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back to article Lies, damned lies and government statistics

Apparently statistics are all down to personal opinion. Except, of course, when you are a government spokesperson, in which case they are the gospel truth. Despite expert evidence – and public exposure - that the “official estimate” of casualty reduction due to speed cameras is seriously overestimated, the Department for …

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Coat

all this

And I thought the government we supposed to be listening to scientists and experts.

Time for a change I think, but not to any of the self loving parties we have at the moment.

Mines the one with the real democracy in the pocket.

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Dead Vulture

Not an issue

The complaining speeder is somewhat like the dissatisfied porn punter or the pissed off smoker, let's face it they are not someone that engenders an awful lot of sympathy with the general public when they bitch about their predicament. Consequently the powers that be feel they can ignore and tax/fine them at will, and indeed they do. Surprised they haven't played the "What about the children card.". Break down the KSIs to age group and show that 87.9% of all of these are sweet blond curly haired cuteypies.

Vultures can be roadkill too.

Efros

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Anonymous Coward

Evidence-based policy...

"...a government that claims to rely on the evidence..."

Erm. I think they debunked that particular claim a *long* time ago.

Evidence-based policy, my left buttock. Dogma and spin (or flat-out lies) characterise this Government's policy framework.

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Flame

Morons

If you don't want to pay speeding fines, don't speed. It's that simple. Are drivers in the UK so stupid that they cannot get that through their thick skulls? Christ almighty, the cameras have warning signs, road markings and are feckin' day-glo!

If you can't see all the warning sighs, road markings and the camera itself; what else can't you see? If you think it is somehow "unfair" rather than your own dumb-ass mistake for being so inattentive to your driving, you are unfit to drive.

Having just said that, I wish the same level of effort was applied to middle-lane hoggers (yes YOU, get left moron) and red-light runners (even amber means STOP*, idiot).

*I am perfectly aware of the full definition for amber, but it's a bit long-winded. Green too for that matter (clue: it does not mean "GO").

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Alert

"fork out"?

There's a totally foolproof way for motorists to avoid having to "fork out" money for speeding fines, and it doesn't involve putting hairspray on your number plate or any of the other tricks.

Slow down.

It's not rocket science.

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Saving lifes.

And if it was proved that placing a diffrent detterant to speed could save even more lifes but wouldn't get the 100m in fines would the goverment do it?

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Listening to scientists and experts?

...what, like they did when reclassifying cannabis?

As has been said in previous comments, they've dropped, or rather shied away from that idea a long time ago.

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Silver badge

KSI is wrong

IIRC KSI covers the dead (obviously) and those referred to hospital for any reason whatsoever (regardless of how serious any actual injuries are). This one reason by bikers over-represent as they are often carted off for check-ups (quite sensibly too). If they are found to be uninjured (or only slightly) they still appear on KSI stats.

I am not sure if the same applies to cyclists and peds, but I'm guessing it does.

So even if the 870 KSI figure is "accurate", it's not actually measuring "serious injuries" at all and is still an over estimate. How far can that 870 be cut if you remove the "noise" of people just getting post-incident check-ups?

Then there is this gibbermunts obsession with speeding. Why? It is only a factor in around 7% of accidents (according to their own figures), so why not focus on other more significant causes? I reckon it's because speeding is the easiest to fine and thus raise revenues from. Most others require a trained plod to sit and wait to see it happening.

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Stop

Revenue^H Speed^H Safety cameras are evil

All the gatsos do is cause mass slamming on of brakes and rapid acceleration - costing us all money in increased fuel bills.

Specs at least maintain some degree of sense, except that people think that they are instant as well as average cameras and slam on the brakes anyway.

My real problem is the inappropriate positioning of speed limits, speed cameras and other road hazards.

We had a lane on a quiet road blocked off with lights recently because they were replacing a drain cover, in the week and a bit the roadworks were there I never saw anyone working. A metal sheet over the area, or just a couple of cones would have been enough - you could see the road for far enough to pass safely.

icon - It's what UK.gov want us all to do

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Go

re: Morons

"Are drivers in the UK so stupid that they cannot get that through their thick skulls?"

Absolutely!

