UK-Driving-Secrets. Written by a Traffic Policeman with years of on-the-job experience... it gives Legal tips on all aspects of driving... getting stopped... appealing against various tickets... and taking the fight to Court.

Who should support this type of System?
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Introduction.

Gatso speed camera

Professional Drivers.
Driving Enthusiasts.
Parents.
Employers.
New Drivers... Old Drivers.
Safety Campaigners.
Special needs... Parking.
Manufacturers.
What problems could this solve?
So... who should support this Project?
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Introduction.
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This section covers the possible changes over the next decade and the effects they are likely to have on various demographic groups.  New Technology such as... Satellites: Barcodes: Radio Chips: and Cameras will inevitably bring about some very radical changes.  These changes may come in the form of... 
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  • (1) a Satellite G.P.S. system known as 'Intelligent Speed Adaption' which would physically prevent vehicles from exceeding speed limits.  [2007: EU seems to have modified their ambitions of having every vehicle fitted with this system by 2010.  Now saying that there would be some kind of manual over-ride if needed... i.e. they don't want to accept responsibility when things go wrong]
  • (2) an 'Electronic Vehicle Identification' system... which would mean fitting every vehicle with a Microchip... Road Sensors linked to a central computer would allow drivers to be automatically prosecuted for a wide range of offences including... Speeding: Illegal Parking: Road Tax Evasion... [could also be used for... Road Pricing and Congestion Charging.]
  • (3) or it could just come in a more simple form such as blanket coverage of the roads by a multitude of different kinds of Speed Cameras.
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or any combination of the above.  All the afore mentioned are examples of Technology being implemented 'Big Brother' style.  Example (1) gives a centralized 'State' the power to physically control the behaviour of its citizens.  Examples (2) and (3) enable the 'State' to control the behaviour of its citizens through fear of Punishment.  All focus on a very narrow range of behaviour.  All are incredibly expensive.  None are likely to be very effective.  [Example (2) also gives the State the power to accurately monitor all your movements.]
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So... if you really don't like the idea of the 'State' taking physical control of your vehicle... punishing you for every minor infraction of the law... or monitoring your every move... help us to devise a better alternative.  Have a look at the 'Help Us' section... or simply make a 'Donation'.
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Systems trials... are underway in Britain and the Netherlands.  Previously, trials were carried out in four different towns in Sweden, using four variations of a systems known as "Intelligent Speed Adaptation" Read.

It was been reported that this system could be compulsory right across Europe by 2010 although that particular ambition seem to have fallen by the way-side... Read.

