back to article Moscow's speed cameras 'knackered' by MYSTERY malware

Malware has infected a Russian police computer network, knackering speed cameras in and around Moscow, according to reports. Broadsheet daily Izvestia reckons a server operated by the Office of Traffic Police was infiltrated by an unidentified Trojan. The infection disabled parts of the cops' Arrow-ST system used to monitor …

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  1. Silverburn
    Joke

    Oh god..a bit of russian malware I'd *actually want* in the UK.

    <-- And before the anti-speeding lobby gets a full head of steam going, witness icon.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      In the UK

      Speed camera malware is more low tech.

      In the form of an old tyre and can of diesel.

      1. Psyx
        Stop

        Re: In the UK

        "In the form of an old tyre and can of diesel."

        Diesel doesn't burn, y'know...

        1. Fuzz

          Re: In the UK

          whilst diesel isn't as flammable as petrol it most certainly burns once you get it a little warm, if diesel didn't burn it would make the diesel engine much harder to achieve.

          1. Psyx
            Facepalm

            Re: In the UK

            "whilst diesel isn't as flammable as petrol it most certainly burns once you get it a little warm, if diesel didn't burn it would make the diesel engine much harder to achieve."

            Diesel engines work on compression ignition, not by sparking it.

            Likewise, holding a lighter to it to sabotage a speed camera as per the original post simply doesn't work.

            Of course diesel is ultimately burnable (as is pretty much anything in the right conditions), but for the purposes stated it's effectively not.

            Basically, I'm trying to discourage anyone using Diesel to set light to speed cameras.

            Use petrol, like normal people.

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: In the UK

              Line tire with burlap feed bags. Soak burlap with diesel. Light burlap wick. Works for starting burn piles in a driving rainstorm, or so I'm told. I wouldn't know if this is hearsay or fact, as the practice is illegal and I'd never do anything illegal. Besides, we don't have real rain here in California ;-)

              1. Psyx

                Re: In the UK

                "Line tire with burlap feed bags. Soak burlap with diesel. Light burlap wick. Works for starting burn piles in a driving rainstorm, or so I'm told."

                Burlap feed sacks? We're not that rural, y'know!

                Over here people just line the tyre with old rags and petrol. Although the habit is in decline and I haven't seen anyone bothering to burn one out for quite some time now.

            2. Wzrd1
              Angel

              Re: In the UK

              Diesel fuel will burn, if wicked, such as a rag soaked with it.

              However, a 5:1 mixture of diesel and petrol make for an extremely hot fire. That mixture is what was once used in burn out latrines.

              Not that I'd encourage soaking rags in that mixture around a speed camera. That would be unlawful.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: In the UK

          "Diesel doesn't burn, y'know..."

          Any cotton wick, such as an old rag will do nicely.

    2. Mike Flugennock
      Thumb Up

      Ahh, there's good news tonight!

      Oh god..a bit of russian malware I'd *actually want* in the UK...

      Hell, I'd like to see that bad boy hit the States, too!

      ...and that ain't no goddamn' joke, either.

      1. Rampant Spaniel

        Re: Ahh, there's good news tonight!

        which states have the speed cameras? Just out of curiosity you understand! We are lucky enough not to have any, not least because the roads are too crap to speed on.

    3. Chemist
      Joke

      Suspect it's spread by ..

      A drive-by download !

    4. phuzz Silver badge
      Alert

      Plastic bag over the top works just as well, and not as like to get you done for vandalism. It'll usually take a few days for anyone to notice and remove it, and our taxes don't get spent.

  2. g e
    Go

    Most excellent

    Can we get some of that speedcam-knackering malware lovin' over here in the UK please?

    So much easier than driving around dousing them in petrol or cutting them down with detcord...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Most excellent

      Why not just slow down when you see the camera? Or the dashes on the road?

      I'm not anti-speeding. I speed all the time on clear out of town roads (don't see the point of speeding in 30-zones. You won't save much time, it's no fun, and there are people around). I cruise at 100mph+ on motorways quite regularly and have never been caught in over 20 years of driving.

      People who regularly get caught by speed cameras (the bright yellow, obvious ones) deserve to lose their licence as they're clearly not paying attention, which is far worse than speeding. OK, so there are folk who get caught out once or twice, which is fair enough, but there really are folk who habitually speed, repeatedly get caught, and blame the cameras or the "system". It's their fault that we have the bloody things in the first place.

      Not that I care. I'm able to detect them using my amazing human vision.

