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Saturday, 16 October 2010

What does firefighters' strike mean for anti-terrorist units and bonfire night?

Slightly off-topic but I think that Ross Lydall's blog raises a few interesting questions.

Let's hope that anyone thinking of carrying a very stupid act in London on a strike date will not be aware of its full implications.

Essentially there's not a lot we can do if it's a 'dirty bomb' or something similar.

Here's what Ross has to say....

The London firefighters' strike raises many questions. At one end there is the unresolved dilemma about who will take charge of the brigade's specialist CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear) units designed to handle all manner of terrorist atrocities.

At the other is the real fear of a lack of cover in the run-up to Bonfire night - a situation made worse by the cancellation of some council events, such as the Ally Pally fireworks, due to cutbacks.

Lambeth council has cancelled its events on Streatham Common and Brockwell Park, with only Clapham Common going ahead. Lewisham today told me that the Blackheath fireworks would go ahead - it has raised £11,000 of a £35,000 shortfall in funding, and the remainder will come from savings elsewhere if necessary. Wandsworth is advertising its Battersea Park event as normal.

Even if the FBU backs away from a walk-out on Bonfire night (it is thought likely that any action will be co-ordinated with the Tube strike due for November 2), brigade chiefs say that the risk of accidents increases in the week before November 5.

Read Ross' blog

Monday, 4 October 2010

20mph limit has not made roads safer

Why does no-one listen to Motorists Against Detection? We told people years ago - even when Auto Express reported on the expansion of these schemes that making the roads 20mph doesn't work.

Because our views are unpalatable doesn't make us wrong.

There has to be an open and honest debate about bringing down the accident figures.

I say this is an easy process - and you only need to do things.

1. Put more police on the roads.

2. Improve driver education.

This is what today's Telegraph is saying:

Controversial 20mph speed limits in residential streets may not bring any significant improvement in road safety, a report published by the Department for Transport has found.

The number of people killed or seriously injured on affected roads actually went up, not down, after the limit was lowered claiming that they will cut the toll of deaths on the road.

However, an analysis of the UK's first city-wide scheme - in which the limit was lowered from 30mph to 20mph on all residential streets in Portsmouth, at a cost of £500,000 - found that it has not brought any significant reduction in the number of accidents.

Paul Watters, head of public affairs at the AA, said: "By just whacking up signs everywhere you are not going to change things dramatically.

"We support targeted and tailored 20mph zones where they are really needed, not a blanket implementation across a whole city.

"Sometimes the limits can be problematic because bus journey times are affected, and also there is an impact for delivery firms and everyone else driving in the city."

Read more

We despair! Stop taxing and harrassing motorists if you want road safety to improve. Focus on what made the UK's road the safest in the world - before the introduction of speed cameras and 20mph zones.

Captain Gatso
The Motorists Friend

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Speed cameras to slow you down?

I was quoted in the Evening Standard yesterday for my view on speed cameras to govern 20mph zones.

This is a long-running issue and my thoughts are two-fold.

Firstly, 20mph zones bring a variety of issues for road safety (and not all good). The roads should be self-governing anyway since various traffic calming measures are introduced.

Secondly, I'm really worried about TFL's 'mission creep'. It starts out with security cameras and then become an ANPR network. These 20mph cameras will come in and then they are monitoring who was where, doing what and for how long. In addition, it's a cinch to bring in road tolling with this kind of network.

We don't want tolls but Boris and the TFL might have different ideas.

Here's what I said:

The campaigner known as “Captain Gatso”, from Motorists Against Detection, said: “Twenty and 30mph zones should already be self-policing because of traffic-calming measures. Average speed cameras are just another idea to keep the gravy train running for TfL.”

Read the Evening Standard story.

Captain Gatso

The Motorists Friend

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

More common sense from Richard Littlejohn on motoring laws

Here at MAD we quite Richard Littlejohn - over the years he has remained true to the cause of exposing the horror on Nu Liebour laws aimed raising cash from motorists.

He at least has always understood that the previous Govt of inepts were only interested in criminalising and fining large sections of the population.

In this column he lambasts the Chief Constable of Cambridgeshire, Julie Spence.

