Justice minister Cathy Jamieson hit out at critics of Britain’s longest speed trap, which is in Ayrshire.
Speaking at the launch of the “average speed” safety camera system on the A77, she said it was an important milestone in the battle to reduce road injuries.
The cameras measure speeds between various points along a 28-mile stretch and calculate the average speed.
This will hopefully be the first of many of these types of speed traps. So many times do you hear the complaints that the regular single camera speed traps are just revenue generators.
Well apart from the fact that they won’t generate any revenue if you don’t speed (which is illegal), this will stop the annoying habit of those idiots that slam their brakes on coming up to the camera, then put their foot down speeding towards the next camera, to then repeat the whole cycle until the speed cameras stop.
Even when I was at at just over 70, this jag driver would speed off into the distance, approach the camera, slam his brakes on, at which point I would catch up and draw level, we would then pass the camera and he would speed up again. Meanwhile I was still doing the same speed and again as he braked, I would draw level. He couldn’t work out what I was laughing at and sped off again, only for me to draw level once more. He just didn’t get it.
Actually, I’ve just realised that the averaging camera won’t stop the likes of the jag driver above, since I just proved that his average speed was within the limit (as we always appeared level…hmmm)
I’m not too fussed about putting them on all the motorways. I am more interested in their use on local roads in rural areas.
For example, we have one speed camera on the main road that goes through our village.
We have a 30MPH limit along the majority of the road, but we have had drivers clocked at over 100MPH on occaisions. Most drivers usually exceed 40MPH and the average is probably around 50MPH.
Having a camera at the start of the road, and then at the end of the road would stop those speeding period. There would be no way to defeat a system like that. You could also put cameras on various exits along that road, or have temporary cameras could be placed on random days along those exits.
It would be a revenue generator, especially around this area. But so what? It is generating revenue because people are breaking the law.
Some argue that the money is not spent on road safety, but on other policing costs. So what? It’s their money once I have broken the law and paid my fine.
To those that continually speed it will get expensive very quickly, and possibly mean the lost of their licence. That is a big improvement on road safety.
I’ve not always been a fan of speed cameras. Mostly around the time I had 9 points on my licence for 3 SP30 speeding offences. One of them was a bit dubious, but the other two were both valid speeding offences. I had no justifcation for speeding, and where I was unlucky to get caught, you could just as well say I was even luckier not to cause an accident or kill even kill someone.
I’ve completed a number of driving training courses including high speed pursuit and escape practices whilst I was in the Royal Navy and I would like to think I can handle a car, but it doesn’t give me the right to speed.
I won’t say I don’t speed now, but I will say that I won’t complain when I get caught. I try to stick to the Limit + 10% + 3mph ‘unwritten’ rule. These are usually the limits that you will get a ticket if you exceed. Originally they were used because of the various tolerances in the systems used for determining the speed of vehicle. So on a 70mph motorway, it gives you an unofficial limit of 70 + 7 + 3 = 80mph. Most of us know that you can do 80mph on a motorway and the patrols/cameras won’t even bother you. But, that doesn’t mean you can do 80mph in zero visability because of weather and get away with it, (if a copper was to see you doing 70mph he should probably throw the book at you whether that is the limit or not!!).
This ‘unofficial’ limit is why the speed limit on the Motorway has not been increased to say 80 or higher. If you set the legal limit at 80, then more people would approach 100.
80mph on a motorway is fine for me. I don’t care if my car can do 140mph. If I wanted to do that speed, I take it to a track day.
Now, if I still had my 160bhp 155mph Honda VTR sports bike;
(1) I would probably be keeping it in 12 month storage while I wait for my licence to come back.
(2) It would be melted down to provide the alloys for my wheelchair that I would need for the rest of my life if I was lucky.