The Boys in Blue

MainMan

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I think I detect a slight amount of resentment towards the boys in blue, sparked off by Dave’s mention of his warrant card. On the grounds that if you find a spot you might as well pick it, here goes. If I get banned from the bb, tough. First, I should say that, some years ago, I spent a couple of years working with the police (as a consultant, not an officer), and I have a great deal of respect for them. They’re a bloody good bunch of blokes who do a very difficult job, particularly in the case of the ones who work on the front line dealing with yobs. They have to put up with a huge amount of abuse and their job is not made easier by daft reports from the likes of McPherson, documentation screw-ups by the CPS, bleeding-heart liberal judges who give vicious criminals 3 months and the European court of human rights that wants to let all the prisoners out.

But somewhere along the line the police have lost the respect of a large proportion of the public – even the law-abiding middle class. The first problem is obviously the fact that they are seemingly reluctant to investigate many types of crime nowadays. There’s no point in elaborating on this because we’ve all read about cases in the papers, and possibly even experienced it ourselves.

The other problem, which is the point of this ramble, is the situation with regard to motoring offences. This is the most likely reason people have contact with the police nowadays, and it’s usually speeding. And we all know that the main reason the police are keen on Gatso cameras is because they’re profitable – and there’s no point in anyone claiming different. The trouble is that the police rely on the cooperation of “members of the public” to do their job, and if they alienate large parts of the community their job will become impossible.

A few months ago, a Gatso was put up in the town where I live. As you approach the town, on an unrestricted road you pass the 30 sign just before a slight bend. It’s still unbuilt-up at this point and I assume that the original reason for putting the 30 limit there was to allow cars to slow down (from about 50 or 60) to 30 by the time they reach the town itself. I say this because there is absolutely no point in a 30 limit at the point where the sign is placed. So you can imagine where the Gatso was placed – just round the bend, a few yards behind the restriction sign. This camera has been a brilliant money spinner. I know several people who have been caught. So they’re fined and have 3 points on their licence for basically nothing. The only reason it didn’t catch me was that I noticed it when driving out of the 30 limit and made a mental note.

In the middle of  town there is a fairly dangerous blind bend. This is in the 30 limit, but nobody in their right mind would exceed about 20, because there’s a school nearby and a pedestrian crossing. Last year I was walking towards this bend at about 4pm. A couple of young girls (about 8 years old) were crossing at the pedestrian crossing (the lights were against them) when an XR2 came round the corner. It’s difficult to say exactly how fast it was going. The engine was screaming and I’d guess it was in second gear. It was certainly doing more than 30 mph, probably 40. The girls started running and the first girl made it. The car hit the second girl and she was thrown into the air and back onto the pavement. The driver (who, as you might have guessed, was a young man) seemed more concerned with the damage done to the bonnet of his car. When I pointed out he was breaking the limit he became abusive.

Was there a speed camera on this dangerous bend? No. It wouldn’t make much money, because you have to be a complete moron to exceed the limit here. However, if you were exceeding the limit you would deserve the fine and the points. Was the driver prosecuted? No. Was any action taken against him at all? No. For all I know he’s probably sued the girl for damage to his car – and won.
 

Shude

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</span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (MainMan @ Nov. 19 2002,12:48)</td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">...when an XR2 came round the corner...</td></tr></table><span id='postcolor'>
I could see that one coming, I had a vision of a red xr2 with black wheelarches and pepperpot style wheels...

You are absolutely right though, I'm not sure who decides where these cameras go, but some of them can be in the silliest of places.
 

Dave Elcome

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Mainman

I can understand you arguement with regards to the siting of speed cameras, and the speed limit signs. I was recently up in the Henley area, and travelled along a stretch of A road back towards Reading. Its a nice stretch of open road whgich invites you to &quot;get a move on&quot;. Along this road there are a couple of occasions where you go from the national limit into a 30mph limit, these are to go through villages, no problem there. Except that one of these villages is spread over a distance of about 1 1/2 miles, with a huge gap of open countryside in the middle, this gives you the impression that you are out of the restricted area, but you are not, and in a dip, just round a bend is the camera!!, now if that isn't placed to catch out the unwary what is?? Oh i forgot, there is civilisation along this stretch, there's a huge poncey private school, and a new estate of very plush houses, most likely where the local councillers live!! (the people who decide on the positioning of these cameras) ..... or is that being cynical??

