An article in today's Telegraph brought a warm glow upon my person. In some areas speed cameras are being replaced by 'Driver Friendly' signs. Vehicle activated signs are being used in Brighton and Northumberland to tell people how fast they are going - and they are proving to be so effective in slowing people down that other areas are considering using them. I've always believed this to be a more effective way of slowing traffic than cameras, which are often used primarily as revenue raisers. If you don't believe me, drive down North Road in Cardiff - where local traffic slows down where the cameras are located, and speed up again between them. Local drivers know where they are. And the poor sap who doesn't know where they are gets done. And if you drive along any motorway in Britain at the maximum speed allowed, there will be hundreds of cars whizzing past you. It's just a matter of chance.
Have to admit that I have an interest here. I was banned for six months after accumulating 12 points about 4 years ago - six of them on North Road - both of the cases being when doing less than 10 mph over the limit, after midnight, when the roads were virtually empty. The last 3 points were for a defective tyre (marginal) which I'd asked someone else to check. I have never quite recovered from the unfairness of it - particularly since Elfyn Llwyd and Dafydd Iwan both got away without a ban after accumulating 12 points, at about the same time I was banned. The reason I felt so victimised (and still do) is that I don't speed in built up areas - but it is so easy to slip over the limit when wide roads are completely empty. And then it obviously depends how lucky you are with the magistrates.
Of course there will be plenty 'holier than thou' types who say that I would never have had a problem if I had never committed any motoring offence. And nothing would give me greater pleasure than to see their names going into the 'Police notebook'. Speed cameras are fine when located to promote road safety - but some are where the sole purpose is to raise money, and have nothing whatsoever to do with road safety. Now that the Treasury has decided to grab most of the money raised, speed camera partnerships are turning their attention to genuine road safety and finding that vehicle activated warning signs are rather more effective than their obnoxious cameras.