Spain lowers speed limits to save fuel – March 7th 2011
Spian has decided to try and save fuel and carbon by reducing its motorway speed limit. The limit has now dropped to 110 km per hour (68mph) on motorways. The Goverment hope that it will cut energy consuption by 5%.
More than 6000 motorway signs were changed in one night to reflect the limit change. they are also likley to significantly increase their speeding fines revenue as drivers adjust to the new limit.
This may well be the slippery slope as other governments may look to follow. When the US introduced the 1974 Emergency Highway Energy Conservation Act that prohibited speed limits higher than 55 mph studies showed that almost no fuel was saved. Various studies also showed that accidents either did not drop very much or even slightly increased – maybe the slower speed makes people pay less attention to the road. I have seen people on US Freeways/Motorways driving along and reading a book!
Israel Approves Speed Camera Installation – March 5th 2011
The Ministry of Public Security has obtained permits from Israel National Roads Company Ltd. to install the poles for high-speed cameras along Israel’s roads. The lack of permits was one of the reasons for the delay in the project. The Ministry of Public Security believes that the first high-speed cameras will be installed within days, and that the 1-2 month pilot, which will issue warning tickets, will begin shortly afterwards.
The speed cameras will begin operating and issuing real tickets in May or June. Malam Team Ltd. the project contractor, has already built the project’s national command and control center at Har Hotzvim in Jerusalem. The control center will receive real-time information from the cameras.
The Ministry of Public Security estimates that the high-speed cameras will result in 300,000 tickets a year for speeding and running red lights. Sources inform ”Globes” that law firms that specialize in traffic tickets are considering hiring lawyers to deal with the expected surge in tickets, revoking of drivers’ licenses, and appeals once the cameras go into action.
GPS on phone used to prove speed & wins speeding case – February 25th 2011
Google once again saves the day thanks to the mytrack app for Android phones. From the product page:
“My Tracks is an application for your AndroidTM phone that enables you to record GPS tracks and view live statistics – such as time, speed, distance, and elevation – while hiking, biking, running or participating in other outdoor activities. Once recorded, you can share your tracks, upload them to Google Spreadsheets and visualize them on Google My Maps.”
Sahas Katta of California was accused of driving over 40 mph in a 25 mph zone. Although he was patient and compliant with the officer, Katta thought that it was a little strange so he decided to bust out his Droid and check his MyTracks app to figure out his speed at the time of the stop. To his surprise he found that his vehicle never exceeded 26 mph.
After taking his evidence to the court in Yolo County, California, Katta presented the judge with his cellphone and cross examined the officer on his radar training and calibration. Although the judge wasn’t completely swayed by the cell phone evidence, he certainly wasn’t impressed with the police officer’s evidence and therefore dismissed the case.
According to Cnet, a similar case occurred in Ohio where one man attempted to prove with his GPS records that he didn’t exceed the 65 mph maximum speed limit after being accused of driving at 84 mph.
Unfortunately for him, the court ruled that there wasn’t enough technical evidence on how Verizon’s GPS tracking system works and the defendant still had to pay. Either California is a little more accepting of modern technology, or it’s a lot harder to get out of a 84 mph ticket. In any case, if you have an Android device and are constantly checking your rear view mirror for cops, give MyTracks a shot.
The above is a start for using a GPS enabled phone to be used to prove you were not speeding and also it could be used to prove that you were, so maybe some quick delete function for those log files will be a useful feature.
Cheshire Council waste £800,000 on speed cameras that will catch no speeders – 22nd February 2011
Britain’s first bike-catching average speed cameras are finally close to being switched on – weeks before they face the axe in spending cuts. Speed cameras bosses have at last fixed a cock-up that has delayed the scheme for a year, two months before they face redundancy. The cameras were installed last spring at a cost of £800,000 but have been dormant for a year after MCN revealed they could not catch speeders because of an oversight. They are supposed to measure average speeds by timing vehicles between one installation and the next on the A537 ‘Cat & Fiddle’ road from Macclesfield in Cheshire to Buxton, Derbyshire. They are the country’s first rear-facing average speed cameras, enabling them to read motorcycle number plates. But planners overlooked a shortcut which leaves and rejoins the A537 between two camera sites. With no way of telling whether vehicles had taken the shortcut, the cameras could not calculate speed because they did not know the distance travelled. Now more money has been spent adding a new installation to address the problem, and the cameras are due to be switched on this week – but the body in charge of them is to be disbanded within two months in Government cutbacks. A source at the Cheshire Safer Roads Partnership said: “The partnership is to be dissolved in April. The current arrangements are being stopped and new arrangements put in their place. Those arrangements haven’t yet been set out.”
