Friday, 16 January 2015

eReco’s Ark

Two things annoyed me yesterday morning.

Firstly, whilst eating an early morning slice of toast, I read about the next generation of speed cameras. These gadgets are not yellow and easily seen and are already on the M25 in Kent. They are going to snap us at 79mph now.

Punish dangerous driving by all means. But 80mph on an empty motorway is not dangerous. I am all for flexible speed limits because I can see they work, and I have not had a speeding fine for a good few years, as my boy racer days are long gone, but this is just revenue generation. It is a tax wrapped up in a big stick.

Secondly, my 12 mile journey into East Grinstead was dogged by jams. Wednesday night it rained, rather a lot it seems, as there were two floods over the A22. Because vehicles had to get into the crown of the road to avoid finding out if they could float or not, one side had to wait. And it seemed to be mostly my side.

In my youth, there would have been a policeman in attendance. Possibly wearing white gloves but certainly making sure that both sides of the road moved at the same pace. There would have been some order and some degree of perceived fairness. But no, we don’t do that sort of thing anymore. I lost 40 minutes in that jam, and it should have been 20. I bet that cost the country a few million quid by the Daily Mail’s calculations.

But it occurs to me now, as my blood pressure returns to normal, that this is systematic of our approach to many things in life, including data security. We impose punitive fines for data breaches and one wrong tweet can get any closet racist in court, but try and get some help, some advice, and you could die waiting for a response.

I have read the ICO’s advice on ITAD, and the bar council’s and the FCA’s. I am really none the wiser to be honest. I get the gist of it and there is a sort of commonsense theme running through most of it that most people can just about follow. But then again there are a lot of people with absolutely no commonsense.

For instance, take the driver of the little silver Peugeot in front of me this morning. 

The way to drive through a flooded road is not to stop, let 50 cars come the other way, and then burst across like Damian Hill on speed!