The Blog of Zak Spade

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July 2023
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Automatic Prosecution?
Wednesday 26 July, 2023

Autonomous vehicles are the future. We hear it all the time. It will be safer and that will make it cheaper for society, in the long run.

However, what are the downsides? There are possibly as many, if not more, than those oft-quoted as benefits; although that may depend on the opinion of the commentator.

Gone will be the offences of dangerous or reckless driving. Careless driving will be one of those things discussed by history nerds in the future, possibly treated as a mythical thing. Speed cameras will be taken down or stand, rusting, by roadsides, unused and uncared for by anyone.

Or will they?

When passing a large lorry on a major road where its speed limit is lower than that of whatever you are travelling in, it doesn’t make sense to linger as one passes. If that means popping over the proscribed speed limit for the duration of the pass, then that shortens the time during which a much smaller vehicle is alongside what can sometimes be a behemoth. What then?

Will autonomous vehicles stick to speed limits, regardless of safety or common sense, or will the box of magic tricks allow a miniscule breach of the rules so as to minimise risk? If it does, and that results in the need to issue a speeding ticket – who is responsible for paying it? Is it the car manufacturer? Is it the company that develops the autonomous driving software? Is it the Registered Keeper?

Answer that question and you can graduate upwards to trickier matters such as those involving death or injury caused by autonomous vehicles.

It might be worth remembering that we are being led by a government that has mandated the outlawing of selling new non-electric cars by 2030 but hasn’t managed to come up with any ideas regarding the structure of driving lessons and tests once internal combustion engined vehicles with gearboxes are off the roads. So, don’t figure on any proper legislation ahead of autonomous vehicles appearing on the road.


Scared to Death
Thursday 20 July, 2023

The St George’s Day nationwide phone alerts test went well, and possibly better than most people think.

That some mobile phone users didn’t receive the test warning, is of no consequence. The fact is that the test was widely reported. The concern that the authorities wished to place in the minds of the population, was firmly implanted. With political instability suggesting the precarious nuclear balance was tipping over, what better time to test a system so as to bolster the fear that helps control the masses?

Estimated to cost in the region of £25.3 million over the first three years of operation, it is a fine example of spending Taxpayers’ money to further government control of the people. Does anyone really think that a warning system is going to really help if a nuclear missile is headed our way? Given the blast area of today’s weapons of mass destruction, the resulting gridlock is only going to enable people to be eight miles inside the death zone instead of nine.

The purpose is clearly not to help in such circumstances. However, instil the right amount of fear in the minds of the sheeple and you can introduce various controls that masquerade as security measures. The result is a system that allows apparent dissent while maintaining total control.

Yes, the test went better than you might imagine.