Cops, not Cameras

The police are launching a national ANPR system (from Computing) – whilst this is a good thing to catch all those people who don’t bother taxing and insuring their cars – what we really need is more police out on the streets, acting as a visible deterrent, but also there to catch the idiots who can’t be caught using static cameras – those people who drive with their front-fog-lights on in good conditions, their hand-held mobile phone up against their ear, those who don’t indicate, hog the middle lanes, block junctions with inconsiderate parking, drive up bus lanes, consistently fail to indicate at junctions and lane changes, ignore electronic signs on motorways, and of course, the idiots who drive along narrow lanes in roadworks at speeds considerably in excess of the posted limits with no regard for their own safety, that of the workers on the site, or other motorists.

Cameras are not the answer to everything – yes there are some common offences which can be caught by them, and they can provide critical video evidence in situations where officers are looking for idiots as well as waiting for the cameras to identify the speeders, but they can’t replace the officer on the beat, or in his car.

Driving standards in the UK are IMO falling dramatically, despite the driving test getting harder – what will bring drivers back into line with the law – that’ll be police, in brightly coloured, visible cars actually out there catching the people whose driving is dangerous or inconsiderate.