Safe Speed

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

According to French philosopher Emile Chartier, “Nothing is more dangerous than an idea when it is the only one you have.” Chartier died in 1951, before les flics started using radar guns and fixed speed cameras to apprehend drivers exceeding the posted limit– regardless of the actual danger these motorists pose to themselves or other road users. Setting aside issues raised by indiscriminate government surveillance, Chartier would have been appalled by the single-minded fervor with which these devices have been applied. If you're looking for the logical extreme of the "speed kills" idee fixe, the UK provides it. Speed cameras are everywhere: real ones, fake ones, digital units, rear-facing, forward-facing, hidden, obvious, thousands of them. What's more camera vans (a.ka. "Talivans") roam the highways and byways, nabbing speeders from highway overpasses, country roads and city streets. The end result? No improvement in road safety and an enormous disaffection between the police and the population they're charged with protecting. Although the English are a generally passive people who hold to the idea that "if you're not doing anything wrong you don't have any reason to worry," there comes a point where enough is enough. Paul Smith of Safe Speed tells the tale.

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Wolven Wolven on Sep 14, 2006

    When it comes to driving, efficiency, and speed, Germany is an enlightened country. I'm curious. Since we supposedly live in a "democratic" society, how is it that 70% of the population (a super majority) doesn't want speed cameras, but they are overridden by the government? Maybe if more Americans could do basic math they would realize something just doesn't add up on the "democracy" here...

  • TexasAg03 TexasAg03 on Sep 14, 2006
    Great. So just stop people randomly and check to see if they are doing anything illegal. Cut the crap! McVeigh was stopped for no license plate, and Jeffs was stopped for no visible registration. They were NOT stopped randomly.
  • TexasAg03 TexasAg03 on Sep 14, 2006
    Maybe if more Americans could do basic math they would realize something just doesn’t add up on the “democracy” here… The U.S. is not a democracy, it is a democratic republic. We elect representatives to vote on our behalf. Germany is more enlightened to driving because they see it, properly, as a privilege and a responsibility. Americans think that driving is a right, but I think it is a privilege as well. We have the right to move about freely, but not the right to transportation. In other words, there is nothing in the Constitution about a right to cars, trucks, buses, horses, donkeys, or bicycles.
  • Msmiles Msmiles on Feb 25, 2007

    this thread is somewhat old so I doubt anyone will respond, but criticalthinker said he can read faster than he can hear. that is impossible. He may be able read faster than RF et al can speak, but your retinal neurons are much slower (think refresh rate) than your ears.