Thers has to be a double entendre in there somewhere
the coat,cos I can't find it!
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 …
I guess you are one of these people who fell 'hook, line and sinker' for the SCP's fallacious claims of camera effectiveness (look up RTTM and bias on selection). The simple fact is that limits are coming down to below reasonable levels and are being more strictly enforced, yet the UK has lost the downward trend of yearly road fatalities. We know cameras have been replacing real trafpol. We also know that one of these catch and immediately stop all manner of dangerous driving and the other detects only 1 specific type of technical infringement. Go figure!
Hopefully Karma will catch up with you (unless you don't drive - which would explain a lot).
"limits are coming down to below reasonable levels" eh? And what's reasonable?
Let's face it, the law compels us not to drive above a defined limit. Some choose to break that law, and are therefore properly caught by cameras. Good thing too - far better than these reckless idiots pay their 'revenue generating' fines than the government having to find that money by raising my non-optional taxes. The more 'revenue generating' from criminals, the better.
"Some choose to break that law, and are therefore properly caught by cameras."
Well here in the grand old land of Oz and more specifically, the state of Victoria the margin between the speed limit and what legally constitutes speeding (2km over) is less than the margin for error legally allowed in car spedos (+/-10% for all cars made before 2006)!
Doesn’t that seem at all unreasonable? Especially since the speed cameras aren't all that accurate... near my parents house one clocked a bus traveling up-hill in peak-hr traffic at 90km/h. They did a test with the same bus and empty of passengers with no traffic it couldn't manage to climb the hill at more than 45km/h. The only reference I can find at the moment - http://www.roadsense.com.au/fightforjustice.html search for the phrase "STA Bus" for the relevent paragraph.
Like Steve, I also think the solution is more traffic cops - as you said "The more 'revenue generating' from criminals, the better." and wouldn't having someone out there who can police all manner of bad driving help with this?
Shouldn't worry about the watch list:- I frequently rail against the brain-dead twats who call themselves a government, their stalinist PC bed-mates and the oh-so-smug liberal elite supporters.
I have even been known to admire the pragmatic approach of one Guido Fawkes, from time to time.
So undoubtedly I'M on a watch-list, and I shouldn't wonder if the gorgeous pouting Jacqui (hope they've checked her driving licence) hasn't issued an advance copy of a 42-day disappearance warrant for me.
However, as this shower not only couldn't organise jollities in an ale production facility, but probably couldn't even fall over pissed properly afterwards, I'm not holding my breath over the efficiency of the execution of said warrant.
Sir Ian's Ploddery probably couldn't even find me in a line-up of African-Eskimo pygmies...
This law is meant to keep us predictable and conscientious, not to define arbitrary boundaries which inherently need enforcement - you are defending a law which currently directly encourages 'criminal' behaviour.
My point being: the limits MUST BE REASONABLE (something you completely glossed over). No-one wants to be a law breaker, yet many are (both deliberately and accidentally) - and so do in complete safety. Thus the law (as it is used) is an ass!
Speed limits ARE important, as is their enforcement; our problem is that they have been systematically abused, to generate easy revenue (for the SCPs), in the name of safety - at the cost of lives lost.
I guess you are another who will bury their head in the sand regarding the very telling UK fatality trend!
...commonly expressed as reasonable to the 'man on the Clapham omnibus' which is a little outdated, but generally gets across the meaning of 'the general public'.
The fact that the general public *do* commonly speed defines the current speed limits as unreasonable. The very inconsistencies in both the setting and the enforcement of speed limits means they are unreasonable in dictionary definition. where are the reasons? There aren't any, so it must be unreasonable.
Note that I consider 20mph limits reasonable in some cases: it's not all about going as fast as mechanics permits.
Some people really do talk bollocks!
The only reason that people (police/politicians) harp on about speeding is that it is a clearly measurable metric.