      1. Lee D Silver badge

        Re: Most excellent

        If you want to speed, campaign for a raising of the speed limit (was a political platform only a few months ago to raise motorways to 80mph but not enough people were interested in supporting it for it to gain any momentum). Countries, in the EU, of similar size have higher and even "unlimited" speed roads that operate perfectly well (the German Autobahn is THE best set of roads I've ever driven on in my life, for driver courtesy, driver sense - staying out of the way of faster traffic - and sheer quality of the surface) - it's not that big a stretch to get them in the UK.

        Don't complain that the speed limit that is there is enforced. It's hard enough for the police to be seen doing their job as it is, at least the robots are pretty infallible. If it's that much of a "burden" to you, get the limit raised and still properly enforced. You'll have my vote, if we can achieve anything even near the German Autobahn system.

        And, I have to echo, if you get caught by a speed camera, you're an idiot. It's like having "bank fraud detectors" and then complaining that you're always being caught on them when you commit a fraud.

        1. JetSetJim Silver badge
          Unhappy

          Re: Most excellent

          > the German Autobahn is THE best set of roads I've ever driven on in my life, for driver courtesy, driver sense - staying out of the way of faster traffic - and sheer quality of the surface

          You've just enumerated reasons for not raising the speed limit in the UK. I, personally, am not in favour of Maureen barrelling along at 100mph on the motorway - nor do I have any confidence in her getting out of my way/not getting in my way if I were doing so.

          According to the wiki, Germany had 7.2 deaths per billion vehicle-km in 2010, compared to 5.7 in the UK. Restrict that to motorways/autobahns, and Germany has 4.5 deaths per billion vehicle-km, compared to 2.0 in the UK - and the motorways in the UK are busier (source, although this info seems to be from 2000, so a teensy bit out of date).

        2. WonkoTheSane Silver badge
          Headmaster

          Re: Most excellent

          70 limit came in in 1965 after Carroll Shelby was reported to reach 198mph on the M1.

          Before then, the white circle with a black diagonal line meant "End of Speed Limit".

      2. Psyx
        Thumb Up

        Re: Most excellent

        Agreed. I like ignoring speed limits as much as the next petrol-head, but anyone driving in excess of the speed limit who doesn't notice a bright yellow box at the side of the road shouldn't be speeding in the first place.

    2. jonathanb Silver badge

      Re: Most excellent

      I think our revenue cameras are too stupid to understand malware. Most of them still use film cameras, so transferring the data means taking the film reel out, attempting to find a photo development lab that is still open and getting humans to look at the photos.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Most excellent

        @Jonathanb - They're only revenue cameras if you are:

        a) Breaking the law already

        b) Incapable of moderating your driving style near big yellow reflective boxes on sticks

        c) A danger to yourself and others on the road because of B.

        1. jonathanb Silver badge

          Re: Most excellent

          @ac The powers that be like to call them "safety cameras". That is why I call them revenue cameras.

        2. Lee D Silver badge

          Re: Most excellent

          "Incapable of moderating your driving style near big yellow reflective boxes on sticks"... the locations of which are public knowledge and programmed into most sat-navs purchaseable on today's market, which conveniently warn you with audio messages when approaching one and can even be set to beep if you're over the limit.

          I honestly do not get "the speed-camera issue". They've been crippled to the point of uselessness and still people compare that they are "money-makers". Well, if they are, well done to them. Think how much money they'd make from "inadequate braking distance" cameras, or other "driving like a pillock" cameras, or if they were just hidden in a bush somewhere and you didn't know you were caught red-handed until the fine arrived on your doorstep.

          It's a kind of natural selection. If it affects you, maybe you should look at exactly why.

          1. Psyx
            Thumb Up

            Re: Most excellent

            I assume you're being downvoted by the people who like driving at 80mph while being totally oblivious.

    3. Bobthe2nd

      Re: Most excellent

      I was thinking they should replace speed cameras with noise cameras. Since typically noise is more a nuisance than speed. The additional benefit being that the faster you drive the more noise your vehicle makes, so it catches people who race around in 30mph zones, motorbikes and people who dont maintain their vehicles to a decent standard.

    4. Someone Else Silver badge
      Go

      Re: Most excellent

      Mmmmmm...detcord....

    5. Wzrd1

      Re: Most excellent

      Detcord?!?!

      What a waste of a useful thing.

      Have a proper fireworks display, use thermite.

  3. frank ly

    Do your civic duty

    " ...The cameras should bring in 100 million roubles ($3.2m) per month in speeding fines, ..."

    Break the speed limit often, to assist the finances of your home town.

    1. Bernard M. Orwell

      Re: Do your civic duty

      At least they're honest enough in Russia to say what the cameras are *really* for!

