High speed cameras are ridiculous. They’re the cold and heartless machine designed to pad the Transportation Department’s bottom line, while making hard-working motorists downright miserable. There’s no sense complaining about it as they have been around for decades, and they’re not going away anytime soon. So James May, probably our favorite “Grand Tourian” (It’s a word now, you heard it here first), just came up with a brilliant solution that will make high speed cameras a more acceptable pill to swallow.
In his writeup he referenced the one time he was riding a motorcycle and was busted for going 37 mph in a 30 mph zone. It was then that we decided he shouldn’t be called Captain Slow anymore.
Annoying, really, because I try my best to stick to urban speed limits. Most of them are fair enough. But I’m only human, and I make mistakes.
So do you. So does everyone who drives, including the righteous members of road-safety groups and anti-speed campaigns. ‘Well, you were caught,’ comes the cry. But the offence is not being caught, the offence is speeding.
So; morally, everyone who drives must immediately go down the cop shop and hand themselves in. But that isn’t going to happen, and we can’t have a society that makes everyone a criminal, because it would become meaningless.
And in any case, a lot of people will simply have made a mistake. We arrive here at a complicated philosophical conundrum – making mistakes is the lot of humanity, and legislating against that is nonsense.
[button color=”red” size=”medium” link=”https://www.shiftinglanes.com/2016/10/the-story-of-how-james-may-got-fired-explains-a-lot-about-james-may/” icon=”” target=”false”]The Story How James May Got Fired Explains A Lot About James May[/button]
Here’s a suggestion. We can have speed cameras, we continue to paint them yellow and all the rest of it. But you can speed, say, six times in a year before you get a fine. But you don’t know how many times you’ve been caught until you’ve done it six times and you get the letter.
Sounds tyrannical, doesn’t it? But it’s actually perfectly fair, because it goes some way to distinguishing between people who have merely erred occasionally and those for whom it’s a genuine bad habit. And let’s say you get a written warning after the first three.
The point of speed cameras, we’re told, is to stop people speeding. This system still does, but avoids the moral effrontery of punishing them merely for being human.
Tell me why I’m wrong, please.
Mr. May, that is utterly BRILLIANT! The perfect solution is clearly to remove those cameras entirely. But not living in a perfect world, a more lenient system would be the perfect way to deal with the way humans operate. We make mistakes. If we can slightly improve on Captain Slow’s solution, we should ask for a warning system to be implemented. One that won’t fine us immediately, but kindly and nicely tell us to not do it again.