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generaldbody
Hi,

On more than a few occasions now I have passed through sections of motorway where for three or four gantries we have a 60,60,60,40 variable speed restriction then on the next gantry a national speed limit. A "queue" is advised on the text signs but there is no queue - no queue and nothing like a busy road either, no accident, no blockage, nothing where a temporary restriction may be required. One might assume that "they left the limits on after an incident" - and you think "damn fools" or the like!

However, I notice that on EVERY occasion I find this there a "HADECS2" speed camera on the side of the "40" limited gantry. I also note that I notice this most in the Hertfordshire sections of the M25. Obviously I cannot speak for all motorway sections so I don't know whether this phenomenon is limited to the M25 or specific constabularies?

I don't want to appear like a conspiracy theorist but I do genuinely believe that this is happening too frequently to be a coincidence.

Is there anything to this theory or anything that should/can be done to confirm or disprove this?

Best,

GDB

peterguk
So, who do you believe is behind this latest cunning plan to fleece the motorist, and who receives any benefit?

Oh, and:

cabbyman
Duck....... Incoming!!!!
The Rookie
Entrapment?

Try a dictionary.

As noted, no-one who sets a limit benefits from its enforcement financially. Not to mention that what saw was a Hadecs2 box, most are empty so you didn't see a camera at all.
NewJudge
To suffer "entrapment" you have to be encouraged to commit a criminal offence. If you think about it, the placement of cameras and the imposition of speed limit signs do the exact opposite. The fact that you believe there is no reason for the lower limits hardly counts as entrapment.
Fredd
QUOTE (generaldbody @ Mon, 27 Mar 2017 - 14:03) *
I don't want to appear like a conspiracy theorist but I do genuinely believe that this is happening too frequently to be a coincidence.

Hanlon's Razor.
Incandescent
Anybody who still thinks the forces of law and order have a benevolent regard and consideration for the ordinary motorist is being exceptionally naive. There is no doubt at all in my mind that over the decades since the fifties, (and I have been around since then), the various police forces in this country have gradually converted themselves into what are, essentially, "armies of occupation" Everybody who is not in the police force is regarded as a suspect, a friend of a suspect, or likely to become one. Trust by the police in the public has disappeared. When the police can force their way into the heart of the Houses of Parliament to search an MP's office you know the situation has gone too far and in serious need of correction. The enormous number of speed cameras is part of this climate of suspicion and control. What we see today is a manifestation of the Puritan attitude of the 17th century - "everybody is a sinner and must be punished".

The police now are able, via the Speed Awareness Courses, to generate income for organisations linked to the police from very minor motoring offences that would, at one time, have resulted in a roadside stop and some inconvenient delay to the motorist being dealt with, plus some advice on his/her driving. Most motorists took this delay and advice on the chin, and were better drivers for it. Those few who didn't were likely people engaged in crime or on the fringes of it and eventually went to jail for other offences. I have no sympathy for such people, but I do have a huge amount of sympathy for those who are caught by one of the many thousands of speed cameras. There are so many now, that it is clearly not a matter of catching the few, they are there to catch everybody for a minor mistake.

Chief constables will say they get no money from speed awareness courses. Of course they don't directly, but try and investigate the ownership and beneficiaries of the profits of the organisations running these courses. Ask who the employees are who work for these organisations. You will find many have previously worked for the police or have recently retired from a police force.

Of course the above is all about cash, and making money from minor offences, but we must not forget the very powerful tendency in some people to control others. Such people tend to gravitate towards positions of influence and power in organisations like the police, and other bodies that exercise authority over others. We see their works today, not just with speed cameras, but with all-pervasive ANPR cameras that record all vehicle movements and which are retained indefinitely. Why ?
generaldbody
QUOTE (cabbyman @ Mon, 27 Mar 2017 - 16:49) *
Duck....... Incoming!!!!


Did I just throw a match on a pool of petrol?

To those that pointed it out: "Entrapment" may have been the wrong word to use. So we'll have to determine what is the right word


QUOTE (The Rookie @ Mon, 27 Mar 2017 - 16:59) *
As noted, no-one who sets a limit benefits from its enforcement financially. Not to mention that what saw was a Hadecs2 box, most are empty so you didn't see a camera at all.


