Jeremy Clarkson can start pressing his itchy accelerator pedal back to the metal - the new LibCon Government isn't going to fund more speed cameras. It's acknowledging the suspicion that the devices are being used as revenue generators, and is encouraging local councils to “use other methods and effective safety measures” to …
This seems great on the surface. But if councils have to completely fund new speed cameras themselves, won't there be even more pressure to use them as revenue generators?
Yes, but with cameras costing up to £40K, and budgets being cut, there won't be the capital seen previously to pay for loads more of them.
(Go - well, need I say more?)
Doesn't make sense at all
They are revenue /generators/ and yet they are being cut? Surely you would only want to cut projects that didn't generate revenue (aside from those with obvious social benefits!)?
I hate speed cameras. People rely on them instead of common sense.
I once overtook someone on the motorway who was doing exactly 70mph. He looked at me like I was the devil. It was dry, and light, and empty.
About 100 yards down the road, we hit a 'flash shower' which was quite strong, and also, there were roadworks, with men working on the road, and a 50 mph speed posted.
The roads had been dry for a while, and were a bit greasy. I slowed down to 30mph, and shortly after, the same driver past me, doing exactly 50mph, whuch was far too fast for the situation.
I do believe they are mainly revenue generators, but as you point out, surely this story points to them NOT being revenue generators if they are going to drop them for financial reasons!
My local council loves to sub everything out.
They'd be happy to have a company install and maintain speed cameras in they got a decent cut.
@AC 18/6 17:56
>>"I once overtook someone on the motorway who was doing exactly 70mph. He looked at me like I was the devil. It was dry, and light, and empty."
So did he turn round to look backwards at you before you got level with him, were you both driving along looking sideways rather than at the road, or did you turn round to look back at him once you were ahead?
Not good enough
In that case why not decommission most of them and stop funding the maintenance too? How about rolling back other legislations curtailing our freedom and civil liberties?
There are more CCTVs now then ever before. How about removing them too?
Seriously, this would make them more popular then ever now.
And remove the congestion charge too!
...about eroding civil liberties I see.
The only people who need to worry about speed cameras are those that speed, I really fail to see the issue.
Same with CCTV. I bet you'd be the first to complain if you were mugged in plain sight of a camera and yet nothing was done because some pillock decided they eroded civil liberties and turned them off...
You only need to watch one or two of the usual cops on tv shows to see that they play an important part in reducing crime.
Does it mean those given a tyre necklace will not be replaced?
about nothing to hide nothing to fear etc...
I speed. Not dangerously, and in 12 years I've never had an accident. I simply drive at a limit I feel is sensible and I can control which differs from road to road. Yes that means I'll do 90 on the M4 if it's empty.
> Same with CCTV. I bet you'd be the first to complain if you were mugged in plain sight of a camera
> and yet nothing was done because some pillock decided they eroded civil liberties and turned
> them off...
The main argument against CCTV camera are that they just don't work.
We have so many of the f*ckers that the vast majority of them are not watched or not even switched on. Heck, if there are so many, think of the enormous maintenance job of keeping them all ticking away even if they were all actively used. And for a lot of them, the quality is so appalling, the pictures are unhelpful.
> You only need to watch one or two of the usual cops on tv shows to see that they play an
> important part in reducing crime.
Don't be fooled by that.
You only see the instances where they were effective and someone happened to be watching.
Compare that to the vast, VAST number of low-level crimes going on where no-one was watching the camera or it was unhelpful: you don't hear about those stories. Their effectiveness or lack thereof does not justify their ubiquity.
Speed cameras are not discriminating. They don't decide if someone is driving dangerously, just that someone is breaking the law, something we all do in little ways one way or another all the time.
Only speeders should worry
I used to feel that way about speed cameras (only those who speed complain) till I had to drive on a wet and windy night from Leeds to Shipley.
You have to try that road. The limits vary from 30, 40, 60 almost randomly. There are some substantial clear stretches where any prudent driver is going to assume that the limit is 40 and when you are straining your eyes to drive safely it really is the last thing you want to do to have you attention focused on the apparently arbitrarily placed limit signs - as any fule no it's not exactly going to improve you attention to other vehicles, pedestrians, cycles etc.
