Bove
Topic Author
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UK Speed Cameras--shocking!

Sat Apr 28, 2001 7:08 am

Found this post on PPRuNe and I thought I'd repost this here. While not a UK citizen this seems like a shocking infringement on personal liberties and has the potential to become a monster. I know the UK has had CCTV in public areas for some time (generally widely popular and successful in cutting down street crime) but I'd like to get your reactions on this issue.

Is this going over the line?



Be aware of the new speed cameras which are in the SE and being erected the complete length of the 'A' and 'M Roads.
They are recognised by a tall blue coloured poles and a small aerial pole next to it. We may have a possible stay of execution, due to the privacy law up-holding these unit for being switched on.

At the moment it is being debated within Parliament. SPEEDCHECK SVVD or SPECS went on-line last week-end on the M1, netting
4,300 offenders in a single day. The system does not use instantaneous speed like the cameras we're all familiar with, instead measuring the average speed of every vehicle over a distance of about a mile. How? By
reading your license plates and matching them up camera -to-camera. Kent and Leicestershire police are so impressed with it that systems are being erected in their enforcement areas too. This is a new system which has now entered service after successful trials on the M1 and M20 in the UK. SPEEDCHECK SVDD (Sure way Video Detection Device) is a system similar in
concept to the GATSO, but with a new twist. SVDD deploys cameras at either end of a measured baseline, (up to 500 metres) to monitor vehicles 24 hours a day. Using machine vision, vehicle number plates are read, and the precise time of each observation recorded and as a vehicle passes the second camera, the number plate records are matched, and an average speed for the vehicle is calculated. If this is above the trigger speed, then the vehicle's identification is recorded along with it's speed. It is also flashed up on a huge illuminated sign further down the road to embarrass the driver into slowing down. When triggered, the detection technology used in these cameras automatically records the date, precise time, location and speed of the offending vehicle, along with a detailed image of the front of the vehicle, which clearly records the number plate, make,
model, who is driving and colour of the vehicle.

There's five overriding reasons for the habitual speeder to be afraid of this system. Or may be there could be the implication of a sixth reason, what if s/he is not your fulltime other half!

1. It works 24 hours a day.
2. Needs no film!
3. Uses no flash!
4. Uses no radar! So, bad luck all those of you who think that radar detectors work.
5. It's been proven to be over 99% accurate in almost all weather conditions.

It doesn't do spot-speed checking. A GATSO can only check the speed of a vehicle within a certain range, so the tactic most drivers use now is to slow down for the camera and then speed up again once past it SPEEDCHECK
measures average speed over a known distance. So if you do 60mph under each camera and then speed up to 80 mph in between, your average speed is likely to be near 70mph - 10 over the limit imposed, you're nicked.SVDD say this means that the system can impose a far smoother flow of traffic eliminating slow-fast driving that the GATSO cameras provoke.

Because it's automated, the system is entirely self-sufficient. It's hooked
up to the DVLA computers, and can automatically process the fines and send
out notices in the post. It's Big Brother. Don't believe for a moment that this technology will only be used to catch speeders. It can be used to keep track of where every single car in the country is at any given moment in time once the network of these things becomes broad enough. Warning to M25 Motorists. If you are a driver then this is important! There are 60 new cameras that start operating on the M25 on Monday 14 June 2001. These are between the A3 and M40. They are digital and linked direct to computer, use no film or flashgun. They can deal with 60,000 tickets EVERY HOUR. The cameras are also (apparently) linked and can workout your average speed between them. So, if you speed up between them and slow down as you approach them, if your average speed is over the "legal limit + No %" threshold you may well get a ticket!
 
ryanb741
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RE: UK Speed Cameras--shocking!

Sat Apr 28, 2001 6:16 pm

The less mindless idiots speeding on our roads, the better.
I used to think the brain is the most fascinating part of my body. But, hey, who is telling me that?
 
EGGD
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RE: UK Speed Cameras--shocking!

Sat Apr 28, 2001 6:22 pm

Damnit, thats the end of my mindless idiotic days.

 
Bove
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RE: UK Speed Cameras--shocking!

Sun Apr 29, 2001 9:45 am

Seems like a pretty draconian response to the speeding problem to me. How many road deaths can be attributed to speeding annually in the UK? A few hundred, if that. This system will punish violators who are even just slightly over the speed limit.

