Then (and sorry, I know it's a tired thing to say) I had a kid.
And my god, the people who will go FAR over the limit right down your street where people are pushing prams, kids are walking along, etc. is astounding. It's enough to make you hate all drivers, though a moment of reflection reveals that even if 1 out of 100 drives dangerously, you'll remember that 1.
We need car control every bit as much as gun control, and speed cameras are a big part of that. People die when drivers are left unchecked. Disproportionately, it's people not inside cars.
Of course, people also die from the emissions coming out of the tailpipe, which is what these protesters seem to want to do freely. "Oh, your grandma has emphysema and lives near the road? Tough shit, I want my cheap diesel."
100%. However, the majority of cameras are placed on deserted countryside main roads and non-pedestrianised motorways/interstate type roads. More camera locations should be prioritised for protecting pedestrians.
Look at these charts. Speeding rural areas kill! Also, take a guess at what time SUVs became popular in urban areas.
At best, they're a passive aggressive way of exerting government control over citizens. At worst, they're a revenue-increasing mafia-protection-like tool.
If you actually want to protect pedestrians, you build physical "traffic calming" obstacles like speed bumps or chicanes . Switzerland is full of these, and they're very effective. There's really no good reason to have speed cameras (although red light cameras might be a better idea), especially on the motorway (Germany manages without motorway speed limits, so clearly they're not necessary to have a functioning society).
Australia is full of them in sneaky places. It makes the driving experience quite stressful. The speed limits are sometimes ridiculously low and it’s like playing a game.
Speed bumps/breakers are way more effective at slowing cars down. If you don’t slow, you get a big fat jolt and damage your shocks.
I like driving in US much better.
The hole in the hedge from the cars going through it has almost grown in!
My personal pet idea for pedestrian areas, especially in suburbs, would be to close off one entrance to a road, making them a dead end, stopping them from being short cuts. Not much difference to the people living there, they can still park and access. But now there will be no through traffic.
It work well, but it puts a lot of political pressure on the mayor for a while, until the people who used to go through the city adjust to the new plan. It often gets reverted after a small while.
They're still very unpopular.
Accident figures peak.
Council installs "safety" camera and lowers speed limit.
Next year figures revert to mean. Council: "Aha! The lower limit and camera has cut accidents, we'll make it permanent".
Net result: speed camera in middle of nowhere, on a dual carriageway, in isolated section of 40mph limit. Often on a bend.
Goodbye 85th percentile rule in yet another spot. I can see why that's unpopular. Yet the spots that really should have cameras near schools, or in other spots around town, generally don't.
In many places (including Ireland, where I live) the same roads where people drive are where you walk your dog or ride a bike - with no footpath. The 85th percentile guideline doesn't help them.
Remember that roads were for walking (by humans, horses, etc) and drivers turned up and stole them.
On dual carriageways, which is about the only location I ever feel annoyed by speed cameras, it's a fairly reasonable basis for setting limits. That's the situation you find reductions of limit, with associated speed camera, that are simply unexplainable from road conditions, and lack of sources of danger, risks such as built up areas etc.
That's the M6 toll, a road the folks who control such things would like you to pay them money to drive on. Note that it runs beside the perfectly straight 4 lane A5, which predated it, and, simultaneous to the toll road opening had its speed limit reduced to like 30 miles an hour and speed cameras installed every 200 yards along the entire length.
Hard to imagine the whole thing became that much of an accident hot spot right at that moment.
I agree completely.
To be honest, from a safety perspective, I would be happy if speed cameras were integrated with street lighting so that basically every stretch of road was covered by speed cameras.
That said, I think that penalties should be in the form of a points system that ultimately results in losing your driver's license if you consistently speed. Financial penalties seem to disproportionately penalise the poor.
That's how it is in England.
3 points for a speeding offence. 12 points and you lose your license for 6 months. Points take 3 years to disappear from your license. You also get fined up to 75% of your weekly income, based on how much over the limit you were going, and there are some hard limits (100 mph?) which result in an instant loss of license. It seems sensible.
I agree that financial penalty does disproportianately affect the poor, but at least scaling it with income means the rich cannot completely ignore it either, as they could with a static fine.