    2. InsaneGeek
      Big Brother

      Re: Do your civic duty

      Spread over only 144 total cameras all things being equal that averages to a income of $730.59 per day per camera.... holy shikey

      1. TheVogon Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: Do your civic duty

        Yes, that is pretty low. Like ~ 10 tickets a day. I would have expected far more.

  4. jon 68
    Childcatcher

    3.2 Million reasons to love speed cameras

    Of course the extra income to the local government was only a secondary attribute, they were obviously put there to keep the motorist's safe.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. robin48gx
      FAIL

      Re: 3.2 Million reasons to love speed cameras

      Its mostly third parties that get harmed by speeding car drivers---speed cameras in theUK are placed where someone has died. often a child. Imagine, the child in shock half under the car mangled crying for mummy... but you would rather get from A to B 3 mins quicker....

      1. Rabbit80

        Re: 3.2 Million reasons to love speed cameras

        "-speed cameras in theUK are placed where someone has died."

        Have they changed the rules? I was under the impression that there had to be a number of accidents within a specified time frame - and that there was no verification that the accidents were caused by speeding.

        "but you would rather get from A to B 3 mins quicker"

        That 3 mins soon adds up. If you imagine losing 3 mins twice a day - thats an hour each fortnight or over a day every year in time just wasted. In my current job which I have been driving to virtually every day for 12 years, I have lost over a fortnight of my life due to time wasters on the roads (actually - I lose approx 6-7 mins daily each way due to 40mph drivers - so I have lost over a month of my life!)

        I don't condone speeding in built-up / residential areas, but on a main road where it is safe I would expect traffic to maintain 60mph and when it is quiet such as at night, I don't see any issue with breaking the speed limit a little as long as it is safe to do so.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge
          Childcatcher

          Re: 3.2 Million reasons to love speed cameras

          Bet those children soon add up as well.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: 3.2 Million reasons to love speed cameras

            @Dan55 sez 'Bet those children soon add up as well.' As well as whom ?

          2. phuzz Silver badge
            Trollface

            Re: 3.2 Million reasons to love speed cameras

            "Bet those children soon add up as well."

            Nope, have you seen the recent results for maths GCSEs?

        2. This post has been deleted by its author

        3. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: 3.2 Million reasons to love speed cameras

          "Have they changed the rules? I was under the impression that there had to be a number of accidents within a specified time frame - and that there was no verification that the accidents were caused by speeding."

          One of the "speed related" accidents listed as the reason for installing a speed camera near me involved a 92-yo driver having a heart attack and croaking at the wheel while negotiating a bend. Another heart attack at the wheel was used as justification for dropping the speed limit slightly further along the road from 70 to 50.

          J Clarkeson made a claim a few years back that at least one of the M4 cameras was justified by a pedestrian committing suicide from an overbridge. I didn't believe it at the time but events since then have made me reconsider.

          OTOH: If you speed and don't see the bright yellow box then you shouldn't be on the road at all. Ditto tailgaters and mr 35mph-man-in-the-right-hand-lane.

        4. Fink-Nottle
          Thumb Down

          Re: 3.2 Million reasons to love speed cameras

          > I lose approx 6-7 mins daily each way due to 40mph drivers

          > on a main road where it is safe I would expect traffic to maintain 60mph

          What is safe for one driver isn't necessarily safe for another.

          I was in the Scottish Borders recently, driving on unfamiliar twisting roads and there was no way I or anyone else not familiar with the roads could safely keep a steady 60mph - yet still locals would insist on displays of impatience.

          If the driver in front of you has decided that 40mph is a safe speed for the road conditions then, as far as I know, the highway code states he is entitled to drive at that speed. You may overtake him when it is permitted and safe to do so, otherwise there's not much you can do about it - except be patient.

          1. jake Silver badge

            @Fink-Nottle (was: Re: 3.2 Million reasons to love speed cameras)

            "If the driver in front of you has decided that 40mph is a safe speed for the road conditions then, as far as I know, the highway code states he is entitled to drive at that speed."

            Here in the States, that's known as "impeding the flow of traffic", and is a ticket-able moving violation (points on license, higher insurance, etc.). Counter-intuitively, you can get a ticket for doing the speed limit whilst holding up drivers behind you who want to go over the limit. That's not to say that speeding is legal, mind ... it just means that it's not up to any one individual to decide how fast (or slow) anybody else is allowed to drive. In other words, slow-poke, pull over & let faster traffic pass! It'll save everybody a few blood-pressure points.