Among her latest targets are middle-class motorists, whom she is accusing of hypocrisy for objecting to speed cameras and parking tickets while demanding vociferously that police enforce the law in other areas.

Mrs Spence completely misses the point. What people object to is the arbitrary nature of the road traffic laws, which take no account of safety or local conditions and appear designed simply to turn otherwise law-abiding taxpayers into criminals, while at the same time maximising revenue through fixed-penalty fines spewed out by computer.

We also resent the constant attempts by police chiefs such as Mrs Spence to equate the ‘crime’ of driving perfectly safely at 78 mph on a deserted M11 with burglary, mugging and anti-social behaviour.

She epitomises the new breed of chief constable who sees policing as a cross between social work and big business and is scathing about the paying public’s longing for a Dixon Of Dock Green utopia.

Read more.

So let us repeat: to make our roads as safe as they were (before Tony Bliar took charge) we need MORE police on our roads not more speed cameras.

Captain Gatso
The Motorists' Friend

Sunday, 25 July 2010

The Coalition Govt - we salute you!

News over the weekend that Govt spending cuts will see roadside cameras switrched off is good news for ALL motorists.

Let's see the end of speed camera partnerships (forget the word 'safety' in their titles because they aren't interested in road safety) and then return to the days when the UK had the safest roads in the world.

Is that too much to ask for?

Here's how Sky News tell the story:

Thousands of speed cameras could be switched off after the Government slashed cash for road safety by 40%

According to The Sunday Times, the first county likely to abandon the devices is Oxfordshire, which may shut down its 79 cameras as early as next week.

Other counties could do the same, with camera networks in Devon and Cornwall, Somerset and Northamptonshire also under review, the paper said.

About 6,000 speed cameras across the UK cost motorists an estimated £100m in fines a year. Oxfordshire's network raised more than £1m in 2009.

But the money goes to the Treasury despite local authorities complaining they should be able to keep the proceeds for spending on road safety.

The reduction in Government cash for road safety has prompted Oxfordshire officials to recommend a £600,000 cut in Thames Valley Safer Roads Partnership funding.

The body, which operates the county's fixed speed cameras, has reportedly said it will no longer be able to afford them, if funding is slashed.

All the cameras will be switched off if county councillors ratify the cutback on Tuesday, the Times continued.

The reviews of camera networks follow a Government decision to claw back £38m from English local authorities' 2010-11 £95m road safety budget.

Road safety minister Mike Penning told the paper: "In the coalition agreement, the Government made clear it would end central funding for fixed speed cameras.

"This is another example of this government delivering on its pledge to end the war on the motorist.

"I would hope that councils will use the funds available to put in place new measures to tackle road safety problems."

Road safety charity Brake's Ellen Booth feared Oxfordshire's decision could prompt other councils to scrap speed cameras.

She was quoted as saying: "We're incredibly concerned in case this is more than an isolated incident. That would be a disaster for road safety and the public."


Motorists Against Detection wants to see more police on the roads to enforce the laws of the land AND an increase in driver education.

This really is a time for celebration!

Captain Gatso
The Motorists' Friend

Friday, 9 July 2010

Speeding fines race to £87m

So here we go AGAIN.

Everything in this report in today's Sun repeats what we have been saying for at least the last five years.

Have people not been listening?

Let me repeat: there is NO EVIDENCE that speed cameras make the roads any safer. In fact, the statistics show that the great improvements this country had been making slowed - or got worse - AFTER the introduction of speed cameras. (The Govt played a statistical quirk game in which they showed the opposite but had to ignore some very basic statistical rules).


Anyway, let The Sun spell it out for you.

Captain Gatso
The Motorists Friend

MOTORISTS were clobbered with more than £87million in fines last year after being nabbed by speed cameras.
But a new report today claims the explosion in the number of cameras has NOT made roads safer.
Instead, the steady drop in road casualties over the last 30 years SLOWED after they were introduced in 1991.
Hundreds of thousands of drivers were snapped speeding or jumping red lights last year.
They were fined a total of £87.4million, the report from the TaxPayers' Alliance shows.
London drivers paid nearly £6.3million - the highest in the country.

Read more

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Greedy Gatso on safe road row

Just when people think the Gatso row has died away there pops up another example of the greed of the 'safety camera' partnerships.

You won't need me to spell out why this camera is so wrong (but it's on a road without any RTAs and is a dual carriageway with a 30mph. Go figure).

But, goodness me, to rack yp £1.3m a year in fines on what is suppoed to be a SAFE road? Come on!

Captain Gatso
The Motorists Friend

A SPEED camera on a road with a sparkling safety record has sparked fury — as it nets £1.3MILLION a year in fines.

The controversial camera, one of the most lucrative in Britain, has been catching an average 1,843 motorists a month — hitting each with a £60 ticket.

But the dual carriageway it sits on has had only ONE serious injury in ELEVEN YEARS.

Motoring groups have slammed it as a move to "milk the motorist" — claiming the 30mph is far too low for the road.

Thousands of drivers have been fined for driving at a few miles over 30mph, not realising the limit is so low.

Read more of The Sun story

Monday, 5 July 2010

Crackdown on 'Big Brother' camera network for our roads after Home Secretary orders review

A review into the use of ANPR cameras is long overdue - and we don't expect them to be removed.

The police are now in charge and they don't want this to happen.

It's NOT about finding/tracking terrorists but about following ordinary people. NuLiebore just wanted control and the Coalition may think it's too good to give up.

Incredible that they were installed in the first place.

** I was going to comment on the decision to remove secret cameras which monitor the Muslim population of Birmingham. I've decided not to get embroiled in this one. Again, the cameras shouldn't have been put up and they are offensive. But they are offensive to all members of the population.

Read the ANPR story from the Daily Mail below.

Captain Gatso

Police face restrictions on the use of a 'Big Brother' network of thousands of cameras tracking up to 14million motorists a day.

The controversial Automatic Number Plate Recognition system takes photographs of car number plates, allowing officers to follow individual vehicles for hundreds of miles.

All details are logged on a central database, which has 7.6million records of the movements of motorists tracked by more than 4,000 cameras across the country.

Read more

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Why the Police in the UK do not respect freedom or democracy

People keep telling me that I'm wrong on the Police State UK.

But the evidence keeps piling up. The problem is that the rozzers either don't understand the law - or keep on making it up as they go along.

Here are two cases from this week alone which illustrate why these clowns can do what they do without EVER being sacked.

Democracy? Bring it - it should make for a nice change in this country.

Case number 1:
Read how the police overstep the mark and then push a 15-year-old down some steps because he - RIGHTLY - tries to tell them what the law is: Journalism and this Hackney news site.

Here's the best bit for me:

Director of Big Brother Watch Alex Deane told it would support Mattsson in any future cases against the police.

"Some officers think that anti-terror legislation gives them blanket powers to hassle people whenever they want," he says. "This case is a very bad example of that. Confronted by bullying policemen, acting entirely outside their powers, this young man admirably stood up for himself and rightly maintained that he was entitled to take pictures in a public place. The police should apologise immediately and admit that they were in the wrong."

Case number 2:
Journalists win payout after police admit failing to respect press freedom - The Guardian

Watch this idiot in action. They really don't care about freedoms do they? Can they really believe it's always 'us and them'. At this rate it soon will be.

Captain Gatso

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

'Most dangerous' roads in Britain named by safety group

So here we go again.

The most dangerous roads in the UK are not highways but junctions. AS WE HAVE TOLD PEOPLE FOR THE PAST FIVE YEARS (OR MORE).

And what doesn't appear from the news coverage is that the danger point for motoring accidents is at a junction LESS THAN A MILE FROM YOUR HOME.

Here's part of the story:

Junction danger

It examined accident data relating to roads across Britain. Among the Road Safety Foundation conclusions were:

A third of all fatal and serious crashes happen at junctions

Single roads carry six times the risk of motorways and twice that of dual carriageways

One-in-four fatal or serious crashes on A-roads or motorways involves a motorcyclist

There was a 5% reduction in the number of fatal crashes on such roads in the past three years

Read more

Captain Gatso

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

How the police can save a fortune - without sacking officers

I see that today the funding of police forces comes into the searchlight.

As we have said before at speedaholics (mainly on the blog) the police don't need to be running around in top-of-the-range cars.

Why does an Inspector need a fancy BMW?

At one point on Speedaholics we actually gave details of the luxury cars and their number plates which were spotted in the police station car parks.

It might be worth doing this again just to underline how the police waste their resources.

Let's not feel too bad for them - times have been good under Labour.

Unheard of new powers; the biggest police force in history; the biggest overtime budget EVER and a crass approach to dealing with the public as 'the enemy'.

It's going to take the police service years to put right the damage they have caused in their relationship between them and the public.

As motorists we are pleased to see their wallets being attacked without any recourse to whether it's right or wrong.

Now you know how the general public feels.

Captain Gatso

Monday, 28 June 2010

Parking wardens giving out 'illegal' fines to hit targets

If ever you need any reasons to fully understand why we at Motorists Aganist Detection are so fed-up with motorists being the centre of fundraising tactics then this story explains it all.

We are an easy terget and we have few legal rights to combat false speed and parking tickets. The authorities have been abusing us for years and here's the truth from the Daily Mail.....

Motorists have been tricked into paying tens of thousands of pounds in 'illegal' parking tickets issued so that wardens can meet targets.

Thousands of the wrongful tickets have been paid by drivers who were unaware that they should have been cancelled by the council contractors who dole them out.

Read more.

This is fraud! People should be arrested! And will the finesbe handed back? We don't think so.

As we say: always, ALWAYS contest a parking or a speeding ticket. They are often wrong.

Friday, 14 May 2010

War on motorists to end

It's the news that everyone here at Motorists Against Detection have been waiting for - the new Govt will end the war on motorists.

No more cash for speed cameras is great news; and now they need to disband the camera partnerships and their 'jobs for the boys' mentality.

The UK had the safest roads in the world until Nu Liebore took office.

Perhaps we can go back to those days and stop trying to fleece the motorists to fund barmy schemes.

Captain Gatso
The Motorists Friend

NEW Transport Secretary Philip Hammond vowed to "end the war on motorists" yesterday.

He promised there would be no tolls on existing roads, no more government funding for speed cameras, and consultation on a "stabiliser" mechanism to bring down fuel duty when petrol prices rise.

Mr Hammond said: "Motoring has to get greener, but the car is not going to go away."

Read more of The Sun story.

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Town that scrapped 'motorist tax' speed cameras sees no increase in accidents

This story in the Daily Mail is almost too good to be true.

Proof, if ever any were needed, that what we at Motorists Against Detection  have been saying for years - SPEED CAMERAS DO NOT WORK THEY ARE THERE TO RAISE CASH.

Get the message?

Good. Now let's remove them where they aren't needed and be honest about why they are there in the first place.

Captain Gatso
The Motorists Friend

The first town in Britain to scrap fixed speed cameras has seen no increase in accidents, it was revealed yesterday.

But the number of motorists prosecuted for speeding there dropped by more than 40 per cent.

Swindon switched off its cameras over claims they were a ' blatant tax on the motorist' which did nothing to improve safety.

Read more

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Bring on the fuel protests

At last! People are being stirred into action.

How many people will support the latest bid to avoid filling up on 1 May?

To be honest, not many.

But Nu Liebore will be fuming that the protest to highlight fuel costs takes place just a few days before the election.

Remember: the inept, lying Government trousers 76p for every litre sold.

So let's support the bankers bonuses and keep on paying!

Apparently, haulage firms in the North-East and activists Farmers For Action are also planning demos. Various people have been in touch for me to take a lead on this but I need more people to step forward.

Also people need to be aware that Tony Blair changed the law on these protests.

Captain Gatso,
The Motorists Friend

We're net buying petrol there

Read the News of the World story:

ANGRY motorists are planning mass protests against petrol prices just DAYS before the election.

A huge Facebook campaign is mobilising half a million drivers to boycott pumps in demos which could be devastating for Gordon Brown as Britain goes to the polls.

It comes after a series of unpopular tax hikes in recent months sent petrol soaring to 120.8p a litre this week - up from 94.9p only a YEAR ago - with the Government pocketing 76p for every litre sold.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Angry Britain blogs on petrol price

I think this writer manages to sum up how many people feel on the subject of petrol prices.

Good work Angry Britain!

Read his blog

And talking about being angry.

Can the BBC News stop being the mouthpiece for a discredited government?

On the News at Ten last Thursday, the anchor threw to a reporter standing outside a petrol station and they discussed that oil is priced in dollars and that it flucuates and that prices will most certainly go UP!

Can I just point out, yet again, that petrol prices could come DOWN tonight if the Government adjusted its 80% tax rate.

Or is that all a bit too simple?

Captain Gatso
The Motorists Friend

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

£100k bill to get off a £60 ticket

Good luck to Neil in this fight. It's been ongoing for a while so he deserves every respect.

The local authorities are fighting it all the way in the knowledge they can't legally defend themselves.

They hide behind the notion that the laws are 'too complicated to implement'.

How come there wasn't a problem when the police were responsible?

The answer is that the councils got greedy and relied on the UK population not fighting back.

To a large we haven't but there's a sting in the tail coming very, very soon....

Captain Gatso

A PARKING crusader waging the biggest ever war against traffic wardens has shelled out £100,000 - to fight a £60 ticket.

Neil Herron, 47, has already re-mortgaged his £200,000 home to fund the landmark legal battle.

And now he's flogging his car - along with the appropriate personalised numberplate F1 NED.

Read the News of the World story

Monday, 12 April 2010

Motorway protest plan over rising fuel prices

At last! Can't believe this has taken so long to come about. At £6 a gallon we ALL need to man the barricades.

HUNDREDS of bikers and motorists are expected to stage a go-slow protest along one of the North of England's main motorways after petrol prices have soared to an all-time high.

The demonstration on the first Bank Holiday weekend in May has been organised along the M62 between Yorkshire and Lancashire amid widespread condemnation of the UK's fuel costs.

The RAC revealed on Thursday last week that the average price of a litre of petrol at the pumps is now 120p, eclipsing the previous peak of 119.7p set in July 2008.

More than 1,500 bikers and motorists are expected to join the go-slow convey leaving Hartshead Moor Services, near Huddersfield, on May 1.

The protesters will meet at 9am before joining a second convoy at Birch Services, on the M62 near Middleton.

Taking up all the motorway lanes at no more than 25 miles an hour, they will head for Manchester Town Hall to be joined by more demonstrators on foot.

A spokesman for the protest said: "We hope to beat the turn-out for a similar protest in 2008 and will do it on Saturday out of compassion for those who are trying to earn a decent crust at work."

The new record petrol prices came days after the Government raised fuel duty by 1p a litre. A further 1p rise is due in the autumn, with a 0.76p increase planned for next January.

The RAC blamed the increase on a combination of factors.

Primarily, the weak pound and the increase in the wholesale price of fuel had produced a steady rise since the beginning of the year. Also, tax rises since December 2008 have added around 10p to the cost of a litre of fuel.

The AA said a two-car family had seen its monthly petrol costs rise from £233.32 to £254.60.

With the pound 13.5 per cent weaker now than 18 months ago, it is likely that the pump price of petrol will rise another 1p to about 121p a litre.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Police secretly photographing 14million motorists a day and storing images for two years

The police state we call the UK really is a sad place to live.

The Daily Mail has an interesting story - and I'm pleased to see that Liberty say this is an illegal database.

No lawmaker has been involved with the police compiling this horrendous database.

Will they stop sending our images to the computer? Under Nu Liebore? What do you think?

Captain Gatso
The Motorists Friend

Police are secretly photographing up to 14million motorists a day and keeping their details for years, it has emerged. Images of drivers and their front seat passengers are being captured by a network of cameras and held on a database without their knowledge, a police document has revealed.

Now police chiefs are facing a legal challenge from privacy campaigners, who say that automatic number plate recognition cameras are being used to spy on innocent road users.

Police and the Highways Agency have previously claimed that ANPR cameras on the roads do not transmit images of drivers.

Read the rest.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Robbers given lower fines than motorists caught speeding

If ever you needed to see how the politicians see motorists as being a cash cow then read this story in the Mail.

Robbers are walking away from court with lower fines than those given to motorists caught speeding or parking without a ticket.

In one year, the average fine handed to muggers by magistrates was only £47.