So you are, you think, by any measure driving safely. Then poof! A bright flash in your eyes because you thought you were absolutely obviously on a 40 mph stretch but no, points on your licence and a fine.
What seems so unfair is that you will observe some lunatic dangerous driving of other kinds that isn't caught by the cameras whilst your sensible approach to managing your vehicle and speed is punished.
Now I have to say that in fact I didn't manage to trigger a camera when I did that drive, but I felt that it was actually more dangerous to focus on the speed limit signs than to judge a prudent and safe speed based on some 30 years of driving experience.
And that is what changed my mind about the 'only speeders need worry' response.
As it happens - cross fingers - I've never had a speeding ticket but that stretch made me hate the cameras because I felt they made the driving more dangerous, not less.
"The only people who need to worry about speed cameras are those that speed"
I think most sane, experienced and sensible motorists would be happy to do 80 or 90mph in a well maintained vehicle on a motorway at 3am when the weather is good and the driver is alert and aware of the surroundings.
But I also think 30mph is too high outside a school in an unserviced vehicle at school closing time.
Last month when some dozy cow drove into the back of me (I wasn't speeding BTW - it was damp so I was under the limit as it wasn't safe to do 60mph) I thought about the speed camera at the side of the road as a police car drove past without stopping after a collision that's written off my car.
Am I making myself clear? Or are you one of those dicks that thinks just because something is illegal it's also wrong? Because that connection is weak at best.
And regarding CCTV... I don't think anyone has a problem with it in principle, apart from it doesn't fecking work. Who's the dickhead that goes on a rape or murder spree without covering their faces or without thinking where the cameras are?
It nearly made me think of the time 2 years ago when I was mugged at knife point by a couple of kids with a camera nearby. I reported it, the police did NOTHING (I had to request the CCTV countless times as they weren't going to bother) and after nearly two months I finally got a reply from the police who told me that it didn't catch the perps face as they had hoodies on.
So we have these nameless, faceless cameras tracking us wherever we go without choice or debate about them that doesn't prevent anyone smart enough to wear a hat commiting a crime. We have cameras that presume to know more about the road conditions, service history of my vehicle, traffic and weather conditions - yet a police officer won't even stop when driving past after someone crashes into my car.
I feel so much safer.
re usual crap
I completely agree and have done for years. Speed does not kill, Idiots driving beyond their abilities course accidients and kill, that could be at 30mph or at 100mph.
I have simple rules, maintain safe distance to car infront, do not weave in and out of lanes, keep a steady progress (you really shouldnt have to use the brakes on Motorways unless something unforseeable happens) be curtious to other drivers and be aware of everything around you. I consistantly break the limit to 90odd mph and yet ive never been in an accident, ive never been pulled over or snapped on camera, the reason for this is because i keep my eyes on the road and drive safely knowing exactly whats going on around me. Im not gonna sit here and say im the safest driver in the world, but what i will say is im a damn site lot safer driver 90 in a 70 then half the idiots driving at the 70 limit right up the arse of the car in front in poor road conditions.
Completly agree with the above,
if it wasn't for CCTV cameras I'd be down 1 £750 bike and a phone.
If it wasn't for speed cameras I'd have £60 more in the bank but that's MY fault not the camera.
And that's up to you...
As long as when you do got a ticket/crash because of speed you are fully aware that you have only yourself to blame.
Just don't whine that it's the fault of the camera/police/government for enforcing the LAW.
No matter what the law is, if you break it knowingly or now, you have broken thaw and should accept any concequences.
They call them "safety" cameras...
...and if that were true, then they should put a sign warning *why* the camera is in place so that drivers know the hazard that the speed camera is monitoring.
I think I'd hate them less if I saw "Speed cam because - blind T-junction ahead", or "Speed cam because - school crossing 50yds ahead" etc. As opposed to now "Speed cam because - straight clear road ahead, but we are money-hungry whores who want to fuck with you"
re usual Crap
Having been burgled last year I discovered from the police that CCTV does NOT play a significant part in reducing crime. Apparently less than 30% of CCTV footage is of any use at all and even in those cases where it can be used the quality is such that a number of criminals have claimed mistaken identity and got away with it in court when the footage is shown. If you do get mugged, according to the police there is precious little chance that CCTV will help you even if it happened in plain sight of a camera. Fortunately, the built in camera on my iMac caught the perp in glorious hi-ish def technicolour.
