Advantages Makes money for the council to top off their pensions
Disadvantages Ripping off those who will pay
In Northamptonshire we have 42 cameras, but five have been secretly turned off this week after the government cut the funding for the camera partnership by one million pounds, more than Oxfordshire county council's forced £750,000 cut which resulted in all of theirs turned off. Northamptonshire refused to say which five are no longer working. If they do then motorists will no doubt speed through them. The council say they no longer need to be turned on as the accident rate has dropped in those locations, which begs the question why they were still turned on up until this week. What five would you turn off if you just lost a million bucks? I would turn off the least profitable ones. We pressume those are the five under-performers.ONE in three drivers are caught each year by a parking warden or speed camera. In comparison only 3 in one 100 muggers are convicted by using CCTV images. One is clearly more important than the other when surveillance is used to crack crime. It's all about revenue over crime prevention these days me thinks....league tables not justice. This is the sad state of my countries law enforcement of today. The news that the Tories are too radically cut back on speed cameras is good news, although no doubt a contingency to increase road pricing cameras. Between the police and the cops last year they trapped 10 million drivers, the equivalent of one-in-three drivers, and the majority of those offences logged by traffic wardens. The police handed out 3 million speeding tickets in 2006. Since Blair and Brown came to power speeding convictions have risen by 615% in ten years. Driving deaths have remained static.
The total rises to more than four in ten drivers when the number of motorist's trapped by police are included. Only last week did we see a picture in the tabloids of a mobile police speed camera facility disguised as a builders van. One snapped speeder on a country lane is one cleared up crime on the league table and £60 in the police benevolent fund. The collective fines are nudging one billion pounds a year for the treasury and local councils now and set to rise again as new parking and speed cameras law's are bought in, some say to try and DOUBLE that revenue as local council pension black holes get deeper. But dangerous or drink driving convictions have slumpt, meaning deaths on the roads have actually risen, proof enough that cameras are about hard cash and not saving lives.
The camera is king now and if car has to swing in to a bus lane that camera doesn't care whether that was the correct driver action or not and will flash for cash. In the old days the cops would pull over bad drivers and often find the people had previous or were up to no good. The speed camera can't do that.A recent report found that most police forces said our extensive CCTV coverage doesn't help much to prevent criminality or convict criminals. The headline three percent conviction rates for robbers using CCTV suggest the cameras are trained elsewhere. In my hometown of Northampton we have the most sophisticated system in Europe (for some unknown reason) and the operators can see everything. But grainy images are easily discarded by prosecution lawyers and so the cameras not as useful as they could be. What the council does mange to do is prosecute 45,000 drivers a year for parking offences, the fifth highest total outside of London. I am in the know enough to know they are more likely to use the cameras to record the time a car spends in a parking bay than chasing shoplifters. The paradox of fining shoplifters to spare custodial sentences makes no sense, clearly likely to rob again to find the money to pay the fine. But again the cameras are all about producing revenues for councils and the treasury.
The least likely area to be pulled over by the cops for bad driving was Sussex, just a 20.05 % chance of being hauled off to court for an array of offences although, rather ironically, the second highest likely chance of getting a parking ticket, Brighton the king of that particular statistic. West Midlands rossers, on the other hand, really go after drivers, 56% successfully prosecuted when facing a court case. Warwickshire handed out the most written warnings. Foreign trucks, responsible for 40% of all motorway accidents, received the least prosecutions in British courts. But I'm sure you are fed up of hearing about me going on about bloody foreigners. With the European directive soon to come in that will deregulate our transport industry and allow an increase of foreign wagons on our roads so they can do domestic runs, say between supermarkets, I'm sure that stat will soon be rising. Will they be paying their speeding fines? Err no.New draconian speeding laws in the UK could see the worse speeders banned after only two offences. 45+ in a 30+, 57 in a 40 and 94+ in a 70mph will see an automatic six point penalty and a £100 fine. I think we all agree that those speeds are deliberate and dangerous, if the signage is clear on what speed we should be doing. The new regime will be backed up by a massive expansion of digital cameras. With one million drivers on the brink of ban that's a lot of people who will lose their livelihood next year, let alone people that will soon be not paying tax to the treasury in fuel and road tax, a huge earner for the Tories right now with oil at $76 per barrel.
Rather interestingly there was an increase in child deaths on the roads in 2006, 141 up to 169 in 2006. But it was, rather paradoxically, due to more kids on cycles, fatalities on bikes up from 20 to 55 nationally. In fact most road and car deaths happen on A and B roads where the rescue services cant get their in time or no one reports the accident in time. Why would you put a camera out there with no cars to flash?I'm sure some women on ciao (and men that behave like women here) will be thumping their keyboards and saying if you don't speed you wont be fined. Whilst the real men with hair on their nipples will be saying you can't drive from A-B safely without speeding and breaking a traffic rule or two. Life is all about the gray area and costed to that, your employers expecting the job done in a set time, whether it's legal or not. If you don't then you get fired. The fact that 80% of speeders get tickets for doing the minimum 11-15% over the limit would suggest the cameras are really about getting money from honest road users going about their business than that 10% of drivers that are least likely to pay and have no tax or insurance. Who exactly knowingly speeds through speed cameras??? No one. That's rather silly. The people who get caught are the ones driving to work to pay their taxes, trying to hold it all together and make their timetable that keeps that job and family together. It's a battle by the police and councils to catch them out, cameras hidden in vans or at the bottom of hills, or the one that really earns, the sneaky mobile hidden in motorway roadwork's, sure to earn a million quid a month if left alone. If you still believe cameras are about cutting speed then you are a fool. Bet you didn't know that 80% more pedestrians are killed in 20mph zones than 30mph zones. Speed doesn't kill, driver error does, the governments own website saying speed is only directly responsible for just 7% of accidents on our roads. But driver error doesn't earn one billion pounds a year. Blairs mantra was always target and fine those who can and will pay. Thst you and me and not the scum doing the killing and maiming.
Summary: Fine those who can pay?
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