Automatic speed control in speed limit zone pdf article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Speed limit enforcement is the effort made by appropriately empowered authorities to improve driver compliance with speed limits.
Methods used include roadside speed traps set up and operated by the police and automated roadside ‘speed camera’ systems, which may incorporate the use of an automatic number plate recognition system. Traditionally, police officers used stopwatches to measure the time taken for a vehicle to cover a known distance.
More recently, radar guns and automated in-vehicle systems have come into use. The perception that speed limits in a given location are being set and enforced primarily to collect revenue rather than improve traffic safety has led to controversy. 1878 and the vehicles were required to stop on the sight of a horse. The speed limit was effectively redundant as vehicle speeds could not exceed the speed at which a person could walk.
By 1895 some drivers of early lightweight steam-powered autocars assumed that these would be legally classed as a horseless carriage and would therefore be exempt from the need for a preceding pedestrian. A test case was brought by motoring pioneer John Henry Knight, who was subsequently convicted with using a locomotive without a licence. A Royal Commission on motorcars in the UK reported in 1907 and raised concerns about the manner in which speed traps were being used to raise revenue in rural areas rather than being used to protect lives in towns. In parliamentary debates at the time it was observed that “Policemen are not stationed in the villages where there are people about who might be in danger, but are hidden in hedges or ditches by the side of the most open roads in the country” and were “manifestly absurd as a protection to the public, and they are used in many counties merely as a means of extracting money from the passing traveller in a way which reminds one of the highwaymen of the Middle Ages”.
In 1905 The Automobile Association was formed to help motorists avoid police speed traps. Automobile Association patrolman and a potentially speeding motorist—the judge ruled that where a patrolman signals to a speeding driver to slow down and thereby avoid a speed trap, that person would have committed the offence of “obstructing an officer in the course of his duty” under the Prevention of Crimes Amendment Act 1885. Subsequently, the organisation developed a coded warning system which was used until the 1960s whereby a patrolman would always salute the driver of a passing car that displayed a visible AA badge unless there was a speed trap nearby, on the understanding that their officers could not be prosecuted for failing to salute. Gatsometer BV, founded in 1958 by rally driver Maurice Gatsonides, produced the ‘Gatsometer’ which was described as “a revolutionary speed-measuring device”.
Developed initially for improving his race times, it was later marketed as police speed enforcement tool. Gatsometer claim to have developed the first radar for use with road traffic in 1971, but this claim is undermined by evidence that radar detectors were already for sale in 1967.
Gatsometer BV produced the world’s first mobile speed traffic camera in 1982. VASCAR was in use in North Carolina, New York and Indiana by February 1968.