This blog is not about a person, rather it is dedicated to an issue.
Here in the UK (as in other countries) we have a traffic control measure known as a Box Junction (sometimes referred to as a Yellow Box). From its introduction it was the job of the police to enforce the box junction rules.
Recently, in London, the responsibility for enforcement has been passed to the Local Councils who have been granted permission to erect surveillance cameras overlooking box junctions and to issue fixed penalties to drivers who stop illegally in the marked area. There are plans to roll out this scheme nationwide in the near future.
Many people perceive this change to be just another motoring stealth tax, or an additional revenue raising scam for cash strapped local councils. It raises concern, and could be construed as evidence to support the claim that the UK is sleepwalking into a “Surveillance Society”.
For a system of summary justice like this to be acceptable, people must believe that the administering authorities “…are without prejudice and never make mistakes. It also assumes that scientific processes are never discredited and that computers never go wrong.” [Observer leader 5th Nov 2006 ] That certainly is not the case at present. We live in an imperfect world.
The purpose of a Box Junction is to reduce congestion. Like most good ideas it is simple, effective and cheap to implement. However, it can be argued that, with the best will in the world, it is just not possible for drivers to safely obey the box junction rules 100% of the time. On that basis the current enforcement scheme will exploit the misfortunes of well intentioned, drivers.
The offence is one of “entering and stopping within a box junction when prohibited”, therefore the onus is on the issuer of the fixed penalty notice to prove that the vehicle was stationary. So what is the legal definition of “stationary”? Given that the junction is being monitored with a low resolution CCTV camera, is it possible to tell the difference between 0 mph and 1 mph? Assuming you can tell the difference, for what period of time must the vehicle remain in the same spot, 1 millisecond, 1 second, ten seconds?
This whole issue needs to be questioned and thoroughly examined. If necessary it should be legally challenged. Hopefully, with your help, this blog will help to achieve that objective.