Local authorities and police forces are to publish figures on the results of installing speed cameras. Road safety minister Mike Penning said that councils will publish statistics on the numbers of accidents and casualties at camera sites dating back to 1990. Police forces are to provide details of the number of speeding …
I thought they were already published. They certainly are in some areas.
Is the whole point. At the moment they publish bits, and each force dose there own.
does this mean that...
They will actually publish the locations of all the cameras?
You know the ones that certain forces want to keep secret for the benefit & safety of the public?
Yeah and pigs might fly.
What about publishing the locations of all the ANPR cameras then?
BB is still there keeping 24/7 tabs on you.
There are no secret speed cameras. But then I supose you can never let facts get in th way of paranoia.
"There are no secret speed cameras"
That's what they want you to think.
Until they provide exhaustive and incontrovertible proof of the non-existence of secret speed cameras, paranoia is clearly justfied!
There are no secret speed cameras...
Indeed every "safety partnership" is required to publish the locations of all their fixed cameras and where temporary cameras are being used. You'll usually find them on t'interweb.
Not only that, but any of those stories you hear about drivers getting nicked by hidden cameras are just so much BS. I've heard all sorts of tales about hidden cameras, and people being successfully prosecuted by their use. However there are strict rules governing the placement and warnings of both temporary and permanent cameras and were you to get pinched by a camera that didn't comply it wouldn't be too hard to get the conviction overturned.
Those stories are usually just drivers making up excuses for being daft enough to get nicked by a bi bright yellow box or a van with a big speed camera sign painted on it. In over half a million miles of driving I've been pulled for speeding twice. Once I simply didn't spot the patrol car with the laser and he got me. The other I didn't spot the patrol car coming up the slip road as I passed, no I don't think for a second he was being sneaking he was just coming up the slip road and saw me pass the end of the slip road and gave chase. In the first instance I was not paying enough attention and as such should certainly have not have been travelling over the limit. In the second instance I was unlucky. However I am mature enough to accept that however the pull was made I was bang to rights. The law is simple - you adhere to the posted speed limit. If you don't want to get nicked, don't exceed the speed limit.
The only grey area in that respect is where the speed limit isn't clear. And I can't think of many cases like that, reminder signs are the norm on roads with a limit below the national limit. The only exception to this being in built up streetlit areas where the limit shall be assumed to be 30mph unless signs indicate otherwise. Again if you got nicked where there wasn't a clearly posted limit you should have little trouble avoiding conviction.
I've never done it with speeding, but have on two occasions avoided conviction by presenting photographic evidence that in one case a road sign was obsured by trees and in another that road markings were missing. You only need to employ "Mr Loophole" if you have more money than sense. The guy is famous for getting people off speeding convictions, but it tends to be less well docuemented when he fails. Sometimes you just can't get away with if you're in the wrong.
Speed limit locations
... and what about the chunks of dual carriageway and other wide, safe roads with 30 limits on them? Or the roads that alternate between 30 and 40 every 100 yards? For "safety" obviously!
@"There are no secret speed cameras"
That speed camera site linked to above only has the *fixed* camera locations, not favoured mobile locations.
I could show you two locations, one on the A32, another on the A272 where the Hampshire Constabulary "safety camera" van likes to lurk. The first is on a bend after a 30mph limit sign such that if you aren't below 30mph *exactly* as you cross the line, they'll get you. The second is in a layby partly hidden by foliage so the left rear van door (with the speed camera sign on) is not visible and the other door is open with the camera in so all you see is a black rectangle.
Neither of these are in locations where being above the limit is actually dangerous, they're just good locations for trapping people who aren't familiar with that bit of road and who can be nicked for a nice profit.
"The first is on a bend after a 30mph limit sign such that if you aren't below 30mph *exactly* as you cross the line, they'll get you."
So are you one of those people who think that you only need to slow down once you've passed the sign? I don't think you'll find any mention of that in the road traffic act.
As for the obscured camera all you need is photographic evidence and the conviction won't stand.
However you will find that your local speed camera partnership advertises when those cameras are in use on their web site.
"So are you one of those people who think that you only need to slow down once you've passed the sign?"
