because I could be of use to a voluntary organisation I'm involved with as a minibus driver if I held an LGV - holding a Category D licence has to leave you rather more qualified than the MIDAS certificate, though any training is worthwhile).

My medical condition is declared to Drivers' Medical Branch, and all my doctors are aware I'm driving. So far, thank goodness, I still have an unrestricted category B licence, with all the other bits that go with it for people who passed their test before 1997 (like C1, which is 7.5 tonners, and D1 not for hire and reward, which is minibuses). I must admit I was surprised not to lose all but category B (cars and vans) and B+E (the same towing a heavy trailer).


I do recommend RoADA - I think it has a great deal to offer, and it doesn't cost much. The observers are unpaid volunteers - due a quirk in the law, only people who hold a ADI certificate can teach car driving for money. That law leads to all manner of bizarre things - such as civilian driving instructors working for the emergency services having to take regular check tests on their instruction technique for learners to keep their ADI certificate - even though they may never prepare a learner for the DSA tests!

One of the observers in my local RoADA group is a driving instructor - but when he's acting as an observer, he's unpaid (most of his work with the group is training and supervising observers, rather than acting as an observer himself).


It will probably cost you somewhere around 120 pounds to take the RoADA test the first time - that includes membership of your local group, the test fee, a copy of Roadcraft if you don't have one, and the fuel you use whilst training. I regard that as a very worthwhile investment.


Please cross your fingers for me that I'll manage to get back to test standard in time to keep my RoADA membership. If I get even shorter of time than I already am, I'll ask for an extension on medical grounds, or, if necessary, will allow my membership to lapse - and will take the test as soon as I can.

My RoADA membership matters a great deal to me - unfortunately my strength is rather limited.



David
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Skippy
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2004 7:47 am    Post subject: Re: Optics? Reply with quote

peliasson7 wrote:
Anyone know what optics are in these things?

ID a person from 2000 meters away????
Has anyone tried to hold a laserpointer steady at like 100-200 meters?


They do use tripod mounts for longer distances, but as you point out, there is no way that the camera optics will be good enough to photograph and ID a driver at 2km. This is another baseless scare story put out by a tabloid newspaper.

They have been using laser guns with cameras attached for some time now, this is not new either. The distance is usually a few hundred meters, not 2,000.

It's interesting to see all these people who say they are a member of RoADA of RoSPA. I accept that the organisation does a useful job with advanced training, but there is no way I would be a member of an organisation which supports proposals to prohibit the use of devices designed to detect speed enforcement equipment. Rolling Eyes
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timtim
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2004 2:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Optics? Reply with quote

Skippy wrote:
there is no way I would be a member of an organisation which supports proposals to prohibit the use of devices designed to detect speed enforcement equipment.


I would be interested to learn of your reasons why
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russgunn
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2004 6:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The DVLA at Swansea is sending out warning letters to drivers as follows:

"In order to assist other motorists in identifying potentially dangerous drivers, it's now compulsory for anyone with a lower than average driving ability to display a warning flag. The flag (comprising of a red cross on a white background) will be attached to the top of at least one door of their vehicle. For drivers of exceptionally low ability, additional flags are required."
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Dave
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2004 8:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ROTFLMAO! Happy

I think it should be ".... for anyone with a lower than average driving ability to display two warning flags. The flags (comprising of a red cross on a white background) will be attached to the top of two doors (or one door if they're a cheap scate) of their vehicle. For drivers of exceptionally low ability, additional flags are required."
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timtim
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2004 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

These drivers also have unfounded and unrealistcally high expectations of the vehicle they drive, and seem surprised when it loses every burn-off from the lights, based on the fact that it once beat a German car 38 years ago!!

No-one got any comments on the goverment report that says casualties are down 40% in areas where speed cameras have been erected??!! Wink
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bigfatjohn
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2004 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

timtim,

Would you like to comment on report on the Department of Transports website saying that casualty rates have RISEN at one in seven speed camera sites?

The best example is the A52 at Haltoft End in Lincolnshire, There were no casualties at all the previous three years but nine in 2002/3. This also begs the question as to why they put a camera there at all if there were previously no casualties.

Rule One - NEVER believe government reports. They are only propganda to try to make the gullible think that our leaders are doing a good job.
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timtim
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2004 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fair comment, but I believe it was an independent report.

Without looking back over 5 pages of posts, I don't think I've ever said that in some circumstances cameras aren't put up to raise revenue (if I have I retract it!), only that if a camera is there then drivers must grin and bear it and stick to the limit.

I'm willing to place a small wager that some of the accidents caused when the camera was put up were due to drivers speeding, seeing the camera late and braking suddenly. If they hadn't been speeding in the first place...
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