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back to article Speed cams ditched in Wiltshire

Swindon local council has voted in favour of ending funding for maintenance of speed cameras in the town. At a vote last night the Tory council voted unanimously to stop providing £320,000 in funding for the Wiltshire and Swindon Safety Camera Partnership. The council will redirect funding to other road safety projects to reduce …

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Pirate

@Sarah Bee

Oooh, can't wait. I haven't been moderatrix'ed before - sounds like fun!

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Why is it?

That anyone who owns and drives a car think laws don't apply? Why is speeding such an acceptable law to break? Why do traffic wardens get verbally and physically abused for upholding the law and ticketing people who deliberately park on double yellows?

I used to travel from Manchester to the South West on the M6 & M5 two or three times a week and I used to lose count at the fools lane swapping with constant rapid acceleration and braking, only to be parallel to me again in a few hundred yards, not to mention the shunts because people drive too closely and having no space to brake.

Bad driving needs to be combated. Speeders may think they have won the battle with this piece of news but you can guarantee that it will lead to some kind of big brother style system to force us to keep to the law if we're not grown up to regulate ourselves.

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figures for uninsured drivers

Have you seen em??!? seriously scary stuff, hang all this nonsense about speeding, remove people who shouldn't be driving from the roads, and i'm sure the impact on safety will be enormous! in the worst areas, speculative figures suggest 10% of drivers are uninsured, and an uninsured vehicle is 10 times more likely to be involved in an accident (if you don't give a toss about insurance, you probably don't give a toss about drink driving/driving without a licence, speeding, car maintenance/MOT etc).... you do the maths!!!

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Anonymous Coward

re. Speed Kills

Many people have written in on this subject, and I think most people (on both sides) are aware that what is really meant is "inappropriate speed kills"; however when laws were brought in to control "inappropriate speeding" it was at a time when technology didn't allow variable speed limits etc. so what we have is a zoning system where roads with greater probablitiy of accidents, i.e. urban areas, have a lower speed limit than those with fewer driving hazards. This is all based on static signs for "average" conditions, so sometimes 40mph in a 30 limit might be safe, but the sign says 30 because at other times it absolutely isn't safe.

Britain has a pretty good road safety record on motorways, but poorer on urban accidents (mainly pedestrian impacts) than some other countries (e.g. Netherlands); the die-hard petrol heads will never be convinced by speed limits, they always think that their skills (check out all the comments mentioning driver training) make them "safer" drivers at whatever speed, realistically the only way to control these people is speed limit enforcement.

The current situation we have isn't ideal, but unless we want to go to the lengths of active speed control on every road we are stuck with it.

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Anonymous Coward

Clarkson's best

The best Clarkson argument I've ever seen is centred around the fact that people feel "safe" in their cars, due to the improvements over the years of impact protection, crumple zones, 3 point seatbelts, airbags etc. His suggestion that it is complacency that causes the most accidents and that speed is merely a contributory factor.

His solution? Put a nuclear reactor in for the engine and replace the airbag with a large metal spike and watch how carefully people drive.

I still like the stat that >50% of drivers class themselves as better than average

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Anonymous Coward

Speed kills

Technically, it isn't going fast that kills you. Crashing into things, or being crashed into, is the part that kills you.

That or tailgating me. I swear to god I'll hit you with a pipe.

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@ the pro speed camp

Speeding causes some deaths, not all, so not speeding would save some lives.

People not looking where they are going eh? Well not speeding would no doubt help with seeing where they are going.

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Ah statistics....

I'd just like to direct some of the combatants here to some of the statistics that appear to be thrown around here, with very little in the form of back-up apart from hear-say :

http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/statistics/datatablespublications/accidents/casualtiesgbar/

and in particular, for last year

http://www.dft.gov.uk/162259/162469/221412/221549/227755/328843/flagbfactsheet.pdf

Which ever side of the debate you're on, there are some very interesting (and sobering) numbers here .. one such number i've seen bandied around here is that speeding only causes 5-6% of road accidents and hence deaths; not so and it really shouldn't take a genius to spot the bloody obvious flaw in that. For those that need convincing it's bollocks - go and have a look at page 6 at the statistics for fatal accidents with a speed contributory factor.

