Boffin challenges Speed camera accuracy

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by WinterMute, Jan 9, 2005.

  1. WinterMute Moderator emeritus

    WinterMute

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Location:
    London, England
    #1
    A retired inventor has researched GATSO camera accuracy and is planning to challenge the legitimacy of the evidence they deliver in court after being prosecited for speeding... :cool:

    iGav's Patented Rinky Dink Link
     
  2. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #2
    Although I find this interesting and the scrutiny probably overdue, I find the site's statement "Let's make speed cameras as unacceptable as drink driving" abhorrent.

    On my street are 2 schools and an old persons home, it's narrow with cars parked on both sides, it's a rat-run between 2 major London streets and yet, people drive down this street at well over 50mph sometimes-- it's a wonder that no-one has been killed in the 6 years I've lived here...

    Every day, on my way to work, outside Tube stations or at bus-stops, moronic white-van-men and speeding boy racers refuse to stop at pedestrian crossings, often blithely ignoring the speed limit.

    Near my office is a sharp corner in the road and the amount of scrapes on the lamp-posts and bent railings testify to the stupidity of some people.

    Sorry for this rant but it's one of my pet peeves: the Daily Mail'ish Jeremy Clarkson fuelled agenda of opposing speed cameras.
     
  3. WinterMute thread starter Moderator emeritus

    WinterMute

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    #3
    Granted they have their place, and are relatively effective in limited roles but they are lazy and cheap policing, and the siting of some of them over the past few years simply fuels the accusation that they are being used as revenue generating systems for the police.

    I'd rather see the general padestrianisation of school approaches and town centres than a proliferation of GATSO speed cameras.

    The main problem with fixed sites is that everyone knows where they are, and the speeders simply slow down past the cameras, then accelerate again. Mobile speed traps are much more effective, but require manning and are expensive.

    Geographically activated speed limiters fitted to vehicles are a reality now, once you drive into a dangerous area, the limiter is activated, when you leave, it switches off.

    I was interested in the calibration issue, basically the police are cheating. I'll be interested to see how the court case turns out.
     
  4. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    #4
    Speed Cameras in the UK are generally not placed in the best places to save lives, or to reduce accidents. They are placed where they are most likely to generate revenue. I think that almost all motorists would be happy siting the outside schools, old peoples homes and the like. What those of us who are unhappy with them (whether or not we read a rag like the Mail) are against is placing them on long straight bits of dual-carriage ways where there are not even pavements! Especially when the speed limits on these stretches of roads then have their speed limits reduced as well!

    At the moment the number of deaths on Britains roads is actually rising year on year, not falling. This has only started since the government introduced incentives for police forces to remove actual traffic police and to put in loads of cameras. Cameras do not actually put off those who tend to be the most dangerous: those driving stolen cars and those driving without tax and insurance.

    What I want to see happen in the next few years is a real, constructive discussion on road safety in the UK. This does not mean a discussion on how to slow everyone down! It should be possible to actually raise speed limits in many non-urban areas (motorways). If everyone drove correctly, using the lanes as they are meant to, signalling their intentions and driving to the conditions then we could all go faster AND be safer.
     
  5. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    #5

    Only if...

    :rolleyes:
     
  6. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    #6
    Well, I'm as guilty as the next person of travelling at "reasonable" speed! But I do use the lanes correctly. I do signal before changing lanes. I do slow down if it's raining/foggy/busy. What really annoys me is that people seem to think that it's always safe to travel at the speed limit due to the way that the government has promoted and polarised the issue. There are conditions when it's simply not appropriate to travel at 70mph on the motorway, even if there are no other cars apparently around.
     
  7. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #7
    Would you rather pay a "real" person for speeding? And pay he fines to support such am effort?
     
  8. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    #8
    Yes, as many times a real traffic police officer will not stop a motorist for travelling a bit over the speed limit if the conditions allow it and the driver in question is driving safely. It's this lack of discretion that make GATSOs (and the like) massively unpopular. The Police themselves appear to know that many speed limits are not appropriate. Look at the number of them who have been caught speeding in the last couple of years!
     
  9. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #9
    That's very true and while you may be a responsible driver, many are not. Almost every year we hear of fog-patches & pile-ups...

    Besides, most people overestimate their driving ability.

    "Further research carried out by Norwich Union also showed that the majority of UK motorists were "cocky" and "overconfident", believing that their driving skills were far better than they actually were. As many as 93% of drivers claimed to be "very confident" behind the wheel, with 60% believing they would pass their driving test if they were to take it today. In reality, the Crash Index found that three-quarters of these 'confident drivers' had been involved in a collision and an estimated 70% would fail their driving test second time round."

    Link
     
  10. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #10
    Amen, I have a problem with the 4x4 and AWD drivers here in the states that think that driving the speed limit is OK during a snowstorm.
     
  11. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    Northern Virginia
    #11
    To be fair in the states it is more of an issue that that their time is to valuable to be taken up my the smaller offenses. For they spend as much time on a speeding offense as they do on a reckless driving one.
     