I hope the point that has come across here is that we the Police don't choose where the cameras are placed, yes we do collect revenue from cameras, but this unfortunately doesn't line the rank and files pockets,........I wish!!, no it goes solely to cover the cost of more cameras, and the cost of maintaining them. This is something we are obliged to do by the government.

I don't think there is a cop in this country that wouldn't like to see more backing from the courts, and you mentioned &quot;CPS Screw up&quot; yourself,  so you've probably experienced the frustration first hand

<img src="http://www.mbclub.co.uk/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wallbash.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=':bash:'>  <img src="http://www.mbclub.co.uk/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wallbash.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=':bash:'>  <img src="http://www.mbclub.co.uk/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wallbash.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=':bash:'>  <img src="http://www.mbclub.co.uk/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wallbash.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=':bash:'>

So its not always the &quot;Old Bill&quot; who are picking on the motorists, but big brother himself!!
 

Sp!ke

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Do you mean the camera around Shiplake? Say between Shiplake and the turnoff towards Binfield Heath?

If so, there have been two deaths on that stretch that I know of, so thats possibly why the camera has been sited there.

I am interested though, who does decide where the camera's go, the Council? If so, you would expect there to be some kind of consultation with locals befor they are put in place.

I dunno, about you, but if I were a young tearaway ####-bent on speeding everywhere, there is no way I would register the vehicle to myself anymore. The chances are, with more cameras and less police on the roads you would get away with it indefinately - &nbsp;not that I wish to condone that sort of thing.
 

Dave Elcome

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Well done Spike, you certainly know your area <img src="http://www.mbclub.co.uk/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/banana.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=':bannana:'> &nbsp;<img src="http://www.mbclub.co.uk/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/banana.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=':bannana:'> &nbsp;<img src="http://www.mbclub.co.uk/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/banana.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=':bannana:'>
 

Dave Elcome

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Sorry should have added, as far as i know its the council, (poss highways authority) that site the cameras.

Mrs cop next to me says they do consult us,  but that is probably just to let us know of a new one,  so that we can load it with revenue making film for them.

Seriously though, how many people would now agree with the siting that Spike and me are talking of, given that with local knowledge Spike has pointed out that there have been fatal's on this stretch of road??....after all, its not always the guilty that get killed.
 

fuzzer

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This is the idea behind radar detectors and GPS devices.

The reason thats always used for speed cameras and roadside stops is because its an accident blackspot. These devices give you an early warning of these dangerous places and allow extra care to be taken to avoid further accidents to be avoided.
 

Flip

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This link explains how cameras are located out in the more rural parts of the country... <img src="http://www.mbclub.co.uk/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/thumbs-up.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=':thumbs:'>

http://www.lincs.police.uk/depts....s.shtml

<img src="http://www.mbclub.co.uk/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/whatsthat.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=':wotthat:'> &nbsp;<img src="http://www.mbclub.co.uk/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/banana.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=':bannana:'>
 

Sp!ke

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heh heh heh... whats more remarkable is that I haven't been to that area for nearly 15 years. I had no idea there was a camera there but from your description and knowing the road well from memory put me in the right place.

The point that is sadly lost by hiding the camera is that it is a dangerous stretch of road. If there was a bloody great warning sign and shrine's next to the road marking where peple had sadly died might make people slow down.

The people that are going to get caught out by the camera for speeding are the very ones that dont know the area, dont know the hazards and if they have been caught by the camera for speeding then its obviously too late and the camera did not have the desired effect of slowing the driver down. The fact remains that most will probably not return so the effectiveness of the camera is nothing more than a money spinner.
 

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