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Back | The Weather | Prices & cost of living | The Police, Speed Limits & Speed Traps | Roundabouts | Motorcycle Theft | Getting around by bus

The Police, Speed Limits & Speed Traps

click to see larger image The speed limit is 30mph (48km/h) in residential (built-up) town areas and 40mph (64km/h) in less populated parts of towns. On other roads, including single carriageways, the limit is 50mph (80km/h) or 60mph (96km/h). For dual carriageways and motorways the National Speed Limit is 70mph (112km/h) although most traffic usually moves faster at about 80mph (128km/h) or even a little above, on motorways (watch for cameras though!).

There is (was??) a fairly heavy traffic police presence in England using cars, radar guns and widespread speed cameras. Revenue cameras and speed bumps are becoming the bane of our lives in urban areas. You spend more time looking out for the evil grey Gatso cameras, or yellow Truvelo devices, than you do looking out for stray children who may run into the road. They also cause bunching-up of traffic, with everyone driving at exactly the same speed with just a hairsbreadth between each car, making lane changes at intersections difficult.   How safe is that then?

Straight after the cameras, many drivers speed up again anyway.

The tolerances on these so-called "safety" devices is sometimes set absurdly low now. My friend triggered one at 42mph on a 40 limit dual carriageway, and was prosecuted. My wife fell foul of one as well recently. A hire customer was prosecuted for doing 31mph in a 30 limit - he even saw the Police camera van, but didn't slow down because according to his speedo, he was riding just on the limit. Also, he was only in first gear, just accelerating away from some traffic lights!

Luckily, many cameras are now forward facing, so can't get motorcycles, as bikes no longer display front registration plates.   This situation shouldn't be abused however.  My main bike says Bike Tours UK across the front - so I have to be carefull. 

Watch out for white dashes painted on the road which are present in conjuction with the type of camera pictured on the left.

This blantant device for extorting money from the motoring public has very little to do with safety IMHO. But I could be wrong. 

This is also making the majority of the motoring public lose faith in our Police Force. If you've been victimised and fined for 2mph over the speed limit on a long, straight, safe road - then you are hardly going to be sympathetic to the cops whist carrying out the rest of their business.

Have your house burgled?  Tough - the cops are highly unlikey to catch the crook or get your stuff back.

Property vandalised? Tough. It's too much trouble for the Police to follow up. Live with it.

Stray just a few mph over a speed limit, perhaps on a clear, dry, sunny day, with good road conditions with no one else even in the vicinity, using a modern machine with excellent suspension and brakes, and now, you are automatically a criminal. Easy to catch, easy to fine.

Furthermore, "real" criminals are immune from the system - because they don't register their vehicles and use false registration plates etc. They are beyond the law, impossible to catch by camera and computer means, so are largely getting away with their behaviour scot-free.

At least, within the last few weeks there have been some rumblings of common sense.

There is now an awareness campaign about driving while tired - yes, un-enforceable, but, it's a real problem and worth thinking about (more dangerous than pure speeding IMO).

Also, at last, hundreds of Revenue Cameras are being scrapped in London - because the Police say the motoring public are becoming bitter and it's causing a rift between them.

2000 figures - apparently 1.5 million UK drivers were fined by speed cameras. They are old figures. It's far worse now.

In my opinion they contribute little to safety, alienate the Britsh motoring public, but raise millions in yet another Stealth Tax.

Find out more here....

Watch out in France now as well. Up until now the French Police have employed themselves more sensibly than victimising motorists. But it seems they've learned the revenue potential of these devices from the Brits. Over 100 British motorists were prosecuted for speeding over Easter on the A26 approaching Calais.

Government figures have just been challenged. They now admit they don't have any evidence to prove that "30% of accidents are caused by speeding" and the Advertsing Standards Agency has made them withdraw that statement.

IMHO accidents are caused by stupid, unskilled drivers, who misjudge conditions and distances, and don't react accordingly. Pure speed is only a partial factor.
Went Live : Wed 10th March 2010
Author : Bill
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