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Professional Drivers.
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Experience in other countries shows... when Speed cameras are used to excess, those who are most at risk of losing their licences [and their jobs] are those that drive for a living: [either directly: i.e. truck drivers: or indirectly: i.e. sales reps. who spend much of their time out on the road] or any 'High Mileage' drivers.  These may be some of the best drivers around, good experienced drivers who haven't had an accident or been fined for anything in years, but by virtue of the fact they spend so much time on the road... they will be at risk.  Imagine driving 30,000 miles a year, plus... especially if on unfamiliar roads... looking for road signs or street names... passing hundreds of speed cameras and you only need to be caught in one per year and you'd be on the point of losing your livelihood. 
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[Article: Speed Cameras: life savers or cash cows?]
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Even being the safest driver in the world will not save you from the speed cameras because safety is, primarily, about how you 'Interact' with other road users... it means concentrating on what is happening all around you and altering your speed as circumstances change.  Many of the worst offenders just drive around their own local areas and get to know the exact location of every fixed speed camera... so are therefore very unlikely to be caught out by them.
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With the Road Supervisors system... there is no reason why Professional drivers would be at risk if they were consistently driving in a safe: considerate: and courteous manner.  By contrast, in Britain... the authorities have announced plans to increase the number of speeding tickets from 2 million to 3 million for the coming year, [and a huge increase in the number of speed cameras,] and many of those will be issued to good, safe drivers who are not doing anything out of the ordinary.
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Driving Enthusiasts.
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There are many people who really enjoy the driving experience... it is a hobby, or even a passion.  You could find them in any type of vehicle, but typically... high performance sports cars: motorbikes: or older 'classic cars.'  While speed cameras might dent their enthusiasm, Satellite control could take it away completely.  No Legislation has been passed on this issue so it is not known what effect it would have on older 'classic' and 'vintage' models.  If the modern electronics prove to be incompatible with these older vehicles there are two possibilities... either they are squeezed off the road... or they are exempted.
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Speedtraps UK. RoadPilot. Snooper. Road Angel GPS.
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If these older vehicles are gradually forced off the roads by 'unreasonable' regulations: [such as major modifications to the original specifications,] then they would probably lose much of their value.  If they are exempted... this would create a bizarre situation where old cars were driving around much faster than newer and safer models... which means their value would probably increase substantially.
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Many 'enthusiasts'... are experienced, responsible drivers... with the Road Supervisors system there is no reason why these enthusiasts should not continue to go out and enjoy the open road, so long as they do not create problems for other road users.  Safety and enjoyment do not have to be incompatible!  But, in future... drivers will need to accept more responsibility for what happens on the roads or technology will do it for them.  Any plan which just involves maintaining the 'status quo', is probably doomed to failure in the long run.
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Parents.
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Naturally, people are concerned about the safety of their family members.  Parents worry about their young children playing near the roads... going to school... riding their bikes: etc. [even in quiet residential suburbs.]  When they get a bit older there is more concern when they start to drive, and quite rightly so... road accidents are the biggest cause of premature death among teenagers.  Of all the things that could go wrong... having masses of speed cameras or satellite control of the vehicle would only slightly reduce the risks... at best!  You may well believe that any reduction is a worthwhile thing, but a far better situation would be for you to know there was a problem developing before anything serious happened.  
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A Road Supervisors system... would make it much more likely that parents would get some advanced warning that their child was developing a 'high-risk' style of driving.  What parents subsequently chose to do about it would be their own affair.  [But if they were supplying the vehicle... knew there was a problem... chose to do nothing... then someone was killed or seriously injured... perhaps they would be held partially responsible.]
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Employers.
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For whatever reason drivers who use company vehicles have a higher rate of accidents than those who driver their own vehicles.  Not only can employees cost you a lot of money if they cause an accident, but, [if you have your company's name on the side of the vehicle] they can be generating bad publicity for you on a daily basis.  Satellite navigation will not help with either of these problems... while speed cameras are just as likely to end up banning your good drivers as identifying you bad drivers.  
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Basically... as an employer, you just need to know what is going on with your drivers while they are out on the road.  Some employers do take part in various 'How's my driving?' type schemes which gives them some feedback, and has produced reductions of up to 22%.  
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A Road Supervisors scheme... would just mean making this type of system official, it would operate on a much bigger scale and provide a whole range of options to deal with the problems.
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New Drivers... Old Drivers.
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New Drivers... in Britain there is a move to change the age you can take your driving test from 17 to 18.  It would still be possible to start learning at 17... and as many drivers are close to their 18th birthday by the time they take their tests anyway... it might not make that much difference: [in which case the whole exercise will be a waste of time.]  A range of other restrictions are also being considered... [no night driving, compulsory lessons, minimal number of hours 'logged'] because there is a problem with 'teen drivers'... so rather than target the individuals concerned... the Authorities want to put restrictions on everyone.  Inevitably... the worst offenders find ways to circumvent the rules... and the law-abiding majority pay the price of the lawless minority.  With this system problem drivers would be targeted... and new drivers would not have as many restrictions placed on them unless they themselves became a problem.
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Older Drivers... are increasingly becoming a problem.  Firstly, because there are more of them/us... and secondly, because a lot more of us are living longer.  As we age... our driving skills, eyesight, reactions... all start to deteriorate and the chances of us having an accident begins to increase... quite dramatically in some cases.  So, inevitably, a system will be required to examine? re-test? remove? older drivers.  This system would try and help older drivers to maintain their independence for as long as possible... but once identified as a real problem... retired before they caused an accident.  This is a delicate situation that many of us will face in the future... and this way, you would be judged on your ability to drive rather than some arbitrary age limit... or a doctor's examination. 
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Safety Campaigners.
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The Road Supervisors scheme is neither a pro-car nor an anti-car system.  It is a concept that anyone could support because it just aims to create a road environment which is a bit more pleasant and safer for everyone.  Nearly all safety campaigns 'plateau out' after a while... initial gains level off and no more improvements are made unless there is a new strategy.  So, whatever the area of concern... impaired driving: speeding: safe neighbourhoods: etc. etc: this system would create an official structure which would enable people to target any problem... to become more pro-active... as individuals... or as a group.  
