Same old rhetoric<click> same old rhetoric<click> same old ...
Time to change the bloody record !
Neither side is going to back down on this one as long as the stakes are so high. Speed cameras are a useful tool in the right situations (there I've said it, but presumably now that is taken as "a motorist approves of speed cameras). That is a simple distortion of the truth (otherwise known as a lie) because what I actually wrote is "in the write situations".
Unfortunately, the anti-speed fashists have figured out that it's easy to catch people exceeding the posted limit with automated systems and so have made the classic control engineering mistake of controlling what is easy to measure, rather than measure what is required to be controlled !
One of the least important 'measures' in driving is the absolute speed and it's relation to some arbitrary number painted on a bit of aluminium. It comes way below whether the speed is appropriate for the conditions, it comes way below whether the driver is competent, it comes way below whether the driver is driving with consideration for other road users, it comes way below whether the vehicle is in a good state, ...
Under the right conditions it is possible to drive WAY above the arbitrary limit without undue risk to self or others, similarly it is possible to drive WAY under the arbitrary limit and be downright f***ing dangerous.
Wake up and look around. Driving standards have dropped remarkably over the last few years and are still dropping fast despite governments flawed attempts to improve driver training. One (note just ONE cause) is that the fixation on purely enforcement of speed limits to the near exclusion of all other factors leads to a simple psychological effect - drivers 'learn' that good driving doesn't matter, being considerate doesn't matter, the only thing that matters is not getting caught by the scameras.
It's not rocket science (as the expression goes), but it seems so damn obvious - stop fixating on one of the least impportant factors in road casualty figures and do something about the factors that DO matter !
Is that likely ? Not in the current political state where 'thinking' and 'personal responsibility' are to be suppressed in favour of state control and rigid adherance to centrally managed rules and dictats. A lot of lives are going to be lost before people realise that current policies are part of the problem, not part of the solution.
It's been very interesting to have witnessed first hand how the roads work in Italy this week. It was clear that speed limits were taken as merely a suggestion, and at first glance the way traffic moves looks chaotic. If you can get past the fact that from the British viewpoint it looks terrible, the standard of driving was actually very good - it looks superficially like "every man for himself", but there was actually a lot more cooperation and good manners, and drivers were (by neccessity) very aware of what was going on around them. What I didn't see was this very british tradition of driving along, totally oblivious to what's going on around, and the queue of traffic stuck behind because of some clueless f***wit with no lane discipline who never looks more than 10 feet in front of their bumper !