I'm deliberately not saying what I think of the actual story leading to this as it's not relevant to trying to dispell some of the more overt nonsense being spouted by both sides here (IMHO) - I just hope that some of you might actually go and have a look at some of the figures before shouting down others or AOL'ing the last person who agreed with you.

Sheesh.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Alright. ALRIGHT.

I give up. I'm just letting everything through now, regardless of how repetitive, as long as it's not totally offensive or incoherent. On your scroll wheel be it.

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@ sarah bee

"I will start rejecting soon though before it gets really ridiculous, rather than just slightly."

and spoil our fun TROLL BATEING is one of the few spots not illagle

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I'm glad...

...to see that there are some people in the world who can think for themselves still and not just swallow the propaganda of speed kills. What we need is more traffic police back on the roads - so they can catch the most dangerous types of driving and also restore the public confidence in the system - not only that, help educate people and try and change their ways. People are far more likely to reform their ways after a brush with trafpol than with a NIP through the post and a request for money.

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Stop

"We have speed limits to save lives...

...people who break these laws are potential murderers and should be treated as such."

Um, you might want to do some research - speed limits on the motorways, particularly, were introduced as a kneejerk reaction to AC testing the Cobra on it late at night and hitting 180mph with regularity.

Proof that law-by-tabloid is not a new thing.

On the subject of potential murderers, do you have a set of steak knives at home? You are a potential murderer as well then.

I swear that I have seen loafs of bread with greater critical thinking skills than some of the comments on here - anyone who simply blurts out the 'Speed Kills' mantra without thinking about it should be shot to help clean up the gene pool IMHO. Probably the same people who got 110% mortgages and have seven maxed out credit cards, I expect.

Steven R

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Anonymous Coward

my rant

A well moderated thread, moderatrix.

Nice to see some actual figures being used to refute the speed kills argument. Note also that a significant proportion of the 6% are single vehicle / single occupant accidents.

Observation is the key to safe driving. There is, bluntly speaking, a kill zone in front of your car, and the idea is to keep it clear of people, cyclists, other cars and fixed objects. This requires close observation, prediction and an understanding of the vehicle capabilities and the road conditions. Speed is an important factor as the zone extends according to V-squared, but inattention is a far greater factor, almost all accidents could have, in retrospect, been avoided by better attention. I hate to see the whole science being reduced to one element, it is frankly fucking dangerous.

I wouldn't mind so much the clampdown on speed if it were allied with a clampdown on middle-lane drivers - not that its such a crime or a danger in itself, more that its indicative of a driver who wishes to dispense with all that looking-around nonsense, like its optional.

Finally, a real danger, the muppets who drive at a "safe" 50 all the way down the "slip lane" - its termed acceleration lane for a good reason y'know, and its not "wrong" to press the accelerator hard. We've all been there, behind these people, or approaching them on the inside lane wondering if we should let them in and drop 20-30mph, or change lanes suddenly - they should be monitored and penalised, or warned at least.

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@ Perpetual Cyclist

Point of note, Speed Cameras - especially the Gatso type - were not designed to catch speeding motorists originally, they were designed to be used by rally drivers to record the speed so they could practice and eventually learn to drive faster.

The only reason that they're being used against motorists now is that the governments decided to hi-jack the idea and subvert it as a money making scheme.

In response to your 'ALL SPEEDING IS WRONG ALL THE TIME' - I just hope that the ambulance taking you to hospital decides to heed your words.

You might also want to make a note that the roads that you are riding on for free are paid for by the motorists that you most obviously despise.

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Anonymous Coward

Speed is safe

So long as everyone is doing roughly the same uniform speed, you're fairly safe, regardless of what that speed actually is. Its when some tosser decides he's going to go faster than everyone else because he has a very small penis that you're in danger. You aren't in danger because you're going fast, you're in danger because he's being a tosser.