Still, the "stop-start" drivers (a.k.a. the GATSO method) have got it down to a science....I'm sure they'll come up with something!
 
VC-10
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RE: UK Speed Cameras--shocking!

Sun Apr 29, 2001 11:11 pm

Bove,

"A few hundred, if that" ?? and the rest.
 
ctbarnes
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RE: UK Speed Cameras--shocking!

Mon Apr 30, 2001 2:34 am

Depends on what the trigger speed is. Used to be if I kept the speed uner 90 on the motorways, I generally wouldn't get stopped. I used to frequently cruise the M1 at about 85mph.

Charles, SJ
The customer isn't a moron, she is your wife -David Ogilvy
 
Guest

RE: UK Speed Cameras--shocking!

Mon Apr 30, 2001 3:27 am

Bove,

'a few hundred, if that'

Oh, so that's not enough for you?!?!?!
 
Bove
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RE: UK Speed Cameras--shocking!

Mon Apr 30, 2001 4:21 am

If someone is driving so far over the speed limit as to cause an accident then no speed camera is going to make an arse-worth of difference IMHO.

The notion that adhering meticulously to the speed limit will do anything to address road deaths is silly propaganda---by and large most of the dangerous driving out there happens on the country lanes and backroads where drivers are well within the speed limit. But trying to micromanage driving habits on motorways specifically built for the purpose (long straightaways, many lanes, etc) fails both the Big Brother and cost/benefit analysis test. Makes the coppers lives easier as well methinks....

Really seems to me like silly politicians trying to show they are taking the matter seriously. But the GATSO cameras have also been quite profitable for local communities as these new cameras no doubt will be.

To me, "Speed kills" is an overly simplistic whitewash....

 
Bove
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RE: UK Speed Cameras--shocking!

Mon Apr 30, 2001 4:27 am

So again, generally law-abiding citizens will be punished while the real offenders get off scot free. The UK is getting quite good at this it seems. I'm thinking here of the farmer who killed the intruder breaking into his home and summarily sentenced to 25 years in prison (name escapes me for the moment).

I am not going to sit here and pontificate on this subject but it seems that the criminal justice system in the UK is due some long awaited overhaul.
 
EGGD
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RE: UK Speed Cameras--shocking!

Mon Apr 30, 2001 4:29 am

Although i do speed on a regular basis, if i get regular speeding fines i will try to keep my speed below 80 at least.

EGGD
 
D L X
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RE: UK Speed Cameras--shocking!

Mon Apr 30, 2001 4:55 am

All I can think of is this is REALLY frickin' cool! Only, I wish these cameras would be installed in the San Francisco Area to catch people going too SLOW on the freeways. There are so many traffic problems here because some drivers drive 45 in the 65 zones.

As a side note, just how high are the speed limits in the UK? Do you measure speed in MPH? If so, DAMN! The highest speed limits anywher in the US is 75 mph. Most freeways are limited to 65 (like in Virginia) or even 55 in many places. Nobody cruises at 90.
 
Bove
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RE: UK Speed Cameras--shocking!

Mon Apr 30, 2001 4:58 am

Is it not the state of Montana that imposes no daytime speed limit?
 
D L X
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RE: UK Speed Cameras--shocking!

Mon Apr 30, 2001 5:05 am

The days of no speed limit in Montana are over.
It used to be the case that the federal speed limit was 55. Then it was upped to 65, and more recently the states were allowed to set their own. Montana had some way out of it earlier, but in turn didn't receive some priviledge from the feds. Now that all states set their own limits, Montana set a limit, and now also gets the fed priviledges. (Don't ask me what they are, I'm not sure.)

So, now Montana has 75 mph speed limits iinm, but the fine for speeding is something like $5. (and is probably only "awarded" to out of state licenses.)
 
VC-10
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RE: UK Speed Cameras--shocking!

Mon Apr 30, 2001 5:34 am

Bove,

Use your intelligence, if you keep your speed down your stopping distance is reduced so you have a better chance of avoiding an impact.

Going back to your statement that only a few hundred are killed, I take it that when people are 'just' injured (broken leg, amputated limb, brain damaged, paralysed etc), this is acceptable.

I would be interested to hear your view if a member of your family was killed by a speeding motorist.
 
Adam84
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RE: UK Speed Cameras--shocking!