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Mobile cameras

In reponse to AC's morons, I think you'll find many speeders are caught by white vans with a tiny speed camera symbol on the side that sit in laybyes or on bridges, operated by contractors (not the police). These are quite difficult to spot in time and are fundamentally entrapment. The other common one is average speed cameras, which take no account of road conditions or the fact you can do a ton and then wait just before it. Neither of these are practical solutions to the alleged menace of speeders. Around 3,400 people are killed on the roads and if 800-odd are killed by speeders then 2,600 are killed by non-speeders. Even you declare that people driving like cunts are a major issue with your middle lane hogs. However if it is not safe to stop for amber, you should still go through.

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Anonymous Coward

All cameras do...

...is make you slow down to the `safe` speed where there are cameras - it does not slow people down who are driving fast over any significant distance. They _do_ make a lot of money for the government to spunk on whatever it fancies though.

Physical obstructions slow people down - like the hard plastic sleeping policemen. Now, if they _really_ wanted to slow people down for the sake a saving the poor wikkle pedestrian then this is what they would do. Or even introduce compulsory devices to regulate speed in all vehicles on our roads. Or they would make the punishment for speeding a year in prison - no exceptions, first time. Or any number of other, effective deterents. But why the f*ck would they do that?! How does that benefit any of them? If noone drives faster than the speed they say you can, then no money can be made! No, much better to put little yellow boxes up and have a computer issue a penalty fine. Because that allows people to drive as fast as they like, and makes the asshats a tidy buck to spend on other inane shitty pointless projects to boot.

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Classic

From the R-T-M appendix

"Many fixed cameras had to be excluded from this analysis because they were existing cameras which changed operation to cost-recovery."

QED

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Stop

For the benefit of the AC who seems to support speed cameras...

You need to understand that speed limits are just an arbitrary number. It does not indicate that someone driving 1 mph below the limit is in any way safer than someone driving 1 mph above. Many other factors are important, such as the state of the road, the traffic, the time of day, the presence or otherwise of pedestrians, your skill as a driver, the vehicle you are using etc. etc.

So, if the 'government' is taking £100m a year from drivers for exceeding an arbitrary number they pulled out their nether regions, it seems reasonable to ask "Is this actually contributing to road safety" and, more importantly, "Is this the best way to spend this money and time to increase road safety".

If you have no answer to those questions, it's not a fine, it's a tax. I don't expect you to complain about another tax, but those of us who aren't sheeple would like to know, and prefer it when our own 'government' doesn't lie to us.

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Re: Morons

Generally true.

However, their placement and feature creep are based on incorrect statistics. If I gave a statistic that banning broccoli saved 976 people each year based in a PFMA rigorous test on the effect of high-iron foodstuffs on the UK population, should this mean that we pay to have broccoli changed? Or have packaging show how much broccoli is contained ("may contain broccoli")? No. Why? Because the figure was pulled from my arse. Now you may find out that one or two people a year die within hours after eating a meal containing broccoli, but does that mean that my proposal should stand?

And we don't want to reward PFMA statistics. And certainly NOT from our government.

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Speeding..... not always clear cut

For instance, the stretch of road my current g/f was driving home on at around midnight, in the countryside, totally empty, with few or no speed signs and a gatso partly covered by shrubs..... and a 30MPH limit FFS!!

I'm all in favour of speed humps by schools, and sensible 30 limits in built up areas - but this one is a pure money-maker, installed at a spot where people may have crashed due to their own stupidity doing over 60 round a blind corner followed by a fairly sharp opposite corner. Do-able at 60, not at 80..... so lets have a 30 limit and a camera! Yay.... just glad the thing didnt flash.....

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@AC Morons

People that live in glass houses and all that, if you had read the article in full you would of read that this is not about speed cameras but the way the govermnent manipulate figures to there own ends. So moron may be a bit rich coming from a moron.

but then again i surpose your one of these law loving citizens whos children go to the school in your catchment area and you never over fill you bins, i read a goverment statistic that if you hop every where you can save the planet and porduce enough energy to light your home...

...So off you hop

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@AC re Morons

Oi, you! Get off yer friggin' high horse.

