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Astrodome
26th Feb 2006, 23:44
Isn't it such a shame that they don't put this effort into the crimes that really concern the general public, such as violent crime, and theft.

http://www.pepipoo.com/cmsms/index.php?page=Cheetah_booklet

cosworth211
26th Feb 2006, 23:52
Do you think that police decide what crime they fancy tackling that week and go for it?

My partner is a PC and she works very hard and does the best she can. If you want to blame someone, blame the powers abover her, who cripple her with their PC junk.

Astrodome
26th Feb 2006, 23:57
Do you think that police decide what crime they fancy tackling that week and go for it?
I suggest you read the leaflet first.

This is a clear operation organised by the Police.

In the area where I live there are certain areas where it is unwise to go after dark, or even during daylight hours.

Be nice to see the intolerance of this type of crime handled in a simialr manner.

cosworth211
27th Feb 2006, 00:17
Some crimes the police can tackle pro-actively, some they have to tackle re-actively.

I would not prioritise a policing policy that makes it safer to walk around your neighbourhood at night over stopping school children getting mown down by speeders.

Do you have an understanding of how the police force operate? Or have you become judge, jury and executioner based on this one leaflet?

Keef
27th Feb 2006, 00:33
My wife has a lot of contact with the local police stations (not from the wrong side of the desk, BTW) and is full of admiration for the police - and scathing about the absurd rules that waste vast amounts of their time.

For example (one of many): no longer can the sergeant/inspector decide whether to caution, "NFA", or detain someone after interview. They have to call in a CPS bod to go through all the information each time and make the decision.

The effect is to make everyone wait around for another hour or so with rarely if ever any change to the final "disposal". That's a policeman not out catching crooks, and a solicitor and a CPS person to be paid for another hour or two - just to be PC (or something). A little scrote nicks a pack of cigarettes; several hundred quid gets spent on solicitor, CPS wallah, and social worker (not that there's very often a social worker available after 4.30pm).

The era of the swift clip round the ear by the PC is (sadly?) long gone.

cosworth211
27th Feb 2006, 00:44
Keef, thats exactly it. Since my g/f joined Surrey Police, I suddenly see a whole lot less of her. She works her socks off. When she comes home, she is peeved, for as much as she wants to make a difference in this world, bureaucracy shackles her effectiveness.

Too many people, who have been victims of crime, are quick to blame it on the police.

2R
27th Feb 2006, 01:07
Please send me twenty quid and i will tell you a sure fire way of avoiding tickets.













Do not speed (For Free)
free advice has no value:} :} :}

eal401
27th Feb 2006, 07:21
I am a bit stumped by the example of the young girl tragically killed by a speeding motorist. What has it got to do with speed cameras and getting off a speeding fine?

Clearly no-one realises that if road safety and speeding was addressed properly by effective methods, wasting resources like this would not be required. Bit too smart for those in charge really.

Grainger
27th Feb 2006, 09:53
Well thank you for that penetrating piece of insight 2R. I'm sure our children are all safe now that you've applied your mighty intellect to the problem.

Actually, there's an even better way of avoiding tickets. Just steal a car - you'll be able to go past as many cameras as you want without ever getting a ticket. :yuk:

Cosworth - as recent events have sadly shown, school children also get mown down by stolen cars, uninsured drivers, and unlicenced drivers. Quite how prosecuting thousands of other people who have not harmed anyone is supposed to stop this is beyond me.

In the recent tragic incident (discussed ad nauseam on another thread) there is no evidence that the driver was speeding, so it should not be used as justification for more severe speeding enforcement. What could have prevented it would be spending some of that effort in catching and stopping car thieves.

eal401
27th Feb 2006, 13:11
Well said Grainger. Valid points that 2R et al would not be able to answer.

Even more relevant, there is a road near me where I could hit a pedestrian whilst doing 40mph. It's a 50 limit. Effectiveness of any speed camera? A big fat flubby nil. Nonetheless, the yellow box is more popular than any physical improvements, not that Lancashire's Road Engineering Department has any such skills given recent works undertaken.

In Lancashire, best thing to do is speed on narrow residential roads, there are very few camera's in such locations. Better yet, be a boy racer. Lancashire's roads are free for your pleasure and play at night, regardless of other traffic etc.

<sits back and waits for Binoculars to have a go at me for being pro-speeding>

MMEMatty
27th Feb 2006, 15:11
If theres one thing i can't stand about the police's attitude in this type of thing, its the "Drive at 40mph, 80% of people you hit will die, drive at 30mph, 80% live" argument.

If you take that to its conclusion, we should all have someone walk in front of the car waving a red flag.

I dont speed, full stop. But that annoys the hell out of me.

Matt :mad:

Navajo8686
27th Feb 2006, 15:30
It suddenly occured to me how to reduce the number of speed camera activations without increasing speed limts or encouraging faster driving.
The trick will be to tell Chief Constables that they are being judged on the number of activations. They are blatantly failing to reduce speed (especially at danger points) as the number of cameras going off keeps increasing (we are being told). Therefore for every activation take a pound off the pay of the CC and the command team. Take a fiver off for every injury rta and 10 for every serious injury rta and 20 for every fatal and they'll soon get to grips with the 'deliberate maniacs' (instead of the 'accidental flashers'). However to recognise reductions for every reduction year on year pay them the money as an incentive instead.
Bet it would never happen :sad:

got caught
27th Feb 2006, 15:31
Whats the big debate about. Have they prosecuted someone who is innocent? For that matter, have speed cameras?

Unfortunately, had to administer first aid on several occasions to victims of speeding criminals. Twas very messy and painful.