Best we can say about the CCTV explosion and civil liberties is that the quality usually seems so poor that our liberties are not being greatly infringed if most of the time they can't tell who we are. Best solution though would seem to be to stop wasting money on them.
Go to whatdotheyknow.com and make a FOI request to your local police station about the CCTV cameras, one response from the police on the site:
"Between 1 January 2009 and 31 December 2009, 645 crimes were recorded as having been committed in the Lochgelly area. Of these crimes, 312 were detected. It is not possible to identify those crimes where CCTV played a part in their detection without reviewing each one."
As for the cop shows, they are all one sided, many criminals do evade police capture but you will never get to to see that on one of those shows as it would send the wrong messsage to the general public.
All-seeing machines strike again
"As long as when you do got a ticket/crash because of speed you are fully aware that you have only yourself to blame."
Aa, one if these types again.
So you are the Machine, human that makes no errors and sees _everything_. Especially about million speed limit posts. If you don't see it, you don't know that you are speeding. Why is the fine for harmless human error about £80? Tell us? Do I get fined £80 for spitting on the street? It's against the law too.
And of course 30 speed limit on a highway is OK because it's the law? And not somebody greedy enought to put ridiculous speed limit just to collect more money?
That doesn't obviously happen in your world, where ever it might be.
"You have to try that road. The limits vary from 30, 40, 60 almost randomly."
Of course. It _has_ to be random and totally non-predictable: That generates most "criminals" and most money. Here we do have 35 limit on four-lane highways(!), several miles long. For no other reason as camera in the middle.
These things are modern highway robbers, nothing else. Everybody who tries to claim otherwise, is a lying bastard.
And I have a research paper (made by Finnish road authority and very, very quickly mopped under the rug) to back it up: Similar roads, one with cameras and without: No difference in accident count or severity, except in camera equipped roads 22% _more_ rear end collisions.
Ie: Cameras cause accidents and do not prevent those. Not a single one.
Of course the Official Policy (TM) is that "Speed Kills(TM)" and that cameras kill more than speed doesn't fit in that policy.
"The only people who need to worry about speed cameras are those that speed, I really fail to see the issue."
Yes, you seem to fail at everything.
How about little statiscs: There's a variable speed limit sign at every 500 yards through UK. That's a million or two of them. A very observant driver misses only 1% of traffic signs. That's about ten to twenty even on very short trips. Now you're the idiot who claims that _all the people speed all the time on purpose_.
Which is obviously a blatant lie and invented only for justification of stealing, cash cows called cameras.
"Same with CCTV. I bet you'd be the first to complain if you were mugged in plain sight of a camera and yet nothing was done because some pillock decided they eroded civil liberties and turned them off..."
Bullshit too and you answered yourself why it is so: when you get mugged in plain sight of camera, excatly nothing will happen, because cameras are not for catching muggers or ordinary criminals. Some are caught and claimed that camera helped, but that's plain propaganda, invented to justify CCTVs.
"You only need to watch one or two of the usual cops on tv shows to see.. "
Yes, TV is really almost same as reality. Just add some imagination and manuscript.
".. that they play an important part in reducing crime."
Which is also bullshit: Cameras have never reduced crime, it just moves to next to camera. Or happens right front of it. Criminals have noticed that cameras are not for catching criminals, they exist to instill fear to law abiding citizens: "You are being watched!".
Real criminals of course wipe their asses with this kind of propaganda and laugh all the way to home.
The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits
jesus h christ. this is either a troll or the most stupid poster ever.
first, speed cameras serve no purpose apart from window dressing and raking in money. have you ever noticed how drivers slow down going past the speed trap and then carrying on at the speed they were doing beforehand? or that the location of speed traps rarely have anything to do with real safety blackspots. and when they are, the effects of regression to the mean are conveniently ignored. ie a cluster of crashes happen by random and revert to the average rate all by themselves no matter if speed cameras were there or not.
the same is true of the cctv. it's not a deterrent to criminals. the cops rarely need (or get) cctv pictures to identify suspects. few court cases depend on cctv footage for a conviction either. it's all bullshit as fuckwit bureaucrats cover their arses by installing cctv instead of really dealing with crime.
you must be really stupid if you believe the shite on these tv cop shows. they're not likely to show the 99% of cases where cctv turns out to be useless or unnecessary, are they?
when was the last time you saw the cops on patrol? now *that* would be a deterrent to crime and all sorts of bad driving.
