Controversial - Speed Cameras
Well it had to come about - my controversial blog. I can't stand all this stuff where we're all lovey dovey all the time, and there's nothing wrong, and everything in the garden's rosy. I for one, have strong views about certain things, and those things include speed cameras. I hate them - why do they exist?
Up till 2003 I had a clean licence - 21 years of unfettered and pleasant driving. Round about that time speed cameras started to pop up everywhere, and i mean everywhere. So, all of a sudden I had 6 points (got caught twice in five months) - for the non-Brits amongst you, thats half-way towards losing your drivers licence, which is a big, big deal.
So, my question is why? Why so many cameras? Are they serving any useful purpose?
And my answer - no, I don't believe that they are.
Lets look at some hard facts - in 1964, the year before they introduced a speed limit on the motorways, there were 17 deaths per day on average on the UK roads. Motorway speed limits were introduced in 1965 because people were using them as race tracks and subsequently killing themselves in large numbers. Cars at the time were not designed to stand up to any sudden impacts, and would literally impale the popor luckless victim inside, as they were full of sharp pointed, non cushioned items.
As we all know, cars have improved immeasurably since those heady days - they contain seat-belts, air bags, cushioned driver areas, soft steering wheels, etc etc. Have we seen an increase in the motorway speed laws to take account of these vast improvements in car technology. No we have not.
And what about the current death rate? Well, for 2004 (the last year for which I can find figures) the death rate was 3280, or 9 per day. 9 per day!! So despite the fact that roads are now 4 times as densely populated as they were in the mid 60s we have reduced the death rate by almost half!!
Has this had anything to do with speed cameras? No - this figure of 9 per day has been roughly constant since 1999, so - more speed cameras - no change to loss of life.
Ok, so far so good, nothing particularly controversial in the preceding facts - anyone could dig them out after half an hour on google. The more controversial bit is - 9 deaths a day on UK roads is not a bad thing - in fact its a good thing!! How can that be, i hear you cry - well, 9 deaths a day is the lowest per capita figure in the whole of Europe - therefore our streets are already safer than the streets of France, Germany, Italy etc, etc.
But, more importantly than that is Darwins theory. Ever since Darwin propounded his theory (that of natural selection) we humans have done our level best to ignore it. How? We don't just let the fittest survive, as Darwin suggested, we let everyone survive, the fittest, the not so fit, and the pretty bloody unfit as far as I can see. How will this state of things help the human race? Well it won't, we are not keeping the best, for future generations, we're keeping everything!!!!
Enter the car - it is perfect for the role - it is indiscriminate - it is loved by the population as a whole, and it is a killing machine. However it can't kill, if it is never allowed to drive above 30mph anywhere, because the nanny state is watching it all the time.
So, my advice - cancel speed limits, make every road a free for all - lets see if we can bring a little bit of death back to the road - and at the same time - have some more enjoyable motoring without having to constantly watch out for those fucking speed cameras!!