I really, really hate gatso cameras, admittedly I have never had a speeding ticket from a Gatso, I just dislike the fact that they are not capable of making a decision based upon all of the facts, you speed, you get a FPN and three points or more. At least a police officer is able to use his discretion. I had a prime example today, I was leaving my home at the crack of dawn, and then some. The weather was fine and the roads dry.
There is a section of ‘A’ road near me, it is about 3 miles long and as straight as a die. There are a couple of places where there are chevrons in the road and solid white lines. I over took two cars and a dustcart, at a point where there was a 50mph limit and no road markings to prevent over-taking. I hit the loud pedal, blitzed past the three vehicles, with no oncoming vehicles reaching probably 65mph at the most, no problems.
A short distance (maybe a mile or so) at a very large roundabout (more like a gyratory system than a roundabout, there are two entry lanes and a single lane exit, at the roundabout I pass two cars (that have been doing 25mph in a 40 limit) and slot back in to the single lane exit with 15-20 metres room to spare.
I look in the rear view mirror and a Plod car has performed the same manoeuvre with no room to spare. He sparks up his blues and twos. I know he wants to chat with me (I was 15mph over the prescribed limit) however we are now on a single carriageway, with hatchings and solid white lines and occasional islands in the middle of the road, so I indicate to that I know he is there. Half a mile down the road, he flashes his headlights, so this time it is hand out of the window, and acknowledges that I know he is pulling me over. When it is safe to pullover, without forcing others into oncoming traffic I pull over.
The copper’s words to me were, “I know that these slow moving plebs can be a pain in the arse, but half of them at this time in the morning are either still over the drink drive limit or still half asleep. You racing up and passing them is likely to cause them to have an accident”. A fair point, he also added that this time in the morning most people’s body clocks are still in sleep mode so a little caution is in order. So if that is the case, surely he should be pulling over the other idiots for driving with excess alcohol or driving whilst unfit.
He actually said that he didn’t have a problem with my driving (he shouldn’t I was taught by Surrey Police Driver training instructors), essentially he was reminding me that most other drivers on the road are shite. He said that there was no further action to be taken, but in my journey remember that half the drivers on the road do not know what they are doing or how to react.
He took my details (he had to as he had done a radio vehicle check and had to prove that he had stopped and spoken to the driver), he also chuckled as he noticed that I live in the same street as the Police Station. The bottom line is that I was warned that, although my driving was fine, if a little quick, most other drivers are retards.
Anyway we talked briefly about why I was racing to work at 0530hrs, and when I told him, what I did for a living, he was keen to let me get on my way, he glanced at my car and didn’t even bother to give it a once over (it is fairly obvious that it is maintained regardless of expense)
The police officer didn’t even suggest that I slow down, just reminded me that most other drivers are incompetent. I like Police Officers in Police cars, get rid of Gatso cameras, spend more money on Road Traffic Officers.
A number of years ago I was talking to a senior police officer from Essex Police and he said pretty much the same thing, he wanted to have every police vehicle badged as though it was a police car (excluding the CID and a few others), everything from the Police Forensics Vehicles to little vans that they use for moving exhibits, paperwork etc around the force.
He wanted all Traffic Cars to be high visibility rather than unmarked, as he believed that for every offender an unmarked car catches, another 60 or 70 will race by, whereas a marked car nicking someone on the roadside will cause every other driver to slow down.
The only downside to the marked cars nicking people is the fact that most drivers are incompetent, they may be doing 70mph on a motorway, but if they see a police car they will brake, hard usually, to 50 or 60mph, retards! If 70mph is the limit and you are doing 70mph you are not breaking the law!