Archive for November, 2008

Fighting Back Against Speeding Fines And Penalty Points

Sunday, November 23rd, 2008

Author: Tony Harper

The hard pressed UK motorist is, and always will be considered a soft target in the eyes of the individual, the law and the numerous motoring associations. And not without good reason.

Any rise in the cost of oil prices is almost immediately passed on to the motorist at the petrol pumps. Every budget offers the chancellor another opportunity to raise the cost of the Road Fund Licence (car tax), and, although insurance companies are currently cutting each other’s throats to offer us cheaper cover, they’ll fight you all the way should you be unlucky enough to have to make a claim.

Then there are congestion charges, wheel clamping campaigns and ever increasing parking fees to contend with, especially near airports and in hospital car parks.

But, top of the list of all the motorist money squeezing opportunities is without a doubt, the speeding fine. Almost every driver will break the speed limit of some road at some time, either intentionally, due to some urgent ‘mission’, or most likely because of a momentary of lack of concentration.

There are currently than 5,400 static camera sites in the UK and just under 3,500 mobile speed units in operation, so just about anyone is likely to get caught at any given time. Unfortunately for some, they will get caught more than once, which could leave them in very precarious position concerning their future driving excursions.

It’s reported that almost a million motorists in the UK, are on the brink of facing a driving ban due to the 12 point totting up system. And with 2 million motorists falling victim to speed cameras and mobile units last year, there’s obviously no shortage of future potential disqualifications lying on the file.

The Safety Camera Partnership, operating under the guise of a road safety campaign organisation, is considered to be one of the most profitable government ‘businesses’ of all time, raking in more than About the Author:
Tony Harper is a senior partner with the Lexington Partnership, an organization dedicated to helping the UK motorist protect their driving licence.

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Speed Cameras – a Necessary Evil or No Good to Mankind?

Wednesday, November 12th, 2008

Author: Anna Hallam

In October 2008 Swindon announced that they would be scrapping the fixed point speed cameras that previously caught speeding motorists in over eighty different locations. The controversial move has sparked debate across the country, with some decrying the decision and others applauding it. By November 2008 it was reported that Portsmouth, Walsall and Birmingham were all considering copying Swindon, but is banning the speed cameras the right thing to do? Nobody likes them, but let’s have a look at some of the arguments surrounding the issue.

2002 saw the introduction of Safety Cameras in the Swindon, and according to statistics the numbers of road-related fatalities has fallen noticeably since then. The number of people killed or seriously injured on the county’s roads fell by 5% and for children it reduced by as much as 33%; so is this a direct result of the cameras? Statistics again would say not; there were seventy fatalities on Swindon’s streets in 2007-08 and that seems to be proof that speed cameras did not make the roads safer.

The money from fined motorists caught speeding goes directly to the HM Treasury; neither the police nor local councils profit from the cameras, yet it costs a council like Portsmouth £380,000 a year of public money for six fixed speed cameras. Swindon has been accused of saving money over saving lives, yet if the cameras truly don’t work surely it’s best to stop spending money on them and start spending money on finding other traffic calming measures that do work.

The motoring public:
Speed cameras rarely work because speeding drivers simply slow down to pass them and very often speed back up again afterwards. When they do catch someone speeding it is likely that the driver won’t even realise until the fine arrives in the post some two weeks after; then because the driver has achieved distance from the offense, both literately and figuratively, the fine does very little to raise awareness of the danger of going too fast. Instead the cameras have bred a feeling of animosity in the motoring community, and have alienated the public against road safety efforts. Drivers feel as though the government is trying to ‘catch them out’ in order to make money rather than help them to reduce speed related fatalities. In the end, because the public sees the cameras as ‘the enemy’, they will never be effective in helping repeat offenders see the error of their ways.

The fear of being caught:
It’s true that most people who know that there is a camera will slow down for the camera and speed up afterwards, but what if a driver is on an unfamiliar road? The warning sign for a speed camera is often enough to make people check their speed and slow down regardless of whether there is actually a camera or not. Although not as preferable as people keeping to the speed limit of their own accord, the fact that drivers are frightened to speed on roads that might have a camera is a lesser evil than speeding and causing an accident. By removing the cameras Swindon is removing the ‘fear’, and might end up seeing a lot more speed limits broken than they anticipate.

Ultimately we have to face the fact that speed cameras will not stop crashes completely ; only we as the motoring public can do that by facing up to our responsibilities and becoming better drivers. As Tony Simcock, driving instructor and director of The Big Red L Company in Kent commented, “Speed cameras have helped raise the awareness that ‘Inappropriate Speed Kills’; however, unless motorists across the UK begin to drive in a way that significantly reduces the risks to our children, to other road users and to themselves, we will always be faced with government initiatives that are blanket measures that appear out of place or heavy handed.” He continues, “I do a lot of driving, I try to stick to speed limits, have never been caught speeding, I am very rarely late for a meeting and have never been involved in an injury accident – is that coincidence, or good driving?”

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About the Author:

Anna Hallam writes on behalf of The Big Red L Company who provide driving lessons throughout Kent; and for their sister site, who provide intensive driving courses throughout the UK. For more info visit

Can You Beat The Speed Cameras?

Saturday, November 8th, 2008

Author: David Thomson

Love them or hate them, there is no getting around it the fact that speed cameras are here to stay. Some love the fact that they cut speeding down while others say they are nothing but a way of invading your privacy.

Regardless of the fact, if you are caught speeding then the simple answer is there isn’t much you can do about it. You could of course go to Court and argue the fact, but if they caught you on film, then generally the camera doesn’t lie. This of course means that in addition to the fine you originally got, you now have to pay Court costs too.

While speed cameras are undoubtedly put there to safeguard the driver and the public by cutting down and clamping down on those who habitually speed, we all speed at sometime or another even if this is as little as going just a few miles over the limit. These are the people who generally get the letter through their letterbox, the one timers, not that there is an excuse for any speeding no matter how small.

However the average person can receive between 3 and 6 points on their licence from speeding and when it comes to renewing their car insurance, this can make a huge difference to the amount they have to pay. Whether speeding is on the increase or not, one fact remains, that by April this year it was estimated that around 1.3 million drivers had on average around 9 points on their licence.

Points on your licence do make a difference to the premium that you pay and in order to get the cheapest insurance your licence should be clean.

In order to get the best possible deal on car insurance, drive safely, keep within the speed limits and shop around for the right deal.

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About the Author:
David Thomson is Chief Executive of BestDealInsurance an independent specialist broker dedicated to giving consumers the best insurance deal. They offer great value car insurance , life and home insurance.