A minor parking infringement earns a £120 ticket in London, or £70 outside the capital. Speeding carries a £60 penalty.

Read the Daily Mail article

And they're off!

So the election starts. We will be watching what's in it for the long-suffering motorists and comment here.

Motorists Against Detection will also be unveiling our very own election manifesto shortly.

Anyone concerned with how politicians have been kicking us over the past 13 years will be interested to hear what we are calling for.

As a powerful but underrepresented voice we can work together to ensure that the political parties take note of us.

Captain Gatso
The Motorists Friend

PS I saw a garage yesterday with petrol at £1.24 a litre - and there's still no protests or riots. What has happened to us?

Thursday, 18 March 2010

M6 - speed camera chaos

It was interesting to read that thousands of drivers have been caught out by the speed cameras in the roadworks on the M6 near Carlisle.

I drove through those roadworks last week and was amazed. There is no apparent reason for so many drivers to be fined.

However, I was concerned to see how they had erected the actual speed signs.

I was under the impression that speed signs had to come in pairs - one on each side of the carriageway. In these roadworks there's often just the one.

Can someone confirm this is true? (I'm about to contact an expert who will be able to tell me).

If so, it looks like thousands of motorists will have their fines repaid. Maybe.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

1 in 1,800 speeding cops get speeding tickets

You don't really need me to comment on the story in today's Sun: Gatso let-off for speeding cops.
I've made plain on this blog several times that one of the best ways to avoid a speeding ticket is to wear a uniform.
No surprise that *all* of the investigated cases were of police on emergency calls. Nice work!
It would be nice to find out just how many OFF DUTY police officers are let off.
Now that really would be a story.

Capt Gatso
The Motorists Friend

Friday, 5 February 2010

Britain's roads: worse than a third world country

If you need proof that Gordon Brown has bankrupted the country - then look no further than the roads we drive on.

We pay a fortune in road tax, an extortionate amount in fuel taxes and yet we still have roads to embarrass a banana republic.

It might cost £10billion to put right. I might be imagining it but Gordon's about to put up taxes to pay for it.....

Captain Gatso
The Motorists' Friend

The Daily Mail
Britain's road network in £10billion pothole pit as winter ravages roads

Roads are in need of billions of pounds of repairs after two cold winters which have left them pitted with with thousands of potholes, experts warned yesterday.

The number of holes in the nation's roads is estimated to have leapt by 60 per cent after the two icy winters and the cost of fixing them all is put at around £10billion.

There are now thought be at least 1.6million in England and Wales, making life a misery for motorists and cyclists.

Read more

Monday, 1 February 2010

London councils' three-decade parking error revealed

Well done to the campaigners who have managed to have a great success on parking bays.
[Read more: Five London councils may have to repay millions of pounds of parking fines to motorists after a BBC London investigation proved hundreds of their parking bays have been unlawfully operated for decades.]
As Neil Herron says: "Fairness and justice is a two-way street and councils now have a duty to refund those fined unlawfully."
Here at MAD we agree with that sentiment. However, we believe that all councils will try to aviod paying out saying it's too drastic to refund everyone.
Plus they can't afford to.
Well tough luck. You effectively stole the money from innocent people and should pay them back the fine plus interest.
Hopefully the legal fightback by the put-upon motorist in this country is now beginning.
It's especially interesting that the authorities hide behind laws they haven't implemented properly to persecute motorists and they will try to hide behind them to continue this war.
Pay up and shut up!

Captain Gatso
The Motorists Friend

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Harriet Harman escapes driving ban

People have been asking why I haven't blogged anything on our esteemed MP Harriet Harman dodging a driving ban for using a mobile phone when she drove into another car.

The simple answer is: the result is no surprise. NewLiebore believe that normal laws don't apply to them (see anything on Baroness Scotland for this).

You or I would have been banned, loads of points and given a dressing down. Public schoolgirl Harriett didn't think the matter important enough to even bother turning up for court.

The interesting issue for me is a cabinet minister being caught TWICE speeding in a 30mph zone. Where is the outcry for that? How can these idiots criticise motorists? Double standards, hypocrites etc etc.

I despair. Bring on the election and let's consign these idiots to history.

Should you be interested in reading more: click here