Australian Transport Minister Buswell admits to nine speeding fines in 3 years AND keeps his job – 22nd February 2011
In any other part of the world it would surely mean the end of his career but in Aus it seems to be acceptable. The previous transport minister lost her licence three times (1x speeding and TWO x drink driving!) before she was fired.
Oxford Council spends £300,000 in scheme that reduces speed by less than 1 mph! 20th February 2011
No Tax Payers money wasted here then…
SPEEDS have fallen by a minuscule amount since County Hall paid £300,000 to make Oxford a 20mph city. New figures show drivers have slowed down by an average of 0.9mph since the new limit was introduced. Speed surveys carried out on 65 roads roads covered by the new 20mph zones show in the first 12 months speeds fell to an average of 21.1mph, compared to 22mph in the year before the scheme was introduced. Almost all Oxford’s residential roads and some of the city’s arterial routes became 20mph zones in September 2009. Last night, critics said the drop in speed was not significant enough to warrant the investment.
Australian town changes name to SpeedKills in road safety campaign – February 19th 2011
A small town in the Australian Outback has decided to change its name in an attempt to persuade drivers to slow down. The town formerly known as Speed will be known as SpeedKills for a period of one month.
50% of drivers flash there lights to warn other drivers of speed traps – February 18th 2011
Nearly half of all drivers (46.5 per cent) admit to flashing their lights to warn other drivers of speed traps ahead, a survey has revealed. It follows the case of driver Michael Thompson who was fined £175 and ordered to pay £250 costs after warning approaching cars of a police speed check.
In the Institute of Advanced Motorists survey, nearly 70 per cent said that drivers should not be prosecuted for warning others, with just 21 per cent believing they should. IAM chief examiner Peter Rodger said: “The biggest reason for not flashing to warn of a speed check is safety, with ‘drivers who speed deserve to be caught and fined’ and ‘the meaning of the flash could be misinterpreted’, each polling a third of the votes from those who don’t flash. “However, safety was also used as a major justification for those who do flash, to warn of speed checks, with nearly 20 per cent saying they ‘wanted to avoid a possible collision when drivers see the speed check late and brake harshly in response’. The driver who was prosecuted for using his lights justified his behaviour by stating he used his lights to warn of a hazard,” he added.
75% of Essex Speed Cameras are not working – February 16th 2011
Essex Council have revealed that only 25% of its 99 speed cameras are actually working
Belgium’s Prince Laurent has been stripped of his driver’s licence – February 16th 2011
Police stopped the prince after a speed camera captured his high performance Fiat Punto Abarth hurtling at 82 kilometres per hour (51mph) in a 50kph (31mph) urban speed zone. “He was clearly driving too fast,” said a police spokesman. Police confiscated Prince Laurent’s license on the spot and suspended him from driving for two weeks. It is not the first time the youngest son of King Albert II and Queen Paola, has been in trouble with law enforcers. He first lost his license in 1987 for speeding and was caught driving at 137 kmh (85mph) in Bruges 10 years ago.
Use of Laser guns suspended in Kent following a Court Case – October 4, 2007
Police in Kent have suspended use of all laser speed guns following a court case.
An email sent globally to all officers in south Kent, leaked to MCN, stated: ‘Following a court case at Folkestone yesterday and in liaison with the Criminal Justice Unit (traffic) a review of speed enforcement policy is to be made regarding the use of all laser speed guns in South Kent.
‘Pending this review, NO further FPN’s [fixed penalty notices] or summons should be issued.’
A source has told MCN the action is force-wide.
The email was dated October 4 and said it was hoped the review would be completed within two weeks. It was signed by roads policing officer Phil Sharp and said officers would be notified of ‘any changes in policy required before any further enforcement takes place’.
A second email to all south Kent officers stated that standard police drivers may not exceed 100mph. The email, from area driving examiner Ian Clark, said: ‘Standard Drivers/Riders are trained to drive/ride response vehicles up to, and not exceeding, a speed of 100mph. Therefore, Standard Drivers/Riders will be required to justify their actions if found to be travelling in excess of the 100mph speed limit. Only accredited Advanced Drivers/Riders may exceed speeds of 100mph.’
MCN was awaiting an official response from Kent Police at the time of writing. The force has not confirmed whether the suspension includes LTI 20.20 laser speed detectors used in speed camera vans.
Police drop case after motorist does his research – May 2007
Court gives up on ‘speeding’ driver who made a fuss.