They really do run a mafia extortion system there.
I can't wait for laws to enforce speed limits via tech in modern cars.
It's been nice, to be honest. I've noticed it bleed into other thigs in my life and I'm no longer worried about the 'go go go' mentality of modern life as much. But we have a cultural issue surrounding speeding. I've mentioned it in passing and the number of people who've basically mocked me for it is too high. Sure, they're joking, but it's an issue we need to fix on a societal level... Thankfully, I think the automatic enforcement in cars will do that. Hopefully it comes sooner, as I've seen nothing but benefits from trying to stay the speed limit - and it doesn't even slow me down that much since I'm not driving long distances (>100 miles) at a time. Less than 5 minutes usually.
This has resulted in a much stress-less driving experience.
It would be nice for the car GPS to automatically sync with the cruise control and set appropriate speeds.
What are you doing on the road if you're on a bike ? What do you think bicycle lanes are for ?
Imagine you're driving down a divided motorway at freeway speed, when for no evident reason there's a single 90kph speed sign visible for a couple seconds behind a bridge. That's the signal that 100 yards further on there will be a hidden speed camera. Then the speed limit will go back up to 130kph immediately afterwards.
So when you move to a new area you find out about these things when a series of fines arrive in the mail. Often for being recorded going 91kph in that 90 zone.
It's maddening as a safe driver, having to keep constantly alert and ready to slam on the brakes going down any unfamiliar piece of road.
I'm not overly saddened to hear there are fewer of those things around for a while.
You've just described what being a safer driver is. You _have to_ be alert at all times, and you _have to_ be ready to brake if something suddenly happens.
As such, they're now bright yellow.
If you get caught by that, you really need to pay more attention.
* Clearly marked, by law.
* Placed for safety, with some clearly defined legal criteria.
* No data retention, by law.
Usually next to a tree. I would prefer them to be used to prevent kids from being killed rather than to prevent some idiot from auto-darwinating himself.
Tricky speed cameras make people drive like robots. Some people even drive 20 below the speed limit "just because there could be a camera lurking." This problem isn't easily solved by "just sticking to the speed limit" because many cameras are set up such that they catch you when it isn't natural to drive at exact speed limit (For example shortly before a town ends, or driving up a steep hill etc.).
You're are arguing in favor of "everybody exceeds the speed limit, so we shouldn't punish it." I'm arguing in favor of "everyone should drive at the speed limit." Have you tried lately to drive 30 in a posted 30kmh zone? 50kmh in a city center? You'll be regarded as a traffic obstacle. And that's the problem.
> when it isn't natural to drive at exact speed limit (For example shortly before a town ends, or driving up a steep hill etc.).
Why isn't it "natural" to drive at the posted speed limit until you're at the end of the down? How many seconds do you gain? Is it "natural" to not be able to keep your impulse to put the pedal to the metal in check? The sign "this is the end of the town" exactly signifies that border. People not observing that might be exactly the reason why there's a speed trap - not making money, enforcing the rule.
Why is it "natural" to not observe the speed limit going up a steep hill? Especially on a steep hill it's hard to see what's happening behind the crest.
Are you arguing with "nature" or just "I don't see the use of that rule, so it doesn't apply to me"?
Is that your nature? If so, I'd prefer if you gave up driving.
The traps are when townships set speed limits well below the envelope, a speed that is unnatural.
A classic example is rural interstate highway, when the limit will drop from 75 to 55 because of “population density” even when the density is far from the highway and not traffic-interactive, then sit their local law enforcement on the highway to selectively pull over out of town / out of state “speeders”. Let’s be clear - there is no safety element to this practice.
A similar thing happens on rural roads at “town” boundaries. Classic examples in, say, Vermont, with winding mountain roads and natural speed limits. Hit an “incorporated” town that got itself a cop car, and you suddenly have a speed limit 15 - 20 mph below the rest of the road, with the first sign just around a tight corner, and the camera or cop sitting right there. The only safety difference in the road is the legal incorporation status of the town, nothing “natural” about that.
Please don’t take my word for any of this, it’s been researched.
Well, link the research, so I don't have to take your word for this.
> A classic example is rural interstate highway, when the limit will drop from 75 to 55 because of “population density” even when the density is far from the highway and not traffic-interactive, then sit their local law enforcement on the highway to selectively pull over out of town / out of state “speeders”. Let’s be clear - there is no safety element to this practice.
As always and in any case, bad actors are everywhere. But is that really such a common practice that you can just lump in all speed traps and just say "all of them are money traps"?
Unfortunately most German(!) street cameras are placed to surprise the driver, causing nearly continuous disruption even for those who don't speed. Their destabilizing effect on traffic can be observed quite easily as people suddenly brake, make light signs to warn others, surprisingly change lanes (because of the sudden speed reduction), etc.
This is because in Germany the money goes to the local authorities.
It doesn't help that placing and maintaining them is pretty expensive (and often outsourced with profit-sharing). Local authorities and private partners have little incentive to reduce their income per device just to increase road safety.
It had been forbidden by law few years ago. To make clear we still have speed cameras and perhaps more now but there is a process for deciding where they are and why...
If what you meant to say was 'Speed Cameras make the 30m of road that they're focused on mildly safer than it was before whilst mildly increasing the likelihood of accidents due to unexpected braking in the local area at the cost of introducing a regressive tax' I would totally agree.
Everybody and their dog knows just where the three local speed cameras are, and drive accordingly (sigh).
The average measurement in the subsea tunnel we drive to get off the island? Hard to beat, unless you want to go for less enlightened tactics like driving like a bat out of hell until you approach the next speed camera, then pause until you've waited long enough for your average speed to be under the posted speed limit before proceeding past it...
I guess it could be argued that the increased safety of highways is taken into account when the speed limit is determined - and perhaps also that the idea that safety is excel leads people who speed to exceed the posted limit by a larger margin?
Edit: also, the average speed ones perhaps unsurprisingly led more drivers to observe the limit - on average sections, 1 driver in 7000 was caught speeding; single cameras? 1 in 1680.
French stats show a large drop in road casualties linked to the installation of the first fixed speedcams (2002-2003) although actually, it started dropping when it was announced that fixed speedcams were going to be installed:
It adds an element of unpredictability to the road.
This almost completely offsets any positive safety gain.
Which makes me think it's a cash-grab.
I would assume that if speed cameras decrease the average speed (which might or might not be true!), even if you have the same number of incidents, you should see a reduction in the seriousness of injuries.
There are other studies which cite this one and they're linked from the page I posted, I invite you to read them. The data is at best inconclusive that speed-traps are functional at preventing collisions and deaths.
Speed cams would be most effective if they were hidden all over the place. (Or used to record average speed over some distance, which is a most effective way of ensuring people observe the speed limit!)
The latter, though, will get the privacy nut in me annoyed unless the authorities flush the record of you passing immediately after verifying that you drove at or under the speed limit. Speed cameras are excellent surveillance devices, after all.
The idea is to stop you speeding EVERYWHERE. Not just where speed cameras are. It is to penalise people who constantly break the law, and make the road dangerous for everyone.
The idea is to make money for the police department and the municipality.
So they fines are a feedback-style job security enabler for the people at the department responsible for the speedcams.
There have been lots of scandals over the years and I even gave some links...
Meanwhile, if you keep the little needle on your speedometer under what the last sign said, you’ll be fine. Pretty damn hard to rig that.
If they were really really interested in making the roads safer for everyone, they would combine driving on the right with the right of way for people coming from the left iso coming from the right. Statistics show (you can measure this because there are countries where they drive left and have right of way from the right) that it lowers the death toll by almost 30%.
If anything, I think it just shows that speed limits are not enforced well enough (and I think it should start with switching to a points permit) in Belgium. I also personally find them often too high, with 70 often being allowed in urban areas outside the core parts of towns.
IMO there is no question that Flemish roads (I don't know Wallonia much) are less safe than French roads.
Eurostat shows that quite well: https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/cache/RCI/#?vis=nuts1.transpor...
I'm personally generally dubious on speed limit based policies.
