When is the best time for a speed camera? It’s a tricky question. There are some who think these cameras should be on every road, freeway, and intersection in the country. Then there are others who think they’re the work of the devil, violate every basic human right, and are just cause for the UN to come and run the country.
Speed cameras have been in use in the UK for far longer than in the US. When I visit friends in Plymouth (UK) I have to remind myself of the abundance of speed cameras in that particular city. An over-the-30mph-limit drive into the city center would trigger sufficient cameras to earn enough points that by the time you reached the city center, you’d be banned from driving. Even in a city so camera-ed, opinion is still split on whether they’re a good idea and when and where they should be placed.
But, for or against, I have a different opinion on the best time for these cameras.
A few days ago I was driving along a quiet, double lane road that runs diagonally across Fort Worth. My wife was in the passenger seat. She was a little late for work, and I was trying to make up time. Along the way she realized that her top was back-to-front. To me it wasn’t that noticeable, but my wife it was a little more critical.
So, with instructions for me to keep my eyes on the road and a good deal of laughter, she proceeds to remove her top, reverse it, and slid it back over her head.
Well, sometimes there are too many and sometimes not enough, but whatever the arguments, that was the best time for a speed camera.
Unless you know differently?
Image courtesy of Victor Habbick at www.freedigitalphotos.net.
Since I recently avoided more interstate speeding tickets than there are excess U’s in the Canadian and Brit dictionaries, I weigh in with a “no” on highway driving. I even had one officer turn on his overhead lights when I (YIKES!) passed him doing a sedate 15 MPH over the speed limit. Thank goodness for cars following behind me that prevented his entry onto Interstate 35.
However, I do obey the speed laws when passing through residential areas, towns, small burgs, road work areas, and school zones. There are just too many things that could go wrong. I think they serve a noble purpose there.
But, Oklahoma? An interstate cutting through the I-can-see-forever State of Oklahoma? I run the risk of falling asleep at the wheel.
I was wondering about your travels as I wrote this piece. Not that I think you’re an itinerant rule breaker or anything 🙂
I agree, speed limits that increase pedestrian safety are important, and in the wilderness they just reduce you’re own chances of doing something stupid. But there’s a good argument for the fact that the longer you stay on a road doing 60mph, the longer you’re at risk from falling a sleep.
I used to have a big problem with falling asleep when I drove long distances. I used to take coffee, no-doze etc. But a year ago I discovered a problem with my vision that was corrected by putting prisms in my glasses. It has been life changing and the tiredness I used to fell driving long distances is way way better.
We’ve had speed cameras for a long time here in Calgary, and they’re essentially useless. If you get caught on a speed camera, you’ll get a ticket in the mail, but the ticket doesn’t count toward any demerits on your license because they can’t prove without doubt who was driving the car.
So the cameras are only a deterrent to people who don’t want to pay for the privilege of speeding… and I don’t think there are any of those. Most people simply plan the cost of speeding tickets into their annual budget.
I may sound cynical about this, but it’s actually a good thing for me. Seems any time my husband gets a speeding ticket, it’s when he’s taken my car out for the day…
Yeah, that just sounds like an extra tax. Unless they’re going to do something that curbs (no pun intended) “reckless” driving, they’re no use at all. Even when systems like points are implemented, there are all sorts of ways to work around the location of these cameras. In the UK you can get GPS updates with warning on your nav system that a camera’s coming up!
Sounds like you husband has a cunning plan on the speeding front 🙂
I would like to avoid all speed cameras. Can they see inside the vehicle? Sometimes I’m singing or talking to myself. Everybody does that…right?
I believe if you are caught speeding and singing around Hollywood the police will let you off with a caution. Well, at least if it’s proven to be in tune. As for singing to myself, yeah, I do that all the time. I even talk to myself. Now handsfree telephones are everywhere, people don’t stare like they used to!
Have a great weekend, Brinda 🙂
” Everybody does that…right?” It depends on how many days i have gone without sleep.
I would encourage the singing. There is far too little cheerfulness in our modern world.
Big brother is bad enough without adding cameras to aid city, county and state governments in their extortion of honest citizens who happen to need to get somewhere.
I agree that they can get overwhelming (try europe), but around accident blackspots they can help. Out on an open road they’re just an extra tax.
Hi David. In some cases the camera programs are something worse than simple heavy handed taxation (see below)
Oh no, I would have been in BIG trouble if there had been speed cameras on the Houston highway when I used to commute downtown. Back then we ladies all wore pantyhose (it was even part of the dress code), and I happily hiked up my skirt anad removed said hose as I drove home from work. I don’t think I flashed anyone, but I’m still glad there was no camera there. LOL!
LOL! I don’t think the panty hose camera has been invented yet. From some of the pictures I’ve seen you can see into the vehicle, but not very well. So, you’re secrets safe with us and the statute of limitations will kick in soon!
Hope you’re having a good weekend 🙂
Snort! I love the scene in Johnny English, when Johnny uses his car’s rocket blaster thingies to blast evidence of his traffic infraction!
Rockets blasters, now there’s a though. I wonder how much a couple of those would cost. Not that I’m admitting to a speeding problem you understand, just thinking…
Ha! I agree. Fabulous speed camera use.
A friend of mine’s wife opened up a ticket for running a red light. The photo included showed her hubby with another woman in the car. Turned out to be totally innocent, but I couldn’t help but think, sheesh… Great plotting move. 😉
LOL August! That sort of photo and misunderstanding has probably caused all sorts of problems around the world 🙂
Hi Nigel. I think traffic control cameras are a good idea BUT THEY NEED TO BE WELL MANAGED and not abused. Often times they aren’t even something as benevolent as a tax. There are cases where the cameras are run by contractors and the contract is so unfavorable to the city that the city residents are paying higher taxes to supplement the program! I would like to know all the details about how “city fathers” (or would that be “City Mother ^%$*@&”) decided to sign those contracts and precisely where all the revenue has gone. Any politician signing a contract that is so unfavorable to the tax payers either belongs in jail for taking kick backs or is simply far too stupid to fill a position of responsibility.
I wonder what percentage of traffic camera programs are operating as illegal financial scams.