Given that I'm an IAM member, the answer to that is no.
However the point is that the camera van *could* be located in a position where it would be visible *before* you reach the 30mph sign thus ensuring that people slow down *as* they reach it. But, of course, that wouldn't be so good for revenue, would it?
And when you say "As for the obscured camera all you need is photographic evidence and the conviction won't stand", you rather miss the point that you won't necessarily even *know* if you've been caught and get the NIP a couple of weeks later, so if you go back subsequently and take a picture, they'll just argue that "well we say it wasn't in that position when we caught you, let's see you prove otherwise".
As for "your local speed camera partnership advertises when those cameras are in use on their web site", I quote from the Hampshire "Safety Camera Partnership" site:
"Enforcement can take place on any road at any time. Camera locations and routes are approximate.
"Please note, we can carry out speed enforcement on any road at any time."
So, no, they *don't* advertise when they are in use and their map simply shows a length of road (which can be several miles long) where a camera *might* be.
I have no objection to cameras where they will actually *do* some good. I do object when they are placed with the seeming intent of simply raising revenue.
"and what about the chunks of dual carriageway and other wide, safe roads with 30 limits on them? "
So what if the limit is clearly posted?
"Or the roads that alternate between 30 and 40 every 100 yards? For "safety" obviously!"
Go on then, find me one example where the limit switches between 30 and 40 "every hundred yards". There aren't any.
The trouble is the public are spectacularly incompetent at understanding statistics...
To make matters worse the numbers of road accidents at specific sites are so small that, by and large, you aren't talking about statistics, but just numbers...
I remember having this discussion many years ago with someone who worked in road accident data... There was a big motorway accident, and (to be fair to her she was immediately horrified when she realised what she'd said) the first response was "Oh No, that's really going to mess up our statistics" I tried gently to explain that if one incident can destroy your figures then you haven't really got statistics, just numbers.
But the trouble is things like budgets for central government and so on are based on the these statistics, which may be about so few incidents that there is very little statistical validty about them... Over an area the size of the UK, probably even as large as individual Counties, you have enough data to decide whether the cameras have an effect on accident rates,but for individual sites: nonsense, far too random an event... 10 serious accidents scattered over 10 years at a site are ten individual human tragedies, but on their own they don't tell you much about how risk is changing...
if the cameras reduce accidents, there may not be any accidents to show in the data!
More statistical nonsense
The problem with the idea of accident statistics at a single camera sit is that you can play silly buggers with the statistics as you choose. For example a number of cameras were placed along a stretch of road near me because the number of KSI incidents on that road was huge. The authorities had tried dropping the speed limit to no avail. The road is a classic of it's type. It is a county A road with lots of trees and stone walls nearby, it's in the hills so forward visibility is bad in places and it has quite a few very minor roads entering onto it and at some of those junctions visibility isn't great. It's not actually dangerous if traffic is sticking to the speed limit, but the visibility is not sufficient when the traffic is doing 70mph or more.
For those who don't get the reference about trees and walls it should be obvious that leaving the road when there is ample runoff is a lot safer than hitting a tree. In the first instance you have a minor accident with some property damage, in the latter a KSI.
The cameras on this road are mostly well placed. On the approach to blind bends, crests and some of those junctions I mentioned. There are only two with which I would disagree and they are both on straight stretches of road where forward visibility is good. However it just so happens that there have been as many KSIs on those two stretches as any where else on the road. The accidents in question were apparently down to dodgy overtaking manoevres. Probably drivers who have had to wait behind a slow moving vehicle waiting for the straight and then misjudging their maneovre.
Now you could argue that statistics would always support the placement of those speed cameras. That RTIs are by their very nature freak events and as such a KSI at a given site is unlikely to be repeated within the next few years. Therefore you might argue that statistics are likely to show that there are been no accidents at the camera site since it was placed there thus supporting the placement of speed cameras. Somebody will probably use the TLA RTM to talk about that phenomen in this very thread. The person doing so would however be confusing numbers with statistics.
