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Are we turning into a country of criminals?

I don’t mean to be sensationalist, but I am amazed every single time there’s an outcry against speed cameras. I cannot for the life of me think of any reasonable argument against there being a system that automatically fines you if you break the law. The speed limit is the law of the land – ok so it’s true that almost everyone speeds (espeially on motorways), but let’s not try to take a moral high ground over it. You break the law, you pay the price. Of course there are sometimes extenuating circumstances, and there is a process for dealing with these – but 99% of the time this is not the case.

The thing that has brought this to my mind again is there is now apparantly an online service that warns you if you are about to get a parking ticket. Motorists who see a traffic warden coming can text the registration plates of nearby cars, and if the owners have signed up for the service they get a text telling them to move their car.

Now, sorry if I’m being simple – but surely you only have to worry about traffic wardens if you’re parked illegally? If you’re in a legal parking zone and have either a permit of a ticket, there’s no problem. One of the founders of the service said something along the lines of “After getting tickets for three hundred pounds last year, I got fed up so decided to set up this system.”

If you want to avoid parking fines then park legally – or, even better, use public transport.

Now don’t get me wrong – I’ve broken the highway code [although never in a dangerous fashion, I would like to add], and been done for it (which was particularly embarrassing, as the car was full of friends from Church at the time) – but I don’t see these as anything other than mistakes and poor judgement mainly due to impatience, and I’m ashamed of them all (even the ones I’ve not been caught for).

Have we lost respect for the laws of the land. If we disagree with a speed limit, or with a no parking sign, do we just turn vigilante, and then take The System to the courts when we’re caught out? I might agree that 70mph is a somewhat outdated speed like for modern cars on modern motorways, but what happened to democracy?

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