  12. CorvusCamenarum macrumors 65816

    CorvusCamenarum

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    Dec 16, 2004
    Location:
    Birmingham, AL
    #12
    What people need to realize...

    ...is that speeding doesn't really get you there all that faster, unless what you're doing is reckless driving and not basic speeding.

    Where I live, it's 70mph on the intestates, so I'll be using that as a reference. Consider:

    70 mph = 1 mile every 55 seconds. For an uninterrupted journey of 100 miles, that's 91 2/3 minutes.

    For every +5 mph, subtract 2.5 seconds per mile:

    At 75 mph (52.5 seconds/mile), that 100 mile trip takes 87 1/2 minutes.
    At 80 mph (50.0 seconds/mile), that 100 mile trip takes 83 1/3 minutes.
    At 85 mph (47.5 seconds/mile), that 100 mile trip takes 79 1/6 minutes.
    At 90 mph (45.0 seconds/mile), that 100 mile trip takes 75 minutes.

    If I remember correctly what my state trooper friend told me, most people who get caught speeding are only going 10-15 mph or so over the limit. So is that extra 10 minutes or so worth getting snagged for a $100 ticket? Or the added cost of insurance? Or the extra gas you burned going that fast? I'd think that last point makes more of a difference in GBR where gas prices are the victim of socialist taxes.
     
  13. iGav macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2002
    #13
    What I'd like to see is intelligent speed limits that actively change depending on variables such as time of day, traffic flow, weather, % of accidents and incidents. A similar system currently operates on the M25 which can actively change the speed limits in individual lanes, this needs to be developed further with features as outlined above.

    I'd also like to see a realistic revision of Speed Limits, 70mph on a clear, dry motorway is not realistic, even the fuzz aren't bothered until you're doing either upwards of 85mph or driving without due care and attention e.g. hogging the middle lane (yes that is driving without due care and attention) or tailgating etc etc.

    I'd like to see 'The Green Cross Code' man back, remember back in the '70's and '80's... almost every ad in childrens shows featured the 'The Green Cross Code'... drumming the whole 'Stop, Look, Listen' into your brains. When was the last time anyone saw a similar advert on heavy rotation??? (and don't mention those f**king hedgehogs). We need to teach kids about road safety and the ramifications of not knowing about it. I've lost count of the times children have just strolled out in front of me without a care in the world without looking, or indeed continuing to look as they cross the road.

    I'd like to see the Driving Test updated, to incorporate more advanced car control basics. When you stick those 'L' plates on, your are NOT learning to drive, you are learning to pass a test, it teaches you nothing about how to control the car in a skid, or a blow out, or how a modern car reacts when you lose all power and suddenly you lose your ABS and power steering. Or how many people could explain what understeer and oversteer are and there causes without looking it up?? (I don't necessarily mean here on the forums, but in general) or how do you bring a car to a controlled stop if you've lost your brakes?? these are all pertinent points in regard to becoming a safer and better driver... but are they all required to pass the test??

    I'd also like to see the age put up from 17 to 21 in the hope that those extra few 'maturity' years will contribute to them being better and safer drivers. I'd also like to see a system where new drivers are limited to cars up to 1 litre, at the moment there is nothing stopping someone passing their test in a Fiesta only to go out and buy *the fastest car in the world*.

    I'd like to see older drivers re-tested more frequently, every year for a basic re-test to make sure that they're still safe... e.g. eye sight, reaction time, knowledge of current highway code, health etc.

    Whilst I don't entirely disagree with speed camera's (I do object to them when they replace Traffic Police Officers) the point that I am trying to get at is that far too much emphasis is being put solely on speed, and not other issues that are just as relevant for making the roads as safe as possible.

    Good road safety relies on EVERYBODY being taught the rules of the road... not just drivers.
     
  14. Roger1 macrumors 65816

    Roger1

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2002
    Location:
    Michigan
    #14
    What I would like to see in the States is a real driving course for drivers. Not only new drivers, but "experienced" drivers, too. I think it should be mandatory to a driving course similar to the type race car drivers go through, except on defensive driving. You know, put the student on a closed course, put them throught a few 360 degree turns, show them how to get out of it, etc,etc, etc, show them consequences it they are talking on a cell phone, doing 70 mph in a rain storm while fiddling with the radio. I think this would help reduce accidents, etc.
     
  15. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #15
    It's those 'socialist' taxes that help pay for the hospitals, nurses, doctors, surgeons and therapists who put people's lives back together after a car accident...
     
  16. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    Location:
    London
    #16
    That and the massive taxes on tobacco, alcohol, the Road Fund License (which, on it's own brings in much more than is spent on the roads every year), insurance tax (so as premiums go up to cover all the uninsured drivers, who no doubt claim they can't afford insurance, the government rakes in even more)...

