Mobile Speed Traps “NOT about penalising Motorists”!…

Hi All,

A “Speed Reduction Officer” (are you laughing already?) in North Wales has said that he wants to “dispel some myths” about mobile speed traps…

Garath Thomas is one of those people — hated by many — who sit inside the back of a van, aiming a gun at approaching drivers.

“Speed Reduction Officer” Gareth Thomas at work…

Of course it’s a speed gun he’s holding rather than an AK47, but the intention is broadly similar; to control and extort his targets!

Mr Thomas works for GoSafe, which is essentially a ‘warm and cuddly’ marketing division of the Police in Wales.

He claimed that:

“Go Safe prefers to educate drivers rather than punish them with fines and penalty points.”

The hilarious (or scary?) thing is that I’m sure Mr Thomas actually believes the nonsense he is spouting…

I’d love to know what he thinks qualifies him as an expert who has the authority to “educate” us mere mortals!

The arrogance of these Government departments — which are allegedly there to help us when we need them — never ceases to amaze me…

Seeking to justify his (in my opinion delusional) World view, he said:

“Even if I parked my van and went for a walk somewhere, it would deter people speeding right away.”

Well, Mr Thomas… If that’s the case, then why don’t you do just that?

I think the answer is pretty clear… If you and other “Speed Reduction Officers” went out to catch criminals rather than extorting drivers, you would soon find yourself out of a job because there would be no money to pay you!

I implore people like Mr Thomas to open their eyes and see the damage they are doing to the very people they claim to be protecting…

All the best,

P.S. I’m not suggesting that Mr Thomas or any other speed camera operator is inherently “evil”, or a bad person — even though they do a very bad thing in my opinion, by persecuting and extorting Motorists.

I suggest instead that they have likely been conditioned throughout their life to believe people are like cattle, who need to be controlled and guided to the nth degree…

If you find yourself in agreement with the point I’m making here, you might find the interview I did recently with Jeff Berwick interesting. It’s not for everyone but it will certainly make you think :-)

Here’s the link…


Comments 43

  1. These cameras have nothing to do with safety, it’s all about the money. Police force = additional revenue collectors. It’s the only place you will see a police man these days!

    1. Simple solution. Put them out of business by not speeding. They can’t fine you if your not doing anything wrong. Your not concerned about the safety of anyone Or that it makes them money only that you may get caught breaking the law. Who has the problem you or them. YOU !!! You want to be able to speed freely and break the law without being caught. The issue goes if you stick to the speed limits.

  2. Its just another money making racket simple as that…but dont speed …simple as that….here is something i would like a answer to …. it used to be Boy Racers…from what i see these days its young women who are speeding…kids in back…on there mobile phone…hey get out my way attitude. Maybe someone can answer which ones get caught speeding the most often.

  3. brainwashing comes to mind and cardboard cutouts of police officers in shops reduced shoplifting so vans or cars parked up at the side of the road will reduce as you never know is you are being caught also if they do check speeding offenders if they have been caught before then maybe its a problem first-timers should be sent a letter everybody deserves a chance

    1. First timers or minor infringements usually get offered a speed awareness course over points. Usually you get 1 token every 3 years unless it’s changed.

  4. By educate does he mean terrorise or intimidate drivers. No matter who makes the claim nobody is perfect but that does not stop this deluded public servant instigating the fines process when someone’s doing 36mph when a lecture/caution would be just as effective but then there’s no money in that. Manufactures said many years ago they could chip cars and control the speeds via GPS so there would be no speeding unless the driver engaged the override in which case the driver was well aware of the offence about to be committed and would deserve the points. That was not acc3epted by Government on the grounds it would infringe Human Rights. I self serving argument because they are happy to compel other elements of our lives.

  5. Thoroughly agree! Get this one speaking to a lady who recently had to attend a Speed Awareness course for having both hands off the steering wheel whilst stationary at traffic lights “she didn’t have proper control of her car”

  6. Typical double speak worthy of Orwell. Of course mobile detector vans are about nicking motorists. If a stretch of road was dangerous and needed a speed camera, then put up a fixed device with a warning, which will slow drivers down. The fact that there is no warning means that some drivers may not slow down and get nicked. This clearly has no safety benefit as illegal speed is not reduced, if safety was the objective then a warning would be given. Purely and solely a money making enterprise and a way of attacking those evil criminals called motorists.