They don't care about what is really "dangerous"!:
1. People driving without paying any attention to the road cos they can't see over the steering wheel ('coz I is a gangster, innit).
2. Self-righteous pricks that hog the middle/outer lanes even though they aren't over taking.
3. Idiots that change lane without signalling or checking their mirrors.
4. Idiots that weave in and out of traffic
5. Idiots that drive 5-10Mph below the actual speed limit
6. Idiots that don't understand the concept of "Right-of-Way".
Of course they aren't about to enforce those things. They would require putting actual policemen on the roads and make them focus on driving problems instead of some randomly selected speed-limit!
Any actual drivers reading this are well aware of the fact that on many roads (A40 heading into London comes to mind), speed limits are reduced (with the smallest possible signage), and then a camera is added 50yards further on. There is a section of 3-lane dual carriage way near me where the speed limit was reduced from 50mph to 40mph and now down to 30mph - worse, they never even put up a sign that the speed limit had been reduced - just a reconfigured speed camera!
Focusing everyone's attention on "Speeding" is a form of misdirection from realities of driving. Dangerous driving exists - of course it does - but selling the lie that the only manifestation of bad driving is speeding doesn't make life on the roads any safer. Enforcing speed limits by cameras instead of trained policemen is only done because it is easy to do; not because it is effective in saving lives.
You're correct - I don't drive. But I am a pedestrian, cyclist and biker. I hope you don't think that not driving a car automatically invalidates my opinion?
I don't advocate replacing traffic police with cameras because as you rightly state, they can only detect one type of offence. However they do it with ruthless, tireless (excuse the pun) efficiency - no "discretion" to let off the lawyer in the Bentley, while clamping down hard on anyone driving while being young or black, for example. They should be used to free up the traffic cops to concentrate on the other instances of poor driving.
I also agree with your comment about unreasonably low limits - 30mph makes sense in built up areas, but not on long, straight, rural A roads. However if that is the law, then it should be enforced by the most efficient means possible or challenged democratically, not by vigilante actions.
Hear hear! Bravo! Finally, somebody with some perspective.
I was thinking of making this point myself, but you've done a much better job.
Speeding is not in and of itself dangerous -- it's dependent on the circumstances. A person doing 80mph (sorry, I'm in the US) alone on a dry, empty high-speed limited-access highway is not driving particularly dangerously just because he's speeding. If the road is wet, or it's a windy back-road, he's driving too fast for conditions. Aggressively passing slower traffic? That's bad (but it's not speeding per se). OTOH, so is driving significantly slower than prevailing traffic. I've seen statistics that suggest driving slower is actually MORE dangerous than driving faster by the same speed, though I can't lay my hands on them.
As you said, and as I intended to point out, speeding is used as a bugaboo so much NOT because it's so inherently dangerous, but because it's the only metric they have. Aside from running red lights or stop signs. They can take human judgement out of both of those and still measure them, and so they do. Result? More income and the appearance of "doing something" without actually making things safer.
I remember when the gendarmes started a monthly "speeding day" on a particularly bad expressway in SE Pennsylvania (the 309 bypass for the curious). All the local police would cluster in the easy spots with radar and start pulling over speeders. The first day they did it, it was raining lightly, with results predictable to anybody with the brains of a turnip: as soon as people saw the lines of cops on the side of the road, they'd hit their brakes and start sliding into each other. After a few hours of this the Powers That Be finally realized that THE COPS' PRESENCE was more dangerous than any likely amount of speeding and called them off.
OK, time to give this particular soapbox a rest. Thank you for saying this, it really needed to be said. And I doubt anybody will listen who isn't already half-convinced, but hey, it's worth a try.
"I am a pedestrian, cyclist and biker. I hope you don't think that not driving a car automatically invalidates my opinion?"
Of course not, but my considerable experience in these discussions has highlighed a distinct correlation between those who have opinions regarding the actions of the group they are not a part of, and greatly ignorant or just outright disengenuous behaviour. Let's see what happens.