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Done already

"But to make it plain, add early warning signs "speed cameras in the next 2 miles" so that the objective of the camera is achieved - to get people to pay attention to the road and their speed at known dangerous places."

The problem is that they put the speed camera signs up everywhere now - speed cameras or not.

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Anonymous Coward

Accident hotspots & yellow paint.

Why?

If there's a speed limit it should be enforced and cameras do that.

If you didn't know where they were and were hard to spot then you'd be

compelled to obey the law which is surely the point of the things.

I find this idea that you should have a "sporting chance" to evade

capture utterly bizarre.

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Re: @ Perpetual Cyclist

"You might also want to make a note that the roads that you are riding on for free are paid for by the motorists that you most obviously despise."

Ah, that old chestnut.

Being a cyclist does not preclude being a motorist, and more than owning a car precludes owning and using a bicycle. It seems to be a common misconception that 'only' motorists pay for the upkeep of the road infrastructure, but this is not true - at a national level, there are no funds ring-fenced for upkeep and maintainence of the road network, although there may be at a local council level. So, if you pay tax, you're paying for the upkeep of the road network, albeit (very) indirectly.

It may surprise you to know that a lot of the cyclists I know, and I know a fair few, run cars - at least two are classic car afficionados (hence many cars, hence much VED, petrol duty etc.) - so the 'cyclists don't pay for the roads' rant doesn't really hold a lot of water.

Then again, over the last year I've done about 12000 miles in the car compared with 15000 on the bike, so what do I know?

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Coat

Dave . . .smoking?

" . . . 300 people a day die from smoking . . ". Name the source of your information. Smoking never appears on detah certificates, so how do you know?

Mine's the one with the pipe and tobabcco in th pocket.

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Tom
Silver badge

I've never heard of a single accident

caused by a speed camera.

I've heard a lot of accidents whinging about them though!

I suppose these people wouldnt mind having safe burglars doing there houses over.

Make them invisible, connect them up to number plate recognition and get the stupid and illegal drivers off the road.

Oh hang on - we'd need a police force that doesnt use paperwork as an excuse not to get out!

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Anonymous Coward

Used as Cheap Alternative

Well done Wiltshire! Speed camera's are far too often used as a "cheap" alternative to either fixing the problems with the road and an excuse for proper patrols of that road not to occur.

For example the A616 Stocksbridge Bypass was a scheme that was continuously watered down in the 70's, originally it was planned to be part of the M67 motorway, then this section was downgraded to be normal dual-carriageway...then a single with crawler lanes over blind hills.... Now there are Average Speed cameras on the road to help prevent the high death toll on this road, simply because the authorities cut costs when building a major connecting road.

I obviously understand that not all roads can be improved like this, and speed limits are there for a reason, although I'd rather the odd person driving past at 40 in a 30 than staring at their speedo and hitting the person they missed whilst concentrating on their speed opposed to what's on the road.

PLEASE put speed camera's on a road as the last alternative. Start by improving road conditions, continue with better driver training and if that fails end with a man with a speed gun who can judge for themselves what a camera cannot attain.

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@Tim Parker

Had a look at those documents.

It stays that statistically, 30 odd percent of contributory factors in fatalities are people not looking (pedestrians).

Another close to 30% are due to inexperience. About 17% are due to carelessness, driving inappropriately for the conditions, or excess speed for the limit. Doesn't contradict the 5-6% where speed is a _contributory factor_. Not the one and only, but the contributory.

Speed cameras do nothing for safety (I ended up going on one of those speed courses for doing 46 in a 40 at 3am, with nobody around. Safe? As houses). On the 'speed education course' they threw a lot of statistics around, which I actually had better data on. I introduced them to mathematical analysis, which they knew nothing about, and basically wiped the floor with them, exposing which of their vids were propoganda, and what of their info was useless (however, they did advocate the advanced driving test, which I thought was a sterling idea! That really would help safety on the road).

