Watch out

Watch out

Hi there

I know I often talk to you about things that are happening in Europe and today is no different. I can justify this because I live here, and therefore have more chance of actually being right than if I am talking about something in the USA and despite what some politicians want we live in a world where exchange of ideas and products is normal and sometimes beneficial.

Ok here goes, the United Kingdom appears to have decided that anybody who drives deserves to be watched in a way that makes Big Brother seem like a baby monitoring app. Until recently if you had dash cam footage of a traffic violation you could submit it to the police with a complaint. This was a lengthy process as you had to fill out forms and submit the video on hard copy, such as DVD or USB key. Now, Nextbase, a dash cam manufacturer, has set up a website that allows drivers to easily submit dash cam footage of dangerous driving directly to the police via upload.  It costs nothing to do this and you don’t even have to use one of their cams.  On the face of it this is not such a bad idea, and it is important to note that the footage is only submitted, it is up to the police to decide whether to prosecute or not. 

2.6 Million and counting

This is all well and good and it will put more eyes out there watching for dangerous driving and…wait a minute, watching …who is watching, is that car on the right of me filming me or that one behind? In a worst case scenario this site might well help prosecuting dangerous drivers but it might also end up promoting paranoia and road rage.  On top of this, with more than 2.6 million dash cams in the UK alone and an easy way send it to the police I imagine that the numbers submitted are about to explode.  Now instead of self policing by asking is this really worth reporting it will become an impulse, a “rage click”. This increase in submitted footage will lead to police time being taken up looking at all and so taking valuable resources away from other more important jobs, like actually being out there on the road.  Either that or they will employ some civilians to decide who to prosecute, might as well let the person submitting decide in that case!  Big Brother Watch said “Whilst everyone wants safe roads, we should be cautious to avoid breeding a culture of citizen surveillance and suspicion."

 

Speed limit

Current guideline

Bangham plan

30mph

35mph

31mph

40mph

46mph

41mph

50mph

57mph

51mph

60mph

68mph

61mph

70mph

79mph

71mph

 

In other UK based news there are proposals to scrap the leaway police officers apply to speeding offences. A t the moment it is 10% + 2mph bit now Chief Constable Anthony Bangham thinks that speedometers are accurate enough so that 1mph over the speed limit is 1mph too much. I suppose that this would have the effect of unofficially lowering the speed limit, a thing that has been very unpopular in France, because we all know how hard it is not to stray one or even ten mph over the limit with just a very small movement of the wrist.  If this goes through watch out for courts being inundated with cases of people challenging the accuracy of speed cameras and radar guns.

On those cheerful thoughts I will leave you…I am off out for a few miles of sedate riding through the countryside….and a few more miles of brain out fun. Hey I am a biker, it is what we do!

Stay safe

Ratso

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