Ok - So who does get the fines?

Empty boxes eh? What evidence to you have for that?
It is a very elaborate setup to also install the three rear cameras too (to capture the matrix sign status as the car passes the speed detector). Also I have to say that these cameras are far more discrete than other cameras we've seen: There in a very small box and not always painted yellow. What the point of a deterrent that is harder to see?

Which authority sets the variable limits?

Cheers!

GDB

QUOTE (peterguk @ Mon, 27 Mar 2017 - 16:46) *
So, who do you believe is behind this latest cunning plan to fleece the motorist, and who receives any benefit?


LOL - I've just had my hat recovered...
emmaJR
QUOTE (Incandescent @ Mon, 27 Mar 2017 - 23:33) *
Anybody who still thinks the forces of law and order have a benevolent regard and consideration for the ordinary motorist is being exceptionally naive. There is no doubt at all in my mind that over the decades since the fifties, (and I have been around since then), the various police forces in this country have gradually converted themselves into what are, essentially, "armies of occupation" Everybody who is not in the police force is regarded as a suspect, a friend of a suspect, or likely to become one. Trust by the police in the public has disappeared. When the police can force their way into the heart of the Houses of Parliament to search an MP's office you know the situation has gone too far and in serious need of correction. The enormous number of speed cameras is part of this climate of suspicion and control. What we see today is a manifestation of the Puritan attitude of the 17th century - "everybody is a sinner and must be punished".

The police now are able, via the Speed Awareness Courses, to generate income for organisations linked to the police from very minor motoring offences that would, at one time, have resulted in a roadside stop and some inconvenient delay to the motorist being dealt with, plus some advice on his/her driving. Most motorists took this delay and advice on the chin, and were better drivers for it. Those few who didn't were likely people engaged in crime or on the fringes of it and eventually went to jail for other offences. I have no sympathy for such people, but I do have a huge amount of sympathy for those who are caught by one of the many thousands of speed cameras. There are so many now, that it is clearly not a matter of catching the few, they are there to catch everybody for a minor mistake.

Chief constables will say they get no money from speed awareness courses. Of course they don't directly, but try and investigate the ownership and beneficiaries of the profits of the organisations running these courses. Ask who the employees are who work for these organisations. You will find many have previously worked for the police or have recently retired from a police force.

Of course the above is all about cash, and making money from minor offences, but we must not forget the very powerful tendency in some people to control others. Such people tend to gravitate towards positions of influence and power in organisations like the police, and other bodies that exercise authority over others. We see their works today, not just with speed cameras, but with all-pervasive ANPR cameras that record all vehicle movements and which are retained indefinitely. Why ?


Its not the fault of the Police,, they are just doing their job within the rules and guidelines issued. Its is the fault, imo of those that make the laws.

QUOTE (generaldbody @ Tue, 28 Mar 2017 - 00:17) *
QUOTE (cabbyman @ Mon, 27 Mar 2017 - 16:49) *
Duck....... Incoming!!!!


Did I just throw a match on a pool of petrol?

To those that pointed it out: "Entrapment" may have been the wrong word to use. So we'll have to determine what is the right word


QUOTE (The Rookie @ Mon, 27 Mar 2017 - 16:59) *
As noted, no-one who sets a limit benefits from its enforcement financially. Not to mention that what saw was a Hadecs2 box, most are empty so you didn't see a camera at all.


Ok - So who does get the fines?

Empty boxes eh? What evidence to you have for that?
It is a very elaborate setup to also install the three rear cameras too (to capture the matrix sign status as the car passes the speed detector). Also I have to say that these cameras are far more discrete than other cameras we've seen: There in a very small box and not always painted yellow. What the point of a deterrent that is harder to see?

Which authority sets the variable limits?

Cheers!

GDB

QUOTE (peterguk @ Mon, 27 Mar 2017 - 16:46) *
So, who do you believe is behind this latest cunning plan to fleece the motorist, and who receives any benefit?


