Criminalizing Cameras Speed Sleaze-Spun Slavery
… research has shown that drivers exceeding the average speed on a road by 25 per cent are six times more likely to have an accident. Government figures to be published will claim that cameras are cutting deaths and serious injuries by 35 per cent. … The Association of the Chief Police Officers (ACPO) says that it wants to tighten the current "10 per cent + 2mph" buffer that means, for example, cameras policing a 40 mph limit are only triggered by vehicles travelling at 46mph.
… Downing Street has become alarmed by motorists' hostility towards speed cameras… Mr Darling will try to calm the public outcry… In 2002, 30,000 drivers lost their licences through the totting up of points. The number of motorists caught speeding on camera in 2002 rose by 40 per cent to 1.5 million, Home Office figures show. That could double to an estimated 3 million this year… Mr Darling said: "We must reduce speeding but the public must have confidence that the punishment fits the crime."
Profiteering proponent politicos and pinnacle plods know this is a great game for boosted bank balances but politicians just exceeded their own electoral speed limits in reversing away from a monumental meltdown caused by their crafty criminalization of what will soon become a majority of otherwise impeccably law abiding voters. Read on to see why it was so stupid and why a sweet-spot solution won’t be substituted… but not what it might have been!
First though, unlike regulators and hangers-on in those unsavoury suppressant sectors, we must recognise as axiomatic that drivers are sentient so systemic solutions sold by scummy screwballs won’t suffice here any more than they have in any other sector. People possess personalities across all persuasions so they cannot all ever be accommodated by any automaton however universal its claimed capabilities (Goedel humanised, almost!) ~ and clouting citizens with cameras is about as crude as could be in its moronic mimicking of impersonalised impositions initiated by banking blockheads. Sentience exists statistically on a scale from sensible to stupid and sentience alone should suffice to see that having people deal with disputes results in less resentment than decisions made by binary bits in mindless machines. Sadly this self-evidence has increasingly evaporated from ever expanding numbers of ever more remotely removed prattish poseurs leaving no-one empowered to evaluate anything in what is rapidly becoming a digital dictatorship.
Percy Public knows it, even the prats know it, but few care enough even to try thinking about it never mind intervening intelligently. In a nutshell then, our coercive culture has swept aside everyone regardless of sentience and camera correctness was about the silliest manifestation because it was obvious from the outset, at least to sensible souls, that its failure to fix the fines on stupid sods wouldn’t work. Indeed that much was surely also cynically obvious to the pundits, politicos and plods who harnessed it as a haymaking heaven and sod the poor souls spiked on their pitchforks ~ the sleazies always knew it was a win-win setting to spin subsequent cash into their coffers for inevitable revisions and replacements, just like the railways debacle and so much else since we allowed our societal virginity to be raped by raw rednecks. Anyway enough of that superficial scene-setting so now some sensible stuff as follows.
Given overwhelming uncertainties in imponderables of special circumstances that confuse the main messages, basic ballistics best portray uncluttered essentials for distance stopping S dependence on velocity V as ratio S/V=B+R in terms of braking B=˝V/D at deceleration D after reaction R. Brighter bods spotted that braking time is 2B but average braking speed is ˝V so braking distance is still BV and reaction distance RV of course. In all of the endless hours of pseudo-scientific pontificating from politicians and ambitiously ambiguous aspirants purporting to portray all angles of public prejudice, I have heard nothing about D and not a lot more about R yet both play parts as substantially significant as V.
It’s the same psychological phenomenon seen in all the recent great “debates” from gemganic to Iraq via climate, all of which exploited non-linear lock-on of publicity to spin selected emphasis sought by politicos and manipulators and invariably promoted by our Pavlovian media malignantly aligned on agenda axes nowadays. None of this spin works in the end though because commonsense finally prevails to confirm percy public is usually right to be disinterested (as in gemganic irrelevances, 95% ignored the campaign clamours) or to be disdainful (climate confusions, consolidating scepticism as contrary characterisations emerge in turn heightening hysterical hype from politico proponents) or to be dismissive (cameras are cash cows, not cost-effective controls).
Whilst gemganic and climate claptraps can’t be so easily ejected without leaning on facets of fancier physics, cleverer chemistry and even bootstrapped biology, camera claptrap can thanks to S/V=B+R which immediately demands that D and R be included in the “debate” whereas they haven’t because they don’t fit the portrait painted by our press pandering to politicians and politicos.