Mon Apr 30, 2001 5:43 am

Well nobody even follows speed limits anymore and personally I find that its getting worse. We need some system like that in the US. Florida and Georgia drivers are the worst. Speed limit down I-95 is pretty much always 70mph, I do 80mph which is still too slow for some people. I constantly see people (its mostly people who are driving SUV's who speed over 80mph) doing up to 95mph. Not to mention SUV tires probably arent even designed to go that fast not to mention its just plain stupid to do it in a car let alone a SUV. We really need more cops on I-95 in Georgia and Florida.
 
ctbarnes
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RE: UK Speed Cameras--shocking!

Mon Apr 30, 2001 5:46 am

DLX,

When the 55/65 federal mandates were lifted, Montana reverted to its old tradition of whatever speed limit is "reasonable and proper" to a given motorist.

In 1998 a court (I don't know if it was state or Federal) threw out the "Reasonable and Proper" clause citing it as being too vague, with no guidence as to what reasonable and proper was to actually mean in practice. Hence, the 75mph speed limit and the low fines.

Charles, SJ
The customer isn't a moron, she is your wife -David Ogilvy
 
Guest

RE: UK Speed Cameras--shocking!

Mon Apr 30, 2001 7:16 am

Folks, y'all seem to be missing the point of the original post here. It's not what the speed limits are per se, but how they intend to enforce it. Authorities would have the ability to track down any vehicle, and therefore any licensed individual, throughout the roadway network of the nation. There are serious privacy issues that will arise as a result of the increased usage of tracking technology by government authorities. Once the infrastructure is in place, politicians will push for the system to be used for all sorts of unrelated purposes.
 
EGGD
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RE: UK Speed Cameras--shocking!

Mon Apr 30, 2001 7:32 am

Yeah but think about it, With this huge database of motorists there will be a severe decline in not just speeding, but crime's too. For example getaway cars, stolen vehicles can all be located within seconds in the future and will deter not only speeders but criminals too.

I hope you see my point, EGGD.
 
Bove
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RE: UK Speed Cameras--shocking!

Mon Apr 30, 2001 7:45 am

VC10,

I am not daft enough to believe that the chances of an accident that occurs at 90 mph on a typical motorway would be significantly reduced by rigidly enforcing an 80 mph limit. There may indeed be some correlation, but it's not significant enough to warrant the financial expense and infringement of liberties of such obtrusive cameras.

How many accidents can be attributed to 'speed' alone rather than drink/drunk or other reckless driving? My guess is not many and your bank robbery getaway driver won't be slowing for any speed camera.

Few of these accidents occur on motorways in any event which are purpose-built for high speed and efficient traffic flow.

>>Yeah but think about it, With this huge database of motorists there will be a severe decline in not just speeding, but crime's too. For example getaway cars, stolen vehicles can all be located within seconds in the future and will deter not only speeders but criminals too. <<

To me this is absolutely shocking! The government will be able to track you anytime, anywhere. How long before these cameras are turned to other purposes other than prevention of petty crime.

Is there any group in the UK protesting or doing anything about it?
 
D L X
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RE: UK Speed Cameras--shocking!

Mon Apr 30, 2001 4:20 pm

The problem with speed is that survivable accidents become unsurvivable when the speed is increased. REmember your physics: energy is proportional to the square of the velocity. So, going twice as fast creates a blow that has four times the energy. Lowering the speed 10 mph could easily be the difference between life and death.
 
VC-10
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RE: UK Speed Cameras--shocking!

Mon Apr 30, 2001 7:03 pm

Regarding personel liberty, if you aren't doing anything illegal so what ? Do you really think the police have the resources, time & manpower to track every car in the land ?
 
AS737900
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RE: UK Speed Cameras--shocking!

Mon Apr 30, 2001 9:37 pm

I can't believe that people in the UK let the government get away with this type of thing! It seems like there would be major public uproar over this type of plan. It seems to me that the GATSO system is an invasion of privacy, but this new system is just plain ludicrous to let the government stick their noses in other people's business. Anyway... I'm not in the UK, so I'll quit mindlessly babbling on here.  Smile
 
Guest

RE: UK Speed Cameras--shocking!

Mon Apr 30, 2001 9:56 pm

AS737900: I'd love to hear why it is an invasion of privacy? Aren't roads public AFAIK? Then when you get pulled over by a cop is it also an invasion of privacy?