    It's amazing that anyone still lives here :)
     
  17. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #17
    You forgot Council Tax, my particular bete-noire. :mad:

    :)
     
  18. CorvusCamenarum macrumors 65816

    CorvusCamenarum

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    Location:
    Birmingham, AL
    #18
    I say socialist because we pay for our own health care over here instead of it going through the government. Something as notoriously inefficient as government should not be in charge of something as important as health care.

    I remember when I was over there last and I was astounded at how much gas was. When I was asked how much gas was over here at the time, I think I came up with ~25 pence/liter. Then it was the locals' turn to be astounded.

    As for insurance, it's mandatory here. Well, on a state-by-state basis. The cost of the ticket you would get is usually more than the total cost of a six-month premium, so it's retarded not to carry it.

    On a note of curiosity, what are the Road Fund License and Council Tax?
     
  19. millar876 macrumors 6502a

    millar876

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    May 13, 2004
    Location:
    Peterhead, Scotland UK
    #19
    speed cameras are great

    I love the things. Just after the 9-11 tragedy i was working on a militry base in South wales (here in the uk) and due to the hightned security state, names and times were being logged every time you entered or left a building within the base. That weekend i decided to go home to Kilmarnock, 411 miles from where i was in wales, and after the LONG drive, i was woken up py the postman who wass kindly delivering a speeding ticket i had to sign for.

    As the letter was addressed to me and i was curious i opened the envelope, and to my amazment, it was from Grampian police force for a speeding ofence some 200 miles further north than i already had travled, midweek (wednesday) and at what would have been 20 minutes into my lunch break in wales.

    At this point in time I had a 1 Litre Vauxhall Nova saloon that strugled to chug along at 70, yet according to the police, their infalible speed cameras had caught me doing 95mph in a 50 zone 650-750 miles from where i was working within 20 mins of stopping for my lunch break. Which is an impresive feat by any standard, ecpecialy when i would have had to traverce 20 miles of country roads to get to a motorway, and negotiate the M5 and the M6 (busy roads at the best of times) during the lunchtime rush hour.

    needless to say i faught the ticket, and one. It did however take a letter from my workplace superviser, His boss (an officer on the base) and a security statment from the Milatery Police at the base.


    Just to reitterate, I LOVE THOSE SPEED CAMERAS THEY'RE GREAT.
     
  20. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    Northern Virginia
    #20
    Sort of like years ago I was given a ticket by a real police officer for doing 70mph in a 55mph zone. I know I wasn't doing that since I just got the car a few months before and was trying to get a real highway MPG rating. He caught the semi in front of me IMO.
     
  21. VincentVega macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2004
    Location:
    UK
    #21
    "Socialist"? What a simplistic argument. Presumably, as the Bush administration continues the Medicare and Medicaid programmes, it is socialist as well? (Not to mention the booming deficit - whatever happened to good ol' conservative fiscal awareness?)

    How many millions of people in the US are without health insurance because they don't have the money to pay for it? Forty million or more? In the UK, everyone has the right to health care, regardless of whether they can afford it. Access to health care should be based on a person's need, not the depth of their wallet.

    Something as important as health care should not be entrusted to the fickle, profit-motivated free market. An individual's health should not have to fight with shareholders' desires for profits and CEOs' desires for fat bonuses and company yachts.

    Oh, and read this. How many of the countries in the top ten have state-provided health? Most of them, I'd wager.
     
  22. apple2991 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 20, 2004
    #22
    Oh, BURNED.
     
  23. Earendil macrumors 68000

    Earendil

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    Washington
    #23

    Except that under the *current* system the medicare laws are becoming to complicated for Doctors to deal with. If things keep up rural doctors will go out of business, because they do not have the staff, or the money, to higher the lawyers needed to keep themselves "legal" under Medicare.

    Medicare may pay for the treatment, but they also dictate WHAT treatment the patient gets, and takes control away from what the Doctor may think is best.
    It would be great if we all put money in a pot, that was divided out evenly to pay for everyones Bills, but that isn't the case.

    Also, and this may not be true of all countries, but from what I've heard those top countries that had a Government run medical system are almost impossible to get an appointment at. You end up waiting forever, weeks, maybe months to get in. Here in the states you can basically walk into a hospital.

    ~Tyler
     
  24. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    Sod off
    #24
    The White Vans! They're everywhere!

    Just today I was driving to work and there were 4 white vans, one in each of the highway's 4 lanes, pacing each other. They're on the clock so they cruise slow on the highway but for some reason once they get into downtown they speed around in their V8 equipped behemoths with no respect for life, limb or property.
     
  25. CorvusCamenarum macrumors 65816

    CorvusCamenarum

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    Location:
    Birmingham, AL
    #25
    Thanks for the backup there bud.

    I wasn't trying to disparage one system over the other; I was merely pointing out that one system is socialist, while one isn't. And yes, a significant percentage of Americans don't have proper health insurance, but there are quite a variety of options if that's the case (Medicaid, etc). Also, it's illegal I believe in all 50 states to turn someone away who needs immediate attention (broken leg, car accident, etc) for any reason. What insurance basically pays for most of the time is being able to go see a doctor every time you have a sniffle.
     

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