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The Spy On The Village Green

The Spy On The Village Green

Somewhere in deepest, darkest Bedfordshire, a minor local dignitary announced with messianic glee: “ We have done the education and we have done the warnings. It is time to play hardball”. Gosh. So, what is he talking about? Is it crime or vandalism? No – it’s all about drivers speeding through a village and the installation of a new breed of average speed camera technology.

It is absolutely true that even the best of drivers can become complacent. There is no doubt that most of us, including minor local dignitaries, have been guilty of some slight transgression of the law. It is also true that there is a section of the motoring public who couldn’t give a fig for the lives and wellbeing of others. On the village green in question volunteers have tried being friendly and requesting speeders to slow down only in some cases to get the finger. This is why we have to have laws.

Nevertheless, you have to ask why it is that these single interest people presume to get all moral and high and mighty with the rest of us. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone and so on. It is the responsibility of the police to ensure we obey the rules, not local councillors or other private individuals. Certainly they are entitled to their opinion but they are also entitled to demand that the police do their job instead of sitting in the nick worrying about their budgets.

As the dreaded Gatso’s come to the end of their useful, hateful lives we are likely to see a new and invidious form of speed monitoring taking the place of the yellow peril. We’ve already become used to giant average speed cameras peering at us on the motorways and A roads. Now, coming soon to your neighbourhood are the Sicores. These devices are much smaller and harder to spot – although they will still have to be painted yellow – and are linked to a network to cover an area rather than a single stretch of carriageway. They will be even more dedicated to the task of issuing tickets than ever before. The 10% + 2mph rule will still apply but, basically, in areas where these things are sited you are seriously going to have to watch it. No matter how much you twist and turn within the area covered your average speed can be calculated in as little as 75 yards.

The village in Bedfordshire is buying four of them. They cost £25000 each. That means local tax payers will be stumping up as more and more councils, residents’ associations and safety camera partnerships get on board. Income generated, however, will be distributed as usual with the Treasury getting the lion’s share.

Speed limits are there for a reason and no reasonable person can object to that. We all have a vested interest in road safety. What’s of more concern is this Big Brother attitude that turns neighbour against neighbour. That’s what leaves a nasty taste.

This post was written by:

- who has written 474 posts on Motor Blogger.

Geoff is a freelance writer and photographer.

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