We should be doing more to actively discourage this scourge on public health.:{

Grainger
27th Feb 2006, 15:47
More to the point is that the emphasis is in the wrong place - prosecuting vast numbers of people who have harmed no-one while people who kill get let off.

Speed is not the only cause of accidents. Concentrating exclusively on speed enforcement while neglecting the other causes might make good rhetoric but it is not an efficient way of improving safety.

got caught
27th Feb 2006, 16:04
But if you think the speed limit is incorrect, campaign for a change in that.

Grainger
27th Feb 2006, 16:13
How exactly would that cut deaths from people driving stolen cars, uninsured drivers, mobile phone users or drunk drivers ? :confused:

got caught
27th Feb 2006, 16:22
Well firstly, it doesn't , but two wrongs don't make a right.

Prior to speed camera's, the usual motorists moan on getting a pull for speeding, was that the police should concentrate on real criminals. Well now they can, freeing up resources to concentrate on the menaces you describe.

Secondly, despite the anecdotal winges on JB, speed camera's, along with other road safety measures, do actually cut down road deaths.

Thirdly, despite the fundemental rule of physics, stating time = speed/distance, as my old granny used to say, you don't actually get there any quicker.

I've been nicked a couple of times by the camaera's- I don't winge- I did the crime and I've done the time (ok it was a £60 fine).:ok:

Along with the smoke detector, the speed camera must rank as one of the great inventions of modern time

Grainger
27th Feb 2006, 16:36
Hmm. This has been explained so many times that it's getting tedious. No-one is moaning about "getting caught" - unlike you, I have never been caught. In spite of what you may say, road deaths have not fallen significantly since the introduction of cameras.

In medicine we have the concept of false positives and false negatives. A test for a disease would be discredited if it generated lots of false positives (people not having the disease) even if it successfully identified everyone who did have the disease. Why ? Because in medicine, giving the treatment to the wrong people is seen as a bad thing.

I'll say it again, prosecuting thousands of people who have not caused accidents probably means that you are measuring the wrong thing. Simply generating huge numbers of prosecutions regardless of whether you are prosecuting the right people (i.e. the dangerous ones) is not an efficient way of making the roads safer.

If nothing else, it leads to complacency and a sense of false security - "look how many people we're prosecuting, we must be making things safer". It's the worst kind of sloppy thinking. By all means go for the "maniacs" - people vastly exceeding the limit - but go after the other examples of bad driving with equal vigour and leave those who pose no real hazard alone.

got caught
27th Feb 2006, 17:07
;) Sorry I'm not privvy to your data, but I'm glad to hear, that in your case, the measures are actually working.

Are you saying that it's safe to exceed the speed limit? I know of no evidence to support this. If it is, we need a higher speed limit.

Your medical analogy doesn't make that much sense. I've had to stick a lot of people on antihypertensives/statins today to stop a couple of strokes and heart attacks. Kissing frogs to catch my prince

Grainger
27th Feb 2006, 18:12
I was thinking more in terms of not giving radiotherapy to people that don't have cancer, that sort of thing.

The trouble with saying things like "safe to exceed the speed limit" is that nothing is as black and white as that. It isn't a case of "69 mph good, 71 mph bad" - as with many things in life there is a little more to it than that. Road conditions, traffic density, weather, visibility, driver alertness, all contribute to what's safe and what isn't.

Limits are often set for reasons that are obscure at best. Near us there is a new stretch of dual carriageway that's just been built to replace a roundabout that was a notorious bottleneck. Lovely smooth new surface, plenty of grip, good visibility. The new road has a speed limit of 50 mph rather than the standard dual carriageway limit of 70mph.

Why? Is someone seriously suggesting that this new stretch of road has been so poorly designed as to be unsafe at the usual speed for a dual carriageway?

Is the implication that anyone going at 60mph will be at risk of having an accident, even though it's OK on the old bit of road only a mile away ? Why was this dangerous design approved ? Aren't we entitled to a little more protection than roads that are so unsafe that the limit has to be lowered ?

A car that was unsafe to drive at greater than 50mph would almost certainly not be approved. So why a dual carriageway ?

2R
27th Feb 2006, 19:03
Biometric ignition systems installed so that the car will only let the registered owners drive it .I know the locks are for honest people arguement and that a good thief will find a way round any anti-theft device .But some of these guys are not that bright or they would realize the harm that they are doing and the grief that their actions may cause and do something productive with themselves.
Have you noticed that the safer they make cars the more dangerous the driving has become.Perhaps it is time to take out the seatbelts of cars driven by convicted speeders.Remove the airbags and install a big six inch dildo on the steering wheel so if they crash they can be f*cked in the head in an accident.The threat of injuries may slow them down ?:} :}

Grainger
27th Feb 2006, 20:58
tried that in Malaysia I think (the fingerprint ignition, not the dildo thing :eek:).

Result: the crims don't just steal your keys anymore, they cut off your finger :ouch: Not the sort of progress we're looking for. :(

Bomber ARIS
27th Feb 2006, 22:40
got caught, when you say

despite the fundemental rule of physics, stating time = speed/distance

you exemplify the problem with most fudamentalists; not just that they cannot spell the word, but what they believe to be fundamental is just plain wrong!

If you believe that time=speed/distance then of course you, and your old granny, will think that you won't get there any quicker.

Unfortunately, the fundamentals of physics state otherwise.

eal401
28th Feb 2006, 07:25
We should be doing more to actively discourage this scourge on public health
That is the point of the argument.
Secondly, despite the anecdotal winges on JB, speed camera's, along with other road safety measures, do actually cut down road deaths.