            1. Fink-Nottle

              Re: @Fink-Nottle (was: 3.2 Million reasons to love speed cameras)

              Interesting, Jake - and I take your point. Indeed one of my gripes is that UK cops will often ignore traffic driving below the signposted minimum speed on motorways. However, in the UK the Highway Code states :

              "The speed limit is the absolute maximum and does not mean it is safe to drive at that speed irrespective of conditions. Driving at speeds too fast for the road and traffic conditions is dangerous. You should always reduce your speed when

              - the road layout or conditions present hazards, such as bends

              - weather conditions make it safer to do so"

              I agree with you, pull over when possible. In fact, it's often better to follow someone when you don't know the road. Unfortunately, pulling over is not always an option on single lane roads (like the A7 I mentioned in my previous post) and it's better to drive defensively if you're unfamiliar with the road.

              1. AceRimmer

                Re: @Fink-Nottle (was: 3.2 Million reasons to love speed cameras)

                Indeed one of my gripes is that UK cops will often ignore traffic driving below the signposted minimum speed on motorways

                Apart from a couple of exceptions there are no minimum speed limits on any UK roads including the motorway

                There is a mention of not holding up traffic if you are driving a slow moving vehicle but it is not law

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: @Fink-Nottle (was: 3.2 Million reasons to love speed cameras)

                  and those people who sit in the middle lane on motorways at 60mph, when the inside is clear for miles and enhance the congestion for everyone else out of sheer laziness.

              2. micheal

                Re: @Fink-Nottle (was: 3.2 Million reasons to love speed cameras)

                rare (except tunnel approaches) to find a signposted minimum on UK motorways

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: @Fink-Nottle (was: 3.2 Million reasons to love speed cameras)

              Not sure if that's a state thing, or a fed thing?

              All I know is that, here in the UK, the last time I let someone behind me decide how fast I was driving, I crashed. Never let anyone behind you dictate your driving style, it doesn't end well. Your car may well not have the same capabilities as the people behind you.

              In my particular case, I drive a Mk1 Japanese import of the MX-5 - for those who don't know it's rear wheel drive, 1.8l and weighs about 950Kg... I had just turned on to a road when someone came up behind me alarmingly fast, so I didn't slow down as early as I would have to take a turn, I knew the car could do the corner breaking hard and late, but I wouldn't have chosen to and I would have been right not to. The road had greasy grime on it and the wheels stopped, but the car didn't, not until it collided with a 4x4 at the junction. Totally my fault, I would have much rather the idiots behind me suffer the collision.

              Don't let this happen to you - No-one knows what state the roads are in, even if last time it was fine, there is nothing to say that this time the road isn't covered in diesel. You are the only person who knows your ability (hopefully) and that of your car in the conditions.

            3. Matt Bridge-Wilkinson
              Pint

              Re: @Fink-Nottle (was: 3.2 Million reasons to love speed cameras)

              We have a similar offence if you are driving too slowly for the traffic, i.e doing 40mph on a 70mph motorway is clearly dangerous. They tend to be more motorways and dual carriageways. However American roads from my experience (and I only have driving in Michigan to go by) are all mostly very long, straight and a lot wider with no kerb stones.

              Come over and drive the winding UK country lanes that the post was referring to and you will quickly understand why doing the speed limit without knowing the road, would be dangerous. Doing 60mph is something you can do safely if you know the road well and even then its not always safe to do that as you can't see around bends due to hedges, trees and stone walls. I've had friends from the USA visit they found our country roads quite intimidating, in fact they ended up wrecking the wheels on their hire car on the kerbs even around town. I took them around the same roads with me driving and they found my speed and cornering scary even though I wasn't breaking the limit. Different world here road wise, we don't have the block system, roads wind all over the shop unfortunately. Not always comparable.

              Pint icon because the world is full of interesting differences.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: 3.2 Million reasons to love speed cameras

            I used to work in LaPalma on the telescopes (at 7500ft) and we used to drive around mountain bends (with literally 300ft shear drops on the side of the road) at about 60mph, tyres screeching etc.

            Very often would have to emergency brake for a terrified tourist going round at 20 mph in a hire car:

            but we did know the roads very well, every day, a 40 min drive (well if you were good).

            Visiting astro-physiscists used

            to crash alot; we kind of thought that was funny.; until one went over a cliff and died...(see plaque on the side of WHT).

          3. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

            Re: 3.2 Million reasons to love speed cameras @Fink-Nottle

            I recently moved up Scotland, and I'm spending a lot of time doing the decent thing - pulling over as soon as possible to let the obvious locals past. To do otherwise is just to be an utter bastard.

            It is a shame that the driving standards in general are so piss-poor: indicators as an optional extra, never letting anyone out into traffic, waiting for a written invitation before pulling out onto a roundabout yet pulling out of T-junctions like a bat out of hell then slowing down to 10mph below the safe speed/speed limit on a totally straight road. I'm starting to wonder if the old saw about Scots and alcohol consumption is true.

        5. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 3.2 Million reasons to love speed cameras

          "I don't condone speeding in built-up / residential areas, but on a main road where it is safe I would expect traffic to maintain 60mph and when it is quiet such as at night, I don't see any issue with breaking the speed limit a little as long as it is safe to do so."

          Most accidents are at night on country roads. Road markings and that includes speed limit signs are there to protect you as well. They advise you of whats ahead, ever noticed that the centre line actually changes length depending on the potential danger? Just because you raced around that blind bend the last 10yrs and there wasnt something there doesnt mean there wont be the next time.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 3.2 Million reasons to love speed cameras

        I find that variable, Devon and Cornwall police are fantastic for placement. They are never hidden always on dangerous roads, no excessive signage. Just the information you want/need with enforcement to stop idiots.

        Plymouth used to be the same way but a few years back the city went bonkers, there are hundreds of camera's placed around many in places where it is impossible to speed (see Royal parade where you go through 4 in a half mile stretch of road with 3 sets of traffic lights).

        Dorset will setup mobile speed traps, where there aren't any accidents or compliants but where they know people will speed. Considering some of the bends Dorset has (see A30 and A303) and where they setup speed traps, It is pretty obvious they go in for fines and not safety.

        Gloucester places them on exits to roundabouts mostly in non-residential area's. Again I think this is to catch the motorist who is concentrating more on coming off the roundabout than their speed (one road is 40MPH but people panic and break down to 20mph as they turn off and it makes things far harder, as you choose to emergency break or filter into the other lane).

        I always view speed as possible by-product of driving well (hitting that apex correctly, planning properly, etc..), not a goal.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 3.2 Million reasons to love speed cameras

        A number of cameras near me were placed there when they built the road so that's no true.

        50mph on a nice stretch of straight dual carriage way, far from houses with no junctions. Go figure.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 3.2 Million reasons to love speed cameras

        Well said. Someone walking (adult/child) walks into the path of a fast and heavy object. Just because the impatient muppet wants to get across the road now instead of waiting for a clear time to cross. The exception being little children who dont know better. Where were their parents? Why did the child not know to look and if the child didnt know then why was it alone near the road?

        It is those selfish people who dont think of the psychological horror experienced by the driver who has to hit the muppet who walked in front of their car. Watching someone on the phone, listening to music, holding a conversation or general ignorance of physics and survival who need educating.

        Speeding is bad and adds an amount of danger. But Darwinian selection based on the stupidity and selfishness of a few cannot be stopped by slowing cars down. They will just find another way to kill themselves off.

        What ever happened to the look before you cross adverts? Common sense please people.

        1. Silverburn

          Re: 3.2 Million reasons to love speed cameras

          Last I checked zebra crossing mean pedestrian priority, so you muppets mowing down kids are transparently not anticipating to stop when you come across one.

          Naturally, walking onto the crossing while giving the car only 5ft to stop is pretty stupid, but all the same - why did you not notice the person walking up to the crossing? It not as if they're hiding behind street furniture, waiting to jump out and catch you out.

          Sidenote: Here in Switzerland, failure to stop for a pedestrian will get the side of your car kicked regardless of how little notice they give you, and a not-so-polite (or cheap!) visit from the local constabulory shortly afterwards who will "not see" the kick dent. It's a big no-no in other words.

          Sidenote 2: It should be be noted I find zebra crossing bloody annoying myself, in case anyone thinks I'm from the "won't someone think of..." brigade.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            @Silverburn

            Here in the UK there is a limited knowledge of what a zebra crossing is. Not from the drivers viewpoint but from pedestrians. Most pedestrians will cross without one and will assume its just as safe because the crossing is 10ft up the road. At least in the areas I have lived/travelled/worked.

            I have no problem with people crossing without a crossing as long as they accept the cars have priority. However there seems to be a disagreement on this point which is why pedestrians have so many accidents.

            1. Uffish

              Re: ...cars have priority

              You should get out and walk about town a bit more. It would make you a better driver.

            2. Silverburn

              Re: @Silverburn

              However there seems to be a disagreement on this point which is why pedestrians have so many accidents.