The problem is THE LAW
We vote in a party and then sit back and do nothing when they create laws we dont agree with or dont make sense.
I agree we are all to blame for not being outraged when new laws are passed about road use and we fail to complain to our MPs.
There was a mild grumble about:
Digital Economy Bill
But did we actually stand up and do something about it? Nope. Hence we are in a situation where knee jerk legislation means we have ridiculous and illogical law making.
Speed cameras can *cause* accidents
When they put speed cameras on busy dual carriageways with no reason other than to raise revenue, they *cause* accidents.
Some dozy driver following the car in front at (say) 50 in optimally spaced traffic, spots the camera, can't remember the limit, and applies his brakes so as to get down to the 40 or 30 that he thinks might apply. The people behind are caught out by someone suddenly slowing down for no reason. You get a cascade effect. On a good day the traffic just grinds to a standstill several hundred yards further back. On a bad day, the road is unexpectedly slippery, or several people wre driving just a little bit too close, and there's a pile-up. Probably not a serious one, just enough to damage some cars, to create a five-mile tailback, and to pump tonnes of extra CO2 emissions into the atmosphere. On a *really* bad day a tanker-load of some dangerous volatile chemical will end up breached . Hasn't hapened yet, but it's only a matter of time.
Someone should look at each and every speed camera from a safety perspective, and no-one who profits from the fines should be allowed any say in where the cameras are located. The right places are at well-known accident blackspots, on narrow residential road "rat-runs", and outside schools. And perhaps, occasionally, on busy roads - but concealed, set at least 10mph above the speed limit, and active only at times of high traffic density.
In the meantime, every speed camers should at least have the limit that it is enforcing painted on it!
>>You have to try that road. The limits vary from 30, 40, 60 almost randomly. There are some substantial clear stretches where any prudent driver is going to assume that the limit is 40 and when you are straining your eyes to drive safely it really is the last thing you want to do to have you attention focused on the apparently arbitrarily placed limit signs - as any fule no it's not exactly going to improve you attention to other vehicles, pedestrians, cycles etc."
The speed limit *should* be something that people can be aware of without much deliberate looking beyond observing the road ahead, via well-placed limit signs and repeaters.
If that isn't the case, it's possible to end up accidentally speeding, but whether you end up caught by a camera or by live police, it's really the signage that's the issue there, not the being caught.
One pet hate of mine is speed limit changes on roundabout exits, especially exits with pedestrian crossings shortly afterwards.
Also, it does seem odd that when they take pains to make the cameras visible, they don't automatically put an obvious speed limit repeater near them.
As for randomly changing limits, I guess sometimes there are reasons for them, even if those reasons might not be obvious (seemingly minor junctions that actually have a fair bit of traffic, past record of accidents, etc.)
Just think what they could achieve if their first term wasn't being wasted undoing all this crap from the previous government!
Well done to the government, keep it up.
But then of course...
...if you really wanted to lower accidents and serious incidents on the roads, you'd increase the number of specially trained personnel, able to see and respond to them.
You could call them, say, "Traffic Police"... something like that?
But they cost money, they don't bring it in, don't they. Never going to happen then.
Black helicopter icon to represent the blue and yellow EC135 that seems to have taken a liking to hovering near our house, of late.
more police is not the answer
Thats simply uneconomic. You want an extra 50000 officers to watch our every move?
How about giving firmer advice on safe distances to the car infront and enforcing fines on tail gaters?
How about asking drivers to prove their competence every 5 or 10 years with another driving test?
How about having to prove your eyesight is good enough to be behind the wheel unaided or that you own the corrective aids to enable you to see.
The largest contributing factor to accidents is lack of observation not speed. If we make sure everyone is on the same page - if you passed 30 years ago youve had 30 years to develop poor habits and get complacent and lazy - that might help too.
Outbreak of common sense in Whitehall
err 'speed causes accidents' says mp.
hang on, nobody says this at all. The issue is that the greater the speed means that more energy is in the accident which means greater chance of lives being lost or damage. Its hardly rocket science, more basic physics.