The real issue here is that the DFT are using LIES rather than STATISTICS to fine drivers.

The issue is not about whether or not speeding is right or not.

Please don't feed the trolls...

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Anonymous Coward

Again with the "then don't speed...."

Fair enough, by not speeding you can avoid paying this tax - but its still a tax, plain and simple. Worse still, it allows the police to get their vital performance statistics without actually lifting a finger in catching dangerous and incompetent drivers! in my personal experience as both a driver and a biker i have had my life put at risk numerous times by dangerous driving well under the speed limit. I have also almost never felt threatened by people driving over the speed limit - apart from those tossers in body kitted abominations with a table bolted to the back who think the M1 is the staging area for grand turismo - but even then its not the speed thats the danger, its the undertaking, following closely and aggressive driving.

People who complain about speed cameras aren't IMO bitter about points on their licence (FWIW mine's spotlessly clean), they just see that they are purely for revenue generation, and believe, like me, road safety cannot be left to mechanical devices that only use a single measure yet have the capacity to ban you from driving. The sooner we get rid of them the better! (except perhaps by schools...)

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@ AC (Moron?) re. Morons

"And before El Reg commenters reach for the flaming green ink, please note: this is not about the effects of speed. Nor is it about the effects of speed cameras, precisely. Rather, it is about the way in which the government treats evidence when it doesn’t like the way experts interpret it."

Do read the article before commenting.

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Pirate

RTM is when it was temporarily *unusually* above average.

@AC: it wasn't meant to be about speed itself; you're right though, I too regard speed cameras as being the same as the lottery, a tax on the stupid. My objection is that we seem to get cameras *instead* of policemen in cars, so no action on middle lane-hoggers tailgaters seatbelts and phone-users et al.

About the article: "cameras are sited on spots where the accident rate is usually above average." I think you mean "unusually above average" (for a particular, short, measurement period) hence RTM has a powerful effect. If the accident rate is above average (for that sort of location) for many years (ie. "usually" above average) then that's the normal rate for that location, so RTM won't be a strong effect.

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£100m a year in speeding fines

That pays for one minor logo change and attributed consultancy fee then. Every 2 years.

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Silver badge

who needs a state-controlled media

when all the "free" channels do is swallow the government line, whole, without challenging it?

OK. Points to The Times for bringing it to people's attention. However I have a sneaking suspicion that this issue won't get picked up by any other highstreet-publication - or TV/Radio. The reasons being that:

a.) it's too abstract

b.) it involves numbers

c.) there are no pictures

d.) it's not about the olympics

As the old song goes: "freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose". In the case of press freedom, we've already lost any critical, intellectual or iconoclastic reporting, so I guess that makes them free, afterall.

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Anonymous Coward

How many old people die of hyperthermia

Because the money needed to pay their winter fuel bills was spent on cameras?

How many hospital deaths, how many stress deaths from extra work to pay the tax bill? How many extra rear end collisions? In the great grand scheme of things are they even a net positive?

Difficult thing, you can look at the UK mortality rate and say it's high vs most of Europe and conclude the wrong choices are being made overall. It doesn't mean that all choices are bad, just that overrall the net effect of UK.gov is more dead people. The net trend is for the UK to climb the mortality ladder vs similar countries.

I know each government department likes to slice the world up into it's own little piece then consider their little piece in isolation, but they consume budget, their budget is paid for with tax and that means somebody working their butt off on a Friday night to pay their bills, then driving home exhausted and crashing.

Or some other more important thing to lose it's budget because Madam Fakir's dept falsifies it's statistics.

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KSI

Pal of mine was dazed for a few seconds after a car hit him. No other injuries at all, but as a precaution he was kept in hospital all night (no disagreement with that). Turns out that an overnight hospital stay = seriously injured. Hmm.

My first question on his return by bus was "So, which do you feel, killed or seriously injured?".

I'm sure people read KSI as "Killed". Might be worth bearing this tale in mind next time you read any stats that quote KSI.

V

PPS, "Moron" post, by AC. Not relevant AT ALL. Comment is about stats, not about speeding.

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Paris Hilton

If saving lives is REALLY the aim then

how come the NHS kills more than 3,500 each and every year, by having filthy hospitals. No money in stopping C. Diff and MRSa is there.