No they don't. Lancashire has among the highest number of speed cameras and last year an increase in road casualties was reported by Lancashire Police.
Along with the smoke detector, the speed camera must rank as one of the great inventions of modern time
If I used a smoke detector like appropriate organisations use speed cameras, it would be above the fireplace or in the kitchen. I.e. somewhere it'd be more likely to set off but not have any real influence over safety.
Are you saying that it's safe to exceed the speed limit? I know of no evidence to support this.
Of course it is safe to exceed a speed limit. So the police say anyway.....

got caught
1st Mar 2006, 16:13
Thanks Bomber, your obviously a very clever person.

Eal, I'm still a bit confused, are you saying that it's ok to break the speed limit?

patdavies
1st Mar 2006, 17:25
Biometric ignition systems installed so that the car will only let the registered owners drive it .

Cr*p idea.

How will the AA man start the car for you? How will any garage mechanic ever be able to move or test drive a car? How will dealers demonstration vehicles work? What about company pool cars? Hire cars? How will the system be immediately adjustable when you purchase a secondhand car?

Presumably, there will be some bypass device that would also allow you to lend your car to somebody. What could we call it??? I know - an ignition key!!!! that acts with an immobiliser.


Even a cursory glance a stolen car statistics will show that cars stolen by 'joyriders' tend these days to be older, less well protected models as the newer cars are not so easy to nick.

Unwell_Raptor
1st Mar 2006, 17:39
How about a special seat that (gently!) inserts an anal probe into the driver, checks the DNA, and then via satellite uplink checks ID card database, also insurance, tax and status of dog licence? The technology exists already. After all, the innocent have nothing to fear, do they?

Send Clowns
1st Mar 2006, 18:06
Secondly, despite the anecdotal winges on JB, speed camera's [sic], along with other road safety measures, do actually cut down road deaths.Statistics suggest you are wrong, those you petulantly accuse of whinging are possibly correct. The constant reduction in road deaths that had been seen for decades faded out from the mid 1990s, as speed cameras became prevalent, until rate of deaths is now effectively constant. So your safety measures do not cut down road deaths. Are you saying that it's safe to exceed the speed limit?Which "speed limit"? Singular "limit"? There are thousands of different stretches of road. On many of them it is safe to excede the limit. On many it is not safe to drive at the limit. Drivers must take responsibility for their own safe speed. Have you noticed that the safer they make cars the more dangerous the driving has becomeIt has been said that the best safety device would be a large spike in the middle of the steering wheel ...

eal401
2nd Mar 2006, 07:25
Eal, I'm still a bit confused, are you saying that it's ok to break the speed limit?
If that is a serious question, don't go applying to Mensa any time soon.

But as you are confused, the answer is no. But if you don't understand my argument, well.....:oh:

got caught
2nd Mar 2006, 09:08
So send clowns is saying that it's ok to break the speed limit- in which case, surely its the limit which needs fixing, not the camera.

Eal, I think, is saying that it's not ok to break the speed limit- so why worry about the camera? Are they reponsible for convicting innocent motorists?

I can see why your frustrated by your own nonsensical argument.

patdavies
2nd Mar 2006, 09:54
Are they reponsible for convicting innocent motorists?
I can see why your frustrated by your own nonsensical argument.

Yes, I believe they are in some cases.

The LTI 20/20 laserscope has been banned from use in some US states because of proven inaccuracies. The Home Office, the Police and (suprise, suprise) the importer say that the firmware is different on UK models and that they are 100% accurate - basic physics proves they cannot be so. However, none of these parties will either release the firmware for scrutiny, or a UK LTI 20/20 for independent testing. Further, despite giving the device type approval, the Home Office admit that it has never been tested for the grant of that approval on motorcycles!

Also a fixed (Gatso) camera can only detect a vehicle passing it above a preset threshold speed - it cannot know that the signage is correct/visible or that every other legal requirement to make a speed limit enforceable is in place.

If you think that speed camera never convict innocent motorists then you are living in cloud cuckoo land - just look at the Folly Bottom (A303) debacle.

Grainger
2nd Mar 2006, 09:57
Eal, I think, is saying that it's not ok to break the speed limit- so why worry about the camera? Are they reponsible for convicting innocent motorists?g_c the point is that laws are supposed to be exercised with discretion. There are so many many instances of people who have been driving for thirty or forty years without so much as a scratch, thus demonstrating their ability to drive safely. What possible purpose can be served by punishing a proven safe driver who has harmed no-one ?

got caught
2nd Mar 2006, 10:14
So it's ok to break some laws? And ok to exceed the speed limit ? How much by? Is it ok to do 32 in a 30 zone, or 33, or 34 ?

If thats the case, why not move the limit to 34 ?

And by who's discretion ? The motorists ? The "authorities?"

patdavies, if this is the case, then I conceed, relying on the evidence of speed camera's is wrong- can it be fixed? Then we can have a speed camera on every street.

Grainger
2nd Mar 2006, 10:16
I see you've joined the school of "don't answer the question, just repeat your previous statement". bjcc would be proud of you.

Once again: what purpose is served by punishing someone who has demonstrated over many years their ability to drive safely ?

Keef
2nd Mar 2006, 10:41
Isn't the problem that they put these cameras in inappropriate places?

Near a school where there have been accidents caused by speeding motorists hitting children, yes. Absolutely.

On a wide straight rural road with nothing to be seen in any direction but trees (ie the unmarked "safety partnership" van one that got me for doing 65)?

got caught
2nd Mar 2006, 10:42
I'm sorry your irritated.

