Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Toad Beware!

Today's 'Times' third leader is about speed cameras. I can't link to it because of the paywall, but I am sure that nice Mr. Murdoch won't mind a couple of quotes from my printed copy of the paper:-

whether drivers should be forced to wear seatbelts was once an impassioned debate. Opponents believed a law threatened liberty and would make drivers more careless.......

A generation later, speed cameras are an enduring part of the roadside, having been introduced in 1992. Yet there is still a mythology that regards them as the invention of interfering politicians. This notion is as unjustified as the aversion to compulsory seatbelts: speed cameras save lives by slowing traffic.......

(re. speed awareness courses)..
So far from providing an easy option for dangerous drivers, the scheme would raise revenue for technology that saves lives. The courses would have high fees; these would in part fund the provision and maintenance of speed cameras.

The populist objection to speed cameras cannot withstand the results of scientific research. Some 800 people a year would be killed or seriously injured if speed cameras were decommissioned. But speed cameras do not raise money: the Treasury receives on average £4 for every £60 fine levied. Now that public finances are so constrained, imaginative ideas for raising money and spending it better are especially worth noting and acting on.

So may I counsel the petrolheads and speed freaks whom I am proud to count among my readers to avoid today's 'Times'. The arguments won't convince you, so why spoil a holiday week?

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