Driving into town this morning along the Ring Road at some unearthly hour to deposit son number one at “Uni”, as the youngsters these days call it, I did my best, as usual, to remain within the speed limit. It’s a just about reasonable 50 limit before you join the motorway, but of course in observing the limit I was just about the slowest thing on the road. And it came as no surprise when we were overtaken by a very powerful and very sporty BMW who, we estimated, must have been travelling at somewhere around 80 MPH, maybe more. Luckily for the driver, there was no police “safety” camera anywhere to be seen. There never are when you most want them.
I am still haunted by my own brushes with the speed police some 13 years ago, once getting “flashed” along Gipsy Patch Lane in Bristol and a few weeks later at Flax Bourton, just as I was slowing down after the Long Ashton By Pass. I was, in both instances, guilty as charged but I was extremely pissed off given what an easy target I had been in both instances. Yes, I was in the wrong, I know, and I should have known better and driven slower, but sometimes, when you are concentrating on other traffic and unexpected road “furniture”, you simply cannot spend all your time staring at the speedometer. And in those brief moments, the normally innocent person becomes a criminal.
I find it especially galling when I am over and indeed undertaken on roads by people who regard the speed limit as their minimum speed. The police never seem to be around when the serious speeding goes on. Much easier to position a police camera vehicle in a place where you can safely assume a good number of drivers will accidentally drift over the speed limit, usually temporarily. Just think of that lovely revenue you can generate for George Osborne.
Speed limits these days seem to based on the performance of cars that were designed sometime around the Ark, with basic and unreliable braking systems, not state of the art, computer-designed vehicles with space age technology. In short, it’s much easier to stop these days.
The city of Bristol is even worse now that most of it is covered by a ludicrous 20 MPH limit imposed by that buffoon of a mayor George Ferguson. Yes, I know it is difficult to even reach 20 MPH on the streets of Bristol much of the time, but come on! I am regularly overtaken by cyclists whilst driving in Bristol these days and of course many of them have the added advantage of not being required to stop at red traffic lights it seems.
Ferguson himself is, of course, one of these holier-than-thou “do as I say, not as I do” evangelical types, who was recently embarrassed when his own speeding offence was leaked to the public.
I am sick to the back teeth of “scameras”. Whether or not they exist purely for revenue raising and have nothing to do with speed policing is almost beside the point, although that is how many of us do regard them, but surely the point is that most people do not believe what the authorities say. We have no faith in the system. Most of us would rather the police properly policed speeding through intelligence, going after the serial and serious speeders, and not parking the van to catch people out.