Are you saying that it's ok to break a speed limit if you've been driving safely for 30 or 40 years. Will the car do less damage if in a collision?

If my point seems repetitive, its because I havn't been given an answer. I 'm still unclear as to when its ok to go over the speed limit. And on who's say so?


I'm sorry, I don't know your friend bjcc.

And Keef, were you driving within the law?

Grainger
2nd Mar 2006, 11:52
Clearly, the car will do no damage if it is not involved in a collision. The best indicator of what's likely to happen in the future is past history, not an arbitrary numerical limit.

I'm feeling like Jeremy Paxman here:

what purpose is served by punishing someone who has demonstrated over many years their ability to drive safely ?

got caught
2nd Mar 2006, 12:15
Are they driving safely if breaking the speed limit?

And whilst I agree, the likelihood of collision is reduced with a history of safe driving, does this give the said driver any special right to break the limit?

And, if as you say, the best indicator of the future is the past, should they bother wearing a seat belt, or changing their tyres regularly, or abiding other laws designed for safety?

Luckily, my house hasn't burnt down yet, should I take out the battery tonight?

Your question needs clarifying pax.

eal401
2nd Mar 2006, 12:33
Isn't the problem that they put these cameras in inappropriate places?


Yay, somebody gets it!!!! :ok:

Grainger
2nd Mar 2006, 12:44
Are they driving safely if breaking the speed limit?If they've managed not to hit anything after driving a distance equivalent to going to the Moon and back, apparently so !

Now I've answered one of your questions, will you please answer the question I asked several posts ago:

what purpose is served by punishing someone who has demonstrated over many years their ability to drive safely and who has harmed no-one ?

patdavies
2nd Mar 2006, 13:15
S
patdavies, if this is the case, then I conceed, relying on the evidence of speed camera's is wrong- can it be fixed?

Try this

http://forums.pepipoo.com/index.php?showtopic=4613&hl=

got caught
2nd Mar 2006, 13:50
Yes thanks for clarifying the point.

If you do believe that it is safe (and lawful), to exceed the speed limit, then there is, indeed no point at all in enforcing that law. In fact, if you truly believe that,then the law itself is pointless, and maybe perverse, and should indeed be changed. (or the limit itself changed).

But is then the problem with the law (or the limit), and not the mode of enforcement. So if you think that it is ok to drive at 34 in a 30 zone, shouldn't the limit then be changed to 34. (and enforced at 34).

As regards innapropiate places for camera placement, shouldn't you be looking at whether the actual limit in that place is appropiate, not the mode of enforcement. In Keef's example, I would argue that the camera was in an appropiate place- it caught Keef committing a criminal offence. (I'm sure you'll be forgiven:) )

And then we can have a speed camera on every street- lovely:O

Grainger
2nd Mar 2006, 15:25
Please don't put words into people's mouths. No-one has said that the law is pointless or perverse - just that it is being enforced overzealously and without discretion.

In fact, the original premise of the thread was "such a shame they don't put this effort into other crime". I for one would be delighted if car thieves or people who drive with mobile phones were targeted with the zeal that speeders were, but that isn't likely to happen any time soon. So the question still remains why one law is treated and implemented differently to others. Couldn't have anything to do with the "ker-ching !" factor, by any chance ?

I notice that you still have not answered my question. I believe Paxman had to repeat a question to Michael Howard thirteen or fourteen times. I hope we're not going to get to the same extent here.

got caught
2nd Mar 2006, 16:07
I have no need to put words into people's mouths.

But I do think that I have answered your question. If you believe that it is safe (and lawful) to exceed the speed limit, then I would concur, that there is indeed, no point in enforcing that law.

But no-one has convinced me that it is safe (and legal) to exceed the speed limit. If the limit, itself is incorrect, change the limit.

And what's wrong with introducing objectivity into the equation- if you were to rely on discretion, then who should have that right of discretion?

teeteringhead
2nd Mar 2006, 16:21
Many years ago (50s or 60s?) Lord Goddard CJ said words to the effect that:

"If current laws on careless and dangerous driving, and driving without due care and attention, could be properly enforced, then there would be no need for any arbitrary speed limits"

... seems sensible to me....

Grainger
2nd Mar 2006, 17:50
Letter-of-the-law policing is rarely good policing.

We are told that the intent is to make the roads safer - yet almost three million fines were issued last year and there's barely a dent in the accident figures. This alone should tell you that something is wrong.

There's nothing to be gained from prosecuting large numbers of people if you are prosecuting the wrong people.

It's estimated that nearly a quarter of a million people have lost their licences. If these really were the most dangerous drivers on the road, where is the huge reduction in casualties now that they have been removed from the driver pool ?

As th says, wouldn't it be better to target the right people - match the treatment to the disease so to speak - and obtain a large effect by dealing with a small number of people who really are doing something dangerous, than the other way around ?

eal401
4th Mar 2006, 18:02
But no-one has convinced me that it is safe (and legal) to exceed the speed limit.
Well, if you suffer a heart attack, be sure to pass this opinion onto the ambulance crew.

pulse1
4th Mar 2006, 18:44
the original premise of the thread was "such a shame they don't put this effort into other crime".

Well, I see that my local plod are trying out a new technology which will, it is claimed, result in more time fighting crime (or catching speeding motorists?).
They are trying out a pen which has a minute camera in it, so that when they write their notes on site, it automatically saves it as text and transmits it through the required channels. No need for PC to even come into the station.

