The great gatso

It is a dark evening, and ugh! Is it cold, rainy and windy? Typical Brit weather…You are driving along the A34, listening to BBC2, the thought of a hot dinner brings warmth to your creaky bones, you inadvertently step on the accelerator to take you closer to your destination and then it hits you with a blinding flash…and another…The Gatso has stricken.

We have heard of Gatsby, but a Gatso? I can tell you, it is the most hated man made structure in the UK and there are not many who have not fallen victim to the ever-preying gatso. Sitting like an owl perched on a branch, the Gatso is watching and waiting, waiting for you to make that one silly mistake.

Gatso is a radar-based invention by a chap called Maurice Gastonides (long gone) in Netherlands, and otherwise known as the speed camera that nowadays appear every few miles on British roads. Meant to reduce speed on roads and save lives, it has now become a valuable revenue-generating scheme for counties. As they say, you drive lazily down the British country road, you are not expected to speed by like the old Lawrence of Arabia.

A few days later, postman Pat delivers the dreaded letter, which states you’re on candid camera or words to that effect…and the rigmarole starts.

The next few days can be a lot of pain for you and the pocket. Lucky guys like me (as a foreign license holder) even got to meet the higher echelons of British society –like the honourable magistrate in her majesty’s court. (That story follows..)

Obviously the Gatso is very popular in the UK, it saves so many lives as you can see. So people go out of the way to show their appreciation, as exemplified.

Captain Gatso is probably today’s Robin Hood in UK.,6903,1037031,00.html

As I discovered, there is a plethora of websites, that tell you what to do, and what not if you are a gatso victim, there are all kinds of databases that you can add to Sat-navs, so you get warned in advance…

And there is this guy who wrote a bloody good play on the experience.

Long live the gatso!!!!