R isn’t in the picture because distraction can’t be captured on camera, so it is still set aside for analytical assessment after accidents or roadside by breathalysers ~ both entailing sentient intervention, ideally also sensible although that’s less assured nowadays with everyone expertly assertive however silly their statistical superstitions. Anyway R clearly can’t be had from cameras as conceived nor is it likely to be accessible unless intrusion invades the interior of the car ~ a nightmare that can’t be entirely excluded thanks to ever expanding political promotion of terrorism as the emergent universal voodoo.
What about D? ~ it’s absence seems a complete conundrum seeing as blockbusters manage no more than ˝g or so against g or so for your average carriers and even 2g or so accessible to slickers (NB g=10 metric and imperial 2mph = 1mps metric). These are decisive differences, indeed it wouldn’t be exaggerating to say enormous even in the context of speeds for safe stopping. In the spirit of simple illustration take 1 second as reference for R returning reaction contribution to S of 20 metres from a reference V of 20mps (40mph). As defined above, blockbusters then have B=2 and so entail a braking contribution to S of 40 metres whereas carriers (B=1) add 20 metres and slickers (B=˝) 10 metres. Alternatively taking carriers as a central reference for safety (ie S= 40m) it means that blockbusters should be restricted to 30mph or 15mps (ie B=3/2 so B+R=5/2 which times V=15 returns S=37.5, or 40 to warranted accuracy). On other side, slickers should sensibly be limited at 50mph or 25mps (ie B=5/8 so B+R=13/8 which times V=25 returns S=40 to warranted accuracy). Doing the same exercise for a reference V of 40mps (80mph) returns for carriers B=2 so with R=1 again we get a central safety reference S=120 which means limiting V to 60mph for blockbusters (ie B=3) and 100mph for slickers (ie B=5/4), again to warranted accuracy.
A key consideration for the crudeness of camera criteria has been clout carried by the haulage sector, ironically in unholy alliance with unsuspecting nannies who merrily intone the mantra “speed kills” like all others without any insight whatsoever as to whether or not it has any sensible substance beyond self-evident oversimplification. Manifestly the law really is an ass in this arena, as indeed everyone knows from everyday experience and as would surely be confirmed by real data if they were ever sensibly sorted ~ which they haven’t because the mantra would be unmasked as a fallacious oversimplification by opportunistic politicians, politicos and poseurs. Moreover accommodating these realities within the law, allowing slickers to speed past carriers, would seriously conflict with coercive correctness collusion that is fast converting our formerly Highest Individual Factor stoical society into a Lowest Common Denominator compensation commune thanks to centralised command and control covertly conveyed via privateers in purported partnerships that invariably profit conveyors at the expense of their powerless customers.
Finally, again remark that there exists an established capability which is ideally attuned to continuous monitoring of relevant performance using a technology that would be publicly acceptable, incentivised even by the insurance sector happy to discount cover for better risk reliability but this sensible solution has never been publicly aired because it would displace chief constables’ cash cow cameras, indeed would dismantle the entire gravy train they’ve become!
PS Note that the numbers retrieved above accord with what was always not just tolerated but routinely adopted by most sensible drivers including cops but inevitably ignored by idiots (including cops) residing in the lunatic limits of the sentience distribution. Cameras are crap aren’t they, just like so many other aspects of our feely-touchy correctness culture where distorted democracy opened the floodgates for everyone to force a focus faction influence however ignorant / irrelevant ~ whilst societal stoicism that served us so well for centuries has been suffocated thanks to compensation culture cowboys. Never a mention nowadays of inattention or aggression which in reality of course are the real killers and used to be properly punished ~ consider that for a carrier one extra second of distraction adds 20m at 30mph, in effect transforming it into a blockbuster so far as stopping is concerned although not of course in terms of impact damage~ another unheeded real reason for discriminating size in regulatory rationale. A second is not a long time when it comes to distraction intervals ~ indeed it’s pretty much minimum in refocusing to click radio or mobile buttons and any aberration can easily turn 1 into 2 or even more…! Of dear ~ such a pity that driving without due care and attention doesn’t feature in ACPO’s crazed careerist campaign ~ and it doesn’t of course because it’s not readily measurable (but it could be!) other than by traffic cops observing events through experienced eyes!
