Much wailing and frothing at the mouth this week at the news that Bedfordshire’s PCC is proposing a “zero tolerance” stance to motorway speeding.
Cue apologists for lawbreakers moaning about the poor, put-upon motorist being used as a “cash cow” for unfair taxes. If fines from speeding are to be considered a tax, they are an entirely voluntary one. If you don’t want to pay, the answer is trivially simple: don’t driver faster than the posted limit.
Whether or not you think that 70MH is a reasonable limit on the motorway, the fact is that it’s the legal limit. If you choose to exceed it, you have no grounds to complain if you are caught and prosecuted for it.
I would prefer that any zero tolerance towards speeding occur first on more minor roads, where vulnerable road users are more at risk.
A somewhat more legitimate criticism is that speed cameras do not detect dangerous driving that happens to be within the speed limit – tailgating, middle lane hogging, driving too fast for the conditions at hand, mobile phone use etc. Whilst true, it doesn’t detract from the usefulness of cameras for catching drivers so incompetent and unobservant that they cannot master the basic skill of driving within the speed limit.