October 18, 2007

The road to hell

Looks like the motorist is in Labour's sights, again. Now they want further arbitrary speed restrictions, obviously the fines aren't rolling in fast enough at the moment. If you use the same statistics in the same simplistic way as the proponents of ever more restrictions on motoring then yet more speed restrictions will be a bad thing for safety.

DfT figures for 2006, which show that there were more people killed or seriously injured in 20mph zones than 30mph zones

One thing this measure will certainly be bad for is privacy. Having just placed road pricing on the back burner. This probably more because thanks to EU directives on road pricing it was to have used the Gallileo system which may never now get built rather than the massive popular resistance. Another scheme to tag and monitor everybody as they travelled must have seemed desperately needed in Labour's continuing War on Liberty. This new speed limit can be used for just that.

The number of roads would make standard Gatso type speed cameras impractical, maybe even cost them money and they would much prefer the cattle pay for their own tags, so they are going for a system based around recording and tracking every
single car in the area using an Automated Number Plate Recognition system and then calculating the average speeds. This system will have to track journeys, if it did not it would not be able to calculate the speed and therefore send you the correct number of fines. The chances of the security services getting hold of this data is basically zero, they already have 24 hour access to the congestion charge data. Even during the weekends when the charge is not in place and so legally the cameras should be off.

I can already see Jack 'boot' Straw lubing up the Big Truncheon in anticipation of the pleasures to come when he can add tracking every single car journey in London to his files. Thanks to the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act he can already track every mobile phone, but not everybody has one of those an even worse they are carried only voluntarily. Phones can be left behind, or switched off and that isn't enough for Jack. Jack wants it all and Jack wants it when Jack wants it. Having to get a bit of consent really takes the fun from it for people like him.


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