Talivan Free Zones

Central Scotland Police
Partnership 'being discussed'. No fixed cameras.
There is no partnership, nor fixed speed cameras, as the Chief Constable is against cameras; however, the police operate their own speed camera unit.
North Yorkshire
Police opposed due to cost of installing cameras.
A Talivan — A van containing one or more speed cameras used for the purpose of ruthlessly extorting money from drivers, a practice based upon a fanatical belief in 'speed' being the cause of all road accidents. Terrorize drivers into gorping mindlessly at their speedometer instead of looking where they're going.
Origin — term originally used to apply to such vans in Hawaii on or before 16th January 2002, possibly coined by someone named Derek Source. Hawaii subsequently scrapped it's Talivans after massive public protest.
Derivation — from Taliban, a ruthless regime in Afghanistan based upon fanatical religious beliefs which supported terrorism.
The Talivan — A collective term for those organizations which use Talivans. Often known officially as "safety camera partnerships", prefering to use the term "safety cameras" rather than "speed cameras" for propaganda reasons. The truth is that a speed camera cannot tell if a vehicle is being driven safely. It is perfectly possible to drive within the speed limit in a dangerous manner, or above the speed limit in a safe manner. Britain used to have properly trained traffic police who used their discretion to spot dangerous driving, but most of them have now been replaced by speed cameras. Not one single partnership has the honesty to refer to the infernal contraptions as 'speed cameras'. Some partnerships have a website address which is even more patronizing. All of these partnerships seem to be obsessive about secrecy, refusing to provide any information about their accounts. Avon & Somerset Talivan have even refused to provide information to North Somerset Council, supposedly one of their 'partners'. They are all self-financing quangos unaccountable to anyone.

Doing the job properly.
A Lancashire Talivan in full police livery and equipped with blue lights. Why don't all Talivans look like this?

Photo courtesy of speedcam.co.uk

An Avon & Somerset Talivan with no police livery at all, no roof lights, and the usual arrogant attitude towards parking.

Talivan DU03 UZG belonging to Thames Valley Police seen on the A4 Bath Rd in Reading. No blue lights, no speed camera logo, inadequate markings on front.

A Talivan belonging to South Wales Police, which despite having "THINK!" emblazoned on the side, is double parked outside a police station in Cardiff — nothing like setting a good example on road safety...

A Hampshire Talivan parked on double yellow lines at a bus stop in Brading, Isle of Wight. At least the van has proper police livery and blue roof lights.

Here we see (or rather don't see) an Avon & Somerset Talivan clearly flouting visibility guidelines by parking behind a brick wall and trees so as to be completely invisible to approaching traffic. This is on the A370 entering Bristol at the end of the Long Ashton bypass, only 300 metres from the end of the 60mph limit. Map.

A Nottinghamshire Talivan totally obstructing a cycle lane on the bridge over the M1 at junction 27. Irrespective of whether this is a sensible place to have a cycle lane, the fact is that it is there, and there are laws applying to it. Laws which evidently don't apply to Talivan drivers.