If you want statistics you need to look at events over a number of years and along the entire stretch of the road. Picking on one camera site one local campaigner argued against the placement of the camera by saying there was one fatality there in 2007 and there were none before and there have been none since. Thus by his argument the accident was a freak event. His argument does not for a moment discuss whether that accident could have been avoided. That does not however take into account that there have also been several KSI incidents at that same site in the run up to the installation of the camera and there have been none since. So there are arguments both for and against that particular camera using the same numbers.
Where the statistics can prove to be very misleading is where other criteria are not taken into account. Take a camera a few miles away when KSI have reduced significantly since the camera was installed. At about the same time the camera was installed the speed limit was reduced and traffic calming measures were introduced. The official statistics would appear to support the installation of the camera, but the statistics make no mention of the reduction in speed limit or the other road safety measures. Because those measures were not given time before the camera was installed the statistics are useless because nobody can prove which of the three cameras lead to the reduction in KSI incidents.
One other problem with statistics is that modern cars are, by and large, incredibly safe. Things like ABS, EBA and EBD make accident avoidance more likely. And even if you fail to avoid the accident secondary safety measures mean you are much more likely to avoid serious injury than you were eveb twenty years ago. So what? Well there are no available statistics to show how many collisions have occured at a given site that did not result in death or serious injury. There are definitely no statistics to show how many near missed there have been at a site.
For an incident to move from being a mere bump to a KSI doesn't necessarilly take all that much. An overweight occupant in one of the vehicles (yes really, especially in smaller cars) can make the difference between bruises and serious injuries or worse. That one of the cars is older or poorly maintained or repaired (ever seen a dodgy cut and shut after a collision?) could turn an every day shunt into a fatality. The statistics also don't take that into account.
Only an idiot would deny that a given collision is more likely to cause injury or death if (all else being equal) the speeds involved were higher. However it does not follow therefore that if an accident did cause death or serious injury the speeds must have been too high. The statistics do not record whether the injured party fell outside the car designers criteria for the average person when they designed the safety systems. They do not show whether one of the vehicles was poorly maintained. They don't even show if somebody had fallen asleep at the wheel. They don't even tell us if any of the vehicles involved was exceeding the speed limit - if you are trying to use the statistics to support static speed cameras it helps greatly if you assume that they do.
All of which is why static speed cameras are difficult to support (or indeed argue against) successfully with statistics alone. If, however, you take a stretch of road a few miles long with a high rate of KSI incidents and install average speed cameras then the statistics might just be useful. However installing that sort of system would cost a lot more than throwing in a handful of static speed cameras - so for the foreseeable that practice will continue and weak statistics will be used to support it.
Thanks for proving my point ..
.. about the original speed camera report that has been used for years to justify everything going regarding speed cameras. Have a read if you understand statistics. I don't, but people I know tell me it's complete and utter BS, so how that came to support traffic decisions for a god decade is a bit beyond me.
And away we go!
Cue the "Speeding Is Bad v Oh No It's Not" argument.
What argument? speeding is illegal not matter how much more dangerous (or not) it is.
Those who want to argue that breaking the law should be allowed should not then be allowed to complain if their house is burgled. You can't have it both ways.
Wake me when this thread is over.
Herp de Derp de do
Oh dear chap, do try living in the real world at some point in your life.
Laws can change. The act of speeding (so defined as merely "driving faster than the little number at the side of the road") is not an absolute offence; breaking into someone's house is. You're trying to draw an analogy between something which doesn't *in and of itself* *always* harm someone else, and something which does.
"Speeding" doesn't *necessarily* cause accidents. Driving too fast for the conditions might; not paying attention to the road ahead and your immediate surroundings might. These are not the same, and the incidence of overlap is irrelevant.
Actually you're 100% wrong. An absolute offence is one which does not require mens rea, or a guilty intent.
Breaking into someone's house is only a crime if you do it with the INTENT to either steal, cause damage, rape or inflict injury on someone or having broken in ACTUALLY inflict injury and steal. Otherwise it's trespass which is a civil tort.
Whereas speeding is an excellent example of an absolute offence, there is a number and if you exceed it then you commit the offence, end of. It doesn't matter if you meant to or not, you did and that completes the offence.
So that's a legal fail for you, though I guess you could say you win at being smug,
What's the point of centralising these stats anyway? They're only relevant to the local area, who are the ones paying and can already access them. Personally I want my police on the streets preventing crime not collating statistics for no good reason.
Off to co-op in a sec, want anything while you are watching. You KNOW this is possibly one thread that will run forever.
Apples & Oranges ?
There are two possible problems here.
Firstly, will every website supply the data in machine readable format (Calling Sarah Palin's IT department...)
Secondly, will the data across the sources be comparable ?
For those who are curious about how statistics can lie, I can recommend the book "The Tiger that isn't" It has a nice bit on speed cameras, too.
Death and Statistics
There are over 2000 deaths on our roads each year. That is enough for some statistics
Like the kind of road, which for mile driven, is the most dangerous. Which turns out to be quiet B roads. There is nothing physically dangerous about about quiet B roads, it is where all the stupid drivers go to try out their (in)ability to drive at lunatic speeds without having to worry about speed cameras.
B-Roads have long been more dangerous per mile driven on them, even before speed cameras.
B-Roads are physically more dangerous because they are generally narrower, leaving less room for correction, aren't maintained as well as A-Roads, don't require the same sight lines and have number side roads and hidden enterances/exits.
Just to top it all off, the lower level of traffic on B-Roads means the surface doesn't get swept clean of debris as quickly.
" There is nothing physically dangerous about about quiet B roads, "
Generally there is. Drive down any quiet B road and it should be immediately obvious what the dangers are. Blind bends, poor signage (the requirements are lower), obstructions close to the carriageway, narrow roads, poor surfaces.
However accidents per vehicle per mile are not the same as accidents overall. The actual number of KSI incidents on such a road per year will probably be much lower than those on a nearby A road simply because of the higher number of vehicle miles travelled on that A road every year. If you're looking to reduce casualities you obviously aim your efforts at the roads where the most accidents occur, not the roads where the most accidents per vehicle mile occur.
There is, however, one thing in official policy which makes no sense when it comes to minor roads. Speed limits. As an example the A61 between Wakefield and Barnsley scores pretty highly in the most dangerous roads chart and for all the usual reasons. So it's fair enough that along most of it's length the limit is 50mph or lower. Turn off that road onto a B road or unclassified road and you will often find that you are faced with a national speed limit sign. It seems ridiculous in a lot of cases that speed limits on minor roads are higher than those on major roads. I can think of one road near my home that is effectively single track but has a limit of 60mph, while the nearby wide A road has a limit of 50mph. How can that possible make sense in safety terms?
Furthermore you find that this sort of stupid limit setting will actually encourage people to use the minor roads as rat runs and drive at potentially dangerous (yet legal) speeds on those roads to try to beat the traffic on the A roads.
Lies, damned lies, etc.
Here in BC (west coast of Canada) the provincial gov't brought in photo radar about 15 or so years ago, with big promises of not siting the cameras at the bottom of hills or right at speed limit changes and so on. Then about a year later they quietly amended their regulations to remove all those limitations. Weren't bringing in enough revenue. Next gov't got rid of the program.
It's an emotional issue, and while I stand firmly on one side of it, I doubt if any people will be convinced to change their position no matter how many erudite studies are waved in their faces.
'The trouble is the media is spectacularly adept at misinterpreting statistics..'
Fixed that for you.
"Councils and police to publish carefully massaged and managed speed camera data to ensure support of obscene levels of public spending in order to rake in profit for law enforcement agencies."
There we go.
The other Mr Orwell would be proud. How can speed cameras require "obscene levels of public spending" while simultaneously managing to "rake in profit"?
There used to be a big sign detailing how many accidents on a very short stretch on Dcway in f-boro but when a local rag investigated they found most of the accidents were people coming out of the now defunct local pub and tripping over the bad fitted flagstones. People sued the council through no-win-no-fee for the horrific state of the paving and these accidents were duly added to the number of serious accidents at this "Blackspot". When actually questioned the saftey partnership had to admit that there had not been an accident involving motor vehicles for many years! Shortly afte rthe publication of the article and the subsequent defacement of the sign which became a local joke, the council had the sign removed and the saftey van stopped skulking.
Surrey police did a speed check in camberley to try and get the council to pay for a speed trap.