I imagine it depends on the jurisdiction, but personally I don't recall ever seeing a speed camera next to a school, near a city park, or across from a row of dense apartment buildings. Instead they always seem to be in fairly irrelevant places such as along highways where you cross from one jurisdiction into another. I'm sure that has absolutely nothing to do with revenue though.
For the noise complaints, enjoy the view from the A9 and A709: https://www.google.com/maps/place/Montpellierfirstname.lastname@example.org,3....
If you drive around in France, you quickly realise most of them are installed in profitable areas, not in dangerous areas.
Looking forward to 100% of them being destroyed.
Yellow Vests movement is a reaction from the silent parts of middle class that are the pillar of democracy: private sector employees. This (traditionally) silent crowd feels plundered by the government to support policies and lifestyles that they don't agree with.
It does look like a much bigger movement than the state had anticipated.
If enough people stop paying taxes this will get serious.
A proud history of civil non-compliance, from the French Revolution, 1848, and the Commune to May 68, is what made France what it is, and helped usher us into the modern freedoms and rights.
Even the 1789 French revolution was a bloodshed that resulted into a even tougher dictatorship (the First Empire)...
The bloodshed of the revolution and the Empire are seen as necessary evils at worst.
Isn't most of the income tax taken directly from the employer. So only a few people will be able to avoid that. Then there is the lovely VAT tax, how are people going to avoid that one?
In fact, I think the majority of taxes are transparent so you know you paid it but you don't really ever feel the pain of handing over the money.
That's right. The French government probably feels lucky. Hence frustrated people resort to destroying things. And taxpayers will pay for the damages anyway. But still, you can see the pressure is real.
Their positions are all well known, so it's rather easy to get them all, and you are basically guaranteed impunity outside the largest cities since there will be no cameras to know who did it.
Its been proposed that Thatcher allowed the miners strike to occur but only during the Summer when the effects of lack of coal (power cuts) would be less.
There's some speculation that Occupy Wall Street collapsed in the bitter cold. Many UK riots seem to happen on warm summer nights.
Has anyone done an research or written about this? Can we expect the Yellow Vests to be less successful in this winter than in the summer?
This is also the case in Central and Eastern Europe.
EDIT: Please read what I cited properly. The citation includes the "Some protesters feel ..." part, which is what I meant - that many people in central and eastern Europe feel the same, not that I feel they're right (what I think is irrelevant).
I am not saying that this isn't a tool to generate revenue, but it certainly can make a difference for some of the people living there.
However the weirdest thing is, when a street feels like you can drive 80km/h but you have to go 30km/h "just because". People don't like that. You shouldn't just put up signs and speed cameras on a perfectly fine street. You have to alter the street too. Make it narrower, etc. People will then drive slow without problems.
Problem is rather how the fines are structured. 50€ might be a disaster for someone living on welfare while it's pocket change for others. If I remember correctly Finland countered this by making traffic fines daily rates of income.
It was not unusual to have people drive 150 km/h or so on the 110 speedways I was taking then, or 110 on the 90 countryside roads. Nowadays it seems like only few people break speed limits by such margins. In Belgium however (where I live now) there are speedcams as well but I notice a lot more speeding.
I think the difference is at least partly due to the points permit. French drivers get a total of 12 points and lose at least 2 points from any speeding, while Belgians only get a fine, which probably doesn't give a lot of incentive to people who have enough money to just pay the fine.
(Nitpicking: actually only one point if driving less then 20 km/h above the limit.)
" solely a revenue-generating measure which takes money from the poor."
Unless someone can prove a connection that someone poor is more likely to speed, then I don't see how that's true. I think the opposite was proven recently, no? That rich people with expensive cars are more likely to disobey traffic laws.
This is a strange interpretation of the statement. I would've assumed that the point being made is similar to that about the tax on cigarettes - the cost of a penalty charge is less significant to a rich person.
In some places the cameras are signaled up to 500m before, and are very visible with yellow reflective stripes. There is often one at the entrance of towns to force drivers to adapt their speeds, and it works.
Then some are clearly placed with malice, it really depends.
> Unless someone can prove a connection that someone poor is more likely to speed, then I don't see how that's true.
