News just out: the Government says it wants to “end the war with motorists”, and so is going to end its central funding for fixed speed cameras.
Now, there are around 6,000 speed cameras scattered around the UK, and they generate £100m in fines each year, so it seems odd that they would want to wave goodbye to that – but they do. Hmmm.
More news just out: hi-tech, infra-red, number plate recognition camera devices that are linked into a single server network and draw on global positioning satellites have been undergoing secret trials in the UK. We only know this because it was revealed in a parliamentary report.
And now it makes sense. Forget the old flash-flash boxes at the side of the road. This system, known as SpeedSpike, can monitor thousands of vehicles at the same time, even on little-used back roads.
The manufacturer claims the cameras used to collect the information are small and cheap – so cheap that they could even be used to reduce the need for speed bumps on smaller roads.
The cameras then communicate with each other. The average speed over your journey is calculated, and if your vehicle has travelled too far in a set time then you’ve broken the speed limit somewhere along the route. Bang. You get a ticket.
Spies in the skies. Satellites to watch your speed and fine you if you step over the mark. Who would have thought? It certainly doesn’t sound like the Government is ending the war with motorists; it sounds more like an escalation!
So, what does the Government have to say about THAT? Well, the Home Office said it was unable to comment on the trials because of “commercial confidentiality”. Honestly, I’m not making this up.
Well, I have some news for the “unable to comment”, sneaky, deceptive bureaucrats behind this one… There are an incalculable number of roads where – thanks to the potholes that would make a Third World jungle track look inviting – it’s impossible to even reach the speed limit without your car tearing itself to pieces leaving little more than shredded tyres and a scattering of bolts in its wake.
If you want to end the war with motorists, try spending money on sorting that, rather than hi-tech outer space gadgetry to spy on your citizens.