The officers stood just after a 50MPH sign and caught cars doing over 30MPH inches/feet before they entered the 50mph zone. They of course failed to mention this and provide dt he local council with "evidence" that there were significant numbers of cars exceeding the 30mph speed limit. When questioned about this sort of dirty trick by one councillor the ACPO representative explained it was accepted procedure and had could not understand why
some in the meeting had a issues with the results.
A friend recently got "done" for doing 31MPH in a 30MPH zone, coming off a 50mph roundabout.
The sgt who verbally and physically intimidated my disabled 73 y/o friend was duly reported but thames valley police never responded to the complaint and by their rules if it has been three months since the officer assoulted her they consider the matter closed and she can longer request action against him. Note that EVERYONE who was stopped was offered the option of a ACPO company led retraining course. I bet the Chief plod pensions increased as they had 20 to a class and 8 classes every few hours as nearly 200UKP per person.
They never ran a speed check in the evning when the local boy racers routinely do 70+ on the same road - evidently there is no money to be made chasing kids...
They are all corrupt scumbags.
Can you provide citations for your anecdotes because I have to be blunt - I don't believe you.
It isn't ACPO policy to put speed traps at places where the speed changes, in fact just the opposite. And why would an 'ACPO representative' be at a council meeting about a speed camera?
As for being done for 31 in a 30 that is not plausible either, you have to be in excess of 10% over the speed limit to account for inaccuracies in your cars speedometer.
I call bullshit on the whole lot.
Only inaccurate in one way.
Speedometers are allowed to overread by up to 10% but NEVER underread. Therefore you can never be going faster than it tells you, 31 in a 30 may be implausible, but more down to the accuracy of the speed-camera etc; however who who would pay a fortune to argue that in court and risk much heavier penalties than the default fine and 3 points?
University Heights police will ticket people for going 1MPH over the speed limit. Of course this is contrary to policy of at least 5MPH over to ticket to allow for both speedometer and radar gun inaccuracy (in Iowa, the police are NOT required to every calibrate the radar guns!) I know there are a few locations as well where the police will wait feet before both speed reductions (catching people not braking fast enough) and speed increases (catching people who accelerate mere feet before the speed limit increase.) And of course, the sitting at the bottom of hills, that's common too (at the same time the city worries about how people should save gasoline, they put speed traps at the bottom of hills with no intersection down there, so people can waste all that momentum and have to hit the gas going up the other side, and set the stop lights so people have to stop every single block.)
@AC 16:05GMT, ACPO policy is 100% irrelevant. Ticketing at 1MPH over, and sitting right at a speed limit change to ticket, are against policy here too. Policies are not rules, and the police feel free to ignore "policies" that reduce their numbers. And, sure ACPO would show up at a camera meeting, if they wish.
So you're saying when it reads 31 you're probably doing less than that? And you honestly think that a SPEED CAMERA would be less accurate? I'd like to think it was Very accurate or else everyone would be contesting every ticket successfully.
According to this site http://www.speedlimit.org.uk/faq.html#ACPO ACPO tickets are only issued if youre doing 35 in a 30 unless it's in a busy high street or past a school
So I too call BS on the 31mph story, sounds like a Dail Mail urban myth to me
It could be that a GPS speedo said 31, they are accurate, but take a long time to update. If you are decelerating down from a 40 or 50 into a 30 limit, it could well say 31 MPH when you're doing more.
This is why you should always use the car's speedo - it's set low to be your friend.
Talking to a friendly (ish) traffic policeman the last time I got pulled proved interesting.
He told me that in order to pull me he had to show that I was exceeding the limit by MORE THAN 10% plus 1mph. So more than 34mph, or IOW 35mph since they don't deal in fractions. He told me however that for cameras the rule is more than 10% + 2mph. This, he said, was to allow for the fact that he was required to track my speed over a certain distance (I think he said a third of a mile) whereas the speed camera monitors your speed over a few yards. No so sure there is such a sensible reason, probably more a case of stupid red tape.
Either way there's no way you're getting pulled for doing 31mph.
