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Dangerous driving

This one annoyed me.

This one really annoyed me, driving like that with little children around. So as soon as the video was up on YouTube, I went to the Gendarmerie website and sent a link to the video via their contact form.

My request will be seen to...
My request will be seen to...


I had a reply eleven minutes later. The person thanked me for pointing this out, and told me that sadly (s)he was unable to make out the licence plate, but noted that even if they could, it isn't possible to verbalise somebody by these means. All the same, they have sent a notification to the local gendarmerie.

My dashcam is not particularly good (it cost €25!), it's mainly there in case of an accident to demonstrate what happened. The primary reason for this is that many years ago, mom was in an accident about ten miles south of here. We were crossing a recently resurfaced road, with gravel warning signs and 50kph limit signs all over the place.
At the junction, mom saw the other car a fair way off and pulled out in front of it.
It swerved to avoid us, smashed the front left headlight, and spun into a ditch. You might recall that due to the prevalence of short but powerful rain stroms, the ditches around here are frequently quite deep. About half a metre is common. Some are deeper.
Anyway, the woman was in shock, obviously, and she called somebody in her family. I called the police, who explained that they don't come out to traffic accidents unless somebody is injured or killed or there's some sort of dispute, and that the correct course of action is to fill out the insurance declaration, then call the insurer to sort out collecting the cars and deciding what to do next.

About ten minutes later, the woman's contact turned up, helped to fill out the accident declaration form, and wrote a completely bullshit account of what happened. He forced mom to tick a box which basically admits liability. In return, since he was feeling smug, I asked if he could sign the diagram of the accident that he drew since it was neither of us. He did so. I took out a crappy little digital camera and started taking photos of everything.
At home, we wrote the correct account of what happened, plus pointed out that there was no way a car doing the posted speed could manage to do that much destruction in trying to stop. I mean, the car spun into the ditch. Forget fifty, I would guesstimate that it was doing closer to twice that. I also pointed out that the person who wrote the account of the accident and draw the diagram was not present at the time of the accident.

I don't know what happened on the other side, however not only was our car fixed (it was fairly minor damage, luckily, just bashing the wing back into shape, repainting it, and fitting a new headlight) but mom didn't have to pay anything, and she didn't even lose the malus (no claim bonus). I can't help but think they threw the book at the other driver for speeding and submitting a false declaration.

But, you know, there are people who would be like "oh, you're English" and think they can pull a fast one. So I drive with a dashcam. And the very first thing I would do in the case of an accident (that I survive) is to reach up, unclip the dashcam, and hide it. It's my evidence to what happened.

Anyway, the second problem and why it doesn't get a lot of details isn't because the sensor and quality are crappy (they are, but...), it's more due to how much my car vibrates. You've maybe seen the videos I've made where the screen literally wibbles when the car is idling. It's a two cylinder diesel engine with a 180° firing order, in other words, noisy and rattly. I'd need a dashcam on a gimbal to get good details.
Oh, and if you're wondering why the quality of that video is so much worse than the ones I've taken of idiots on the way to Big Town, it's simply because there's a lot more vibration driving at half speed than when I'm going 48 and the engine is running it's fastest.

As for the verbalisation. It's a shame, but I can understand that if there's a possibility of things getting legal, it might have to be witnessed by a "trusted entity", whether that be a police officer or a government approved and maintained speed camera. Some random person's dashcam isn't reliable evidence, and it may even be technically possible these days to paste a completely fake car into there, like with Blender or something. Like deep fake traffic violations.

Anyway, if I see the rozzers hanging around at school entry time, I'll know why. Fingers crossed that the twat does this sort of thing habitually...


C/2022 E3

That rather uninspiring name is the name of a green comet vaguely flickering in the night sky in the northern hemisphere at the moment.

Can you spot it?
Can you spot it? Photo taken 26th January at 22h09.

It is there, honest. ☺

Here's an annotated view I threw together with my phone's built in picture editor.

There it is
There it is!


If you want to see it tonight (Saturday), it is heading "up, slightly left". To locate it, make mostly vertical line following the two rightmost stars of the Little Dipper and going up. Now make a horizontal line and line it up with the Pole Star.
The comet will be just a little below where these two lines intersect. Tomorrow night (Sunday), it'll be up and left a little, but be aware that Luna is growing in brightness, which may make it harder to see. It's really faint.

Alternatively, install an app such as Stellarium on your phone. The free version will show the stars and the comet's location. Just go outside and look north, it's down and right a little from Polaris.

The comet is green due to the effect of sunlight on its molecules which are primarily diatomic carbon and cyanogen (which is as toxic as its name might imply).
The comet itself is from the Oort Cloud, which is a ring of many billions of comets out beyond Pluto. Due to it's distance, it is a collection of astrocrap only loosely orbiting the Sun, and things are esily influenced by the gravitational pull of other stars within the Milky Way. These gravitational forces can nudge bits of the Oort Cloud into weird orbits.
One such thing is the comet C/2022 E3.... look, can we just call it Steve? Anyway, Steve reached perihelion (closest point to the sun) on the 12th of January. It's dimly visible to the eye as a greenish smudge, but optical aids such as binoculars or a telescope will help. It will be closest to the Earth om the 1st of February, but as I said, the Moon is growing which will make it harder to see.

While a lot of media sources are saying that Steve was last around 50,000 years ago, it's outbound journey is more interesting. It would appear now to be unbound to the solar system, meaning that it will either go on a journey across time and space leaving the Solar System (and the Oort Cloud) entirely, or to potentially return in many millions of years. Much of this depends upon what happens as it passes through the Oort Cloud.
Of course, Steve could always hit something and cease to exist...


While I was there, I took a picture of Orion, always dead easy to spot in the northern winter sky.


I turned the camera to the right and took a picture of Luna and Jupiter.

Luna, Jupiter, house, tree
Luna, Jupiter, House, Tree.

I went around front to get a better view, and the plane that flies to Rennes at night decided to say hello.

Blink, blink, blink, blink...
Blink, blink, blink, blink...

I didn't take another photo. I rather like the aesthetics of this one. Note that Jupiter is the little white dot above the 'o' in copyright. The greenish flash above that is a lens reflection from the brightness of Luna.



I got up, put the water heater on, then went back to bed with a tea. It was barely over freezing. Ugh.

I got myself going for half ten. Washed my hair, threw a load in the washing machine, and started tidying up stuff. I swept up all the fallen leaves out back.
I had planned to do a "before and after" photo pair, but I got sidetracked and didn't do the after photo.

The next task was to get the rake and drag all the bramble bits that I cut down from the west end last Saturday to the tree-branch-pile to rot down. Even though by now it was 4.7°C, the north east wind was bitter. So I did half of it, then had a tea, before finishing.
More tea, and I walked kitty while looking at various areas of brambles. I have asked for, and been allocated, the last week of March as a holiday. The company isn't paying for excess hours this year, so I have to take days off. Since I no longer have a specific job and people have been trained to know my tasks in order to replace me, I decided to take a whole week off.

Anyway, if the weather is good... or at least, if the weather doesn't entirely suck, it would be good to work on getting some more brambles down.
If the weather sucks, I can do some inside tidying. But I'd rather work outside. The de-bramblification pays off. And god knows there's a lot still to do.

The daffodils are a little behind. I saw two small heads. Two days from now a year ago there were numerous heads, but it will be another two weeks before I start to see flowers. It'll be interesting to see what might turn up, and when.
While I always hang washing up to dry outside, this time of year it spends days in the air in the hangar. Last year, the first washing put on the rotary line was on the 12th of February, but most of that then went into the hangar as the sun isn't quite strong enough yet. It's not like the summer where the washing is dry in 2-3 hours.

It's apparently a La Nina year, so they're forecasting another hot summer. Which means it'll probably rain endlessly...

I should add that when I went and did some mowing the other weekend, I mowed through the winter heather. This wasn't an accident. It was, sadly, a victim of the heatwave. It won't be until the leaves return that I'll see if other things died. I'm, also sadly, not holding out that much hope for the big buddleia (summer lilac). We'll see...



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Rick, 28th January 2023, 20:42
Just added this as a comment on the video: 
I sent a link to the rozzers and they weren't able to make out the licence plate either (sadly reality isn't like CSI and it's not possible to "enhance" a few fuzzy pixels into a clear photo of a licence plate), but the person who replied to me said my report was going to be passed on to the local force, so maybe they might have a patrol check on that part of the road for a few days when the little ones are around. 
Anon, 29th January 2023, 10:46
Here in the UK, it's now possible to be prosecuted for a driving offence based on evidence gathered from a third party dashcam. 
Yup. That's right. If some busybody thinks you're driving 'dangerously' they can submit dashcam footage to the police, who can then issue a s.172 notice requesting the identity of the driver. This can also result in a summons for 'due care' or even 'dangerous driving'. 
This isn't fanciful. It's actually happening. People are being convicted of 'due care' offences (where no accident has occurred) based on third party dashcam footage, no type approval, no way of confirming the veracity of the footage etc.

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