Our Roads Annoy Me.. And I'm Not Even Driving Yet


I've always been quite an observant individual right from a young age, especially when I was in the car. I've always wanted to know where we were, where we were going, what speed we were doing, how my parents were driving, and what other drivers were doing. In other words: I was a freaky child.

The thing is, I still am a freaky person. If I don't know where we are, I'll whip out my phone and fire up the GPS, because I need to know where the hell I am. It's a strange obsession of mine. And I still don't like sitting behind the driver, because, well, I can't see the speedometer or tachometer.

It does have it's plus points mind, because I do - as humbly as I possibly can - consider myself a good navigational person. I like reading maps (I used to get frustrated and confused when I was younger over my classmates struggling to read them), and I like to have a mental map of as many locations I can possibly remember. But whatever.

This observational part of me has lead me to form some opinions on what's going on around me. For instance: middle lane hoggers, please go f*ck yourselves. UK Transport Department, go f*ck yourselves until it hurts.

Why the UK Transport Department? Well, they have just recently introduced something that I disagree with so much, they make me clench my fists. And I'm not even driving yet! These new infuriating products are nicknamed 'stealth cameras'.

A stealth camera is a brand new type of speed camera that is slowly getting rolled out across the UK's major motorway networks. They are special because they have the ability to record 4 lanes at once, rather than just one or two like a conventional speed camera. This means the stealth cameras can be situated on the side of the motorway, out of the way.

Right in the middle of the road for everyone to see and slow
 down to a safer speed. Lovely.
Now don't get me wrong: I am not a crazy anti-speed camera lunatic. Those green/yellow speed cameras you find in built up areas are handy to make sure everyone sticks to around 30. I am a frequent pedestrian, so I do appreciate them a lot. These cameras work because they are brightly painted and right in the drivers view, which slows the driver down before passing the camera. This makes the camera effective when placed in accident hot-spots - the driver slows down because he/she doesn't want a fine, and the risk of an accident significantly drops. Making the camera visible will mean it won't catch people out as often, but it will actually slow people down. And safety is more important than money for the government, right?

Well, these stealth cameras obviously couldn't give a toss about safety; they want the money. Not only are they placed to the side of the motorway out of the drivers' line of sight, they are also painted a not at all eye catching grey. You can see where the nickname comes from. This ultimately means that drivers will not see the camera, and will not slow down. Before they know it, a bright flash illuminates their rear-view mirror - busted.
The whole basic concept of cameras helping people slow
down has been completely thrown out of the window.

So, let's re-cap here. Urban speed cameras work because they force people to slow down due to their brightly coloured nature. Stealth cameras are purely Government piggy banks. If the Government really wanted people to slow down, they would put the cameras fully in view where people can see the damn things and slow to the appropriate speed. Hiding them will result in absolutely nothing, except a penalty. It's almost as though they are proud to admit they just want our money.

Of course, some people would argue that you should always be doing 70mph anyway, so there's no need for the cameras to actively slow you down via sight. But the fact is the average car motorway speed now is a whopping 79mph (yes, average), and the motorway is Britain's safest road. The logic is easy: the 70 limit was introduced in an era when cars were as rigid as tracing paper and had the braking power of rubbing your feet against the road. Following the advancements that have been made, the speed limit now would probably be about 100mph if it correlated with the increase in safety. Long story short: doing 80 in your car is safe.

What's going to be next, a personal tracking device to log speed on every car and report it back to the police and insurance companies? Oh wait, they already bloody exist.