Saturday, 28 June 2014

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

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 approximately 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

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

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.

"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.


Tuesday, 24 June 2014

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.

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 cash point. 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

Monday, 23 June 2014

We Love This "Wear Your Seatbelt" Campaign

OK so going round the internet to look for the interesting stories to keep you up to date with as we do we stumbled upon this "Wear your seatbelt" campaign from 2010!. none of us in the office remember it being aired or publicized but we think its title of "Embrace Life" is perfect.  What do you think? Do you like it? Do you remember it?

Saturday, 21 June 2014

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".

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

Friday, 20 June 2014

Average Speed A9 Cameras Already Curbing Drivers Before Switch On

One of Scotland's most notorious roads - the A9 has newly installed cameras that are not due to be switched on till October, however they are already helping to cut down on the number of speeding drivers. The number of motorists speeding on the Perth to Pitlochry stretch of the A9 has fallen from one in three to one in ten

The busy single carriageways statistics for fatal and serious road accidents are significantly higher than the national average. Installation of the cameras from Perth to Inverness began just last month, and the scheme is just one of a number of planned measures to improve safety on the main route connecting central Scotland with the Highlands by the A9 Safety Group. They are also trying to encourage safe overtaking on the route and improve driver awareness of speed limits.

Mike Burns, who is a spokesman for campaign group A9 Average Speed Cameras Are Not the Answer, said: "The SNP and Transport Scotland are deluding themselves that slowing down a road is a solution to resolving frustration and preventing overtaking where overtaking is the root cause of over 50% accidents.”

A petition calling for the average-speed camera scheme to be scrapped was recently dropped by the public petitions committee. The Scottish Government group decided nothing more could be done as the cameras are already in place.

The Scottish Government plans to create 80 miles of dual carriageway between Perth and Inverness by 2025.

Sources: STV News

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

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.

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.

Please visit our website to look at devices that will warn you about the presence of speed cameras

Sources: Mail Online

Monday, 16 June 2014

South Gloucestershire Council to Sell Safety Cameras to Police

From reading a BBC news post from this month it would appear that South Gloucestershire police are planning to purchase 23 Unused speed cameras for a "nominal sum". The cameras in question have been turned off since 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 which will allow them to be operated at no cost to the authority.

South Gloucestershire Council currently owns:

  • eight digital speed cameras
  • three digital red light cameras
  • five film speed camera installations
  • seven film red light camera

these are considered by the council as no longer cost-effective to run.

Since back in December 2013 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 we are guessing that it really is a small amount that the cameras have been purchased for

Read the Full story on our site

Sources: BBC

Friday, 13 June 2014

600,000 Speeders Caught in Europe in 1 Week

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.

"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."


10 Speed Cam Facebook Page Fans in Court

In France ten motorists are due in court in September, because they are active members of a Facebook page that identifies the location of speed cameras.

They have been accused of using “a device capable of detecting radar”. This is illegal in France (not illegal in the UK)

The Facebook page has 9,000 members, all of who can update it in real time with the location of permanent and mobile speed camera sites using their smartphones, this will instantly notify all other members of the page.

David Alegre is one of the 10 defendants, he is a truck driver David Alegre, said he was stunned to receive a summons. He admitted he regularly contributed to the Facebook page, but said he had no idea it would land him in trouble with the law.
He said: “I am being treated like a radar detector.”

Mr Rémy Josseaume his lawyer argues that communicating information on the Internet does not fall under the ban on using radar detectors in France.

 Read the story on our site about this french facebook story

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Plans to Raise Maximum Speeding Fine to £10,000

There is a Fourfold increase coming in maximum amount magistrates can fine speeding motorists. It could see someone speeding on a motorway being fined up to £10,000. Currently the maximum is  £2,500.  It is the first increase since 1991.

The new guidelines look like this

Under the proposed changes the maximums in each category will increase as follows:
From To Examples
Level 1 £200 £800 Includes unauthorised cycle racing on public ways.
Level 2 £500 £2,000 Includes driving a motor cycle without a protective helmet.
Level 3 £1,000 £4,000 Includes the sale of alcohol to a drunk person or being drunk and disorderly in a public place.
Level 4 £2,500 £10,000 Includes speeding on the motorway

Within the guidelines it is stated that Drivers caught using a mobile phone behind the wheel will face a £4,000 fine. $4000 makes you think doesnt it?!

The end of last year saw the total for fines collected reaching al all time high of £284, of course with these new guidelines that figure is set to rise at the end of this year.

Read the full story here about the fines rising to £10,000 on our site

Sources: Guardian, itv

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Speeding on Motorways Has Reached a Record Low Due to High Fuel Prices and Cameras

So Official government figures out yesterday reveal that the proportion of people that speed on motorways has dropped to a record low,  presumably following a rise in speed cameras and several years of high fuel prices, experts claim. Only 47 per cent of people drive faster than 70mph on motorways in Britain, compared with 57 per cent a decade ago. (please note that these are not my observations from the statistics although there is a link to them at the bottom should you wish to take a look at them for yourself)

Apparently the figures only take in to account vehicles in “free flowing” traffic and not those slowed down by congestion (although I dont see how this is either possible to gather or a fair reflection on what actually happend on our roads having spent 7 1/2 hours in traffic myself on what should have been a 1hr 20 round trip to London, anyhow I digress!). The number of ‘extreme’ speeders (traveling above 80mph on motorways) has also dropped from 20pc in 2003 to 12 per cent in 2013. It is also worth noting that the readings are taken from sections of road that do not use speed cameras. (I dont know about you but I treat the whole of the M25 as a camera hot spot even after reports some months back that the overhead gantry cammeras have not been working fo quite some time)

Motoring groups said the decline in speeding over the past decade had coincided with a steady increase in pump prices, suggesting that motorists may have been reducing their speed to conserve fuel and save money. The continued use of speed cameras by police to crack down on speeding may also have played a part.

Ed Morrow, campaigns officer for Brake, the road safety charity, said: “The fact remains that almost half are still breaking the limit, and more than one in ten is doing so by more than 10mph”. Now I actually thought that thats an interesting stat that half of us are still breaking the speed limit, What do you think? tweet using #halfbreaklimit

To read the full story about people driving slower on motorways
Sources: Telegraph, Gov Statistics

New Police Vehicle for Motorbike Campaign

Even the non car enthusiasts at work today thought this looked cool, so we had to share.  As one of the less inconspicuous vehicles in the war against road traffic offenders the Ariel Atom has become the newest member of the Avon and Somerset Police. apparently the car can do 0-60mph in 2.5 seconds with 350bhp. It has also held the Top Gear lap record for nearly two years.

A reader of Visor Down pointed out that the 0-60 probably goes down quite a bit once all of the police paraphernalia such as radar timing equipment, radio, NPR device, latest aerodynamic Hella pursuit lights and emergency equipment have been added on

Ariel Atom
There were also other interesting comments on the visor down site from contributors such as where is its front numberplate for it to be legal on UK roads, Yeh where is that??? and while we are on the subject someone also looked up the number plate and it doesn't exist - also illegal! (have not checked this myself)

Also comments about the amount of time that it would take a policeman to actually get in and out of the vehicle, surely the biker would shoot off again at this point if they really wanted to get away?

Anyway on the other side of the coin if you want to see the car in rel life without being persued by it you can as it will be at Haynes Motor Museum, Sparkford, Somerset on Sunday June 8 from 10am until 4pm. Admission to the event is FREE

To read the full story please go to our website

Sources: ,

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Parrots are not Authorised to Supervise Learner Drivers

Hi guys, this one actually happened a while ago but its just so great we had to tell you about it even though its not in a timely nature, in fact it happened all the way back in January 2014

Basically West Yorkshire police pulled over a 50 year old lady learner driver on a motorway (learners not allowed on motorways) BUT that's not all...... There was no one else in the car apart from a parrot in the front seat (presumably conducting the driving lesson!)

Best bit of all the West Yorkshire police tweeted about it including the phrase "parrots are not authorized to supervise learner drivers"

Anyway to read the full story please visit our site  we have started your morning off right for you with this little snippet!!

Sources: Mirror & Telegraph