If it works, I bet some politician will see an opportunity for even more information which they can use to spin their way out of trouble.

got caught
9th Mar 2006, 09:29
match the treatment to the disease so to speak

I refer to my earlier point, you have to kiss a lot of frogs, before you meet your prince.

It's a basic principle of public health- and it works.

Grainger
9th Mar 2006, 09:33
Sorry, g_c - are you really claiming that there has been a significant drop in fatalities since those quarter of a million people lost their licences ?

Got any figures to back that up ?

got caught
9th Mar 2006, 10:29
Is that how you would test the effectiveness of speed camera's?

Sorry, I don't possess your knowledge of research methodology, but are you saying that the test for effectiveness of speed camera's, is a measure of fatality rates?

How would you "cancel out" other variables which could have accounted for this?

Did you say your background is in medicine?

Grainger
9th Mar 2006, 10:56
are you saying that the test for effectiveness of speed camera's, is a measure of fatality rates? No, it's not me saying that. It's the safety camers[sic] partnerships who are perpetually telling us this, usually using trite slogans such as "speed kills" or "speeding costs lives". Here (http://www.sussexsafetycameras.gov.uk/)is just one example.

Yet, after removing a quarter of a million of supposedly the most dangerous drivers from the roads, where is the huge drop in casualties ?

got caught
9th Mar 2006, 11:10
Thanks for the link, it was very informative. Great site, lots of pictures of camera's :O

So, is it safe to speed ? (or exceed the speed limit?)

Flying Lawyer
9th Mar 2006, 11:36
So, is it safe to speed ? (or exceed the speed limit?)

It's impossible to answer that question sensibly with a simple 'Yes' or 'No' because it depends upon many factors.
It is often perfectly safe to exceed the speed limit, just as it's often unsafe to drive at (for example) 50% below the speed limit.



Other tales of police prioritising their limited manpower and resources ........


Driver fingered by police http://images.thesun.co.uk/images/trans.gifhttp://images.thesun.co.uk/images/trans.gifhttp://images.thesun.co.uk/images/trans.gif
http://images.thesun.co.uk/images/trans.gifhttp://images.thesun.co.uk/images/trans.gifhttp://images.thesun.co.uk/images/trans.gifhttp://images.thesun.co.uk/images/trans.gifhttp://images.thesun.co.uk/images/trans.gifhttp://images.thesun.co.uk/images/trans.gif
A MOTORIST was hit with an £80 fine — for giving a speed camera the finger.
Simon Thompson, 41, made the middle finger curse when he spotted the mobile camera as he drove home from work WITHIN the speed limit.
He was stunned half an hour later when the two cops who had been operating the device knocked on his door — and handed him a fixed penalty notice for making offensive gestures under the Public Order Act.

http://images.thesun.co.uk/picture/0,,2006050460,00.jpg


Simon, who was travelling at less than 30mph on a single carriageway, said: “I accept what I did was foolish and it wasn’t my finest hour. But this shows the police have got their priorities completely wrong. “I wasn’t giving the officers the finger, I was aiming my anger at the camera. I’ve got as much contempt for speed cameras as everyone else. I’m a careful driver. My licence has been clean for ten years.”

Essex Police said: “The man received the fine because he was seen to gesture several times to officers operating a mobile speed camera in an obscene and offensive way.”




UK Speed Camera Tickets Non-Speeding Protester
Annoyed by defiant gesture, speed camera issues ticket to non-speeding driver.

A UK court on Monday severely penalized a motorist for the crime of showing disrespect to a mobile speed camera van. The device had photographed Sean Toehill, 21, driving at 22 MPH in a 40 MPH zone on July 29, 2005 but police became enraged when they noticed he had given the camera a "V-sign."

At the time, the road was otherwise empty and police admitted there was no sign that Toehill's silver VW Polo was out of control or had ever drifted off-course. Officers nonetheless were dispatched to his home two days later to charge him with "dangerous driving."

The Cupar Sheriff Court in Fife, Scotland upheld the charge claiming even a momentary removal of hands from the wheel to make a gesture was dangerous. Sheriff George Evans suspended Toehill's right to drive for a year and imposed a £90 (US $160) fine. Toehill plans to appeal the ruling.

"I can't believe that speed cameras can be used in this way," Toehill, a North Sea oil worker, told the London Telegraph. "I thought they were to catch speeding drivers."
(Source: Daily Telegraph Nov 2006)



'Gay' police horse case dropped (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/oxfordshire/4606022.stm)


Pensioners Interrogated by Police over 'Christian' literature request (http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthread.php?t=203498)


_

got caught
9th Mar 2006, 12:05
It is often perfectly safe to exceed the speed limit

Well if you believe that, why have speed limits ?

As regards the offensive gestures, he knew the risk ! Should have locked him up.

Flying Lawyer
9th Mar 2006, 12:18
got caught
I do.
Do you believe that it's always unsafe to exceed the speed limit, regardless of road conditions and/or the amount by which the limit is exceeded?


As regards the offensive gestures, he knew the risk !
Did he/they? I doubt it.
It wouldn't have occurred to me the police would take such action.
(It would now, having read the stories, of course.)

Should have locked him up.So you'd send someone to prison for doing that?

:rolleyes:


FL

slim_slag
9th Mar 2006, 13:00
Hmm, there is one round here I always give the golden forks as I drive past at 39mph. Never considered that to be a jailworthy crime, just a freedom of expression thing. Unfortunately in this day and age jury trials are held by the powers that be to be an inconvenience, and I believe you will never get your case heard sympathetically at the alternatives, so I guess I better stop doing it. And yet another of these so called rights goes in the bin.