    1. You are absolutely right Martin. In fact, if you examine the situation of an officer hiding in a place known to be a danger hot spot and ‘allowing’ a car to speed and just taking a photo then it could be argued that he/she condoned the offence by failing to prevent it. And that offence would be easy to prevent by standing in the open and making slowing down gestures. But as you say, that doesn’t raise any revenue.

  7. “I think the answer is pretty clear… If you and other “Speed Reduction Officers” went out to catch criminals rather than extorting drivers, you would soon find yourself out of a job because there would be no money to pay you!”

    My only argument with that statement is criminals don’t kill, speeding drivers do. Speeding is voluntary, consequently, so is the penalty.

    1. I disagree – speeding does not kill. Accidents are caused by negligence, carelessness or ignorance/inexperience. Speeding can be a contributory factor in any of these but does not itself cause death.

      1. Totally Agree. It is the lack of concentration/distraction ability/experience . If speed kills, then why aren’t all formula 1 drivers dead? After all 300 MPH is somewhat faster than the majority of public will go. Other than on a Plane, Sky diving (120 T.V.) and the like.
        Police should get the parked vehicles on Zig Zag and double yellow lines when the driver “just pops into the shop”. Now that’s easy regular money.
        I`ve been driving from the age of twelve. Been HGV/PSV driver since 21. That`s for 45 years now. I`ve had my share of incidents, I don`t profess to be squeaky clean.

  8. He needs to take along walk over a short cliff, becarefull what you say i had a run in with northwales police and i was set apon by 2 of the finest wales had to offer until i told them i was recording every thing on my phone. I was pulled over in towyn randomley and they took the piss kicking my car the 2 fat bastards got a shock 1 a sargent the other a plod they did’nt like that and tried to get my phone off me i 5hen told them i would protect my self if they tried and placed my keys between my fingers ready they soon backed down the welsh in northwales hate english people.

  9. On the promenade in and out of Blackpool there are loads of speed cameras and still they put a tosser out in a van with his mobile speed camera Kerching £££££££

  10. ‘I think the answer is pretty clear… If you and other “Speed Reduction Officers” went out to catch criminals rather than extorting drivers, you would soon find yourself out of a job because there would be no money to pay you!’

    I did find the above ironic – without speed cameras and speed reduction officers you too Adam would not have a business to pay you!

    1. Post

      I’ve often had that very thought myself Dave and have struggled with it a little. However, if the day comes that we can close our doors because the Government no longer targets motorists in a completely immoral way, I will be a VERY happy man!

    2. I read these posts and never get it. Perhaps you’re right Dave and Adam’s after the irony vote. The thing I never get is the “extorting motorists” idea. How is it extortion to punish somebody when they break the law? You know the speed limit, you ignore it, you get fined – how is that wrong? OK, there will always be occasions when, say, a speed gun is faulty, or a speed limit sign is missing, but they are the exceptions. When are these people who think they have the right to go round breaking the speed limit going to grow up rather than crying to their mums about “extortion” or the motorist being a “cash cow”? Pathetic. …and yes, before you ask, I have had a speeding ticket in the past thank you – accepted I was breaking the law and paid up.

  11. I think some of the comments made are spurious. This man is probably a civilian dressed as an officer. Criminals, like speeding motorists do kill. We all know we should, within reason, obey the speed limits but these are often unreasonable and unnecessary (for example smart motorways). The one thing I do agree with is that the modern police force takes the easy way out as a van on a road will earn a copper or two (excuse the pun) whereas the same van will be like a police car, useless until someone shouts RTA when half a dozen will speed to the incident, even if it is only someone falling off a bike. Hurrah for the modern force.

  12. I was in a 30mph. To the left of me, there was a grass verge, then a path, then more grass, then the walls of the houses. To my right, was the lane of the other side, then a grass verge, then a path, then more grass… I’m sure you’re getting the idea of what it all looked like. Even if Usain had Bolted out of either side, I would have been able to stop long before he got anywhere near me. And yet, I was done for doing 35mph on this road. I’m not suggesting that I’m a perfect driver, but, I do my utmost to drive to the conditions, to ensure I don’t endanger anyone. So, in my case, if it wasn’t a case of making money, then what was it?!

    1. You weren’t driving North out of Horton-in-Ribblesdale by any chance? Done for 36mph 50 yards BEFORE the only barely visible 30mph repeater sign buried in the wall! And Google street walk is blacked out on that stretch of road????

