If you are anything like me you will probably be unaware of the recent changes to the rules governing speed cameras….
The rules regarding the positioning and colour of speed cameras changed in April (2007). Speed or “safety” cameras, as the Government calls them, no longer have to be painted yellow, or be visible from 60m (200ft), and no longer have to be sited only where there is a history of road accidents.
The relaxing of the regulations is part of the new autonomy for the local camera partnerships, which have been handed over the responsibility for regulation of cameras. The Department for Transport (DfT) now merely issues guidelines as to how the cameras should be operated.
While the primary objective for camera deployment is to reduce KSI’s (collisions where the person was killed or seriously injured) at known collision locations, cameras can also be beneficial where there is a community concern.
Road safety charities, including Brake, have welcomed the possibility of more covert enforcement. The DfT meanwhile says that if the local partnerships are found to be abusing their autonomy, it will consider bringing back enforced regulation.
Most of us will have heard of or seen on television the top celebrity lawyer Nick Freeman, the solicitor dubbed `Mr Loophole’ for his work defending high-profile people accused of a variety of driving offences.
Over the last few years the media have reported how it is possible to successfully pursue a ’technical defense’ for a drink driving or speeding offence, exposing failings by the police and prosecution.
However, many people in the media are quick to condemn the lawyers who get drivers back behind the wheel, suggesting that this type of work is morally ambivalent. These accusations are strongly refuted by firms specialising in motoring law who argue that this line of attack could be put to any criminal practitioner.
Regardless of your stance on the morality of solicitors pursuing a ‘technical defense’ on behalf of a ‘dangerous driver’, if you found yourself in the situation of possibly losing your licence you would almost always ask yourself the question: ‘How much is my licence worth?’
The current Labour Government is determined to crack down on these loopholes to ensure offenders ‘do not escape justice’. Provisions under the Road Safety Act 2006 have now been introduced to tighten up certain loopholes in legislation.