"However if that is the law, then it should be enforced by the most efficient means possible or challenged democratically, not by vigilante actions."
Firstly: so how do we democratically challenge these unreasonably low limits? Elections isn't a valid answer because we only get to vote for an ideology (the definition of which subject to change without notice). Voting on the basis of a single issue makes one nothnig less than a fanatic!
Secondly: I tend to agree with you regarding vigilante actions, but one has to reconsider that law when a large part of the population commends, or at least can't bring themselves up to condemn, those actions.
Thirdly: cameras are a piss poor way of enforcing limits, let alone ensuring safety and consideration (which is supposedly the reason for the limit) ......
"However they do it with ruthless, tireless ... efficiency "
This statement is wrong. Cameras have been replacing (or at the very least: displacing) trafpol. As a result an underclass of drivers has emerged: those who drive unregistered or with false documents. These people do so deliberately to evade prosecution from such automated enforcement - they have become untouchable and drive at any speed they like. I don't think there is any doubt that this group is anything but low risk and are over-represented within crash/fatality stats! Could anyone disagree that this could go some way to explaining our loss of downward fatality trend?
Speeding is an offence, simple as, you do it, you get caught its your own fault.
Anyone who thinks they are in full control of 1000kg of weaving metal at 80mph is deluding themselves, its only because there are other people on the road who assume the same thing but err within caution that we dont have multiple piles ups every 10miles or so.
Also - The ones most likely to die after being knocked down by speeding drivers are children, so i have NO sympathy for anyone who speeds. In fact IMO the law isnt strong enough in dealing with people like this.
"The fact that the general public *do* commonly speed defines the current speed limits as unreasonable."
No it doesnt, it means that people regularly break the law. and/or are sheep who all do what the others do.
If, as you say, dynamite has not been available for years, it probably explains why it went off spontaneously: it would have been past it's sell by date. Anyway you could always make it yourself, so there.
As for your Bootnote:
1. Since when has El Reg claimed to be artistic?
2. I am suspicious. You know too much about explosives.
Grumpy Old Git
In Europe, and I honestly doubt if Oz is different, speedo tolerance isn't ±10%, it is +10%, i.e. it can read up to 10% high, but never low. If your speedo says 100kmh then you might be doing anything from 90 - 100, but not 101+.
I checked mine with a GPS system. At an indicated 140kmh I was actually travelling at 132kmh.
80mph? Control is an illusion anyway, can you prove you are in control at any speed when at any point something unexpected could knock you for six? :) at 30 mph you are statistically better placed for not causing a fatality but that possibility is still there. After all speed limits are worked out purely on statistics. Consider those "hit me it 30 and there is an 80% chance i will live" ads on tv. :)
>> Anyone who thinks they are in full control of 1000kg of weaving metal at 80mph is deluding themselves, its only because there are other people on the road who assume the same thing but err within caution that we dont have multiple piles ups every 10miles or so.
Replace 80mph with 69mph and see how much difference it makes to the sentence - err non at all !
>> Also - The ones most likely to die after being knocked down by speeding drivers are children, so i have NO sympathy for anyone who speeds.
Got it took a long time for the "think about the childrun" card to be played !
>> In fact IMO the law isnt strong enough in dealing with people like this.
People like what ? Have you actually looked at the real facts, rather than the lies and spin produced by those with a financial interest in the fines or those with an eye on progressing the march to wards the Orwellian style population control ?
>> "The fact that the general public *do* commonly speed defines the current speed limits as unreasonable."
>> No it doesnt, it means that people regularly break the law. and/or are sheep who all do what the others do.
Yes it does, if (picking a figure that's no less valid than the official lies) 90% of the population state that something is unreasonable, then why should it be FACT that the <1% who set the limit are 'correct' ?
Others have already stated it, but you clearly do not understand why the current intoxication with automated enforcement of an irrelevant number is KILLING PEOPLE. People like dodgyedgy are actively killing people by their support of stupid ideas.