Curious Pax
9th Mar 2006, 13:53
There are so many hobby horses here that it is hard to have a reasoned debate. Perhaps I could try and separate some of them:

Many people (probably including myself) seem to take an apparently low speed limit in decent conditions as a slight on their driving skills. Perhaps we should consider that the speed limit is aimed at controlling the 5% of drivers for whom it is an appropriate limit in the interests of the rest of us who don't want them to hit us.

If you are going to have a limit then it should be enforced. Maybe it is because a limit has rarely been enforced fully that many people get into these debates - latitude has always been given, even by the beloved cameras.

Driving without an accident or ticket for x years does not denote a safe driver. It denotes a driver who has had a combination of luck, decent eyesight, and maybe but not necessarily a degree of skill. I am in this category (22 years driving, probably 400,000 miles in total) and have had one speeding ticket (from a camera) which was my own fault as I knew it was there, and no accidents. However I would only class my driving as average, especially when Mrs CP and CP jr are in the car and both trying to talk to me at once!

Public services over the last 27 years have had costs hammered down. Sure, wrong decisions have been taken on the detail, but the net effect is that to fully police our roads would take a level of manpower and hence cost that would never be voted for. Hence speed cameras, which by definition cannot have discretion. Which leads back to my first point.

I don't think that there is much difference in other countries - I drove from Manchester to The Hague on Sunday via the Channel Tunnel. I believe I drove safely in the conditions (I would wouldn't I!), but still managed to travel the 280ish miles to the Tunnel in 3 1/4 hours, and the remaining 220 miles in 2 3/4 hours (do the maths!). At the speed I was driving I kept a pretty good lookout (in case I had to slow down) but didn't see one police car on the entire journey!

As an aside, I noticed on this trip several Range Rovers that at distance look like police cars, but on getting closer are actually Highways Agency cars - a variation on the Danish idea of putting cardboard cutouts of policeman with cameras by the side of the road? It certainly caused people to slow down until they were sure that they wouldn't get pulled!

PS: If you can't stick 2 fingers up at a speed camera without taking both hands off the wheel then you probably shouldn't be driving!!

Grainger
9th Mar 2006, 14:55
Depends if they're both on the same hand, CP !

eal401
10th Mar 2006, 07:27
As regards the offensive gestures, he knew the risk ! Should have locked him up.
Here's hoping some low-life beats the sh*t out of you one fair evening. When the police shrug their shoulders (assuming they turn up) you'll realise what a dumb comment you've just made.

Oh and I like the "bjcc reading" style you have regarding other people's comments on safety in exceeding the posted limits.

Unwell_Raptor
10th Mar 2006, 08:41
Curious Pax,

I entirely agree with what you say. Unfortunately many of our fellow citizens haven't yet got their heads round the simple facts that you set out. A clear majority of people believe that cameras are purely to raise revenue, which must be one of the most successfully promoted untruths in history.

Binoculars
10th Mar 2006, 14:58
A clear majority of people believe that cameras are purely to raise revenue, which must be one of the most successfully promoted untruths in history.

If you can say that with a straight face, U-R, you are a truly gifted comedian, and while I sometimes agree and other times disagree with you, that image of you is not one that springs unbidden to my imagination.

You have given an opinion unsupported by any facts, so I will do the same. I cannot remember a single opinion anywhere on Pprune with which I have disagreed to the point of causing such laughter. Of course they are to raise revenue, there is not the slightest doubt about that in my mind. The accusations, of inappropriate placement of cameras on perfectly safe stretches of road, of tiny infractions being penalised, of the pompous "every K is a killer" advertising by the beneficiaries of the fines, of dangerous driving going unpenalised in favour of easy capture of slight infringements, have been made and proven so many times that most people take it as a given, rather like death, taxes and politicians' lying. It takes a great deal of sangfroid to attempt to argue otherwise.

I will admit to you here that under the heading of "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" I own a goodly number of shares in an Australian company which is the runaway leader in red light camera technology in an infant market in the USA. I have no concerns with that, but the real money is going to come with the gradual acceptance of speed cameras, and I have grave moral doubts about their legitimacy. Not, I stress, to the point of selling my shares, but at least I am honest about the usual crap fed by the councils signing up for the contracts in which "safety, not revenue" is the total concern. Bullshit. But principles are quite flexible in the end, aren't they?

I could start a debate on the appalling "training and instruction" that the average person needs to achieve the "privilege" of owning a licence, but it would be a little like the hamster wheel, wouldn't it? As I've said many a time on similar threads, I've never met anybody who doesn't complain about their fellow motorists, yet I've never met anybody who professes to being a bad driver. The way to a reduced road toll is clear, but it is politically and economically unacceptable.

In the meantime, it's easier to keep consolidated revenue topped up by ludicrous fines against people who are not in any way putting public safety in danger. The example of the "obscene gesture" quoted by Flying Lawyer is so bizarre as to render laughable any attempt at serious debate.

eal401
10th Mar 2006, 18:53
A clear majority of people believe that cameras are purely to raise revenue
No.

They exist to keep the people operating them in paid employment. A speed camera partnership employee does not wish a reduction in speeding or road deaths any more than an airline pilot would campaign for a total ban on greenhouse gases starting tomorrow.

bjcc
10th Mar 2006, 20:12
EAL401

Well, its a choice isn't it. A speed camera partnership employee costing not a lot, or a police officer costing an awful lot.

Contray to your belief, people have been convicted of speeding for a very long time. Look at any history of the AA, and the reason they used to sulute their members.