A motorist accused of driving at 37mph in a 30mph zone has had the case against him dropped after the prosecution decided it wasn’t worth the trouble. Michael Ives, 68, a self-employed, semi-retired plumbing and heating engineer, had received a speeding notice in the post alleging that he had been driving his Ford Mondeo at 7mph above the limit. Most people would have looked at the evidence with resignation: two photographs accompanied the notice, one clocking his car 260 yards (239m) from the camera, the other at 54 yards (50m). But Mr Ives had never had points on his licence and wasn’t about to start now. Determined to fight the case, he investigated, using the Freedom of Information Act to find out at what distance mobile speed cameras are guaranteed to be accurate. The manufacturer replied with some interesting information: the tripod-mounted laser mobile cameras were accurate only up to to 109 yards (100m). Armed with this knowledge, Mr Ives pleaded not guilty at Norwich Magistrates’ Court to speeding, arguing that the camera reading may have been inaccurate. In response, the prosecution considered the number of experts it would have to call and the cost of bringing them to court and announced that it was dropping the case. Peter Tidey, the Chief Crown Prosecutor and chairman of Norfolk Criminal Justice Board, said yesterday that a “pragmatic decision” had been taken and proceeding with the case was not worth the aggravation. “Here was a man who was challenging everything and we were going to have to get witnesses in from all over the country,” he said. “As far as I’m concerned, Mr Ives is the fortunate one and if it was a case that people thought that they would challenge things and would just get off with it, the public interest would soon demand a different reaction. “This is an isolated case and Mr Ives is a fortunate individual.” But Mr Ives, who is regarded as a pillar of his community who never breaks the speed limit, might argue that he was the manufacturer of his own luck. He researched the law for months while defending himself, and said after the case: “There could be thousands of motorists out there who are getting fines, who could appeal on the basis that they were zapped at more than 100 metres away. “I was caught 239 metres away when the manufacturer can only guarantee the camera to be accurate at 25, 50 and 100 metres. If I’d been going at over 45mph I probably would have paid a fine but not when I was accused of doing 37mph. “It makes you wonder why someone operating the camera was not aware of the manufacturer’s recommendations.” The alleged speeding offence took place in Norwich on October 5 last year and the case was finally dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service this week. Mr Ives added: “I’ve had a clean driving licence for 45 years and didn’t want points on it now. I’m delighted with the result of the court case I didn’t think they could afford to lose.” Chairman of the East Anglia Philippine Society, Mr Ives has been married to his Philippine-born wife, Generosa, for 26 years. The couple offer an advisory service in the region to nurses from her native country. Mrs Ives, 59, said: “I’m really proud of him. He is a good citizen and he doesn’t like breaking the law. He wouldn’t dream of speeding.”
Dorset Mayor proves Gatso wrong – January 2004
Kris Haskins, the deputy mayor of Portland in Dorset, was fined £60 and had three penalty points imposed when his van was apparently photographed at 51mph in a 30mph zone. He asked to see the pictures and worked out that his vehicle had been travelling at 13.42mph.
The Dorset Safety Camera Partnership said the speed camera had been triggered by reflections of vehicles waiting in traffic. They admitted other drivers could have been trapped by the same mistake.
Radar bounces off other vehicles and surfaces and it can lead to the Gatso calculating the wrong speed. The police dont often check the photos to confirm the reading – so if you have any doubt about the claimed speed, persist in asking to see the photo’s.
12 Months in Prison and a 3 year ban for 160mph! – March 8 2002
Last year a biker was stopped in Wales for speeding and the police discovered an on board video camera.
When they played the tape it showed him riding at upto an indicated 160mph.
The rider – Wayne Soman, 32, was prosecuted on the strength of this video and today was sent to prison for 12 months and also given a 3 year ban and ordered to retake his test.
Chief Inspector Ian Miles, of Dyfed Powys Police said: “Clearly the judge in this case recognised the serious danger to the innocent public by an individual who posed a serious threat to them by his careless and irresponsible driving.”
No accident occured and no injury occured – yet the rider was sent to prison for a year.
If you are caught breaking into to someones house or assault someone – you get a lesser penalty – this does not seem fair?
The Environment Minister Mr Meacher tries to ban motorcycles – February 2002
Mr Meacher sent out a letter (see below) that is asking the Police and other authorities to crack down on motorcyclists and look at ways of banning them from certain country roads and National Parks. The letter was leaked to the press and nows he’s back pedalling furiously – but his/the governments intentions are out in the open. Well so what if you dont ride a bike – well I would assume that if they get away with doing this to bikes – next will be fast cars. Suggest you read the letter and then make your opinion known by emailing it to: