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PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2004 04:03 
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The vast majority of speed camera offences are "technical" violations. Yes, a law has been breached, but if it's purely a technical violation, safety has not been breached.

We need to better distinguish between technical violations and safety violations.

While limited resources are engaged in enforcing technical violations, safety violations are beinging ignored.

When drivers pay too much attention to avoiding technical violations they might become more likely to commit safety violations.

If anyone can see a real benefit in enforcing purely techical violations, I'd like to hear about it. Do technical violations fortell safety violations?

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PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2004 21:51 
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SafeSpeed wrote:
The vast majority of speed camera offences are "technical" violations. Yes, a law has been breached, but if it's purely a technical violation, safety has not been breached.

If anyone can see a real benefit in enforcing purely technical violations, I'd like to hear about it. Do technical violations fortell safety violations?

Some technical violations can be linked to increased risk with a strong confidence factor.

An example is the drink-drive law. Most people are measurably impaired with blood-alcohol levels over 80 mg. Some aren't. But, given that there is a strong likelihood that a driver with an alcohol level over 80 mg will be impaired, the view is taken that it is reasonable to prosecute anyone who is over that limit.

A comparable example might be that to convict someone for driving at 35 mph in a residential street may well be unreasonable in the absence of any evidence or judgment that behaviour was dangerous. But if he was driving at 55 mph such evidence would not really be necessary.

If there is a strong association between a technical violation and increased risk, then in some circumstances prosecutions purely on technical factors can be justified.

Regards,

Peter

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"Show me someone who says that they have never exceeded a speed limit, and I'll show you a liar, or a menace." (Austin Williams - Director, Transport Research Group)

Any views expressed in this post are personal opinions and may not represent the views of Safe Speed


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PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2004 12:22 
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But couldn't all of these be classed as technical violations:

driving without a license
drining without insurance
driving without VED

Personally, I want to see zero tolerance of all offences except speeding (but then only where the speed is inappropriate for the prevailing conditions).

However, perhaps the VOSA traffic officers could concentrate on such minor offences (ANPR) and leave Police Traffic Officers to concentrate on the more serious issues.


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PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2004 13:32 
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cra wrote:
But couldn't all of these be classed as technical violations:

driving without a license
drining without insurance
driving without VED

Personally, I want to see zero tolerance of all offences except speeding (but then only where the speed is inappropriate for the prevailing conditions).

However, perhaps the VOSA traffic officers could concentrate on such minor offences (ANPR) and leave Police Traffic Officers to concentrate on the more serious issues.


Interesting. AS far as unlicenced driving is concerned, I see three possible groups:

Those who have not yet qualified or failed to qualify - surely they haven't demonstrated the minimum standard required and the violation is likely to be a safety violation.

Those who have been banned. Were they banned to get a danger off the roads or were they banned to punish them? I don't know, probably both. I wouldn't see driving while disqualified as a "purely technical" infringement, but I agree that there's an argument to be had.

Those who are entitled to be licenced, but something went wrong with the paperwork and no licence is in force. Surely this is a good example of a purely technical offence and no penalty is necessary.

Uninsured drivers do cause a sort of danger to others in as much as normal financial support won't be available after an accident. I'd class that as a serious safety violation. I realise this involves stretching the words, but that's only because I didn't find the perfect words in the first place. I shall have a think and try to come up with better words. Social violation?

Driving without VED is not logically a motoring offence - it's a taxation offence and I wouldn't include it in this discussion.

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PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2004 13:48 
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cra wrote:
But couldn't all of these be classed as technical violations:

driving without a license
drining without insurance
driving without VED
I can see your point, but I don't think that driving without a license is a purely technical violation. If a driver hasn't got a license it's likely going to be for one of two reasons. Either they have not yet proved themsleves to be competent to drive by passing a test, or they have been daft enough to get banned. In the first case there may well be a potential safety implication, and arguably in the second as well depending on the circumstances of the ban. Someone who got caught four times 5 mph over the limit wouldn't worry me a great deal, but someone ignoring a drink driving ban would. After all, if they're ignoring the ban, they might well be prepared to keep drinking and driving as well.

I suppose being un-insured is normally technical. I've been briefly uninsured myself simply because I forgot to renew on time - we're only talking a couple of days, and I didn't suddenly turn into Mad Max, so I guess that's the sort of technical violation you're thinking of. Certainly I was in the wrong, but were the chances of me causing an accident any greater? No. However, there are probably some MOT failures out there that should really be in scrapyards, and if they're unroadworthy they're probably uninsured and untaxed as well. Sure, the danger is caused by their condition not the presence or absence of insurance cover, but I'm happy for the police to have one more charge to throw at the idiots when they catch 'em.

No VED is a grey area. Again, if a driver is avoiding VED merely because they're stingy or skint there isn't an inherent danger. It's a different situation if it's a dangerous wreck with two village brakes that no MOT tester will ever pass. Frankly, given the cost of the damn thing these days it always annoys me that I'm mug enough to pay my share and some other bar steward doesn't bother. :(

cra wrote:
Personally, I want to see zero tolerance of all offences except speeding (but then only where the speed is inappropriate for the prevailing conditions).
I'd certainly agree that speeding is the least appropriate offence to have zero tolerance policing. But do you really want to see zero tolerance on things like blown lights? I check lights almost daily (well, not if I'm not using the car, but you know what I mean), but there's still the chance of one blowing while I'm driving. At the extreme, if a rear number plate light goes the additional risk to other road users hovers around the square root of stuff all. That sort of offence is more bad luck than bad driving, so I hope we never get zero tolerance on that. (If they want to tighten up on that I'd suggest making bulb kits compulsory and giving tickets for that instead.) I'd still rather have a trained police officer deciding when a ticket is warranted and when advice/lecture is necessary.

By the way, on the subject of light bulbs here's a tip for the ladies. Women almost never get tickets for blown bulbs providing there's a bulb kit on board, they blame their feckless husband/boyfriend for not getting round to it, and they smile sweetly at trafplod and ask him for help. :lol: Mind you, with trafplods being an endangered species the chances of getting tugged in the first place are pretty low.

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PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2004 14:43 
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We could argue all day about the obvious pros and cons of certian offences being ignored. However, I think having this grey area is counterproductive.

I hope that we are all singing from the same hymn sheet in terms of speed is only dangerous if used inappropriately. On that basis, I am happy to 'bend the law'.

I never drink/drive, drive without insurance/VED etc.. etc.. Do I consider myself a model citizen or even a model driver? Hell, no. I do act responsibly when on the road and always drive at an appropriate speed.

I do not think it does our campaign any good to suggest that there are a whole raft of other offences that the powers that be should not enforce.


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