PH BLOG: LET'S TALK ABOUT SPECS
Harris ponders how to get along with the ever-present SPECS camera and - almost - finds peace
For starters, how early do those beady, yellow frowns begin to track your speed? I want to persuade myself that I can get down to 50mph right underneath them, but something about their positioning always spooks me into thinking they've been monitoring me from 400m away. It's un-nerving, so I probably slow too early.
Being in 'the zone' has much in common with being a young Skywalker on final approach to the guts of the Death Star "Red Leader this is Gold Leader" and all that. Close-formation driving, monitoring all vehicle information "Your speeds too high, you're coming in too fast!" subtle alterations to avoid meandering HGVs and of course the most difficult skill - matching your speed against other drivers.
There are so many variables. Are all SPECS zones set to the same tolerances? Do multiple lane changes vex their evil little brains? At night, when you see a camera that doesn't emit that eerie red glow from its lens, does that mean it isn't operational? And if you knew that to be the case, would you have the confidence to use the information in the interests of added velocity?
What I do know is that the simplest solution is to simply set cruise control, should you have it, at 50mph and let the world slide by.
This isn't about speed for speed's sake, it isn't necessarily concerned with arriving at a destination sooner; it's an inquisitive joust at the electronic powers that attempt to contain our behaviours. I don't dislike SPECS cameras, they seem to keep things moving through motorway roadworks.
I just want to know where the line is. As much out of curiosity as anything else.
Photos: The Highways Agency