Before speed cameras, if you were caught by traffic, you were almost garanteed to go in the book. So, all that has changed is the volume. Its also been claimed since at least when I joined the police, that it was being done for reasons of promotion/to gather revenue/because Police can. Thats as much B*****s now as it was then.

Never though is it the drivers own fault for being so stupid as to get caught! Its been said, many times, it's the drivers choice, stay below the speed limt, no ticket.

Like every other driver, I exceed the speed limit, if I get caught, it doesn't matter what my training or ability or the road conditions are, its my own fault, no one elses.

Unwell_Raptor
10th Mar 2006, 20:58
Binos,
What you say is just the assertion of a belief, that in my (informed) opinion, while superficially attractive, is untrue. Belief, or faith if you like, is difficult or impossible to shift, as the Baghdad Philosophical Society has discovered.

Irony piles upon irony when you look at the English middle-class attitude to law an order, which they favour (with condign punishment) everywhere but on the road. An eminent lawyer, part-time judge, and occasional Crown prosecutor of this parish has a blind spot about speed limits, while enforcing the law in every other respect.

It's a cultural thing, and it will take a lot to extirpate it.

terryJones
10th Mar 2006, 21:24
Quote "The Cupar Sheriff Court in Fife, Scotland upheld the charge claiming even a momentary removal of hands from the wheel to make a gesture was dangerous. Sheriff George Evans suspended Toehill's right to drive for a year and imposed a 90 (US $160) fine. Toehill plans to appeal the ruling."
It would be interesting to see if ALL the local police cars, Council vehicles, and the Pratt Sheriffs own car all all Automatic, as to quote himself "even a momentary removal of hands from the wheel". Obviously the time required to change gear is far longer than the time required to show he was still capable of firing a bow and arrow.
Would it be churlish to believe that the real reason plod got p!$$ed off was the fact that our matey was NOT speeding, thus providing instant income and brownie points?

slim_slag
10th Mar 2006, 21:31
Well, last night was the last time I showed the golden forks to the local speed camera before knocking that on the head cos I don't want to get nicked by some cop who is obviously too scared to chase real villains. Decided to give it both barrels so took both hands off the wheel and flicked them a few v's. So childish but made me feel better. Car was never in any danger of going out of control, but I am sure that will be laughed out of court, and my golden forks fingers would get a good condescending slapping.

Flying Lawyer
11th Mar 2006, 02:23
U_R

Re your response to Binos: You did claim to be asserting facts (not your opinion) in your previous post.
"Unfortunately many of our fellow citizens haven't yet got their heads round the simple facts..... A clear majority of people believe that cameras are purely to raise revenue, which must be one of the most successfully promoted untruths in history."So those who disagree with your views are failing to understand, or they'd agree with you? ;)
"my (informed) opinion"
With respect, your opinion is no more 'informed' than his, mine or that of any other motorist who has an interest in driving and road safety issues. We're told all sorts of things are 'facts' by government ministers/public officials, but that doesn't mean they are accurate, nor even necessarily true. Does it? Accepting whatever we're told as fact or 'truth' would require a very strong "Belief, or faith", to borrow your expression, would it not?

FWIW, I don't think speed cameras are there "purely" to raise revenue - some are manifestly there for safety reasons. eg Known accident spots.
Nor do I think revenue generating was the original motivation for introducing them.
However, I believe a combination of a misguided (IMHO) obsession with motorists who exceed speed limits by even small percentages and the substantial 'easy revenue' that speed cameras were found to produce has led to an absurd (IMHO) proliferation of them.

One of my concerns about the enormous increase in the number of speed cameras is that it has, entirely understandably in my view, diminished respect for the law amongst vast numbers of the population. When that consequence is balanced against the questionable alleged improvement in road safety and (at best) arguable alleged reduction in fatal/serious injury accidents, I'm not convinced the increase is to the overall benefit of society.

(I think the law is generally far too harsh on motorists, especially when compared with the way in which other offenders are treated, but that's just a personal view.)


"blind spot about speed limits, while enforcing the law in every other respect."
Just in case that's a reference to me, I must correct you:

I don't believe, and never have, that every breach of any law should be prosecuted or otherwise penalised by the criminal process. (I don't know, or know of, any barrister or judge who does - and, thankfully, very few non-legal people who do.)
"Enforcing the law" is no part of any of my roles in the legal system. That's the job of the police and other law enforcement agencies.
I obviously have personal opinions about various laws and 'legal' policies just like everyone else, but they play no part whatsoever in any of my professional roles.bjcc Its also been claimed since at least when I joined the police, that it was being done for reasons of promotion ......... Thats as much B*****s now as it was then.
I doubt if it increases the prospects of promotion, but should I disbelieve policemen who've told me new constables are encouraged by their supervisors to produce 'traffic process' to show they are being active and to gain experience? (The 'experience' factor was more relevant in the days when constables presented their own traffic cases in the Mags courts.)
Should I disbelieve traffic policemen who've told me they are expected to produce a volume of reported motorists each week to show they are being active?



(Typos corrected.)

bjcc
11th Mar 2006, 06:51
FL

Quote:
"I doubt if it increases the prospects of promotion, but should I disbelieve policemen who've told me new constables are encouraged by their supervisors to produce 'traffic process' to show they are being active and to gain experience? (The 'experience' factor was more relevant in the days when constables presented their own traffic cases in the Mags courts.)"

MY point was over speeding. You have generalised it. Yes, Probationers were expected to bring in 3 process a day at the 2 stations I was at. But not for speeding. That was enforced by traffic officers, although could be by any officer in a car. Probationers were not usually drivers, so didn't do it.

