Just the idea of James May being busted for speeding is hilarious to me. I understand the whole Captain Slow persona is essentially just a character for the show, and that in real life, James probably drive more or less like all of us. But I do believe he’s not Jeremy or Richard, and is probably more of a stickler for road rules than the others, so getting busted for speeding is still funny.

On his DriveTribe a few days ago, James talked about a recent incident where he was busted by a speed camera for doing 37 MPH in a 30 MPH zone (which, interestingly enough, used to be a 40 MPH zone). Now before I continue, I wanted to mention that as an American, we don’t really have an issue with speed cameras…at least not to the extent that the Brits have to deal with. We have signs every now then that states the speed is monitored by radar, but I don’t recall a time ever where I was doing 50 MPH in a 45 MPH zone and was fined for it.

The speed camera phenomenon in Britain is not new; it’s been going on for nearly 20 years. In his post, James isn’t complaining about the existence of speed cameras per se, but the concept of fining for making mistakes, which he says, and correctly so, is something that every single human being on the planet does.

So what is James’ solution to the speed camera? Well, here it is in his own words:

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.

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.

That is actually not a terrible idea at all. I know people who speed just because they can. They ride peoples asses all the time and genuinely think that going 95 MPH on the freeway is too slow. Those people are dicks and probably deserve to fined up the ass. Then there are people like myself and what I would assume most others are; those who do not have a spotless driving record and have been busted for speeding a few times.

Using myself as an example, I can honestly say that with all my speeding offenses (I think I have 5?), probably half of them were because I consciously made a decision to speed and deserved the fine, and the other half were simply because I made a boo boo and “didn’t mean to do it.” I’m sure most of you can relate.

Except those of you who always need to be flying down the road at 100 MPH because you watched Fast and Furious one too many time.

2 Responses

  1. Ovidiu

    I think there are many people who can drive fast and not endanger fellow motorist with their fast driving (consider Germanys autobahn). But for each of these people there are 100 that do not know how to drive safe at higher speeds, so sadly if you have a passion for driving and as a result drive better than most, you are still going to be treated like the worst driver on the road.
    As for what the speed camera should do, i agree it should first and foremost prevent accidents, not be a money making machine ore tax machine and maybe people who have a history of accidents or who have caused problems on the road should be taxed higher that someone who has never had an accident which was his fault… just an idea.

  2. balletgirl1980

    We do have speed cameras here in the Washington, DC area. And those will fine you for doing 37 in a 30. The citation gets mailed to you.

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