So, as speed cameras are turned back on in Oxford, they’re turned off in Northamptonshire.
I’m concerned, but not for the reasons you might think.
Speed cameras are both a nuisance and a welcome sight. I don’t have kids, but if I did, I’d be happy to see one outside the gates of their school. When I’m driving along a deserted country lane and spot a mobile camera peeking out from behind some conveniently-placed bushes, I could quite happily get out of the car and wrap it around the operator’s head.
The former serves a worthwhile purpose, the latter is just jobsworth policing at it’s very worst.
So why am I concerned? The real problem with speed cameras and the fixation government bodies, speed groups and safety campaigners have on them is that they’re focussing entirely on speed, labelling anyone breaching set variations of it a criminal.
By far a more pressing issue which affects most road users on a daily basis – and, I’m sure, creates a great number of accidents – is poor driving.
Poor driving comes in many forms. Travelling well below the speed limit, erratic breaking, curb hugging, the inability to maintain a constant speed, tailgating, ignorance of the need for headlights when it is foggy, arguing with a passenger, having sex with a passenger… The list goes on. None of these things are deemed worthy enough of needing cameras or other special tools for capturing and monitoring them. Why?
Until driving standards and teaching methods improve, the roads are unfortunately going to remain a hazardous place to be. Speed cameras or no speed cameras.