  13. Fines (and behaviour nudging taxes) present a conflict of interest for government is we allow them to be used as revenue. We need a campaign to create a law that all fines (and taxes promoted as behaviour modifiers) be unavailable to any level of government (or quango) for revenue purposes, not directly nor indirectly. Instead, the funds could be used for good purposes such as victims of uninsured drivers, or maybe disaster relief.

    If fines etc. cannot be used for revenue, they will soon impose them only for legitimate purposes.

  14. If you keep to the speed limits, these chaps would be out of work, too.
    Don’t bleat on about having to watch the speedo like a hawk to keep to the limit – if you are such a wonderful driver that you can exceed the speed limit by the ‘allowed’ 10%, you can use your senses and listen to the engine to determine your speed. You KNOW what speed you are doing.
    When it is your son/daughter/spouse/parent/significant other that is hurt or killed by a speeding driver, you’ll think long and hard about just how clever speeding is and how selfish you are when you do it.

  15. I recently got done for doing 80 on a near empty M74 in Scotland, I was overtaking the only other vehicle ( a lorry) as you could see in the photo!

    So, no danger to any other road user or myself, they were there to make money, nothing else!

    I did not even get the choice of doing the awareness course, they just wanted my money!

  16. Agree with Martyn. The really annoying thing is that the biggest cause of accidents is to do with drivers not paying attention to the job. Look at the statistics “failing to judge another drivers course or speed” failure to see, and “distraction” are by far the greatest causes. Nothing is done to reduce these causes of accidents. Why? Because they can’t monetise it. And by concentrating on speed they appear to be doing something while really it’s gross negligence to ignore the more important reasons for the accidents.
    By the way it’s not a massive problem anyway as UK roads are among the safest in the world! Yes they could be safer but there could be fewer burglaries, stabbing and people sleeping on the streets. I know where this GOM would spend the time and money!

    1. My friend and neighbour was driving on the M23 two Christmases ago. This bloke has had an unblemished licence for 50+ years and is a lifelong member of the Institute of Advanced Motorists. On a clear dry sunlit road with no other traffic in sight on either carriageway, a Plod on a bridge clocked him doing 79mph. Summonsed of course otherwise I wouldn’t be writing this ; but luckily offered the derisory ‘Speed Awareness’ course – to pay up to keep a clean sheet. That had nothing whatsoever to do with safety. It was just a bored Plod told to go out and collect some money. Speeding is an ‘absolute’ offence, ie there is no defence. And quite often there is no common sense either.

  17. What they need to do is bring back Traffic Police to deal with tailgating, mobile phones, middle lane hogging and other bad driving habits. They get away with it because they can.

  18. These vans actually cause accidents as everyone hits the brakes when they see them. They are there as a form of income only, fk all to do with safety.

    1. Certainly my observation bears that out. The A30 westbound from Exeter is notorious for speeding. I gun my van down stretches of that road at 80+. I get overtaken by Beamers,Audis,Mercs, Range Rovers. Until last month nearing Okehampton a police van was being trailed by about 30 vehicles, said van doing 60mph showing large depictions of cameras on each rear door. Once that turned off near the Victoria interchange everybody went mad with speed but even more dangerously it was pissing down and nearly dark. Nobody had dared to overtake the Plod despite the actual limit for private cars being 70mph.

  19. A Policeman stopping you and talking about your driving is ‘education’. A fine in post a week later is NOT, its Authority wanting extortion money. GoSafe are out trapping 24hrs now especially 6-7am (people going to or coming from work) in the dark.

  20. A few months ago a Government MP accused a member of the opposition as suffering under the the “Dunning-Kruger effect”. I leave it to you to look it up on the web. Seems like we are surrounded by similar individuals in both government and quasi government departments. But perhaps the most disturbing thing is that the accusation could also be levelled to plaudits and media commentators.

  21. What a posh title one has. What is the North Wales force doing about, unlicensed & uninsured drivers? I can understand why they have camera vans, I may not agree but, when you get persons that feel they have to justify their employment, they must also think, Is it an honest and worthwhile living?

  22. 2 bites of the cherry on the A55 Rhiallt Hill. You can safely stay within the 70mph of the average speed cameras and then an additional mobile go safe van will get you at 72 or 73. He’s usually parked in the lay-by.