LOL - I've just had my hat recovered...


enticement? As per Pattersons You can only argue entrapment if the police have actively encouraged you to commit an offence – not if you have voluntarily committed an offence They'd have to be tailgating you in the variable speed zone, pushing you to drive too fast. The Police do NOT do that as a rule.
peterguk
QUOTE (emmaJR @ Tue, 28 Mar 2017 - 07:35) *
They'd have to be tailgating you in the variable speed zone, pushing you to drive too fast.


And they'd have to pay for the scuffing to the rear bumper...
generaldbody
QUOTE (emmaJR @ Tue, 28 Mar 2017 - 07:35) *
Its not the fault of the Police,, they are just doing their job within the rules and guidelines issued. Its is the fault, imo of those that make the laws.

...

enticement? As per Pattersons You can only argue entrapment if the police have actively encouraged you to commit an offence – not if you have voluntarily committed an offence They'd have to be tailgating you in the variable speed zone, pushing you to drive too fast. The Police do NOT do that as a rule.



QUOTE (peterguk @ Tue, 28 Mar 2017 - 08:53) *
QUOTE (emmaJR @ Tue, 28 Mar 2017 - 07:35) *
They'd have to be tailgating you in the variable speed zone, pushing you to drive too fast.


And they'd have to pay for the scuffing to the rear bumper...


Enticement - that sounds more reasonable.

So let's consider the reality of driving on a real Motorway so we can asses how reasonable it is of the Police (or whoever) given the circumstances outlined above.


You are driving on the Motorway...
The limit has just been dropped from 70 to 60 - you can clearly read the 60 limit signs, say, 100m to 200m before you pass them.
However one also has to read the textual signs and then mentally process what has been displayed - in this case they state "queue ahead" - although this is false, you don't know this yet so you must take this on face value.
One lifts one's foot off the accelerator in order to enable the engine to slow the car by 10MPH.
You are also keeping an eye out for the advised "queue" - it could be on any lane or a slip road perhaps.
All this time you are observing normal motorway behaviour by looking in your mirrors to check the location of all surrounding vehicles.

Now you have been presented with another sign that drops you to 40MPH - and there is a camera on this gantry (you might see it or you might not) but you have been given maybe about100m notice at 60MPH that one must drop speed by at least 20MPH. At 100m from the gantry travelling at 60MPH you have ~3.5 seconds to think, look in the mirrors for safety and even if you have more time -you will have no option but to brake harshly in order to reduce your speed by 20MPH. All this time you are meant to continue to look at the other cars and now your speed gauge to ensure that your below the new limit. 3.5 seconds for this manoeuvre is at best a joke and imo at worst it could be lethal.

This requirement to brake like this is in contravention of all the things we are taught to do as a safe driver and in fact in the Highway Code: Rules 117 and 118 talk about safe braking, Rule 144 states that you must not drive dangerously, drive without due care and attention and drive without reasonable consideration for other road users. Harsh braking or other braking on a Motorway is not very considerate and imo dangerous. This is defined in the RTA no? It may be that harsh braking because the limit changes is a "reason" to slow or to brake but it is not reasonable to put drivers in a position where they are to act dangerously in order to avoid breaking another law.

Whether agencies are intentionally creating "fine earning" situations is yet to be proved - and as yet no one has answered the question regarding "who receives the fines" - but certainly the companies running the DACs could be seen to benefit from this.

I do feel that if there are permanently or frequently active yet not reasonably required 60-60-40&Camera configurations as described (instead of a more reasonable 60-50-40&Camera or 60-40-40&Camera configuration) then the motorist will have no choice but to risk an accident in order to adhere to the speed laws.

So am I enticed into breaking the speed laws in order to avoid dangerous driving/due care and attention and vice versa? It sure looks like it!

Who controls the matrix signs?
peterguk
QUOTE (generaldbody @ Tue, 28 Mar 2017 - 12:57) *
So am I enticed into breaking the speed laws in order to avoid dangerous driving/due care and attention and vice versa? It sure looks like it!


Complete tosh!