And as for the Daily Fail I actually remember some of the press getting all het up a few years ago when they found out that the police would not pull you until you were doing 35mph or more. It was one of those "think of the children" stories.
Still no neare to finding out *why* this network exists, or 5 year data retention.
I'd *really* like to know the rationale for *both* of these items.
It's relatively simple.
We pay taxes (council tax, incidentally, provides the largest slice of payment for traffic monitoring, not road tax, before anyone jumps on that old chestnut).
Those taxes (increasing year on year by huge percentages, and if you take a look at your bill chances are you'll see that those increases are driven by increased policing costs) are used to buy ANPR and Speed Camera systems.
Those systems generate fines and the money for the fines goes to the council and thus the police.
So, we pay for the system bought by the persons who make a profit from its use. ++Good for them, eh?
"Those systems generate fines and the money for the fines goes to the council and thus the police."
That would be an interesting argument, but for the fact that it's complete bullshit. The money from speed camera fines goes to the treasury.
The previous government changed the system, supposedly to prevent accusations of speed camera's being used by local authorities as a cash cow. The real reason was probably just another way of raising more money for the treasury at little or no expense for central government.
The "safety" partnerships do indeed get a slice of the pie in the form of a government grant, but the size of this grant is not related to the number of fines levied or to the number of speed cameras placed. In order to receive the grant the authority has to be able to show that they are doing something to improve road safety. And you'll probably have guessed that quite a lot of sensible road safety initiatives do not qualify. Speed cameras of course do qualify.
More common bleedin' sense from Mike "The Bike" Penning
Comprehensive educated, ex army, ex fire-and-rescue, decent working bloke who got into politics late. This is what happens when you vote for the guy who's CV doesn't read "Sociology degree -> election agent -> election candidate".
Can we clone him, please?
Time, sex, age
I'd love to see the stats from the local camera sites that included the time of the offence as well as the sex and age of the speeder and then correlate that to the historic KSI stats. Although purely anecdotal, Hampshire mobile cameras seem to mostly fine middle-aged school-mums between 10:00am and 3:00pm on weekdays and 9-12am during Sunday's football run. Equally anecdotally, all the fatalities around these parts seem to involve young adult males between the hours of midnight and 2am...
It's funny but at a highways meeting a while ago a police representative told me that they are often on the receiving end of campaigns to have speed cameras installed. He said that in these cases they often take a speed camera and monitor speeds for a while, since many people's perception of speed is way out. People claiming every car going past their house is doing over 40mph often prove to be over estimating the speed of those cars. Anyway the point of this is that he told me that in these cases they often found that the worst offenders were not people passing through, but more likely to be locals.
This boils down to something I'm always saying about driving offences and bad driving in general: the majority of these incidents are caused by selfishness. Speeding, pulling out on people, running red lights, cutting people up, whatever are usually down to people thinking they and their journey are more important than safety, laws or other people. The RTA says we must all drive safely, carefully and with consideration for other road users.
Those school run mums would be horrified to think anybody was speeding near their kid's school, but OTOH think nothing of speeding on the school run (or indeed parking dangerously outside the school) because THEY are in a hurry.
From an ex-speeder
I used to speed but more recently realised the futility of this: -
Speeding whilst working? So I can pay for the ticket with the money I just earned!
Speeding on a 5 mile journey - gets me there seconds earlier!
I decided to take the IAM course (just 135 quid - bargain!) and began to understand how I SHOULD drive. If you don't want to get caught by the cash-cow don't speed - simple.
You car speedo is set to record faster than you are actually going (1% - 10%) so, given that the police allow you 10% +1 mph you'd need a speedo reading of approaching 40mph before you'd get a ticket (in a 30mph limit).
I'm still a rubbish driver compared to the level I want to be at, I don't drive like "driving Miss Daisy" (in spite of rumours, that's NOT what IAM is about), I do (and will continue) to upset others by driving in built up areas up to the speed limit and, if they don't like it they'll have to pass me (and some nutters do!!).
The fixed cameras are a farce and a poor attempt at raising cash on the sly while the mobile cameras are positioned to catch rather than deter but what is the solution to stopping speeders? Maybe we should all have digital tachographs fitted in our cars - then we could get rid of the cameras and the speeders!