January 5, 2012

Transport Secretary Mike Pennis has an idiosyncratic outlook on life. “There is nothing more frustrating,” he declares emphatically, “than being stuck in a traffic jam for hours on end.” He’s clearly never tried balancing an apple on the blunt end of an upright knitting needle, or Talk Talk customer service, or standing parched and starving for all eternity in a pool of spring-fresh water with a heavily laden fruit tree overhead and never quite being able to reach either. But let’s humour him for now – he means well.

Pennis has just announced plans to roll-out futuristic 3D lasers right across the land in a bid to sweep up quicklier following motorway pileups. He’s bunging £2.7m at 27 cop squads so they can splash out on some kind of scanner thingies to create a 3D images of vast swathes of carnage in the twinkling of an eye. This will save having busybody investigators crawling all over crash sites for hours on end.

Like abolishing the 70mph limit, this is part of HMG’s unstinting commitment to getting top people to and from out of town meetings at top speed, come what may. Project CLEAR, as it is known in caps for no apparent reason, is aimed at safeguarding “a vital element in the UK’s prosperity” – or what’s left of it – by keeping traffic moving at all times.

Pennis reckons there were more than 18,000 full or partial motorway closures during 2010, lasting a total of at least 20,000 hours and costing the UK economy a massive (estimated) £1bn. So the whole laser scanning thing is going to be big plus, basically.

Assistant Chief Constable Sean White, of the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) enormously welcomed Pennis’ cash injection, noting succinctly that: “On behalf of the police service we welcome enormously this important funding opportunity that has been made possible by Government through the Department for Transport.”

ACPO’s ACC Sean is clearly not a man to mince his words. No, he dices them, slices them, minces them, mashes them, then feeds them repeatedly through an FBG (Fatuous Bullshit Generator) until they sound like this:

“The provision of the latest, leading edge 3D laser scanning technology to assist in the expeditious and detailed scanning of collision scenes will make a very important contribution to properly investigating fatal and life changing collisions whilst always being mindful of the level of economic and other disruption that closures of the strategic road network inevitably cause.’

Night, night!

Freewheelin' Mike Pennis and friend

Freewheelin' Mike Pennis and friend


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