  23. Sadly these Speed Reduction Officers along CEOs are doing the job they are asked, correction, told to do by their superiors. The vigour with which they approach the task is often indicative of the fact that they are tasked to achieve results. The incentive they have is to not be at the bottom of the “results table” and in instances, which I can’t quantify, the height of the bar is dictated by their need to ensure that they are not at the foot of that table. Often one must question the parameters they use in making their decision as to whether or not an offence has been committed or has it been one of those days when someone got out of bed on the wrong side?
    It was always thus – the motorist is such an easy target!

  24. Message received and understood BUT I’ve recently been caught and Thames Valley Police called it “Speed Awareness” and let me contribute £95 for a speed awareness course in Milton Keynes. I was doing 36mph in front of 40 MPH sign.

  25. The basis of decisions in UK law used to be what is considered to be reasonable. The improper use of speed measuring devices is unreasonable
    If it is not some character hiding in a van which invariably is improperly parked, it is a group of busy body volunteer speed watch characters with devices that are hopelessly out of calibration. The other day one pointed a gun at me: In my past life anybody who pointed a gun at me was likely to be duly dispatched!
    It took them over 50 years to catch me! I was clocked at 35 mph at the exit from a 40 mph stretch. The speed awareness course was nothing but patronising c**p. It is ironic that speed awareness courses are sometimes run by a well known organisation that was originally formed to ban the pedestrian carrying a red flag in front of horseless carriages.

    Pp wallys

  26. If it isn’t raising money why was I done within 50 yards of a national speed limit sign, I was coming down a hill and as I was leaving the 30 area i was allowing my speed to build up to a death defying 38MPH oop.s


  27. It’s a self generating money system, the more people penalised for minor indiscretions, the more their insurance goes up, the more money the government gets from the 12% insurance premium tax.

  28. The crux of the the matter is, like it or not, it is easier, and more profitable, to catch speeding motorists than it is to catch muggers, murders, knife thugs etc. You know real criminals.

  29. As a young uniformed police officer I was taught by the police to drive fast. I became a detective on a squad and went on a further course to drive more powerful unmarked vehicles.
    In both roles I was often unaccompanied and drive fast whilst speaking on different types of radio systems.
    Such a thing now would be illegal but single crewed police officers must still do it.
    As for speed camera vans I feel the same as most people they are money maker whether you are prosecuted and fined or invited to take up the option of A Speed Awareness Course.
    As for the operators of the speed camera vans I am told that they are operated by civies I suspect retired traffic cops. I would like to say at this point I was never on traffic so never did anyone for speeding.
    I have also wondered about the legality of a prosecution if the operators of these can were not police officer and wonder Adam if this has ever been explored.

  30. My issue with this is no matter how they try to polish this – it is still a very fast way to make significant sums of money, with the re-education of the motorist a long way down the list of reasons to be doing this, it is seen (rightfully) by the persecuted Joe Motorist as yet another way of fleecing the car driver, who, in many instances is going very often just a few miles per hour faster than that particular stretch of road permits.
    By all means go after the boy racers who go haring along at breakneck speeds, (every area has roads like this where we see this kind of behaviour all the time) yet nothing seems to be done about these, but dare to stray just a few miles per hour faster than the speed limit often in safe conditions, then you’re there to be made an example of!
    And while I accept the argument that if you don’t speed you won’t get a ticket, I know of not a single motorist who hasn’t at some stage gone above the legal limit, even inadvertently & for just a short time – it’s just bad luck to get caught out in many cases I know of…

  31. The government are just about to embark on recruiting another 22,000 police officers, I just hope that they don’t all end up being mobile traffic police officers as that doesn’t help the public or help prevent crime unless the police really believe that a motorist doing 80mph on a motorway is a criminal and must be prosecuted at all costs, speed doesn’t kill, drivers do and if the police were half as efficient at solving real crimes as that are at prosecuting motorists then they will be a lot more effective at providing the security they are supposed to offer the public.

  32. I had the pleasure of attending a speed awareness course several months ago, my own fault so no bones with that.
    The subject of mobile speed camera vans was raised and that they reduced speeding significantly.
    One person observed that some people flashed their headlights as a warning to other motorists to slow down to avoid a ticket and was told that “that is illegal” and that you could get fined for doing it.
    I asked why this was illegal since if the object of the exercise was to reduce vehicle speeds then surely this practice was actually encouraging it.
    Once again it was stated that it was illegal and that was the end of it.
    If that doesn’t prove that it’s a money making exercise then I don’t know what does!

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