How many accidents can be attributed to 'speed' alone rather than drink/drunk or other reckless driving? My guess is not many and your bank robbery getaway driver won't be slowing for any speed camera.

I think you should revise your statistic, Alot of people get killed every day by reckless driver who just want to push their cars to the limits.
 
cfalk
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RE: UK Speed Cameras--shocking!

Mon Apr 30, 2001 10:09 pm

The way I see it, we have an ever-increasing population and scarce resources. Modern medicine has given us terrific life expectancy, and has reduced fatalities across the board from accidents and illnesses which 20, 50, 100 years ago would have been fatal. People ship food halfway around the world for free to countries that are starving and cannot feed their own people (We don't send birth control pills, however).

At the same time people are becoming more and more stupid and/or crazy. School shootings, people who smoke and don't know that it's dangerous, people who chatter on the cell phone while driving, etc. etc. etc..

What has happened is that Natural Selection has been circumvented. People who would have dropped out of the gene pool long ago have been allowed to reproduce.

In order to get things back on track, we need to eliminate some of the world's safety nets. Let Darwinism get the population back under control. Go ahead! Raise those speed limits to 150mph! Let the most able drivers with judgement, reflexes and hand/eye coordination speed by while all the others lay smoldering on the side of the road.

Of course, I'll be one of the able drivers  Big grin.

Charles
(tongue planted firmly in cheek)
The only thing you should feel when shooting a terrorist: Recoil.
 
Guest

RE: UK Speed Cameras--shocking!

Mon Apr 30, 2001 10:11 pm

Ok i thought I'll dig out a bit and I have found a few statistics for you guys. Althought this is not revelant for the UK it can give some good guidelines.

Excessive speed is the first cause of accident in 23 % of the deaths, 19 % of the serious wounds and 13 % of the light wounds. Each year, it is at the origin of 200 deaths and 6000 wounded. It is about the more significant second causes accident in Quebec, immediately after driving under influences.

From: http://www.saaq.gouv.qc.ca/securite/vitesse/index.html

Nicolas
 
FlyBoeing
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RE: UK Speed Cameras--shocking!

Mon Apr 30, 2001 11:08 pm

Here's my take on the situation:

1) Speed cameras suck hard core. The only way that someone'll slow down is if they have a personal experience with a police officer. Also, speed limits are ridiculously low in the US anyway; Car & Driver did a study where they covered the speedometers of cars and had drivers just drive down a road course. 90% of drivers drove at a computer-generated "safe" speed given their car and driving conditions.

2) Recording people's licence plates as they travel is not a good idea either, and I'll only accept it if the machine is HARD WIRED (i.e, with burned in software) not programmed to only record if someone speeds. That way it's much harder to be a Big Brother.

3) This whole system sounds a lot like the E-Z Pass thing that we have in New Jersey, which we use for our toll roads. The system records your entry and exit at various places on the Turnpike and charges you accordingly so you don't have to stop and fumble for change. For commercial users of E-Z Pass, the time is recorded and subtracted so that if the average speed on the Turnpike is more than 65 mph it is assumed that the driver sped and he gets a ticket.

The problem with the whole automatic system is that it doesn't take "context" into play. Driving 80 mph on I-78 might be OK if the roads aren't congested and if you're not on the phone. But an SUV ought not to be going that fast; my Lexus ES300 can safely move at 80 mph, though. There are so many factors that determine the safe speed of an automobile, including the level of risk that all would like to undertake. And to determine all of these things we need to invade privacy (like using electronic scanners to find out if somebody's using a cell phone while driving, or figuring out the type of car one's driving

 
Guest

RE: UK Speed Cameras--shocking!

Mon Apr 30, 2001 11:21 pm

Car & Driver did a study where they covered the speedometers of cars and had drivers just drive down a road course. 90% of drivers drove at a computer-generated "safe" speed given their car and driving conditions.

Did they took into consideration in the study the other car that could eventually involved into an accident?

What I mean is they may have calculated that the driver of a big fat strong SUV may not suffer injuries from an accident at their "computer generated safe speed" but did they took consideration of the guy that's driving a firefly or a neon and that might get hit by that SUV that's driving at that specially calculated speed? I don't think so.

