Posts Tagged ‘speed limit’

Guided tour

Sunday, February 22nd, 2009

In the village where I live we recently had a meeting about speed limits. All speed limits are going to be reviewed soon, and the Parish Council wanted to make sure that parishioners had an opportunity for their views to be heard by the people doing the review.

During the meeting the speed van that regularly vsits us was mentioned and discussed, and our county councillor told us that if we would like to have a look round one of the vans, the operator would be pleased to show us.

This morning as I went out, I saw the van in the distance but I couldn’t stop then as I was on my way somewhere, but when I came back and was no longer in a hurry, he was still in the village, just in a different position.

So I parked the car, walked to the van and knocked on the window. A small black window opened, and I explained our county councillor’s invitation. It took a minute for the operator to realise what I was saying, but then he opened the door and invited me in. He showed me the equipment and demonstrated how it works. It was fascinating! The zoom on the camera was amazing!

On the screen cars looked so close and so clear that it seemed as though they were only a couple of yards away, when really they were miles away! (well not literally miles but a long way down the road) He showed me how he used the laser and locked on to a car’s number plate then with a click, the car’s speed was instantly displayed on a screen. The operator isn’t allowed to check every car. He has to judge that the car is exceeding the speed limit before he is allowed to use the camera, and has had training in speed recognition.

I always try to keep below the legal speed limit, but when I’m driving past a speed van I go much slower than the legal limit in case there is a margin of error in my speedo. I asked about this, and was told that when a car is manufactured, the margin of error has to be lower and not higher than the actual speed. How they do that I’ve no idea, but it was quite reassuring.