Friday, 20 August 2010

The war on the motorist – shocking new development

Hundreds of average speed cameras could soon be installed on roads in London. The devices would be used to enforce 20mph zones and may even replace speed humps.

TfL is planning a two-year trial in one street in each of four boroughs – Camden, Hackney, Southwark and Waltham Forest.

There are already more than 100 cameras in the four boroughs and Waltham Forest agreed to the trial despite recently cutting road accidents by 21 per cent — the best performance in London.

[That’s the fabulously safe Waltham Forest where There were a total of 93 bicycle casualties in the borough in 2009, compared with 65 in 2008 - a rise of 43 per cent - according to the data from Transport for London (TfL).]

Dylan Sharpe of Big Brother Watch, said: “Average speed cameras are just a new form of surveillance and now there's nowhere you can escape their beady eye.

[A ludicrous exaggeration.]

"Average speed cameras on London's back roads will massively increase the opportunity to charge motorists.”

Only if drivers massively ignore 20 mph speed restrictions, which have a proven record of success in massively reducing deaths and serious injuries in urban areas.

A journalist who has presumably clocked up a few tickets in his or her time sputters indignantly in the form of an Evening Standard editorial:

There is by no means universal compliance with the normal 30mph speed limit, and no one suggests a comprehensive system of speed cameras to enforce that.

[They do on this blog, ducky.]

Speed cameras are not the way to enforce the new limits. A traffic police officer can allow motorists leeway in some cases; a machine has no such recourse to common sense. Most drivers can be persuaded to reduce their speed.

What motorists resent is the notion that they are simply being used to generate a new stream of income. Stricter speed limits will save lives; speed cameras are an unnecessarily draconian way of ensuring they are complied with.

Savage repression indeed.

Needless to say there’s a road-tax-dodging cyclist who thinks the idea is brilliant.