And you are correct about traffic officers too.

But in both cases, they were also judged on the number of verbal warnings they issued as well.

I am sure you are aware that Police promotion is based on exams and assessed excercises, so number of proccess is of no help.

Legislation may discriminate as far as maximum sentences are concerned and I would agree with you on that. But courts actualy sentence so why don't Magistrates/Judges sentence to reflect a greater degree of seriousness in crime than in traffic cases? That may do something to satisfy public opinion over the issue.

slim_slag
11th Mar 2006, 11:53
One of my concerns about the enormous increase in the number of speed cameras is that it has, entirely understandably in my view, diminished respect for the law amongst vast numbers of the population.
Well said FL. It has also highlighted, in my opinion, a contempt that those who prosecute and judge us have towards what I would consider to be 'due process'. If you get a letter through the door telling you to pay up, it really doesn't make sense to question things. Send off your driving licence and pay up like a good boy, if you think of actually asking for evidence or fighting it they will just ignore you and eventually make you pay a lot more.

On another thread people who disagree with speed limits were called 'anarchistic'. What confidence can I have in the courts if I want to go in there and plead that although I was breaking a minor law, it wasn't actually dangerous, if I am going to be branded 'anarchistic' for simply arguing that case?

It just isn't right.

eal401
11th Mar 2006, 11:59
Its been said, many times, it's the drivers choice, stay below the speed limt, no ticket.
Which essentially means, brake for speed cameras. So, do the limit for 100-odd yards past a Gatso and then you are free to your heart's content.

What an improvement to road safety.

Son of the Bottle
11th Mar 2006, 15:11
eal401,

I was thinking along the same lines myself. Here are the results of my cogitation:

The factors which dictate what speed one should drive at along a particular stretch of road include: weather conditions, visibility, state of the road surface, road geometry (I refer here to width, curviness or straightness), sight lines, driver fatigue, and also the speed and quality of the driver's "scan" - the process of assessing conditions on the road ahead, identifying potential hazards and making appropriate judgements about how to handle those hazards.

I will probably upset people on both sides of the argument here when I make the following statement:

I believe that if a driver is caught by a fixed speed camera at a speed in excess of the posted limit, then that is because his scan has broken down and he has failed to react appropriately to that particular hazard. I think that there is no real cause for complaint from the driver, as his scan was not good enough for the speed he was travelling at.

The mobile speed cameras which are deliberately concealed could be considered differently. I for one view the practice to be tantamount to shooting a fox.

(Edit: substitute "he" for "she" as you will, I intend no sexism here, women are just as bad as men)

Davaar
11th Mar 2006, 19:09
This may be too late to help the obscene gesture chap. Perhaps on appeal. I have referred to it before, James Bagg's Case, (1615) TrinityTerm, 13 James 1, in the Court of King's Bench. James Bagg, a burgess of Plymouth, accused the mayor of being "some prince" and a "cozening knave", and other choice words that came to his mind.

The mayor "admonished" good Master Bagg, upon which Bagg, "in contempt and disdain" of the mayor, "turning the hinder part of his body in an inhuman and uncivil manner [towards the mayor] scoffingly, contemptuously, and uncivilly, with a loud voice said [to the mayor] these words following, that is to say, ("Come and kiss"); and afterwards "with most insolent words", threateningly and maliciously spoke [to the mayor]these words following, that is to say, "I will make thy neck crack".

For this the authorities at Plymouth disfranchised him as burgess.

On appeal, the King's Bench considered the privileges of citizenship and their protection under the Common Law, Magna Carta, and other Statutes, and held that the town could not act on these grounds to remove someone from office or the franchise.

And here we are talking of the finger and a couple of rozzers! Is that Prussia? Or England?

Surely Flying Lawyer can make something of this?

Draper, where is John Bull these days?

Astrodome
11th Mar 2006, 19:32
where is John Bull these days ?

Replaced by Political appointees and Cronies

got caught
15th Mar 2006, 16:23
Here's hoping some low-life beats the sh*t out of you one fair evening. When the police shrug their shoulders (assuming they turn up) you'll realise what a dumb comment you've just made.

Yes, with hindsight I may agree. It was more tongue in cheek than dumb. Thank god the thin blue line has more time to pursue these crimes.

FL, I'm still a little unclear. If your saying that it is safe to exceed the speed limit on occasions, then why have a limit. And who has the discretion to exercise this, the Police? The Judiciary? The Government? and why ? And who would you trust to offer this "discretion."

The brilliant thing about speed camera's, is that they take all subjectivity out of the equation- in my opinion, this can only be a good thing. If you have a problem with the limits, change them, not the mode of detection.

B Fraser
15th Mar 2006, 17:36
A clear majority of people believe that cameras are purely to raise revenue, which must be one of the most successfully promoted untruths in history.


UR,

If the revenue angle is a myth then why is a fine still imposed along with penalty points ? I'm sure that enough revenue has been raised to pay for and maintain the cameras many times over so there's one easy answer laid to rest. If the purpose of the fines is not to raise revenue then perhaps you could enlighten us with your "informed opinion". £60 .....or the cost of a tank of 97 octane ... or the cost of 30 mins around the circuit ......is hardly punitive so the fine has no deterrent value.

Cameras do have their place i.e. at accident black spots etc. Having installed a GPS based system in my car that alerts me to their location, I am forewarned when approaching a danger zone where extra special care is needed. As the cameras are only for safety purposes, this must make me a safer driver ..... no ? (tongue now disengages from cheek)