Modern speed enforcement distracts drivers from the important tasks of driving and so can actually increase danger.
Comments from Ken Smith:
As digital camera technology progresses,
Police and local authorities will become more reliant upon automatic speed
detection equipment, making the car driver an easy target. The new SPECS
system is a classic example of targeting the car driver. This system works
by taking a picture of the front of the car and hence front number plate,
supposedly so car and driver can be easily identified. If this is the main
reason for photographing the front of the speeding vehicle, what about
A sensible driver will not have problem with this method of speed enforcement if it is used as a deterrent in the correct environment. Installing a Gatso or similar device, behind road signs or similar, on a clear stretch of straight dual carriageway does not lead to lower speed on that road, it simply causes drivers to slow temporarily till past the camera and fuels disrespect of the technology, the Police and other authorities.
I personally know of an A class road with two Gatsos installed, one on each side of the road on a straight stretch. These prevent safe overtaking and serve no other purpose than to slow traffic and catch the unwary driver who is simply taking advantage of the stretch of road to overtake slower moving vehicles.
However, installing the same device near to schools or other potential accident zones to enforce the speed limit, leads to greater respect for the speed limit in that area. If installed near to the school area, it would create a "saftey zone" around the school and not past it and over the brow of a hill as East Lothian Police have done, this slows traffic down AFTER they have passed the school, not before.
Automatic speed detection devices do just that, detect speed offences. They do not detect the drunk driver, the driver under the influence of drugs, the uninsured driver, the unsupervised learner driver, the car with no MOT certificate or major defects.
Police forces are now allowed to keep a portion of the revenue from these devices, to use for installing even more of them. This will lead to a road network swamped with cameras and drivers being distracted from safe driving trying to watch for the next camera or whatever automatic speed devices are in use.