I think an issue would be that poor people will drive more. Middle class population will tend to be more urban and rely on public transportation for day to day use, even if they still own a car and may do a few trips during the week.
People in remote areas will be more at the extreme: crazy rich or pretty poor, and the poor in these area will have to drive everywhere to get almost anything, thus being more subject to speed traps. (anecdotaly almost everyone speeds way over the limit, some big highway feel like the autobahn sometimes)
Yes! I don't understand why the government doesn't accept the reality and doesn't (try to) raise the speed limit. Now everyone is speeding and when they see something remotely alike an undercover police car they brake hard, creating very dangerous situations for all people around; you could argue "it's their fault, they're speeding" - yes, but why keep the limit low?
This is why in a lot of european nations on top of the fines you have a point-based system – if you have three points you get your driving license revoked and you will have it revoked for some time and then you have to do some driving tests again.
This actually works quite well in preventing bad behaviour (assuming you have a non corrupt police), but one could argue that it is a much, much worse punishment to the poor again (it can potentially destroy them economically, including the loss of income source etc).
As a car driver you experience much less of the negative side-effects of your reckless driving than the rule-abiding drivers, cyclists, pedestrians and people living next to the streets.
Look at speed cameras as police's automation solution for the problem of what to do when road signs aren't working. They are part of an evolution and if evolution has to account for destruction of these cameras then more nuanced models will get their market share (e.g. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Luc-Z29KUfU).
Or we might end up with more Orwellian ways like autonomous traffic drones or the government having a direct link to your car, monitoring your every move, speed etc.
So, yeah, I don't like em but I'm fine with speed cameras.
For a rich person A to C are usually not a problem. Just take a taxi.
Yes the consequences are worse for a poor person, but that's like saying that consequences of murder are worse for a poor person - if they go to prison then their family is now at risk because maybe they were the only money making person in the family. Rich person's family is probably going to be fine. But does that mean that poor people should be punished less for murder? Of course this is hyperbole now, but I think the same principle applies.
I just disagree with this sentence, vehemently. If someone is driving a car in a dangerous manner, they should lose the right to drive regardless of how much they need it, and definitely regardless of how rich/poor they are. What's the appropriate punishment for a poor person in your opinion?
Like, I genuinely don't understand? A "rich" person should lose their licence for 12 months, but a poor person should only get away with a warning because they need a car to make money?
So if the very next day they get behind the wheel and kill someone, the court process will look like this
"Dear Honour, the accused was stopped for dangerous driving yesterday"
"ok, why were they still driving today then?"
"They are poor, so they were allowed to keep the licence"
Like, that's literal insanity. Driving is a right, not a privilege. If getting too many points means you can't get to your job and lose said job - I'm really sorry, but that's tough shit. I'd rather they didn't have a job than continue driving and be a danger to others.
Instead, the point I am trying to get across is how it feels to be a poor person that receives a more painful punishment relative to a privileged class and the kind of sentiment that would breed among the poorer class.
I am not French so I will not presume to know what the purpose of the Yellow Vest movement really is but it sounds to me like there are economically disadvantaged classes that are tired of being left out in the cold.
This is a matter of empathy, not lawmaking.
Actually we could argue that it's more likely due to the poor average condition and old age of their cars. A new Mercedes brakes much better than a 20 year old Skoda and usually has auto-braking systems and braking force enhancers.
However "going through a city" is very general. There are several actual highways (by law as well as by construction standards) in Prague going through the city where the speed limit (70 km/h) is frequently broken with no possible victims - the exact same road has 130 km/h limit outside the city.
And I don't even understand your assumption - of course you should be complaining about noise levels if they are unacceptable, no matter if you just moved next to an airport or if you lived there for the past 50 years. Same as moving next to a pub or a night club - why does it matter that you just moved next to it, if the local laws governing noise levels at certain times existed for decades? Either the club/pub/airport brakes those laws or it doesn't - your personal length of habitation in the area has nothing to do with it.
Source: I live in Sweden and recently got caught by a speed camera in Denmark.
But yeah, they're installed by 3rd parties and are usually just there to make money.
Obligatory referenced video of the boxer vs police: