Radar Detectors

Company Car Drivers More Likely to Exceed Motorway Speed Limit

   

According to an RAC survey, company car drivers are far more likely to exceed the 70mph motorway speed limit than private motorists.

The survey was based on responses from 1,526 British motorists.

Regularly exceed the limit

  • Company car drivers 88%
  • Private motorists 67%

Reached speeds of 80mph on motorways

  • Company car drivers 62%
  • Private motorists 32%

Hit 90mph or more on motorways

  • company car drivers 8%
  • private motorists 3%

 

.Motorway Speeding

When asked why they broke the speed limit, 31% of company car drivers said they were just following the general flow of traffic, while 19% put it down to the driving conditions being favourable. Meanwhile, 15% said 70mph felt too slow and 8% said that modern cars are built to go faster than the speed limit dictates.

As many as 65% of company car drivers felt it was perfectly acceptable to travel up to 80mph in a 70mph limit. As a result, some 90% say they would like to see the speed limit on motorways increased, compared with 69% of regular motorists.

RAC business services director David Aldridge said: "With the introduction of next generation 'smart motorways', where the hard-shoulder is open permanently or during busy periods, and variable speed limits enforced by verge-side speed cameras, there is a real danger that company car drivers may find themselves increasingly on the wrong side of the law and faced with growing numbers of points on their licence."


Google's Driverless Cars Designed to Exceed Speed Limit

   

Google's self-driving cars are programmed to exceed speed limits by up to 10mph (16km/h), according to the project's lead software engineer.

Dmitri Dolgov told Reuters that when surrounding vehicles were breaking the speed limit that going more slowly could actually present a danger and therefore the Google car would accelerate to keep up with thte flow.

Google first announced its driverless car division back in 2010, and has been testing its technology in modified cars built by other manufacturers.These cars have travelled on more than 300,000 miles of open road, (mostly in California).

.Google car

The UK will be allowing driverless cars on public roads from 2015. Ministers ordered a review of the UK's road regulations to provide appropriate guidelines, these will include the need for self-drive vehicles to comply with safety and traffic laws, and involve changes to the Highway Code.

In May, the US tech firm said it would start building its own self-driving cars.Their electric bubble-shaped vehicles will seat two people, and to begin with they will be limited to 25mph (40km/h) to help ensure safety.

In a separate development on Monday, the White House said it wanted all cars and light trucks to be equipped with technology that could prevent collisions using radio signals which would allow the vehicles to "talk" to each other, and alert drivers to potential accidents

The label "driverless vehicle" actually covers a large range of different concepts. Features such as cruise control, automatic braking, anti-lane drift and self-parking functions already built into many vehicles offer a certain degree of autonomy. However term is generally used to refer to vehicles that take charge of steering, accelerating, indicating and braking during most if not all of a journey between two points, much in the same way aeroplanes can be set to autopilot.

Roads however are much more crowded than the skies, and a range of technologies is being developed to tackle the problem. One of the leading innovations is Lidar (light detection and ranging), a system that measures how lasers bounce off reflective surfaces to capture information about millions of small points surrounding the vehicle every second.

Another complementary technique is "computer vision" - the use of software to make sense of 360-degree images captured by cameras attached to the vehicle, which can warn of pedestrians, cyclists, roadworks and other objects that might be in the vehicle's path.

Autonomous vehicles can also make use of global-positioning system (GPS) location data from satellites, radar, ultrasonic sensors to detect objects close to the car and further sensors to accurately measure the vehicle's orientation and the rotation of its wheels, to help it understand its exact location.

The debate now is whether to allow cars, like the prototype unveiled by Google in May, to abandon controls including a steering wheel and pedals and rely on the vehicle's computer.

Or whether, instead, to allow the machine to drive, but insist a passenger be ready to wrest back control at a moment's notice.


Number of Drivers Speeding in Scotland Soared by Almost 40 per cent

   

Speed Gun

THE number of drivers caught speeding in Scotland has soared by almost 40 per cent – well over the police’s target of a ten per cent increase.

A report by official watchdog HM Inspector of Constabulary revealed the figures and called for a return to officer “discretion” rather than a targets culture.

The report revealed a rise of 37 per cent in speeding offences in the last nine months of 2013 compared to the same period the previous year, from 47,825 to 65,424. and revealed that officers were under pressure to pursue the “soft target” of speeding motorists.

Scottish Tory transport spokesman Alex Johnstone said: “It’s clear the targets culture for driving offences has taken priority and that can only come at the expense of the overall quality of policing.”

Police said no individual targets were set for officers, but activity was focused on areas of greatest risk.


Man Builds first Private Toll Road in Britain in at Least 100 years

   

Mike Watts was forced to drive around a section of the A431 between Bath and Bristol because a landslide had closed the road in February (a 10 mile detour). Council works were due to carry on until the end of the year. Not wanting to wait that long, Mike who is a 62 year old businessman employed his own team of road workers and built a 365m-long bypass in the field next to the closed-off section.

Mr Watts spent £150,000 of his own money, to recoup this money he has set up a toll booth. Motorists are charged £2 to use the detour road (£1 for motorbikes). Regular users also have the option to bulk-buy 12 passes for £10. Most are happy to pay the toll to avoid the £10 mile alternative

Mike Watts
Mike Watts with his Toll Booth Picture: SWNS

Mike Said : ‘Building a toll road is not an easy everyday thing that people do, and in fact this is the first private toll road in Britain in at least 100 years. But I have had a 100 per cent positive response from the public on this. I think people are very grateful that we have taken the risk to keep pushing with this."


Spain Uses Helecopters to Catch Speeding Drivers, Will UK Follow?

   

Spains forth airborne radar detector has launched this weekend, with the fifth due in a matter of weeks. With the summer season is well and truly underway, the launch coincided with an anticipated 3.5 million trips on the roads of Spain.

The Pegasus helicopters cover the main road networks of

  • Galicia
  • Castilla y León
  • Asturias
  • Cantabria
  • Andalucía
  • The East Coast
Pegasus Helecopter

According to the DGT the aim is to controll the speed on the mainly conventional roads.

The equipment on board the helicopter works with pinpoint accuracy, andis capable of not only videoing traffic violations as they happen, it can record the speed, registration details and even the identity of the vehicle occupants. They do this using a panoramic camera for tracking and a second for detailing such things as the number plate. The equipment is able to monitor speeds of up to 360 kilometres per hour.

The first Pegasus equipped helicopter launched back in March of 2013, sinch that date 2,064 drivers have been reported during the 672 hours of flight, during which time 13,458 vehicles have been checked. The accuracy of Pegasus was brought into question recently in terms of the margin of error calculations, but most vehicles caught speeding by the helicopter are recorded at more than 30 kilometres per hour above the permitted speed on the road in question. The worst drivers clocked during that time were a motorist travelling at 232 kilometres per hour on a 120limited stretch of motorway, and a driver clocked at 195 kilometres per hour on a conventional road with a limit of 90.

Question is how long before the UK start using this technology to catch its speeders?


Woman Blames Dead Man When Caught Speeding

   

Eileen Metcalfe from Teeside tried to escape speeding ticket with an unfathomable lie, she blamed a dead man. She returned forms to authorities stating that her deceased friend, David Hughes, had been driving the vehicle at the time of the offence. She was captured doing 36mph in a 30mph zone by a speed camera near her home and due to the fact that she already had 9 points on her licence she was facing a total ban. 

Police followed up on the information provided by Metcalfe, but became suspicious when the speeding ticket sent to Mr Hughes’ address was returned by the new tenant. Eileen Metcalf then claimed that the dead man's commemorative urn order form and the speeding ticket form got mixed up. Recorder Graeme Cook, the judge presiding, indicated to Metcalfe that she would not be locked up if she pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice. She duly obliged

The Judges compassion later dwindled and he said he ‘felt like changing his mind.’after he was made privy to the Probation Service report, in which Metcalfe initially admitted that it had been a prank, saying she thought Mr Hughes’ family would “find it funny”. Mr Hughes died suddenly at the age of 26 in 2009.

Speeding Ticket
This is not the first time we’ve heard of people shifting the blame to someone else after being caught speeding. No one will forget the highly-publicised scandalafterpoliticianChrisHuhne's ill-conceived decision to get his wife, Vicky Pryce, to claim responsibility for speeding, a move which later landed them both in jail.

The Speed Cameras That Make Over £100,000 a Year

   

4,815 drivers have been caught by just one speed trap along the A52 Clifton Boulevard in the past year. It raked in more than £100,000 to make it the seventh most lucrative in Britain.

The camera itself is carried in a police van and is used to enforce both directions of the 40mph dual carriageway between the QMC roundabout and Dunkirk flyover.

One taxi driver, Mark Limb who works for Cloud Cars, in Arboretum Street, Nottingham, said the speed trap was well known to drivers who use the route regularly. "The camera is normally there as you go over the flyover near the slip road for the QMC. Considering how busy the road is I am surprised people get the chance to speed. There are normally traffic jams in that area. I think it is just money-making because the speed limit changes on top of the flyover from 50mph to 40mph. The camera itself has been there for six or seven years and it is well known but I don't think it is needed because it is a dual carriageway and they are usually 60mph anyway."

These figueres were taken from insurance company LV who afew days ago released a list showing the top 10 highest earning speed cameras in the UK. LV had asked Nottinghamshire Police and Nottingham City Council how much money the speed camera generated but they both said they could not say how much cash the Clifton Boulevard camera made. The estimate of over £100,00 is made because the camera below it in the list (eighth place) operated by Surrey Police, caught 4,530 drivers and made £126,260. The most lucrative camera is on the M60 and operated by Greater Manchester police, that camera made £189,140.

The research showed that police forces across the country handed out almost 400,000 fixed penalty notices for speeding and 73,944 court summons last year, meaning motorists paid £22 million in fines. This figure doesnt even include those who got the chance to take a speed awareness course to avoid paying a fine or receiving points.

General secretary Keith Peat, of East Midlands-based Drivers' Union, said: "When you get a high-offender site like this something is wrong with the road – such as the speed limit being incorrect or the layout is wrong. The police believe that we are all actually naughty boys and girls but that is not true, you have to look in more detail. Not many people go out to purposely break the law but what causes speeding is when the limit is incorrectly set for that road." The Institute of Advanced Motorists agrees that there is an issue with the road but has a slightly different view on why. Head of driving standards Peter Rodger said: "Speed cameras well used are a good thing but with so many people being caught like this it tells us there is a problem here. Because so many are being caught the camera is not working and something else needs to be done to slow down the traffic. Something else should be done whether it is changing the road or something else."

Dave Nichols, spokesman for Brake, the road safety charity, said: "It is shocking to see so many Nottingham drivers taking needless, dangerous risks by speeding on the A52. Evidence shows that speed cameras are a highly effective way to reduce speeding traffic, which is crucial in making our roads safer and preventing needless tragedies. We urge all drivers to stay within the limits, and if you don't speed, you won't get caught or fined."

A Nottinghamshire Police spokesman said: "There are fixed speed cameras along that stretch of road and because drivers know to expect them, they are effective in keeping speed down. This mobile camera is stationed outside of that zone and there are drivers who have gone past the fixed cameras, speed up again in anticipation that they will get away with it, which is why this particular camera has caught so many. Speed limits are the legal limit, not a guideline. By breaking the limit, you break the law. We don't want people slowing down to pass the cameras before racing off."

Source NottinghamPost


Lorry Drivers to Stage Rolling Roadblock on A9

   

 LORRY drivers are currently considering creating a rolling roadblock on the A9 to protest against the installation of average-speed cameras.

Some of the controversial cameras are already in place between Inverness and Perth on the A9, motorists are already reporting longer journey times on the route, despite the devices having not even been switched on yet (due to be switched on in October).

The Lorry drivers claim the cameras are leading to more dangerous manoeuvres on the notoriously accident-prone road (dubbed the most dangerous in Scotland). One truck driver reported that

Speed Cameras

Truck driver Connor McKenna who is from Inverness, said motorists were slamming on their brakes when they spotted the speed cameras, He said drivers were ready to back the plan and added: “It is only a matter of time before there is an accident. People don’t understand the cameras.”

The 29-year-old led a successful campaign to increase the speed limit from 40mph to 50mph on the road for heavy goods vehicles. The campaign involved organising several rolling roadblocks to highlight the problem, including the threat of hitting Christmas deliveries, but that protest was dropped after progress was made.

Mr McKenna said about the proposed rolling road block on the A9: “We are looking at a go-slow but I need to speak to more drivers about what is happening.”

The plans have come under fire from Highland SNP MSP Dave Thompson who warned a go-slow on the road would be “utterly irresponsible” and added: “It will not do anyone any good.” he said he did not think cameras would cause motorists to drop their speed drastically and cause danger. “Average-speed cameras will ensure that people stick to the limit.”

The £2.5million scheme to install aproximately 100 cameras between Dunblane and Inverness has been controversial since it was first announced by the Scottish Government last year. Ministers say the cameras will cut death toll and serious accidents on the road will decrease.

Opponents to the cameras claim that they will increase frustration which will lead to even more risky overtaking manoeuvres and increase the number of crashes.

Mike Burns, of Foyers, Inverness-shire, organised a petition with thousands of signatures calling for the scheme to be scrapped in favour of speeding up the plan to dual the whole road, which is backed by Highland MP and Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander.

Sources: scotsman


The Car That Outsmarts Speed Cameras

   

If the new Hyundai Genesis has its way speed camera fines could become a thing of the past. The luxury sedan is capable of outsmarting speed cameras with a combination of GPS and braking technology. 

At the launch of the Hyundai Genesis, company spokesman Guido Schenken told journalists that the car could identify speed cameras and slow down if drivers are going too fast. The feature works for fixed speed cameras and average speed cameras, although it will not give drivers an advantage over mobile speed cameras or handheld police speed guns. 

Genesis

"It knows there is a speed camera there, it knows where the speed camera is and it will adopt the correct speed," he says.

"It will beep 800 metres before a camera and show the legal speed, and it will beep at you if your speed is over that."

The Genesis is designed to be a cut price alternative to models sold by Mercedes-Benz and BMW, it features a suite of high-tech driver aids that include an automated emergency braking technology that will stop the car to prevent a collision and cruise control that will preserve a safe distance from the car in front by applying the brakes.

Source: stuff.co.nz


French Police Watching British Drivers

   

The A64 marks the final stretch before reaching their holiday destinations in France. Most are in a hurry to get the holiday started and going a little faster than they should. French police say many foreign drivers break the speed limit because they think they can avoid a fine. EU figures from last year show that foreign drivers make up 5% of road traffic but account for 15% of speeding offences in the 28-nation bloc.

Speeding Binoculars

New EU legislation came in to force November last year that was aimed at tackling that anomaly. The legislation means member states can exchange data on motoring offences, to track down guilty drivers. So if a French camera catches a Spanish motorist speeding, that driver will still have to pay a fine in Spain (provided the driver is the owner of the vehicle) The UK and some others however opted out of the EU directive. This means the only way UK motorists can be sanctioned on French roads is if they are caught in the act by the police and made to pay on-the-spot fines.

There is a 32-strong special division of the gendarmerie that is equipped with special binoculars that can calculate speeds. They watch discreetly, about a kilometre before a toll booth, on a section of the A64 where the speed limit is 110km/h (68 mph). French motorists are given a fine that they can pay at a later date, but foreign drivers are in for a surprise. They have to pay cash up on the spot (the fine can be up to 375 euros (£323), If they don't have any money on them and they are on their own, they will be driven to the nearest cashpoint machine. If they really have no money at all, then an on-duty judge will be called to decide what to do. But that can mean waiting around for up to three days and the car will not be allowed to move.

There are a variety of things that you can also be fined for including speeding

  • Maximum speed on motorway is 130km/h (80 mph)
  • On-the-spot fine of 90 euros if driver goes up to 40km/h over limit
  • If speed breaks limit by more than 40km/h, police can seize car and demand 750-euro fine
  • Driver must have a reflective jacket and warning triangle in car - fine can be 90 euros if either is missing
  • In-car radar detectors are illegal
  • law to carry one unused breath test see here for more information

Pretending not to speak French will not help drivers. The police quite often have a very adequate level of English. British police sometimes even join their French counterparts on missions in northern France, though they do not have the authority to issue fines on French territory.

The UK government are staying out of the new EU data exchange for several reasons. It is not happy that the directive means exchanging vehicle owner information, rather than driver information - and often, it argues, the offending driver does not own the vehicle.

The UK government also says fines are a poor deterrent for bad driving, compared with points on a driving licence, or the threat of losing a licence altogether. And the government wants to assess the cost of setting up the EU-wide data exchange system before joining in.

Sources: BBC, Sunday Times


Case for 20mph Speed Limits Being Researched

   

The government has commissioned research into what the effects of cutting urban 30mph speed limits to 20mph would be. The research will be led by London University Professor Michael Maher and it is expected that it take three years to complete the research.

Robert Goodwill the Transport Minister said the research will examine the impact such a speed limit reduction on speed, collisions, casualties, modal shift [i.e. whether people switch from cars to other forms of transport]. The research will also consider air quality, best practice, road users' perceptions and effects on the quality of the environment, as well as relevant research from other countries. He also said that there were no plans to make 20mph the default speed limit, in reply to Green MP Caroline Lucas's question whether ministers had considered making 20mph the "national default speed limit".

20 MPH Zone

In his written reply Mr Goodwill said: "Local authorities are best placed to determine the speed limits for their areas, based on local knowledge and the views of the community, and have the powers to do so."

Sources: BBC


Hadsec3 Cameras to Enforce 70mph Limit on Motorways

   

New stealth speed cameras (Hadsec3 - Highways Agency digital enforcement camera system) are to be fitted along motorways for the first time. The motorways included in the plans are the M25 the M6 and the M1 with the busiest sections being targeted. It is believed that the cameras will be grey in colour rather than the bright yellow that is used for current SPECS camera systems that monitor average speed. The grey colour will make them harder to spot which critics say will do little to slow drivers down. The plans propose that the cameras will be running along more than 100 miles of motorway within two years, with the further roll-out eventually covering at least 400 miles.

The new speed cameras will be designed to catch people driving their vehicles in excess of the 70mph motorway speed limit. Previously speed cameras on the motorway have been situated mainly on stretches undergoing roadworks, in order to enforce variable speed limits for safety reasons. Some ‘safety camera partnerships’ have also used them from vans which have been parked on bridges over carriageways.

Hadsec3


The Highways Agency who are the ones looking at the widespread introduction of the cameras say they will prevent jams and allow better traffic flow by controlling speed limits, this will work in combination with opening hard shoulders to traffic during busy periods. Motoring groups claim the introduction of cameras is not about road safety but about generating income through fines. They also insisted that the cameras were ‘not stealth cameras they are more visible that they were before. These motorways are not about speed limits. They are about smoothing the traffic flows and increasing capacity.’ They added that new cameras would be signposted and added: 'The onus is on the driver to abide by the speed limit.’

A recent poll in Autocar found that 94.6 per cent of motorists admitted driving in excess of 70mph while on the motorway. So it could be a great revenue stream!

It recently came to light that the Highways Agency launched a consultation regarding the speed limit on a section on the M1 between Derbyshire and South Yorkshire. It could see its speed reduced to 60mph for 12 hours a day - between 7am and 7pm - because of fears that congestion is reducing air quality and would be policed by cameras and police patrols.

Roger Lawson, of the Alliance of British Drivers (ABD) , said: 'We are opposed to speed cameras in general. The evidence of their success in promoting safety is not good and in reality what is happening now is that the police are using speed cameras to fund their other activities through speed awareness courses. If these cameras are grey rather than yellow they are going to be harder to spot and so will have no impact in slowing traffic down. If there is a good reason for the traffic to be slowed down then the cameras need to be as visible as possible.' The ABD has called for an increase in the upper speed limit on motorways to 80mph, it was considered by ministers but appears no nearer to becoming law.

Since 2010, some police forces have cut back on their use of speed cameras because the tickets can cost too much to process. However digital technology has made it substantially cheaper and easier to install, monitor and collect information from cameras.

Sources: Mail Online


South Gloucestershire Council to Sell Safety Cameras to Police

   

23 Unused speed cameras in South Gloucestershire are to be purchased by police "for a nominal sum".

The cameras were switched off back in March 2011 after the safety camera partnership was disbanded.

At a planning and transport committee meeting, councillors voted to transfer them to the police as this will allow them to be operated at no cost to the authority.

South Gloucestershire Council currently owns eight digital speed cameras and three digital red light cameras, as well as five film speed camera installations and seven film red light camera - these are considered no longer cost-effective to run.

Back in December 2013, the chief constable of Avon and Somerset Constabulary offered to buy any digital speed or red light cameras from local councils unwilling to operate them for £1 each.

Council accident statistics show an 85% compliance at the fixed camera sites, police said this still meant 15 out of 100 motorists were speeding, and that was unacceptable.

Ch Insp Ian Smith said "There are over £2m worth of static cameras which are slowly decaying at the roadside and we believe they can be turned back on in a cost-neutral way, There's about 50 across Avon and Somerset [force area] that we are trying to reactivate." Conservative councillors - who said it was a "split vote" - argued the public should have been consulted before any decision to switch them back on was taken.

Cllr Brian Allinson said "The evidence locally shows that since the speed cameras were switched off accident rates now stand at their lowest level ever, The council should therefore give local people a chance to have their say on this important issue."

Sources: BBC


600,000 Speeders Caught in Europe in 1 Week

   

13th June 2014

29 countries took part in the operation was organised by the European Traffic Police Network (TISPOL) to tackle the problem of speeding and dangerous driving. In total, 605,523 speeding drivers were stopped by police officers or caught by camera in a single week.

The operation took place between 14-20 April this year and the results have been released now that all 29 countries involved have processed the cases.

TISPOL President Koen Ricour reminded drivers that speed was one of the 'big three killers' in the road environment.

Gatso

"Speed limits are in place for a reason, to reduce casualties and keep the roads safe for everyone. Unfortunately there are some drivers who see speed limits as optional and others who regard them as an inconvenience. But speed limits are there to save lives. Drivers who either exceed the speed limit or drive at a speed that's inappropriate for the road, traffic or weather conditions, are more likely to be involved in a collision. At best this will result in damage and delay; at worst it can lead to serious injury or death. We urge all motorists to demonstrate care and consideration for themselves, their families and others by driving safely at an appropriate speed, and certainly within the speed limit at all times. In this way, drivers will be greatly reducing the risk of killing or seriously injuring themselves or other road users."

Sources: bt.com

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