I have driven 10s of 000s of motorway miles and can't remember the last time i had to break any law in order to pass through speed limits on gantries safely.
The Rookie
QUOTE (generaldbody @ Tue, 28 Mar 2017 - 00:17) *
QUOTE (The Rookie @ Mon, 27 Mar 2017 - 16:59) *
As noted, no-one who sets a limit benefits from its enforcement financially. Not to mention that what saw was a Hadecs2 box, most are empty so you didn't see a camera at all.


Ok - So who does get the fines?

Empty boxes eh? What evidence to you have for that?
It is a very elaborate setup to also install the three rear cameras too (to capture the matrix sign status as the car passes the speed detector). Also I have to say that these cameras are far more discrete than other cameras we've seen: There in a very small box and not always painted yellow. What the point of a deterrent that is harder to see?

Which authority sets the variable limits?



30 seconds on Google will tell you that the proceeds of all fines to to central funds, aka the treasury, all they do is offset the national debt as they arent added to any budget. As someone who's not paid any driving related penalty for nearly 30 years I'm grateful to all those who have chosen to lower my share of the national debt!

What evidence of empty boxes, simply that there are many more boxes than they have cameras....ergo many (more than are full) are empty but they do move them around occasionally (but as it's a pain, not often).

The variable limit is usually set by the local traffic management computer based on traffic flow measurements, the computer is 'owned' by Highways England (for England....) but there is no human intervention as the computer is deemed more reliable (again findable with a few seconds on Google).

Highways England or the Police can set a lower limit manually in the case of an 'incident' such as (for example) a report of debris/animals in the road, that will stay until its checked/cleared which can of course mean a near empty motorway having a lower limit for what APPEARS to be no reason, but I guess you'd rather have that than write off your car in a stray cow?

You could argue the Police could set that lower limit to get some revenue from awareness courses (which they do get) but really, you genuinely think they need to do that with all the people who voluntarily contribute with no need of input from them (in fact a lowered limit on a very clear road probably sees most speeders who 'know better' over the course threshold).

I'm not going to piously claim I never speed, I do, but I'm willing to take full responsibility for my actions rather than try and blame everyone else, won't stop me being annoyed if I ever do get caught of course!
generaldbody
QUOTE (peterguk @ Tue, 28 Mar 2017 - 13:09) *
QUOTE (generaldbody @ Tue, 28 Mar 2017 - 12:57) *
So am I enticed into breaking the speed laws in order to avoid dangerous driving/due care and attention and vice versa? It sure looks like it!


Complete tosh!

I have driven 10s of 000s of motorway miles and can't remember the last time i had to break any law in order to pass through speed limits on gantries safely.


I have also driven 10s of 000s and as I said in my first post I have recently noticed this "phenomenon" in one small stretch of one Motorway through what I believe to be one single county/constabulary.

So part of my questions were enabling me to determine who should be asked in a the form of a FoI request - for real data to prove or disprove my empirical observation.

The data from which I'd like to publish to you folks - so I can either wear my foil hat with pride or wave the I "told you so" flag. I'm big enough and ugly enough to admit when I'm wrong :-)

QUOTE (The Rookie @ Tue, 28 Mar 2017 - 16:10) *
30 seconds on Google will tell you that the proceeds of all fines to to central funds, aka the treasury,

...

Highways England or the Police can set a lower limit manually in the case of an 'incident' such as (for example) a report of debris/animals in the road, that will stay until its checked/cleared which can of course mean a near empty motorway having a lower limit for what APPEARS to be no reason, but I guess you'd rather have that than write off your car in a stray cow?

You could argue the Police could set that lower limit to get some revenue from awareness courses (which they do get) but really, you genuinely think they need to do that with all the people who voluntarily contribute with no need of input from them (in fact a lowered limit on a very clear road probably sees most speeders who 'know better' over the course threshold).

I'm not going to piously claim I never speed, I do, but I'm willing to take full responsibility for my actions rather than try and blame everyone else, won't stop me being annoyed if I ever do get caught of course!


I trust you folks more than Google. Besides you folks will give an intelligent and intuitive response!

