Speed camera detectors: let’s all take the sensible approach
SIR – I am amazed that all of these ‘angels, whiter than white, never slip up or get anything wrong’ type people, especially the organisation Brake, are against speed camera detectors (Fleet NewsNet, March 16).
On a number of occasions – and I dispute anybody saying different – I have been thinking (as humans sometimes do while driving), of other things such as family, friends, work, problems, talking to a passenger, being on the road at such a time when there is no traffic and therefore no risk for travelling at a slightly higher speed, when suddenly realising that there is a camera, or indeed not seeing it, and ‘bang’, caught, with no discretion as to the surroundings etc.
If speed cameras are ‘safety’ cameras – and let us not forget that is what we are constantly being told, despite the fact that we all know different – they will be placed at strategic risk points, and anything that then brings our focus to that must be a good thing, creating a awareness of the risk, increasing the safety to all and above all, achieving exactly what the camera is placed there to do.
If then one ignores the warning –tough.
We have recently been told that there are too many road signs on the roads, often too many to actually be read by the motorist when concentrating on all of the other hazards that exist.
To try and pick up a camera also while abiding by all the signs is just another problem.
In addition to this, what a farce regarding the bright colour of the cameras – exactly the same as the road signs, thus still trying to be hidden among all of these.
We are told we have eyes and these should be the warnings. Rubbish. If the cameras were painted in the bright luminous red that fire engines are painted, then that would be something different.
Surely, anything that draws our attention to a potential speed-sensitive area is good practice.
Speed camera detectors promote safety by warning the driver of a potential hazard. Quite a good thing, I would have thought.
The bonus, of course, is to the driver. Not only has he reduced his speed and avoided a possible accident and risk but he has safeguarded his licence, possibly his job and not had to pay a fine also.
So let’s see common sense play a part in the management of speed and not this tunnel vision attitude that seems to be the fad of the day.
SIR – I am delighted that whoever wrote your Comment column on March 16 ‘The only reason to own a detector’ is presumably so observant and law abiding that he or she manages to never exceed a speed limit.
Unfortunately in the real world, life isn’t like that. None of us is perfect and the vast majority of drivers who use speed camera warning systems do not rely on them in order to exceed speed limits or to stay within the law.
They – and, I suspect, Stephen Ladyman – use them as an additional aid to safer driving and to stay within the law rather than all too easily picking up fines and penalty points.
A good GPS warning system will also alert drivers to accident blackspots and schools. Your page one story and comment also failed to differentiate between detectors and GPS-based warning systems.
The former will almost certainly be outlawed in the Road Safety Bill to which you refer, while GPS warning systems have been specifically welcomed by the Department for Transport, which has said: ‘GPS-based systems complement the Government’s policy to ensure camera sites are visible and conspicuous to drivers, and so help to deter excessive and inappropriate speeds.’
Dr Ladyman confirmed that GPS warning systems would remain perfectly legal and I think you’ll find that both he and Owen Paterson use GPS warning systems, not detectors.
Director, Talex GPS Speed Camera Warning Systems Maidstone