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Speed Cameras Answered

Personally, I'm on the fence on whether or not these are a good idea in the first place. Should people be speeding in the first place? If yes, why? Having a large speed differential with the rest of the traffic can be quite a dangerous situation....

Why am I on the fence? Because we, in addition to the UK, are already an endemic surveillance society (allong with Russia and China) CITE - it's sad :(]. I'm also anti rfid ID (including the new US passports :/)


Apparently, the Luddite tradition of machine breaking is alive and well in its country of origin. According to a report, a group calling itself MAD -- or Motorists Against Detection -- have taken to setting autonomous traffic cameras ablaze across the United Kingdom, and are detailing their exploits on a website (of course). The group's "PR" claims they have been active since 2000, and have destroyed over 1000 roadside cameras. Says the group's leader, Capt. Gatso, "The vigilante anti-speed camera group have announced a summer of MADness which will see them target for destruction all speed cameras in the UK. It's now going to be a period of zero tolerance against all speed cameras." The gang of disgruntled drivers also plans a day of action called "National Cover-Up Your Number Plates Day." Guy Fawkes would be proud.

Here's a website for the torched cameras

I'm interested to hear the opinion of those of you in the UK... Of course, in addition to everyone else.. Opinions on speed cameras?


The fact that there is a temporal disconnect between "crime" and "punishment" shows that this has nothing to do with public safety, it's the bloated government generating revenue. It's a fun tax.

"Having a large speed differential with the rest of the traffic can be quite a dangerous situation.... " I completely agree.

FYI: I updated the link above on the endemic surveillance society... The old link has square brackets and the site didn't like that :p Good discussion so far :)

Some cameras are clearly sited to earn money (such as 10 yards after a speed-limit change, or those areas with three or four cameras within a mile or two on a single main road), but others are plain odd - on my drive to work there's a camera on a stretch of road with a 30mph zone, but a semi-permanent traffic jam.

The mobile cameras are annoying - they're referred to as "safety cameras", but I have never heard of accident rates being reduced by their temporary presence.

More annoying are the number of sites that need a camera, but don't get them - my own road is a 30 zone, and has seen a lot of accidents in the 2 years I have lived here, all down to non-residents speeding down a rat-run.

There has been a hit & run that put a neighbour's son in plaster for months and on crutches for longer. It was a mature woman driver (the "low risk" demographic), and she has never been caught.

We even get people speeding the wrong way down our one-way road - they go extra fast to avoid getting trapped by another vehicle coming up the single-vehicle road.

But, we can't have a camera because it wouldn't catch enough people - it's not worth the money.

I'd like to see cameras based on height as well - many roads in this area were built before cars, never mind lorries, and have 7.5T weight limits to avoid lorries getting wedged in narrow gaps or collapsing pipes under the road. Yet we regularly have 24 and even 38-tonners squeezing up our road to avoid the slightly longer route around the town.

Ah the dreaded speed camera, or in PC terms, the "Safety camera".

I remember last year there was outrage amongst some press and local police when the AA published a road atlas detailing the position of every speed camera in the country, even though this information was already available freely on the Internet from government sources.

Some places where speed is a problem, such as villages, have taken different measures to catching the speeding motorist, even if he or she is not then fined. An example of this are the large LED signs (solar powered, of course) which tell you (and incidentally everyone else) what speed you are traveling at. The high profile manner of this forces people to slow down, rather than punishing them regardless whether they were aware of their speeding or not.

What annoys me are the "average speed cameras" which will track your car over a certain distance and then work out your average speed and fine you accordingly. These can obviously be circumvented by speeding into the measured stretch of road, pulling over for a bit and then speeding out ;-)

But yes, speed cameras are the spawn of Santa himself, although in some cases they are effective, placement needs to be looked at because sometimes you will see a camera in say, central London, where it's impossible to travel at more than 15mph anyway ;-)

Yes santa borught many a speed camera... The problem witht he big signs is that we had one for a few months in the harbour and we just started having drag races up the road in vans along with the obligatory 'how fast can I go in reverse game' and 'can I hit 20 in a forklift' (22MPH in a forklift.) I'm truly against speed cameras because thought a big speed differential between the majority of traffic is dangerous the idea of charging along at say 90mph on a motorway then seeing the speed camera a bit late and braking hard is going to cause anybody else that was going quickly to hit you. It's not speed that's dangerous it's very large changes in it over a short time. I have found a method for stopping camera without the government having any idea, using the big orange covers that they put on at the start, putting something similar enough over makes everyone think it's being repaired...

I came up with another good one which is making me long for the old iveco truck we had with a crane, yank the bugger down with the truck then take the gatso away for 'repurposement' oh and wrapping the film around police buildings at night. Also I wonder how tough those screens are, a silenced air rifle could be a quick way to wreck them, if it could bust them. Sorry about not having much regard for the idea of law but we used to travle the length of england and scotland at night doing 100-120mph and noone bothered us because it was safe, the police were doing the same (they don't pay for their petrol. and environmentally it was good too, most of this was when we took mini holidays to england in a toyota carina express which did (drum roll please) 47.7 miles to the gallon cruising at 100mph, we did the fill up test over a known amount of miles. Maybe cameras should have limits according to traffic and time of day, not conditions becasue then the police would keep it low all the time and just say there was fog or slight dampness.


10 years ago

I don't know, I think a "recommended" speed (like 80mph for a motorway, with certain sections of high risk at a lower recommended speed) 60mph for general roads (max speed) and 40-50 for country roads,