I hope that you're not implying that I'm not able to take responsibility for my own actions? You don't know me and I won't presume to know you. I feel like you're forgetting the fact the authorities do through intent or ineptitude create unreasonable or impossible situations for us - one of the reasons that this forum exists, no? At least with a PCN you get a chance to review the facts then challenge - with a NIP/COFP you do not get to "see the evidence" unless you want to go to court and miss out on the "cheap" offer. Therefore the fairness had better be built into the systems - I am concerned that it is not. (Perhaps I am also an idealist too...)

And for those who might like to think that I'm a speeder who's trying to get out of a ticket - well honestly I am not - I have a speed limiter fitter to my car and I try (as best as I can) to set it in all zones to the current limit. I do this now because in my 20+ years of driving I had never received a ticket until last year and I was not able to fully understand the circumstances surrounding the event where I had done wrong. I took the FP because I was guilty - but maybe I should be less guilty if the limit should not have been lowered at that time. So maybe the system works eh? Give everyone one ticket and moving forward they'll activate the speed limiter on all journeys like I do - I now stick to the limits. tongue.gif

Put average speed detectors everywhere imo - I don't care - if averages keep drivers from killing themselves or worse others then whoopie doo. All these location cameras do is catch your speed in one 50m place - imo utterly pointless for general road safety.

Sorry if I'm appearing to rant folks - I'm not. I just want to know that when I'm asked (told!) to go slow that I can trust that it's for a good reason. I will ask about for some data and (when it arrives) run a few queries to see if anything pertinent can be seen... avoiding any stray cows in the mean time! wink.gif

Sincerely everyone - thanks for your time and opinions.

GDB
Churchmouse
QUOTE (generaldbody @ Tue, 28 Mar 2017 - 00:17) *
QUOTE (cabbyman @ Mon, 27 Mar 2017 - 16:49) *
Duck....... Incoming!!!!


Did I just throw a match on a pool of petrol?

To those that pointed it out: "Entrapment" may have been the wrong word to use. So we'll have to determine what is the right word

Surely you know the right word already: "speed trap". It's just a trap, not a fancy pantsy entrapment...

I'm going to have to go with Hanlon's razor on this. I don't drive motorways much anymore, but even I've seen reduced variable speed limit signs (seemingly serving no purpose) that suddenly go blank for several gantries...before an NSL appears. Did the blank signs mean "previous limit continues until further notice", or did they mean "go for it", like many of my fellow drivers seemed to think? And if the former, why have blank signs at all? Energy savings? Light pollution reduction? And if the latter, why have an NSL sign a mile later? I seriously doubt there is a method to this madness; conspiracy requires intelligence.

--Churchmouse
notmeatloaf
QUOTE (Churchmouse @ Tue, 28 Mar 2017 - 21:46) *
I'm going to have to go with Hanlon's razor on this. I don't drive motorways much anymore, but even I've seen reduced variable speed limit signs (seemingly serving no purpose) that suddenly go blank for several gantries...before an NSL appears. Did the blank signs mean "previous limit continues until further notice", or did they mean "go for it", like many of my fellow drivers seemed to think? And if the former, why have blank signs at all? Energy savings? Light pollution reduction? And if the latter, why have an NSL sign a mile later? I seriously doubt there is a method to this madness; conspiracy requires intelligence.

--Churchmouse

The legislation is somewhat obtuse.

QUOTE
(2) A section of a road is subject to a variable speed limit in relation to a vehicle being driven along it if—
...
(b)the vehicle has passed a speed limit sign; and
©the vehicle has not subsequently passed—
(i)another speed limit sign indicating a different speed limit; or
(ii)a traffic sign which indicates that the national speed limit is in force.
...
(4) For the purposes of this regulation a speed limit sign is to be taken as not indicating any speed limit if, ten seconds before the vehicle passed it, the sign had indicated no speed limit or that the national speed limit was in force.