Driving safely is a very complex activity, and speed is only one variable. The intoxication with speed cameras puts ut the very clear message that all other factors are irrelevant AND that driving can be reduced to nothing more than compliance with a set of rules. Since it is impossible to write rules to cover all situations, it's obvious (to most reasonable people at least) that every driver needs to make assessments all the time of what's going on and adjust their driving to suit - not just speed but road position, distance from other road users, and so on.
If your argument was true, then we could simply get in the car, set the cruise control to the speed limit, and be safe ! Unless you argue that this is true then you have to acknowledge that there is limited correlation between legal speed limit - so you have to accept that for any driver to be safe then they have to have the skills to assess what speed is appropriate for any particular situation. If you accept that then it's hard to justify a policy of explicitly trying to suppress such self assessment.
"excess speed for the conditions" is a small part of the stats, whether the speed is above or below some arbitrary number is very seldom of any relevance.
So it's time for a few people to decide which side of the fence they are on - they are either for the current policies, or they are for road safety. There is no middle ground - the current policies are anti-safety.
Oh dear! May I just slightly change your quote?
"Anyone who thinks they are in full control of 1000kg of weaving metal at 70mph is deluding themselves"
Now then, that's a perfectly legal speed on a motorway and wouldn't be flagged by a scamera. However, do you now agree or disagree with this statement?
Speed per se is not and never has been the problem. Inappropriate speed *for the conditions* and bad driving is the problem, but this is apparently far too complex a notion for the scamera lobby and our lords and masters to get their thick noggins around.
"it means that people regularly break the law"
But did they set out to break the law, or even the spirit of the law? If not them some rather searching questions about that have to be asked. Remember, the law is meant to protect us; the loathing this one has instead attracted can only lead to disrespect for it. Disrespect for speed limits is a very bad thing!
"Also - The ones most likely to die after being knocked down by speeding drivers are children, so i have NO sympathy for anyone who speeds. In fact IMO the law isnt strong enough in dealing with people like this."
What about those who die after being knocked down by drivers within the speed limit? I could so easily say that I have no sympathy for the neglectful guardians of those children and that the law isnt strong enough in dealing with people like that (in fact there is no such law).
Do you care to tell us the ratio of those killed by a driver exceeding the speed limit against those killed by a driver within the speed limit? (1:20 I believe) From that I think we can deduce that the priorities of our current road safety policy are wrong.
PS, I'm not a camera hater (as you so ad hominemly put it), I'm a hater of their abuse. I suspect the majority of 'camera haters' as you put it, wouldn't have a problem with them if they were used reasonably.
The biggest problem I have with speed cameras is that it's just another example of the government trying to make 'guilty until proven innocent' a tennant of the legal system.
If a vehicle gets stopped for speeding by a police officer it's not the vehicle or the owner of the vehicle that gets the ticket. It is the ***driver*** that gets the ticket.
The cameras on the other hand give the ticket to the ***vehicle*** which the owner of the vehicle is then forced to pay unless they can prove themselves innocent.
Firstly, lets not forget how many THOUSANDS of people are killed each year in car "accidents", caused mostly coz some cunt is going to fast!
Secondly, this guy demanded "an end to immigration". What's that got to do with speed cameras? The guy is obviously a racist nazi fascist arsehole, it's a shame he didn't die. Oh well, next time.
A recent DfT transport statistics report (612594) stated that just 5% of all UK road accident fatalities had one or more drivers involved exceeding the speed limit (and some of those are likely to have been within the trigger threshold of cameras anyway) - and that figure includes joyriders and the unregistered 'untouchables'. Furthermore, there are a statistical average of 2.4 contributory factors per fatality, so it is likely that many of those accidents may not have happened if one of the other factors had not come into play, even though the drivers were above the limit.
"What's that got to do with speed cameras?"
Nothing! I think it is you who needs to have a reality check.
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