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[Read: Village vigilantes go for their speed guns.]
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With the Road Supervisors system... we could not say what the end result would be... the Road Culture, would probably reflect the basic values and concerns of that particular Society.  What you end up with would be a combination of... what you want... and what your efforts deserved!
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Special needs... Parking.
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Drivers with special needs... i.e. outside a supermarket there may be a number of parking spots assigned to people with disabilities... mothers with young children: etc... most people will park properly but there is always a few who seem to think, these rules don't apply to them.  At times you can see a majority of these spaces occupied and not a single one done legally.  Speed cameras and Satellites do absolutely nothing for these kinds of anti-social problems.  Most people don't want to go around having confrontations with strangers, so, what can they do?  
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With a Road Supervisors system... they could just fill in a Report... when sent out, this would also include detailed instructions about using these spaces and a warning not to use them in future unless legally entitled to.  These people would certainly lose the sense of anonymity they enjoy at present... and additionally, might also be confronted directly by Senior Road Supervisors.
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Manufacturers.
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Any big changes will inevitably create some winners and some losers.  In this case the obvious winners would be those involved in the creation of Satellite Technology and the losers would be those who manufacture high performance cars and motorbikes... plus their shareholders: employees: sales outlets: service personnel: etc.  Drivers sacrifice seating and storage space for performance... but if it becomes physically impossible to use that performance, why would anyone pay out large sums of money for these vehicles?  
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While speed cameras might not help sales of some cars and motorbikes... the compulsory implementation of Satellite Technology may be a threat to the very existence of some manufacturers.  It is quite possible for cheaper cars to have the same basic styling as a fast expensive car... but if they can only travel at 70 or 80mph, they can do without all the expensive engineering.  There are some Manufacturers who obviously need to take stock and evaluate the size of this threat as a matter of urgency... i.e. find out exactly how many of their existing customers would continue to buy their products if restricted by this new Satellite Technology.   
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Two stories highlight the problem.  May 2005: the European Union's energy commissioner Andris Piebalgs calls for a compulsory 62mph (100kph) speed limit to be imposed across all 25 member nations... in order to reduce accidents and conserve energy.  July 2005: BMW, Audi and Mercedes announce that they were withdrawing from a voluntary agreement to limit the top speeds of their cars to 155mph (250kph.)  They say they must be able to compete with the likes of Porsche and Ferrari who do not use electronic limiters on their cars.  So... how do these companies think they will compete when their cars are restricted to 70mph?
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Even successfully opposing the introduction of a Satellite control system might just result in a whole load of legal problems...     
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  • If a National speed limit was 70mph.
  • The Manufacturer was selling vehicles which were capable of 130mph+ 
  • Someone was killed be a driver doing 100mph: [or possibly exceeding any speed limit]
  • The Manufacturer had opposed the introduction of measures which would have restricted the speed of their vehicles... for purely commercial reasons...
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It is not difficult to imagine a scenario where a Manufacturer is held partially responsible for the reckless behaviour of one of its customers... and ends up having to pay out massive damages in a Court case.
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With the Road Supervisors system... there is no threat to Manufacturers.  Just because someone owns a fast, expensive car, or motorbike, which is capable of travelling at 130mph+ it doesn't mean they are not going to be careful and responsible drivers.  Many of the worst offenders are fairly young and cannot afford expensive, high powered vehicles... but that doesn't stop them driving in a reckless way.  If it came to Court... in their defence a Manufacturer could at least take the position... "We manufacture some of the safest vehicles on the roads... but it is the responsibility of Governments to control the behaviour of its citizens.  That is why we have been supporting this type of scheme... but unfortunately Governments have not been listening".
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What problems could this solve?
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Because this is a concept that empowers the road user, any number of problems could be addressed.  Those with specific problems in their neighbourhood, such as... Parking: Speeding: excessive Noise: or 'Cruisers'.  Or, a whole range of behaviour you encounter while out on the roads, because of... aggressive: impatient: inconsiderate: selfish: rude drivers... which you are sick of dealing with on a daily basis.  Speed cameras and Satellites are not going to help you one little bit with these type of problems.   
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A Road Supervisors scheme... may not solve the immediate problem here but, reporting someone could be a very cathartic exercise... getting even is a good alternative to getting mad! and anyone who persisted with this type of behaviour would be dealt with eventually.
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Who should support this Project?
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Anyone interested in road safety issues... but more specifically, any campaigning group which has reached its natural level of effectiveness, slowly ground to a halt or completely 'hit a brick wall'.  People concerned about the quality of life in their own neighbourhood.  Truckers: Taxi drivers: delivery drivers: sales reps: any Professional or high mileage drivers.  Motoring enthusiasts... those who want to enjoy the 'Freedom' of the open road.  Those who use 'special needs' parking places.  Cyclists: Motorbike riders: Employers: Parents worried about their children: Horse riders: the Police.  Those who hate Speed Cameras... and anyone who abhors the very idea of having their vehicle taken over and controlled by a Satellite!! 
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The Road Supervisors scheme.  On the other hand... if you happen to be a complete maniac... consistently break the law... or generally, tend to leave a trail of misery in your wake... you might want to give this a miss!!
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Of course there would be a lot of opposition for this type of system... not just from maniac drivers who would come off badly... but others who will inevitably compare this to the work of 'The Nazis'... the 'KGB'... 'The Stazi'... 'Big Brother'... or something similar... where everyone goes around spying on everyone else... and you end up worrying about getting reported for every little mistake.  Whereas a more valid comparison might be something like Neighbourhood Watch.  For anyone that drives around in a reasonable manner... getting a report should be a very unusual occurrence.
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The Bottom Line. 
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At present we are heading towards the situation of having a huge increase in speed cameras of every kind, and in the not to distant future... having vehicles physically controlled by Technology.  Some people will support these measures simply because its the only plan on offer.  Our objective at Road Supervisors is... to develop and promote a totally different concept... to create a viable alternative... as laid out in this website.  So, if you don't want the 'State' taking control of your vehicle, help us devise a better plan... take a look at the 'Help Us' section... or simply make a 'Donation'.  There is absolutely no chance of us succeeding without your assistance!!
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