What next, believing the myth about 'seat belts cause deaths because my grandad would have died if he'd been stuck in the car'(etc).
Anyway, surely revenue generation from idiots who can't drive is a sensible tax?
Seat Belt Laws
The seat belt law probably did not save lives over all. By an unintended consequence it transferred the casualties from those inside the vehicle to those outside as folk drove faster and took more risks.
Read John Adams blog http://john-adams.co.uk/2008/01/31/myth-inflation/ for a numerate explanation.
I never understood the fuss about speed cameras, you have to be travelling in excess of the speed limit + 10% to get a ticket. That's hardly dificult is it?
Actually a Police friend of mine told me that speed cameras are calibrated to fire at 7% + 3MPH over the speed limit. OK it's near as damn it 10% but it actually means that the lower the speed limit, the more leeway you have (e.g. 30MPH = 5.1MPH allowance). So it's not until you reach above 100MPH that you would get less than 10%.
... are potentially attributable to speed - without movement relative to something else, there cannot be an accident. Beyond that, it is actually acceleration that is the issue. I can't be bothered togo through the same thing that I've said before - if you are interested, look at my previous comments.
Speeding isn't actually the problem - it is inappropriate use of speed for the conditions that causes problems. Drive with due care and attention and there should be no problem. There is no advantage to messing up someone's driving record for doing 45mph in a 30mph zone at 2.30am unless there is some other factor that contributes to it being dangerous (e.g. a nightclub tipping out). When there used to be real policemen on the roads, I was once stopped late at night and reminded that I the road I was on had a particular speed limit, but that since I was not in danger of causing any harm to anyone, and I clearly knew the road (I was close to home), nothing more would be said. Another time, I was warned about a speedtrap by another (not traffic) police car coming in the other direction!
Any offence has to be taken in context - black-letter law is bad for everyone (and i speak as one who knows).
Basic maths innit
I would, as a matter of public policy and safety, encourage cars to travel at 1000mph. It stands to reason that the faster they go, the shorter time spent in the vicinty of any (relatively immobile) pedestrians, and therefore the lower the risk of accidents to said fleshies. We have only to solve the basic physics of control at such speeds in confided spaces, but - think of the children! They're worth it. (Aren't they?)
Well as long as it's reasonable.
So you have to be going 33 in a 30 zone? Clearly a threat to western civilization. I think the terrorists should give up on all these unwieldy bombs, and complex hijacking schemes. They can just tear through town at 40 KPH.
I wholeheartedly agree except for one point. You said:
"Beyond that, it is actually acceleration that is the issue."
Since you want to be technical, it is the deceleration that is the problem. Or to be even more accurate the rate of deceleration.
@ Terry H
I was taught in physics and maths with mechanics that there is no such thing as deceleration. It is all acceleration, just in a different direction (acceleration being a vector, as I recall).
However, it is a long time since I did those subjects, so I could be mis-remembering! Beer just in case you know something I don't!
Speed kills, revisited
" The issue is that the greater the speed means that more energy is in the accident which means greater chance of lives being lost or damage. Its hardly rocket science, more basic physics."
Which is totally pointless if you don't drive an accident. Sleeping while driving is a common cause for accidents and most of those are from driving way too slow, ie. posted speed limit. Slow driving kills and that can be proved: Dullness induces sleepyness and driving 35 on highway is as dull as wathcing the paint dry on the wall. No-one can stand that more than 15 minutes before the mind starts wander. Of course, this is never mentioned.
Also, you know, driving an accident is not a given fact nor mandatory and in reality, most (>80%) drivers are never involved in major accident. You want to punish these people (big majority) every day because some other people can't drive, why?
So it's a money generator, ie. stealing.
"Anyway, surely revenue generation from idiots who can't drive is a sensible tax?"
That would be, yes. But it's taken from those who drive and _can drive_. Speed limits are so low that no-one, who can drive, obeys them. Would you drive 35 on 4-lane highway? For 200 miles? And if you say you would, you are lying.
Those who cause accidents, are not penalized at all or very lightly and in any case less than speeding.
The message is very clear: Driving an accident is nothing, speeding is a capital crime. Tell me, why is that? Which is more dangerous, in reality? _Which one kills people in reality, not in shady visions_?
Accidents are so rare that you can't get same revenue from those so they _had to_ invent something else. Intro: "Speed kills"-doctrine.