Why not a washing your hands camera for NHS staff? Complete with fines etc.

Speed camera's no - GREED camera's yes.

Paris - because she's far more upfront than HMG ever is!

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@AC re Morons

I think you just answered your own questions. The problem with speed cameras is that they are pointless. Drive down the street and tell me how many people you see speeding. Many? Not really. And those who are technically speeding are probably just a fraction over the speed limit, not hugely over.

Now tell me how many people you see each day buggering around on the road as if they don’t reallise that they are in a 2 ton tank. As you mentioned, hogging centre lanes or just generally unaware of what’s going on. I think you will find it is a much larger number.

Problem is, bad driving is not easily measured with a mechanical device, so it is easier to put up a few cameras. It doesn’t matter if they work, as long as the sheeple think they are getting their monies worth. You can probably count yourself in that group.

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Paris Hilton

@AC

Well said, mate. Morons. If you don't want the camera to take a picture of your car, try driving within the speed limit, not crashing red lights, etc. It's really very easy, even for morons.

There's always this idiot chorus whenever the subject of speed cameras comes up yet, in that they *only* take pictures of those who are breaking the law, they are one of the fairest uses of technology yet. Mention the millions of CCTV cameras shoved in your innocent face as you go about your innocent business, though, and it's always "Oh, but they make the streets *so* much safer" ... even though every study ever done shows that they make bugger all difference to anything.

Stop moaning about speed cameras, and try driving safely, fools. If you have to moan, do it about actual abuse of technology, like just about everything this Godforsaken UK government is stuffing down your throat.

Paris, because she knows what to do in front of a camera.

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Stop

@Mobile cameras, "entrapment"

No, "entrapment" is encouraging someone to commit a crime, for example, if a cop dressed as a hooker tries to get you to buy. If you happen to commit a crime where someone can see you, that's not entrapment.

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Go

@AC "Morons"

It could possibly be that motorists really don't see the relevance of (for example, the 70mph motorway limit) a speed limit introduced in 1965, by a non-driving transport minister, for cars with drum brakes and cross-ply tyres, in response to accidents in fog; when that limit is applied in 2008 to modern cars in good weather.

Added to this is the recent fetish for local councils to drastically cut the speed limit on many roads without good reason (quite often from 60mph to 30mph) and then put a shedload of cameras up, some of which are 'accidentally' hidden behind a convenient tree or road sign, and all of which are on the straightest, safest and most downhill sections of the road, where most people (perfectly safely) can exceed the limit by at least 10mph. This is what happens when policy is set by people in London who think that every road in Britain is a busy high street where 30mph is actually quite fast for the conditions.

When speed limits are set to a genuine 'maximum safe' speed, rather than merely as low as they think they can get away with, THEN talk to me about not speeding. Until then I and most other people will take the signs (in most cases) as a suggested minimum speed, rather than a hard maximum.

/gets the coat with the clean licence in the pocket

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real question

"" Drivers now fork out well in excess of £100m a year in speeding fines, and Mr Ruffley would like to know what the money is spent on.""

did we get an anser to the question that was asked not the one they would have liked to be asked? ie WTF are they spending £100m on?

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@Chris Collins et al

The camera van will still only catch YOU when YOU are breaking the law.

This is still YOUR fault. No one else's.

Take some personal responsibility for YOUR actions.

As to the comments on revenue generation:

The fines are NOT a tax, they are NOT mandatory (like the road fund license). You can CHOOSE to pay them or not by simply OBEYING THE LAW. Whether that law is good, the limits valid or not is a different conversation.

And one YOU should try and have with YOUR MP if you are so upset up about it.

As to the government stats:

If you believe anything Labour say, then you are an even bigger idiot than those who lack the wit to keep the vehicle they are fully in control of below the posted limit.

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@Morons

Totally agree on the speeding. You know the rules of the road when you pass your test. You agree to them when you get your licence. Everyone knows the score. Then going on to bitch that you got caught speeding is just stupid. If you don't want to pay then don't speed. Going 35mph instead of 30mph on bog standard urban/suburban roads will get you nowhere faster. You'll either get caught at lights, or you'll brake for a bus, whatever.