Cops of course cost much more than cameras, nowadays more than ever at an all-inclusive 90% over national average against 10% over average 50 years ago. Moreover cops are much less attractive to accountants carrying personnel costs on current accounts unlike cameras on capital ones, this perversion a microcosm of our universally flawed econometrics thanks to blinkered bean buggers who prefer things to people across the board ~ because things are amortised much more quickly than people. Well, that used to be so but the past decade has seen these heartless hoorays given increasingly free rein to transform people into things via short-term contracts with no continuing consideration never mind commitment on implications into retirement ~ well apart from favoured fortunates, including cops of course. So it’s no coincidence we’re now into pensions crises all around us whilst (all-time high) taken taxes are squandered at ever accelerating rates on obsessive inconsequentialities like due diligence in top slicing 80% of most administered monies into kickback corporate alleyways.
I digressed again but only to paint in the bigger picture as proper perspective for all this camera codswollop ~ which is all it is and has been from the outset. No coincidence that the exciting economies have eschewed all our ineffectual navel-glazings (meldrewism to follow on government garbage as climate claptrap, obesity obfuscation, ecological exaggeration, smoking gun) whilst pursuing permanent progress, whereas expansion in our economy has been at the expense of poverty disguised into unredeemable personal debt burdens in return for postmodernist slaveries such as call centres. Moreover all this has been done on some silly notion that shopping debt will secure social stability akin to that historically delivered by housing debt when anyone with an iota knows that psychological resistance to defaulting on possessions (or qualifications) doesn’t even begin to compare with defaulting on property.
Anyway I just digressed from driving again so as takeaway tag consider that simple cheap technology to track transgressions (inattention / aggression above) has been around for years in other arenas and in a form that would probably prove acceptable to percy public by way of insurance discounts for goodies. However it hasn’t even been considered publicly by ACPO’s poseurs because it couldn’t put cash in their coffers, unlike cameras which are indeed a cash cow for the very good reasons spelled out above. Policing was always only ever by consent in this country but sadly the motley mob of present politicos played a trump card of terrorism as universal voodoo and the prospect of coffins everywhere has exploded constabulary coffers to the tune of 12.5% hike in local taxes in my neck, as against a core grab up by a tolerable 1.5%. What on earth will we see for all this terrorist tax-take, well after the 80% has been top-sliced / kicked-back into due diligence? ~ probably nothing more than consolidating curtailment of the freedoms we used to regard as essential elements of our democratic legacy. And cameras will continue of course, indeed only get worse!
PS’ Just noticed a sadly all too common pejorative rendering of central sentence in ACPO’s statement (Independent 16may) ~ “exceeding the average speed on a road by 25%…” is not the same as “exceeding the speed limit by 25%” yet is used as if it were the same to assert a case for even more stringent stealth stealing. We all know from firsthand experience that (for carriers) 40 is the sentient upper norm in a 30 limit and 50 in a 40 limit, likewise 90 in a 70 limit ~ all in line with simple sums outlined above and all adopted by drivers inside the lunatic limits of sentience distribution. All are also on the high side of the 25% above regulation so clearly the ACPO sentence didn’t mean these excesses, not so as to be able to claim a six-fold increase in accident occurrence ~ that’s simply unbelievable. What the sentence strictly must have meant is 25% on top of the 25% adopted as normal practice by most motorists ~ so that’d be 50 in a 30 limit and 60 in a 40 limit, also 110 in a 70 limit. Now it makes sense, indeed it fits with what most sensible people would say is stupidity if only for probability of catching attention from prowling traffic cops never mind cameras. Note that 60 in a 40 limit adds a second to stopping time which is also the distraction time limit I suggested above for radio / mobile blipping ~ so probably no coincidence that it concurs with exceeding sentient sensibility!
What seems surprising at first sight is the claimed six-fold increase even when this statistic is taken strictly as stated and not its intended (mis)interpretation. It means either that 1 second really is critical or it could mean that these accidents involved higher numbers of blockbusters (˝g brakers) rather than carriers or even less slickers. Commonsense suggests it’s size that counts here in which case the ACPO sentence was doubly pejorative, firstly as indicated above and secondly for failing to discriminate what is probably a significant sub statistic that would reinforce the case for regulatory refinement as deduced from simple sums showing significance of size for stopping. Indeed, this interpretation would also be consistent with injury severity remarks in same statement ~ also noted in passing in my simple sums and self-evident that blockbusters do much more damage than carriers. This prima facie indication of ACPO’s probable intended distortion of the evidence purely for political pressure could be readily tested to confirm if indeed there is a disproportionate involvement of blockbusters, and even more tellingly should the accident reductions claimed for cameras be less pronounced for the them (ie less excess speed, more excess injury). The figures are readily retrievable but I doubt they will be tested because cars comprise by far the bulk of what should be deemed illicit earnings from improper practices!