              I have no stats to back this up, but based on personal experiences (which didn't actually involve mowing anyone down, just to be clear), I put the causes down to the following, in order of frequency:

              - ipods

              - phones

              - beer

              - age (both too young and too old)

              - laziness

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: @Silverburn

              Highway code.....pedestrians DO have priority even when there is no crossing

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: AC 1st march 13:10

                "Highway code.....pedestrians DO have priority even when there is no crossing"

                A mistake solidly rectified by the laws of physics. Pedestrians do have priority as long as they are not doing something stupid. The list by silverburn highlighting a number of causes of road crossing stupidity.

                The law on paper does not change reality. Physics beats paper

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Thumb Up

            Re: 3.2 Million reasons to love speed cameras

            > Sidenote: Here in Switzerland,...blah blah

            Some years ago, while honeymooning in Norway, we noticed in town that when we were wandering around aimlessly trying to decide where to go, we noticed that all the traffic stopped. What we didn't notice was that we were "near" (not "at") a pedestrian crossing. We subsequently discovered that the penalties for knocking someone over on a pedestrian crossing are *very* severe. As a consequence, everyone is *very* careful.

            I get that if you jump out in front of someone without giving them reasonable notice, then you're a dick. However, as others pointed out, the pedestrian has right-of-way on the crossing. If you can see someone approaching the crossing, then you should slow down a bit and anticipate the possiblilty that you might have to stop, just like you do at a roundabout, the difference being that at a roundabout, your car might get severely pranged whereas at a crossing you might just get some blood on your bumper.

            1. Stu_The_Jock

              Re: 3.2 Million reasons to love speed cameras

              You are right about Norway, the problem is the locals get too used to that attitude and walk/cycle out without looking. However when I first visited here ( I've lived out in Norway for 6 yrs now and LOVE it, highly recommended) my wife duly stepped onto a pedestrian crossing as a white transit van approached, which after 10 yrs in London I would have classed as "Suicide"

              But then over here ALL traffic infractions are expensive . . . (based on a nominal 9 kroner/pound) - Speeding and getting caught - minimum fine 250ish pounds. Driving through a residential street marked as "No through traffic" £450. Crossing a double unbroken centre line to get past a bus at bus-stop (same rules as double white lines i UK) about £250.

              And the police are allowed to, and DO "hide" with speed traps. I've seen a head peering over a rock with laser gun, sat in someones driveway, in a farmyard overlooking a long straight (where there have been quite a few accidents as people forget there is crossing traffic for a junction)

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          AC 13:24

          I find it interesting that my comment (13:24) has attracted an almost even split over the ignorant pedestrian issue in this country. While up votes are pretty self explanatory I dont see any explanation for the down votes.

          We already accept dangerous driving is stupidity and running red lights is moronic but looking purely from the good drivers perspective we have the Darwinian selection/suicidal actions of idiots walking into the road assuming priority/invincibility they dont have.

          Why is it wrong for drivers to be reckless but acceptable for pedestrians to be? Why is it ok for some idiot on a phone to cross in front of a car without looking? Why is it ok for children not to be taught how to safely cross a road? Why is it ok for people to expect the car to stop when the car is driving on the road (designed for cars) where cars have priority?

          I dont call for all pedestrians to be limited to only ever use crossings because with a little intelligence (not much) it is possible to safely navigate across most roads. For a pedestrian to be hit by a car it takes 2 elements at the same time- the car AND the pedestrian.

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 3.2 Million reasons to love speed cameras

        Oh really? We've had a speed camera outside our house for a long time. I've lived here 36+ years and I know for a fact there's never ever been a fatal accident anywhere near.

        Plus I spent over 5 years in the ambulance service and have seen and had deal with a lot of real death, injury and distress. I can tell you now, it's not like your silly talk about a injured child.

        But that doesn't change my opinion that speed cameras do not contribute one thing to increasing road safety.

        1. NomNomNom

          Re: 3.2 Million reasons to love speed cameras

          well i keep to the speed limit religiously and in 30 years of driving I've only hit 3 children and a dog, not all at once mind you

          1. Silverburn

            Re: 3.2 Million reasons to love speed cameras

            well i keep to the speed limit religiously and in 30 years of driving I've only hit 3 children and a dog, not all at once mind you

            Joke icon missing? I hope...?

        2. Electric sheep
          Meh

          Re: 3.2 Million reasons to love speed cameras

          Accidents are generally caused by driving too close or too fast for the conditions.

          Stopping folks from breaking an arbitrary set speed limit is hardly going to stop the above.

          But its a good earner for the government.

        3. robin48gx
          Meh

          Re: 3.2 Million reasons to love speed cameras

          I have seen someone die trapped in a car in front of my eyes in a road accident.

          It was a very upsetting experience.

          Not silly talk. 3000 deaths a year on our roads is pretty amazingly high.

          Any other `industry' would be shut down. Back to the incident I saw...

          The police got there first, I was putting out the fire on the dripping exhaust pipe on the upside down car.

          The ambulance and free service were probably lost (I hear they are pretty bad at navigation generally

          I guess Rabiit80 if your are really an ambulance driver, you mostly arrive too late)

          But I do think, on a lateral tangent here, that technology may well be the only thing to

          reduce road deaths. Automatic braking systems to aid the awful human reaction times, and

          monitoring via GPS to prevent people speeding (and doing a runner).

          All things just around the corner so to speak.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Re: 3.2 Million reasons to love speed cameras

      >The cameras should bring in 100 million roubles ($3.2m) per month in speeding fines,

      There's the problem right there.

      I think a lot of councillors think this kind of bollocks too.

      "The cameras should reduce speeding". Thyere. Fixed it for ya.

  5. Longrod_von_Hugendong
    FAIL

    lol, users

    1) Tell everyone the cameras are down, been not working for 2 weeks - really hard to fix. woe is us.

    2) Profit from idiots who now speed

    i might be a tad paranoid though.

  6. robin48gx

    The driving test should have subtle questions in it to determine if the candidates fully understand

    the equation

    E = 0.5 * m * v**2.

    If they cannot grasp this simple bit of physics they should not be allowed a driving license.

    1. Dave 62
      Trollface

      If they cannot grasp this simple bit of notation (^2) they should not be allowed a Reg commenting license.

      1. Lee D Silver badge

        ** is a notation for power on computers that goes back much further than using ^. Hell, some programming languages still use it, e.g. FORTRAN.

        I bet someone who has a subconscious habit of working in FORTRAN knows more about mathematics than the average person, or Reg commenter.

      2. Silverburn
        Happy

        If they cannot grasp this simple bit of notation (^2) they should not be allowed a Reg commenting license.

        Au contraire...I suspect he just cross the gold membership threshold, even though his trolling skills are too low, and grammar skills too high.

      3. BristolBachelor Gold badge
        Coat

        Dave 62:

        If they cannot grasp this simple bit of notation (^2) they should not be allowed a Reg commenting license.

        What's wrong with:

        E = ½m·v²

        Ok I'm going...

      4. robin48gx
        FAIL

        you obviously never used FORTRAN, or DEC plot, or gnuplot ...

        1. MJI Silver badge

          ** for power

          Nor any of the Xbase family

      5. Ted Treen
        Headmaster

        Plank in thine own eye?

        If they don't know the difference between license (verb) and licence (noun) they shouldn't be correcting others...

        1. Chimp

          Re: Plank in thine own eye?

          You need to notify the dictionary people that they're wrong, Ted. They seem to think that the two spellings are legitimate variants for both noun and verb forms of the verb.

          Or you could be talking out your arse.

        2. disgruntled yank Silver badge

          Re: Plank in thine own eye?

          Or maybe he's an American: US spelling does not distinguish the two. I carry in my wallet a "DRIVER'S LICENSE" issued by Washington, D.C.

      6. Robin Bradshaw
        Trollface

        simple bit of notation

        E=½mv² fixed that for both of you :)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Go

      You're saying you should be able to speed if you have a sufficiently light vehicle?

  7. NoneSuch Silver badge
    Linux

    "politicians blamed IntechGeoTrans for not sorting out the problem, but the company claimed it inherited a system in a state of chronic disrepair."

    Funny, but that's exactly what politicians say when they take over from an opposing party. Can't they accept their own form of BS?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    no smokescreen

    At least they are recognised for their primary (and arguably only) reason to exist. The money making machines are having trouble.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    I've found plans to make an EMP gun online, I already have some suitable, heavy duty 20KV capacitors, so can anyone donate the guts of a commercial microwave oven for the construction phase??

    Ré speed, the government REALLY dropped the ball by not increasing the motorway speed limit; it is well known mpg drops off dramatically over 50-70mph (depending on the vehicle), so raising it to 100mph would vastly increase the revenues from fuel tax (and VAT on the fuel tax - an unlawful double taxation).

    Sent from my fortified bunker (with tinfoil roof).

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Unidentified?

    I heard it was the 'Huhne' trojan.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Unidentified?

      I thought the Hune trojan was called Vicky Price and is currently on trial for it?

  11. Cipher

    We use 'em here to deter red light runners. And it has to be fairly clear cut to stick in court. That said, the number of T-Bone (read high fatality/serious injury) accidents declines sharply where they are installed. Conversely, the number of rear end accidents rises. Not nearly the number of fatalities or serious injuries from those however and the blame is easy to assign...

    I used to think that the red light cameras were Orwellian, but have changed my opinion of them. They save lives, demonstrably. They run the video at court and guilt is undeniable. Either the driver comes forward or the registered owner pays...

    There are far too many inebriated drivers and self-absorbed morons out there, society has the absolute right to protect itself from these menaces...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Cipher

      I disagree with speed cameras but red light cameras are needed. Where I live no driver abides the red light (bar me, I wasnt born here). Bus drivers, police/fire/ambulance (without lights on), taxi, car with(out) children everybody!

      It bothers me to watch these idiots drive like cyclists. Red light means stop.

      Good post

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @Cipher

        Yellow box offenders as well - There is a major ambulance route around my house, there are four large yellow box junctions within about 100m, you see people parked in them all the time, like they're more important than the ambulances.

    2. Gray Ham
      Thumb Up

      @Cipher

      I agree the red light cameras help ... a number of years ago, I was collected at an intersection by some clown doing 140 (in an 80 zone) and failing to stop for a red light. The red light camera went up there two weeks later, and there are a lot fewer collisions at that intersection now.

      I'm not sure why you got a downvote - some of the self-absorbed morons are clearly also Reg readers (especially those who think 3 minutes of their time each day is worth any amount of potential injury or suffering to others).

      1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

        Re: @Cipher

        Upvote on red-light cameras in general. I wait for reds even when there is clearly no safety need (such as the temporary lights on the road near me - clear visibility for a safe distance either way, but always stop and wait, even though the timer was set badly, and the light-sensor did not work correctly). I work on the basis that if I don't stop when it isn't necessary, might I lose the automatic impulse to stop when one comes on.

        However, there have been many cases in American states when the amber-light phase was shortened by the local councils who stood to make money, to a point where safely stopping during that phase was impossible if doing the speed-limit. Drivers were faced with sliding to a halt in across the junction and getting a ticket anyway (if they survived), not stopping at all, or ending up with the car behind them in the cabin with them. Options one and two definitely ended up with the local council making money, option three might well do if the car was punted forward of the line.

  12. disgruntled yank Silver badge

    Revenue

    As I recall, the city of Charlotte, NC, used to have signs at intersections stating how many dollars in fines had been collected thanks to the red-light cameras at the location. Don't know whether they still do it.

  13. ecofeco Silver badge
    Trollface

    ...with love

    SK Region, the supplier of the kit, handed the reins over to IntechGeoTrans earlier this year.

    HELLO?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    MYSTERY malware and speed cameras ...

    Who is going to save us from all this Adobe Apple Android Linux Open Source malware?

  15. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

    Virus, or ...

    ... logic bomb?

    IntechGeoTrans may have inherited a system that the previous maintainer, SK Region, didn't want to let go of.

  16. Loki 1
    Boffin

    Russia

    A few relevant things. In Russia (not sure about in Moscow, but in my city for sure), speed cameras are grey boxes, not usually hidden, but no warning signs. And they just placed a new one that is hidden just down the hill from my house... i know about that bugger now.

    As for Russian drivers, its no different from seeing a policeman. You slow down when you see a camera/policeman, then as soon as you are past you go back to doing 80 in a 40 zone. Some people don't even bother slowing down. Many drivers, especially those in the black SUVs just don't care. They will drive how they want, and when the penalty comes through the post (assuming the system is even working), they just send a flunky to pay it.

    Driving in Russia is a lot more erm... interesting than in the UK. Most people rarely have any idea what stopping distances are for (i often slow down to well below the speed limit if someone is tailgating me until they either get the message or overtake), and red lights are just optional.

    Yes, accidents happen all the time. Its a rare day when driving when i don't see the aftermath of a a stupid accident.

    Its strange, because Russians once you get to know them are really great people and very friendly and open. But when they get behind the wheel they turn into morons with a death wish.

    1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      Re: Russia

      I got that impression watching the new "Die Hard" movie. No-one seemed to remotely upset by the civilian carnage caused by an unfeasibly damage-resistant truck and Mercedes G-wagon. I decided it must be common-place there.

      What ... are you telling me that movie was not realistic? There isn't really a radiation neutralising spray?? Oh, damn ...

  17. Equitas
    Thumb Up

    I'd say that was ....

    Creative vandalism!

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