Nicolas
 
AS737900
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RE: UK Speed Cameras--shocking!

Tue May 01, 2001 3:30 am

Of course its not an invasion of privacy if an officer pulls you over for speeding. They are human and they are doing their job, and they are selective as they most likely go after the people who are endangering other drivers with excessive speed/reckless driving, not the person only going 5 or 10 over the limit. My point is that a machine is doing the work here, watching, waiting... and automatically ticketing anyone and everyone going over the limit. Big Brother is watching.

Aside from that, the driver is usually the best judge of what the right speed is for the conditions/vehicle they are driving.

Take a look at this website. Here
 
VC-10
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RE: UK Speed Cameras--shocking!

Tue May 01, 2001 5:21 am

If drivers are the best judge of what is the right speed, why do professional Grand Prix drivers need a pace car when it rains ?
 
EGGD
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RE: UK Speed Cameras--shocking!

Tue May 01, 2001 5:27 am

You don't watch motor racing do you.....
 
Bove
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RE: UK Speed Cameras--shocking!

Tue May 01, 2001 7:20 am

I'm sorry but the 'E-Z Pass' system only applies to those who choose to sign up for the program. One can still pay cash if one so chooses although obviously that is less convenient.

Nicolaki, your devotion to liberalism is cute but frankly misguided. What does it really mean to say an accident is caused by "speed"? Speed alone is not a cause--there must be other mitigating factors like recklessness, being intoxicated, etc.

"Regarding personel liberty, if you aren't doing anything illegal so what ? Do you really think the police have the resources, time & manpower to track every car in the land ?"

Who knows? Why ever give the government the benefit of the doubt when personal freedoms are at stake. The whole point of this post is that the police will be able to track any car, any where at the touch of a button---there will no longer be issues regarding resources, time, and manpower.
 
Guest

RE: UK Speed Cameras--shocking!

Tue May 01, 2001 7:31 am

I don't think my devotion to liberalism is cute as you say it, I'm giving you some facts here. And for your information, YES speed alone can be a factor, for example take to example. You know the ramps that takes you off the higways and who takes you in a 180? Now take two guys, one who's getting on the ramp at 60 km/h and one who is getting off the ramp at 120 km/h. Now who have the greatest chances of an accident?

Oh BTW Bove I found the statement where you literally consider that a few hundred lifes is not worth a lot very offensive. remember? How many road deaths can be attributed to speeding annually in the UK? A few hundred, if that.

Oh and while I'm at it, you said So again, generally law-abiding citizens will be punished while the real offenders get off scot free. FYI Law-adbiding citizen respect speed limits.

Nicolas

 
Bove
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RE: UK Speed Cameras--shocking!

Tue May 01, 2001 1:14 pm

Nah Nicolas...I really don't buy that liberal pap for even a second. Its the liberal nanny state that creates criminals out of otherwise generally law-abiding citizens by making 5-10 mph violations of the speed limit a crime punishable in every instance. Yes, laws are written for a reason, but let people breathe without being watched every second of every day.

Spend time tracking down the real criminals, murderers, theives, rapists rather then the movements of decent citizens. The UK has gotten very good a letting violent offenders go scot free in recent years, in essence blaming the defenseless victim.

"How many road deaths can be attributed to speeding annually in the UK? A few hundred, if that."

Cost-benefit analysis....you don't take away the liberties and personal freedoms of 58,000,000 people to save the lives of a few.

"FYI Law-adbiding citizen respect speed limits."

So if you're late to work some day, I guess you won't be tempted do drive a bit faster, eh? Don't worry...your government will regulate everything for you!
 
VC-10
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RE: UK Speed Cameras--shocking!

Tue May 01, 2001 3:07 pm

What about the liberties & personal freedom of the people who are killed ?

 
Guest

RE: UK Speed Cameras--shocking!

Wed May 02, 2001 3:13 am

Bove: I really have a feeling that if you were to get injured in a car accident (for exemple let's say you become paraplegic [sp?]) you'd totally change you're way of thinking.

Oh and do you know how we call people like you? No, not law-abiding citizen, but selffish-bastards.

Nicolas (disgusted)
 
airsicknessbag
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RE: UK Speed Cameras--shocking!

Wed May 02, 2001 11:17 pm


Thank God we have no general speed limit here in Germany Big grin.
Daniel Smile

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