Sunday, 25 July 2010

Ending the war on the motorist. Well, the ones who repeatedly break the law anyway.

The Sunday Times splash is that the government is to abolish all speed cameras. Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees.

Speed cameras are nothing but a tax on irresponsible motorists who break the law. The Sunday Times piece pointed out that a "prominent road safety campaigner said that the effects could be disastrous". But we'll ignore that bit.

Don't get me wrong, I am not against all speed cameras, just the ones that catch me out. They have now profilerated (I assume I mean proliferated - or do I mean profile rated?) out of control. People know they are there about but still break the law. Honestly. It is downright sneaky. What sort of a country are we living in if you can't break the law without someone fining you?

I have nine points on my licence. Each of the three tickets was because I was driving over the limit in the early hours of the morning. Yes, I broke the law (not once but three about learning my lesson), so yes I was quite entitled to be fined. So why am I complaining? Because I now have two years of sweating over getting another one which would mean I would lose my automatically licence. (Or I could just obey the fucking speed limit and then I wouldn't have to worry). All for straying lightly over the limit at 2am or 3am. That's not justice. Yes, that's right, breaking the law and getting caught is not justice.

I wonder if I would apply the same logic if someone was caught lightly over the drink drive limit at 2am even if there were no pedestrians or other cars around?

Last year Swindon removed all its speed cameras and according to reports (won't bother citing where these reports appeared, a vague throwaway unverifiable comment should suffice for my argument here) accidents have not increased. Though when we start holding Swindon up as a touchstone for how we should live we are properly screwed.

Last year, as a result of the ticket in Brixton, I went on a speed awareness course. They teach you all about the difference between driving at 30mph and 40mph if you hit a pedestrian. It had quite an impact on me and the other participants on the course. Which is an unfortunate turn of phrase when you think about it.

So to conclude, actually, speed cameras in these situations are fine. Just not in others. Did you follow the logical flow of my argument through this? Or was I jerking my knee too quickly for it make sense? If I was, I was only lightly over the limit...

Basically, my views are the classic summary of a view held by a lot of people who consider themselves upstanding, honest citizens, who abhor crime levels, yet seem to think that speeding offences are somehow different. I may be a hypocrite in this subject but at least I am a representative one.