As realistic as gateway-theory in drugs, meaning: bullshit.
Germans drive 200MPH on their highways and cause _less_ accidents (and deaths) than in most EU countries. Tell me again how speed kills? Where that can be observed?
Since YOU want to be technical Terry H. In technical terms acceleration is a vector value i.e. it has both magnitude and direction, and so as intractable says deceleration is just acceleration in the opposite direction. Even the wikipedia article on deceleration (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deceleration) simply redirects you to the article on acceleration (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acceleration). It is only when people are NOT being technical that they will use the term deceleration in reference to a reduction in speed.
If you're going to get all pedantic on someone you really, REALLY need to get it right.
Germans drive 200 MPH - clarification
I live in Germany.
Most Germans do not drive 200MPH, that's actually less than 1% who drive that fast. The German highways are built for 180Km/h (120MPH) and you can see that with a normal car you start having difficulties controlling it starting at around 200Km/h(127MPH). You need a really good car and experience to drive safely over that speed and most of the Germans don't have one of them. Most cars are limited to 250Km/h unless they are the super-sport versions (like Audi RS, MB-AMG, Porsche). And Germany has some hardcore ecologists/stingies who drive barely faster than the trucks so during the day you can barely drive faster than 100KM/h on busy highways.
My feeling is that the highways are built properly to allow high speeds and some human error. After learning to drive in Germany and driving on Spain's highways I often thought - what were they thinking.
On the other side, I had to take a psychological coaching due to jumping a red light once and you know what I realised? One needs an attitude shift - to understand that there is no pressure to drive faster and to reach somewhere 5 minutes earlier. I do still drive fast when I can (6 o'clock in the morning is still possible to drive 200km/h) but if I can't - speed limit or construction site I quietly acccept it. Have some audio-books in the car so the time is not wasted.
I thought these things were supposed to turn a profit?
"War on the motorist", yeah, right
>If authorities want to put up new fixed cameras, they are free to do so using their own resources.
So no new cameras where they would actually be a safety improvement - only the ones that will make a profit?
"Gatsometer B.V. leads the world in the provision of traffic enforcement equipment. The company’s core business consists of the development, production, and installation of traditional and digital red light camera systems and radar systems"
"The value of your investment may fall as well as rise, and you may not get back the full amount invested"
Not to mention....
...that Gatso's success has always been as much to do with lobbying as with public safety...
If they were anything other than revenue generators, they'd have one on my street where boy racers regularly do 50mph (and police take 30 minutes to respond) rather than Mr Plod hiding behind bushes to pounce on ordinary motorists for doing 35mph 100 yards inside the town limits.
Councils should be a bit less dedicated to safety.
Councils should be reviewing their policies regarding road safety anyway. The number of unnecessary "improvements" in my neck of the woods (pointless pedestrian crossings, unecessarily low speed limits etc) all strongly suggest the presence of dedicated road safety officers who are mostly dedicated to justifying their own existence, not to mention a mad, end of fiscal year rush to use up a dedicated road safety budget.
Perhaps they could use some of these resources to actually improve the flow of traffic for once, instead of slowing it down. We've had the safest roads in Europe for decades, and also the most congested.
I disagree. I think we need a mini-roundabout at every single road junction, just to keep drivers on their toes. Oh, and while we're at it, everybody should be forced to drive a red and yellow car like Noddy. And make sex videos.
Helping pedestrian, or twitting drivers?
It seems a curious phenomenon that the number of such "improvements", in the most general sense of traffic calming measures, on a given stretch of road is in direct inverse proportion to the number of pedestrian crossings.
Why could this be?
Well, if it wasn't about the revenue...
... then shirley councils wouldn't mind donating all fines to, say, relieving the national debt?
Personally I think it utter madness to plan for a certain amount of fines to be levied and build the budget depending on that. It distracts from what councils and plod and so on really should be doing. The national debt is a nice and large sinkhole in which to lose money that'll never get there otherwise. But I'll stop now, I'm starting to make sense.
Idiots as social revenue generation
Since breaking the speed limit is against the law then what is wrong with using speeding motorists to fund local government? This means lower taxes for the rest of us. If you don't like it then you can choose to drive within the limits you agreed to when you received your driving licence. It's the democratic way.
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