So does a blank sign indicate no speed limit and thus be a sign under ©(i) indicating a different speed limit? Or is it not a sign at all? And if it indicates no speed limit do you get a short run of totally derestricted motorway? book1.gif

As apparently the cameras will only enforce lower than NSL if the sign is working properly you can probably assume you will not get a ticket if you think it indicates NSL. But I'd not bet £100 and 3 points on it.
BaggieBoy
QUOTE (notmeatloaf @ Wed, 29 Mar 2017 - 02:06) *
As apparently the cameras will only enforce lower than NSL if the sign is working properly you can probably assume you will not get a ticket if you think it indicates NSL. But I'd not bet £100 and 3 points on it.

We have had several cases that prove that the cameras are always active, even when the prevailing speed limit is 70.
The Rookie
You missed the point, if a lower limit is trying to be applied but displayed incorrectly the camera at that gantry is disabled.

So if a 50 limit has been set and a gantry is blank (where is should show either the 50 or NSL to indicate the end of the limit) the cameras on that gantry should be disabled (or depending on the error enabled at the NSL).
Churchmouse
QUOTE (The Rookie @ Wed, 29 Mar 2017 - 09:54) *
You missed the point, if a lower limit is trying to be applied but displayed incorrectly the camera at that gantry is disabled.

So if a 50 limit has been set and a gantry is blank (where is should show either the 50 or NSL to indicate the end of the limit) the cameras on that gantry should be disabled (or depending on the error enabled at the NSL).

Excellent. I think we need some volunteers to confirm this...

--Churchmouse
The Rookie
Except if the camera did ping you you wouldn't have defence to the substantive charge.....
generaldbody
Well folks...

[GDB affixes his tin foil hat]

... I drove past the section of the M25 I mentioned in my original post - and guess what - the trap is set (with a slight modification)

in the approach to junction 18 anti-clockwise:
gantry at 60 - "queue ahead"
next gantry at 40 - "queue caution"
then next gantry at 40 with a HADECS2 on the side - "queue caution"
then ~200m later the start of J18 exit slip road (which was clear)
then gantry stating NSL applies sign
then the J18 entrance slip road

the road was fairly quiet - it was about 1pm
there was no queue- on the carriageway or the slip road
there were no broken down vehicles or obstructions
it was the same stretch of road as before

Anyway I slowed to 40 as requested and watched as a few other cars also slowed and a few that probably didn't slow down enough. Lots of imo dangerous and seemingly unnecessary harsh braking when drivers seemed to realise what's going on. Then went on my way...

GDB
The Rookie
It sounds like either that exit is prone to queues and it premepts them or there is an issue with the ay its triggering, you could contact HE and ask.

'Trap' no...
666
QUOTE (generaldbody @ Tue, 28 Mar 2017 - 12:57) *
Now you have been presented with another sign that drops you to 40MPH - and there is a camera on this gantry (you might see it or you might not) but you have been given maybe about100m notice at 60MPH that one must drop speed by at least 20MPH. At 100m from the gantry travelling at 60MPH you have ~3.5 seconds to think, look in the mirrors for safety and even if you have more time -you will have no option but to brake harshly in order to reduce your speed by 20MPH. All this time you are meant to continue to look at the other cars and now your speed gauge to ensure that your below the new limit. 3.5 seconds for this manoeuvre is at best a joke and imo at worst it could be lethal.

This requirement to brake like this is in contravention of all the things we are taught to do as a safe driver and in fact in the Highway Code: Rules 117 and 118 talk about safe braking, Rule 144 states that you must not drive dangerously, drive without due care and attention and drive without reasonable consideration for other road users. Harsh braking or other braking on a Motorway is not very considerate and imo dangerous. This is defined in the RTA no? It may be that harsh braking because the limit changes is a "reason" to slow or to brake but it is not reasonable to put drivers in a position where they are to act dangerously in order to avoid breaking another law.


According to the HC, the stopping distance at 60 mph is 73 metres. That is to go from 60 to ZERO, not 40, and includes thinking time.
The Rookie
100m at 60mph takes 3.75s.

Of course people have safely and without danger been slowing from 60 to the common 30 or 40 limits for urban connobations since the fuel crisis in the early 70's and before that from the previous NSL of 70 (and then frequantly with drum brakes all round). I would suggest any driver that can't do so probably has no place driving a car.
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