A Gwent Talivan with inadequate livery parked on double-yellow lines in a service road near the Highbeech Roundabout in Chepstow. The speed limit on the targetted road has recently been reduced from 40 to 30 without good reason (other than for the benefit of the Talivan). There are fields on the right hand side of the road. Since this photo was taken an area has been marked out for "Police Vehicles Only". This site is a malicious extortion racket because the bottom half of the talivan is hidden by parked cars.
If you see a Talivan parked in a dangerous, illegal or dishonest place, please take a photo and send it to us, and your local newspaper!
More photos on some of our local pages:
Each 'safety' camera partnership has it's own ideas about vehicle livery. Although the van usually has a white base, there are all manner of markings used — panels, lines, diagonal stripes and checks; and various colours — yellow, orange, red, and blue.
The ABD deplores the use of vans that are not clearly marked as police vehicles, and would like to see consistent police blue-yellow check livery applied throughout the country.
Many Talivans are fitted with amber roof lights rather than blue in a clear attempt to disguise their true purpose. This practice is extremely dangerous as drivers are being conditioned into braking whenever they see a parked van fitted with amber lights.
The excuse for amber lights appears to be that the amber roof lights may be used when the van is parked on the road changing the film in a camera, usually because the operators are too idle to walk a few years from a safe parking place.
Lancashire and West Yorkshire, to their credit, use blue lights; and Lancashire also use full Police livery as the photo right shows.
The police claim the Talivans aren't there to catch people, but to make them slow down. So why don't all Talivans have blue lights which are active when the vehicle is genuinely being used for road safety purposes?
Parking Practice
Talivans have been noted to display a cavalier attitude to parking. Some Talivan drivers clearly consider themselves above the law, parking on double yellow lines, and obstructing pavements and cycle lanes. They've also been seen parked in clearly dangerous locations, where they are more likely to be involved in an accident than prevent one.
Not all police officers approve of these practices. In April 2002, an officer from Gwent Police spotted a van from the "Mid and South Wales Area Safety Camera Partnership" operating a speed camera trap ó which was allowed. Only the van was parked on single yellow lines ó which was not allowed. So he gave the constable in the van a £30 fine.
A reader of the Lancashire Evening Post told the paper of a near accident when a cyclist was forced to swerve out of a cycle lane into the road to avoid a Talivan which was illegally obstructing the cycle lane.
When a photograph of an Avon & Somerset Talivan parked on double yellow lines and obstructing a cycle lane appeared in the Daily Mail on 5th June 2003, Steve Mortimore, Assistant Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset Police was quoted as saying:
I am appalled. We cannot be seen to break the law in order to enforce the law. It's against our way of doing things and it's hypocritical. It is a fact that everyone who has a car will speed. I have broken the speed limit and I defy anyone to say that they haven't. The point is that often speed limits are broken without people having accidents. What we have to focus on is where speed is actually causing accidents.

Partners in Crime
Many of these so-called partnerships include local magistrates courts — so don't expect impartial justice. For any areas not listed above try the relevant police force website via www.police.uk
Spin Central
National Safety Camera Liaison, otherwise known as 'spin central', appears to be a team of two or three people that pumps out all the propaganda to the safety camera pratnerships around the country. It's the main reason why all the local sites churn out the same old discredited rubbish about how wonderful and popular speed cameras are. Run from Northamptonshire, one of the worst abusers of speed camera vans, it is headed by one Susan Beck, whose background seems to be in marketing — and they told you it was all about road safety. In June 2004, the Department for Transport published a report on speed cameras. The associated documentation includes a list of all 'safety' camera partnerships in England & Wales with contact details.

Anti-Talivan sites:
Sinking Fast

Safespeed have this amusing variation on a speed camera sign available for download in various sizes.
Media Links If you know of any other Talivan sites not listed here please let us know.
Beneath Contempt
And finally, special mention must go to give Dumfries & Galloway Safety Camera Partnership for sheer bloody-minded use of a talivan. On Saturday 2nd April 2004, the M74 was closed both ways at junction 14 for many hours because of an accident and spillage (BBC). Huge queues of stationary traffic built up. Shortly after the southbound carriageway had been re-opened, these parasites were seen on this prat perch on the M74 southbound just prior to junction 21, clearly deliberately targetting drivers who'd finally been released from the tailback. You might think that with some of their colleagues in the real police doing their best to re-open the road, the pathetic excuses for police officers sat in this talivan might have used a bit of common sense and gone somewhere else to rake in the cash, but no. Their action was deliberate, malicious, and succeeded only in inciting contempt of the police.

Bridges and prat perches on the M74 are favourite spots for D&G to mug drivers leaving Scotland. This prat perch becomes visible just after the 1 mile signs for J21, and they've recently been seen parked on the overbridge just before this, so watch out! The majority of drivers using this section of the M74 will be long distance travellers, so the targetting of the motorway avoids too many complaints from locals. They are nothing more than modern day highwaymen operating one of the most blatant extortion rackets in the country.