Covert Speed Trapping


Campaign Against Covert Camera Application

C.A.C.C.A. This campaign recognises the need for clearly marked speed cameras in accident blackspots and places where safety is a particular issue, such as outside schools, but is aimed at abolishing all cameras in questionable locations, and neutralizing all covert cameras and covert camera operations, which in the opinion of many, are designed and operated purely to make money underhandedly. Such dubious operations result in considerable resentment and bad feeling amongst the general public and have resulted in a backlash negating the absolute validity of sensible and appropriate speed camera application and management.

Objectives....
  1. All stationary cameras should be clearly signposted in advance, clearly marked, and not hidden behind, or obscured by, other objects.
  2. All stationary cameras should be seen to be in places where considered necessary by the majority of the general public and not in places that are considered by the majority to be unnecessary and / or exploitative.
  3. All mobile cameras should be clearly advertised in advance, on the day, and should not be used in locations which are questionable and / or inappropriate, purely to trap unsuspecting motorists for the purpose of making money.
  4. Any such implemented speed camera location, mobile or otherwise, should be justifiable with evidence of accidents to show that there is a need to enforce such speed limits with a speed camera at such a location.
  5. No such camera operations should be seen to be penalizing safe and sensible drivers who have been driving perfectly safely for many years and who have otherwise unblemished driving histories.

Not Driving Dangerously! The fact that so many people are currently being fined due to underhanded and sneaky covert speed trapping operations, when they are not in any way driving dangerously is a complete abuse. Such tactics also have the unfortunate effect of turning people against what should be a positive and welcomed idea. The idea of camera schemes should be to reduce dangerous driving, not to pounce on unsuspecting members of the public who are not driving dangerously and who have an otherwise unblemished driving history, purely and simply to make money. In such instances, people may have been breaking a rigidly inflexible, poorly instituted and often highly inappropriate speed limit, but when you ask if they were actually driving dangerously or driving so as to be likely to cause an accident, the answer is no! So why are they being prosecuted and fined? It doesn't take a genius to work it out! See example, Perry Street, Crayford, Kent.

Over Simplistic And Unrealistic! It is childish and simplistic to expect a system of such crude and inflexible speed limits to suitably cover all eventualities in today’s modern world. For example, the current maximum speed limit, as we know, is seventy miles an hour. Other speed limits may be sign-posted at 30, 40, 50, 60, etc. However, these speed limits are still the same when the sun is shining, as when the heavens are tipping it down, as when you can’t see in front of your nose due to fog, or in fact, as when the roads are covered in snow and ice. It is also the same speed limit when the roads are packed in the rush hour as to when the roads are completely empty at three or four in the morning. So, it is not quite so simple or as black and white as many of the authorities would have us believe. In fact, it is bloody ridiculous, especially when perfectly safe drivers are being fined and incurring points on their licences. You cannot dictate and control everything so naively, at some point, you have to rely on people using their common sense.

Sneaky And Underhanded! Recommended speed limits are no better than guidelines and the ONLY sensible, reliable and practical solution is for people to use their common sense. I know some people, especially younger drivers don’t always appear to exhibit much common sense, and it is fair to say that this issue needs to be addressed, however, I also know people in their fifties and sixties that have never had an accident in many years of driving, and yet they have still been underhandedly prosecuted by some sneaky covert operation in some unlikely and inappropriate place, even though they don't drive dangerously. We all know of places where the speed limit is arguably too low compared to the quality of the road and surroundings. These locations are often targeted by the authorities, because they know that common sense will tell the average driver it is ok to speed up and yet because the speed limit is set too low, it represents an opportunity to make some easy money - easy pickings for the authorities, but hardly fair on the motorist.

Sensible Measures - Yes! I don’t think anyone would complain or argue against the need for sensible measures to reduce accidents or fatalities, however, there is always somebody who just can’t resist exploiting a good thing. Unfortunately, such exploitation has led to the kind of resentment from the general public that causes people to take direct action, such as incapacitating speed cameras, even the sensible ones.

Fair And Most Effective Solution! It is quite obvious that, if the intention is to get people to slow down, a 'high visibility programme' is the most effective solution. People see and they react! They see and they slow down! Objective achieved! Any covert operation that does not offer sufficient warning, or is not high visibility, can leave no doubt that it is not achieving this objective and it is therefore simply aimed at no more than trapping motorists for the purpose of making money. Mobile units that can be moved around from location to location, operated sneakily in low risk areas, and which are not clearly advertised, are not achieving the intended result of getting the motorist to slow down, and in fact will not do so if people do not know they are there.

Conclusions....

  1. All cameras should be highly visible so as to force people to slow down. After all, this is supposed to be the intended objective, not to make money.
  2. Cameras should only be deployed in accident blackspots and ‘risk’ areas.
  3. All such areas that are policed by speed cameras should be clearly signposted in advance to give motorists fair warning.
  4. All such areas should be seen to be worthy of the need for a speed camera, by agreement of the majority of people. In other words, the location and siting of any particular speed camera should be able to seen by people to be a necessary and sensible thing.