But this wasn't an article about speed cameras. It was about the government doing its usual fingers-in-its-ears act whenever someone proves it wrong. And on that point I have to agree.

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Stop

lets see...

1,745 people saved

100,000,000 revenue

= £57,306 per person saved

and how much was that cancer treatment per patient that the NHS won't provide coz it's too costly but very effective?

It's all one government right? right... ?

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Breaking a law

It's not about speed, it's about a law. If you break it you get fined.

It really is black and white, there's no grey area. You're either deliberately breaking the law (to get where you want to quicker), or you're not safe on the road (i.e. failing to maintain your vehicle's speed - if you can no longer do something you were REQUIRED to do before you were given a full driving licence, maybe you should retake driving lessons or turn in your licence and get on public transport).

A driving licence isn't a right, its a privilege. And if you break the rules of the road, expect to get a penalty for doing so. It's just a shame there aren't cameras to catch other poor driving standards.

Roll on the day that speeding points are taken into account when you come to renew your car insurance. People like me who can monitor their speed and keep it at or under the limit can then benefit from cheaper premiums.

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Smoke and Mirrors!!!

Why dont they place a camera on a safe road and see the increase in accidents?

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It's nothing new

Government spin is nothing new, commissioning people to produce "independant figures" is what needs to be looked at.

Unfortunately many of us fall for the figures produced like people did with smoking .

They are on a winner because joe public are not going to drive within the speed limits and even if they do they will find another tax to make up the shortfall.

My beef with the camera's is accountability the operators of the cameras can cherry pick who they fine,i'm not saying that they do but it is a possibility, do they actually send out fines to all who are caught or do the contractors/police do checks to see if its worth their while first,for example do police officers get tickets when they are off duty ??? or MP's the only cases i have seen have been where people were caught with other means .......

For a law to work it has to be fair to all with no exceptions,these cameras are not IMO a fair way to administer law.

If the government are serious about speed all caught should be banned after one warning but getting back to the stats ....we have to have a more responsible way of Government stats being presented otherwise we end up with the situation where we believe none of them.

One stat that is irrefutable is that no matter what we do with our lives 100% of people will die.

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Cowardly rantings.

Besides the by now Statement of the Bleeding Obvious", ergo that this, and any, government will lie it's tits off to justify any revenue raising when it feels like it, the one thing I notice (again), is the number of people ranting away whilst hiding behind the "Anonymous Coward" posting.

Yes, I use a nom-de-plume, but at least the thread of my postings are traceable, unlike yours, you weasels.

Right, that's that off me chest, to business.

Speed cameras are, in the vast majority of their current useage, fixed or mobile, a pox on society and a bare-faced tax on the (otherwise law-abiding) motorist.(at this point I expect a reaction from the *if you don't speed you don't get fined* brigade, but I'm willing to bet that there ain't any saints out there, really, and any driver who says "I don't speed" is suffering from delusional tendencies, and will have, at some time, albeit unintentionally or even unconsciously, exceeded the speed limit, even slightly).

Driving at 80mph on a near-deserted, dry motorway, at 4am is only likely to present a danger to the driver & occupants of said vehicle. the Gatso/mobile camera operator, unlike your average Traffic Plod, takes no account of this, nor any extenuating circumstances there may be involved. This is not good policing, in anyone's book. It's arbitrary, dispassionate and without any sense of mercy or balance, which is what is required of good lawmaking, and good law enforcement. a sense of proportionality needs to be returned to our roads.

On the other side of the argument, there ARE places for non-discriminatory speed enforcement. Busy urban/suburban areas, where there ARE higher numbers of more 'vulnerable' people, where excess vehicle speed DOES contribute to fatality/serious injury levels. These are the places that speed cameras (and the like) should, IMHO, be being deployed, not the major arterial routes. They need to be policed properly, with highly trained, dedicated, passionate HUMAN BEINGS, not automated systems.

Rant over. Thank fuck it's Friday!!

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Implications of RTM...

Of course the other implication of RTM is that the to get a real overall benefit you need to change drivers habits so that people don't speed at the places that are going to exceed the mean next time. And of course they do speed, all the time. You just have to drive around at the speed limit all the time and watch the queue up your rear fender.

And the only way to change peoples habts will be to make the cameras more or less invisible, located completely at random locations, not just where you can see them, and in huge numbers. That would greatly increase the tax take in he short term, but it would drop in the long term. It would also be completely unacceptable politically in spite of the number of lives that would be saved... Speed doesn't necessarilly cause accidents but it sure makes them worse... Not to mention the green benefits from the fuel saving etc....

It is bizarre actually, this labelling of speed cameras. If it was just a tax raise thing you'd think they wouldn't be labelled so prominently so the take would increase. Of course it could just be muddled thinking and half ass compromises, but that couldn't happen in UK government. Could it?

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Bronze badge

How much?

So what was the average reduction in fatalities / KSI's in the areas that didn't have speed camera's? I have often heard it suggested that they reduced as well, something to do with better cars etc.

Mind you, I would also assume that the camera's have a tendency to displace accidents - they stop you from being able to overtake a tractor safely in one particular place, so presumably people will try and overtake somewhere else, where it may well be less safe?

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Coat

@How many old people die of hyperthermia

I thought the UK mortality rate was the same as Europe and the rest of the world - 100%

<-- Mine's the one with the cowl and scythe

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Boffin

Can't believe I'm actually going to say this....

..... but I'm generally in favour of speed cameras. That's strange coming from me when I (like most people I know) would quite likely admit to speeding almost daily (in a hypothetical way, blah, blah, deflect lawyers kinda way). Most speed limits are not set arbitarely as stated above, and if they make people drive more slowly in dangerous areas then I'm all for it. If I am caught speeding it's because I knowingly broke the speed limit, no-one put a gun to my head. But the main reason I'm all for it is because I hope some of the money will go into providing more patrol cars to go out and catch some of the twits I see doing every day motoring lunacy, often at speeds well inside the limit, which seem to cause the majority of accidents I have seen. Speed does not kill, it is innappropriate speed or driving behaviour, IMHO, that does.

Speed compresses the amount of time you have to react to a given situation, hence all those braking distance reminders in the Highway Code. If you are driving too fast for a situation, you may leave yourself too little time to react and avoid an unexpected change in the situation. It is not usually the expected that kills us, but the unexpected. Driving at 100mph down an empty motorway at 3am is likely a lot safer than doing it in rush hour, but I'd advise you take make sure you always drive at a speed that allows you to see far enough ahead to avoid the unexpected such as a car broken down in the middle lane. Likewise on country roads with the national speed limit - just because you can do sixty, it may not be so wise to do it round that tight bend or over the bridge ahead, as what may be hidden from view is a stationary vehicle, a pedestrian, an animal, a tractor, a whitevanman knuckledragger cutting down a lane marked as too small for such a vehicle in his oversize delivery truck....

The most dangerous spot by crash stats in my area is an innocuous bend on a dual carriage A-road. The road in general is open and fast, and drivers get sucked into the idea they can cruise safely at the limit (and often over it). The problem is that this bend in particular has a thick wedge of woodland right up to the kerb, and drivers cannot see more than twenty yards ahead. They often come round the corner at full pelt to find a stationary queue of traffic and plough into the rearmost car (seven such fatal incidents in the last three years!), mainly by drivers driving inside the speed limit. A local politician has suggested a drop in the limit to 40mph for the bend and a camera to enforce it, and much to my surprise I think I'm going to sign his petition.

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arse

so the reduction in deaths and serious injuries has absolutely zero correlation with advances in vehicular safety devices, i would suggest that the 800 and some less occurances after taking rtm into account is actually due to safer cars.

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Anonymous Coward

@let see

saving may be £57k per "life" but assuming average distibution of people "saved" then each £57k probably "buys" 30-ish extrra years of life ... most of the cancer drugs are only going extend life by a year or two .... so in terms of QALY's the benchmark from the speed camera test ~£2k/year

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Flame

@lets see

If there are 40,000 revenue cameras in the UK each costing £20,000, that’s a total outlay of 800,000,000. Subtract from that the 100,000,000 earned by those cameras and divide that figure by the number of lives saved, gives a value per life of £804,597. NICE by contrast places a figure of somewhere between £20,000 and £30,000 on that same life. Some joined up thinking wouldn’t go amiss…

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Paris Hilton

Rabbits

Of course, the implication of the rtm effect is that if you placed ANY object at a site that had experienced a higher than average accident rate over a period of time, then there would be some reduction in the accident rate. The important thing is to determine how much reduction is due to the camera, how much due to rtm.

