UK Climate Change Activists Push for Average Speed Cameras

The Newspaper
by The Newspaper

The UK Sustainable Development Commission yesterday released a report recommending the use of average speed cameras for round-the-clock tracking of motorist journeys nationwide. The government advisory body said that widespread deployment of average speed cameras was required to reduce the emission of carbon dioxide by automobiles, a factor that some believe is linked to global changes in temperature. The report made a number of recommendations affecting the driving public.

“The business models associated with private motoring are not aligned with sustainability,” the report explained.

The commission suggested that the government take immediate action to encourage the use of mass transit and discourage automobile use in general. Speed cameras were seen as an easy method of accomplishing this goal.

“Enforcing the speed limit has also been shown to be a very cost-effective way of reducing CO2 emissions from road transport with estimates of a reduction of 1.4 million tons of carbon dioxide simply by enforcing the 70 MPH speed limit,” the report claimed. “In 2009 the Home Office approved average speed cameras to enforce speed limits in urban areas. Cameras are networked together and can be placed at entry and exit points to an area with a fixed speed limit, for example 20 or 30 MPH.”

The report also called for a “clear timetable” for the introduction of Intelligent Speed Adaptation technology that would use global positioning satellites to take away control of vehicle speed from the driver, making it impossible for a car to exceed the limit on a given road. The same information communications technology (ICT) infrastructure could be used for congestion pricing, tolling of every journey and charging for insurance by the number of miles driven. The commission explained that such systems would require a substantial and ongoing financial investment.

“ICT does tend to need higher revenue funding to maintain and upgrade systems once in place,” the report conceded. “Systems will have continuous running costs and may need regular software updates. Computer hardware can have a working lifetime of as little as five to ten years.”

Motoring advocates responded that imposing average speed cameras, often known as SPEC cameras, would reduce safety.

“SPEC systems do nothing for good drivers, making them become zombie-like,” Safe Speed co-founder Claire Armstrong said. “Their visual search patterns are altered and compromised, drivers say it is like driving in a fog. They tailgate and stop paying attention, traffic bunches, and drivers become mentally tried, having to spend a disproportionate amount of time concentrating on their speed.”

The Association of British Drivers pointed out that much of the climate change rationale that underpins works like that of the Sustainability Commission are based on discredited claims by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

“The evidence is now overwhelming that the UN IPCC reports have tried to scare governments into submission with doomsday scenarios — perhaps to distract them from the poor quality of the ‘evidence’ supporting their assertion that mankind’s CO2 emissions really do drive the climate,” ABD Environment spokesman Paul Biggs said. “This is an exercise in global warming alarmism aimed at underpinning ‘green’ taxes and restrictions on the general public, with a disproportionate focus on drivers.”

As evidence, ABD pointed to three recent scandals. In the first, leaked emails from respected climate scientists described how charts were manipulated to “hide the decline” in global temperatures in IPCC reports. ABD then pointed to an IPCC report author’s recent admission that the claim that the Himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035 was false. Finally, the group showed how the IPCC linked the issue of climate change to the severity of disasters such as hurricanes and floods without proper scientific scrutiny.

The Newspaper
The Newspaper

More by The Newspaper

Join the conversation
2 of 27 comments
  • Krhodes1 Krhodes1 on Jan 27, 2010

    Folks, will you PLEASE look up the definition of "Socialist" before you hang that tired tag on every possible Goverment stupidity. Greed, power, and ego trips do not equal Socialism. But I will say, every time I read about the ever more ridiculous things that the UK Government imposes on it's "subjects", the more convinced I am that the only UK residents with any spine left a couple hundred years ago. But considering the locals elect thier government, I guess they are getting what they want. Good God, any law implementing average speed fineing would get voted out (via people's referendum) in Maine so fast it would set a land speed record. Note that we used that procedure to tell the FEDS to F'off when they mandated emissions testing here 20 years ago! Though that process is certainly a double-edged sword, as it has also been used to kill some good things over the years too. Still, nothing like a direct method of overturning just about anything to keep the lawmakers in check.

  • 2ronnies1cup 2ronnies1cup on Jun 08, 2011

    First off, New Labour were not by any measure a Socialist Government. They were firmly rooted in the NeoLiberal political camp ('liberal' in this case referring to economic rather than social liberalism - Google 'Milton Friedman' to gain a glimpse into how their minds worked). Secondly, the SDC was simply a bunch of loosely affiliated single-issue loonys (Google Jonathan Porrit if you dare...) who managed to grab some degree of Government backing by reliably recommending solutions that involved drivers paying increased costs (to the Government, of course) for the 'privelege' of driving. Thirdly, the new Con/Dem Government seems to have dealt with them in a fairly rational way - their website now reads "As of 31 March 2011 we have ceased operations". I for one remain dry-eyed.

  • 28-Cars-Later Can we end debt slavery next? Its getting to the point where its no longer voluntary.
  • Carson D Honda and Toyota still make the best American cars.
  • Slavuta I just though, with this rate we could make Cinco De Mayo a national holiday as well. Since we have tens of millions of American Mexicans, and probably more than African Americans
  • Wjtinfwb Well, it LOOKS pretty great for 36 years old and 356k miles! I've seen plenty of 2 decade newer trucks that looked like a shrapnel bomb went off inside and and exterior that looked worse. This owner got everything out of that truck it had. Time to let it retire to the farm.
  • Wjtinfwb Stellantis. They've gone from Hero to Zero in 24 months with some really stupid decisions and allowing politicians to influence their business. They also hung onto old products way too long and relied on RAM and Jeep to pull them through. RAM plays in the most competitive market of all, full-size trucks and competition is brutal with Ford and GM keeping their foot to the floor on development and improvement. Chrysler now has one model, a 5 year old van. Dodge made a living off old cars with stupendous power, that's gone with the mothballing of the Hemi. The Hornet is an overpriced joke. Now they have new Durango Pursuit's self-destruction because of a plastic oil cooler that self destructs and dumps oil into the coolant lunching the engine. Grand Cherokee, a staple of Jeep has not been well received and has limited power options due to canning the Hemi. Now they've got to build interest around the Hurricane turbo in-line 6 in trucks, Charger's and Jeeps. If that engine turns out to be problematic its likely lights out in Sterling Heights.