Saturday, June 11, 2005

Brit Fighting Spirit

In previous posts I've ridiculed the Nanny State that Blair & the EU have imposed on the Brits. Non-Brits might have gotten the impression that the natives have been crushed into apathy. Not at all - they are fighting back and winning.

For example, Blair's government has carpeted the UK with speed cameras - ostensibly to increase safety, but in very many cases to raise revenue. The most common system pings approaching cars with radar and, if they are over the limit, takes 2 pictures of the vehicle in rapid sequence as it passes over road markings. The images are transmitted back to HQ where number plate recognition IDs the vehicle and a penalty is printed out mailed to its registered owner.

As well as irritating people who can't get the police to visit them after they're burgled, and the folks fined for going over the limit on wide and safe roads, this whole procedure breaches common law by imposing a penalty without trial. You can demand a trial, but the penalty is then automatically doubled.

The Brits have responded with typical ingenuity. Your SatNav system now carries the locations of all speed cameras and warns as you approach one. The government tried shifting the cameras at random, so SatNavs now update their maps over dial-up (using your cellphone) - you get a small bonus if you're the first to call in a new camera.

Next the government took to mounting detectors and cameras in unmarked vans. After voter outrage, this became a big loser for Blair. So the law was hastily amended and now the vans have to be clearly identified. But they still target safe roads - here's one.


People quickly got wise to the vans, so then the police took to hiding behind foliage or on bends.

So now there is a crop of websites which track the vehicle locations and appearance, even showing the police operators. American readers: Do Not Try This At Home!

trap 2

All very British and civilized, and not a gun or radar jammer in sight.

Keep it up chaps!