Given the apparent lack of statistical nous at the DfT, may I propose the following.

That an independent group carries out some research. This would involve placing rabbits at sites of high accidents. No, not the furry sort, but, because the government seem so wedded to hi-tech solutions, the latest in vibratory dildonics. The rabbit!

Then ask them to explain the subsequent reduction in accidents WITHOUT rtm, (which they seem so keen to ignore elsewhere).

Yes! Roadside vibrators reduce accidents by 60%!

Let's campaign for roadside vibrators NOW.

Paris, cause she probably knows a thing or two about roadside vibration.

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Silver badge

A few comments

1) I completely agree with the article. The govt do manipulate statistics, and most people have such a limited understanding of maths that they just swallow it whole. It is all about telling people what to think, and those who cannot think for themselves (the vast majority of the population...) lap it up. They don't realise that 72.6% of statistics are made up.

2) My only problem with speed cameras is that they have no brain. It does not take into account that speeds will naturaly vary. OK, they allow a little margin, but this is not enough.

If you are stopped by a cop for speeding, you can explain yourself. Take for instance the time I was stopped for doing 36 in a 30 zone. I had just driven back from university, motorway all the way, a 2 hour drive. I had only been off the motorway a mile or so, and it was night, with no other traffic about. In these circumstances, your perception of speed is altered. I was not intentionaly speeding and, just before the cop pulled me over, I had noticed and was slowing down. The police talked to me for a couple of minutes and let me go. They understood that a little common sense is necessary. If it had been a camera, £60 + 3pts, no questions.

3) They are a distraction. I have heard of one guy who ran someone over because he was looking at his speedo going through a speed camera. They make many people think about their speed more than the road (actualy about their wallets, hence their speed).

4) Because people don't want to be fined many people drive at 5mph bellow the speed limit while going through them. This will wind up many people, the ones who know you are given a small margin, and angry people are more likely to take risks, and taking risks increases the chance of having an accident.

Myself, I am a reasonably calm driver, but it does irritate when you have to slow down to way bellow the speed limit when you were sticking to it, then you see the car in front zoom off at 5-10mph above the speed limit as soon as they have passed.

5) Not admitting you are guilty is a crime (I know this is not quite accurate, but it's close enough). I have one friend who was 'caught' by a speed camera. She knew there was a mistake, so she filled in the form, didn't sign it (because signing is admitting guilt), and sent in a form stating that she was driving but she wasn't speeding. In this case it was a mobile camera, outside a school where she had stopped to drop her kid off, 50yards away from where she stopped. She had only just turned onto that road, before stopping, so it could not have been before she stopped, and the car could not possibly have reached 30 before the camera. In any case she does not break the limit.

She was summoned to court, but she was too unwell, in hospital, for the court date, so she sent a letter pleading her case. She was not done for speeding. She WAS convicted of "failing to disclose driver details", which is a pile of tosh as she DID tell them that she WAS driving. Hence 6 points and approx £200 fine.

This is only one of many similar case I know of. It becomes a case of guilty untill proven innocent, and the courts do not listen to those damn lying maniac speeding drivers. The camera is always right.

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@ Matt Bryant

Seems to me that cutting back the woodland to improve the vision of drivers would do equally as well as the measures suggested by your politico.

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Unhappy

>"But it comes to something when they so blatantly spin against what their own experts tell them."

Hardly news, as the bereaved relatives of the late Dr. Kelly could have told you.

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Stop

@Again with the "then don't speed...."

Quote: "Fair enough, by not speeding you can avoid paying this tax - but its still a tax, plain and simple."

You're probably smart enough not to waste money on lottery tickets. You should be smart enough to use the 100% effective way not to waste money on speeding fines too.

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