The problem, as has been repeatedly written above is inappropriate speed (30 in a 30 limit when schools are coming out on twisty roads? Not a chance. 40 in a 30 at 3am with nobody around? Safe).

What we need (and actually have the tech for) is dangerous driving detectors, if we're going to put up any cameras at all. You know, the jerks that are undercutting at speed, weaving in and out of traffic, overtaking into oncoming traffic causing one or both lanes to brake, so on, so forth.

For all these people pointing to evidence that speed kills.. Of course it does.. But the largest cause of death is dangerous driving, and pedestrian inattention. Take care of the largest part of the danger first, before picking on the boundary cases (and even then, largely picking up on the boundary cases candidates that are actually SAFE!).

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Flame

Statistically, Speed kills

There's a speed camera on the M40 just as it goes to a 50mph zone from 70mph.

Prior to the installation, you might just keep going at 70 in a 50 zone for a good while by doing nothing. Now, you have to slow down to 55 at least and then speed back up to 70. So I'd say that camera was quite effective lowering the average speed of people entering a 50 zone.

Lots of commentors have said that "Speed kills" is inappropriate. But "unfortunately", the government works on statistics. And statistics look at the whole population of drivers including the real dunces. Crashes at a higher speed will statistically mean a higher number of fatalities. I don't think anyone can deny that. The issue about speed is that allowing cars to drive faster (raising speed limits or removing speed cameras etc) means statistically, more cars will drive faster. Which means when the crashes happen (cos statistically, they will!), cars are more likely to be travelling faster. And we just agreed that you would stand more chance of a fatality the faster your car was going if it crashed.

So it's all about statistics and the average driver and getting the numbers of fatalities from crashes down.

Funnily enough, another statistic I saw was that the same percentage of car drivers run red lights as cyclists that ran red lights (that were involved in accidents contributed to by said red light running). And it's about 1%. which might make motorists feel smug, but considering how many cars there are on the road, this is actually 2177 motorists "disobeying signals" that led to an accident, as opposed to 150 cyclists doing the same.

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Flame

Speed control on motorcycles and other stuff

MCN (Motorcycle News) They had a report a few months back covering the experience of a government appointed test rider for the average speed kit (ex police instructor with a lot of knowledge) His opinion....death trap that would lead to a massive increase in road deaths from the system either causing high sides (bike tossing rider in the air) low sides (rider sliding along ground, crashing due to removal of power and automatic brake activation upsetting bike balance in the middle of a corner or riders simply being run over due to not being able to accelerate out of trouble (muppet with 6 brats in the back not looking where he/she is going and pulling straight and stopping dead in the road or simply freezing)

Speed does not kill, bad driving does, I know lots of men and women who drive at the speed limit even in zero visibility instead of driving according to the conditions, even rank and file cops are starting to preach appropriate speed, shame their bosses live in la la land with wacky "think of the babeeeees" jacky.

Cure for bad driving; mandatory test resit every 5 years except that would upset all the mummies unable to drive baby (14 year old hooligan with a coke habit) to school/local crack house/ off licence in her moo-mobile cause she drives like a nervous twit with zero awareness of the surroundings and how to drive appropriately. (I say she as 95% of the people who have come within a gnats arse of killing me (and thats either when I'm crossing the road or driving) have been women driving people carriers (chavs and non chavs alike) with the other 5% made up of the elderly and bloody sales reps driving like they want to be the next ayrton senna)

I support a rise in the road tax solely if people carriers are sold only to businesses and the driving test is made tougher.

For example 2 parts - a minimum number of lessons over say a year then first part as now except with ban on night, motorway and adverse condition driving and a 6 to 12 month maximum before part 2 needs to be passed, second part - night driving, motorway driving, adverse condition driving including use of skidpans to assess a drivers reaction to a unexpected events. Anyone who failed part 2 would be required to have further lessons before sitting part 1 and 2 again with a max number of fails set also.

Maybe also have a part 3, given after advanced level training with proper assessment by trained high speed drivers which passing means speed limits are set higher, in exchange for say retest every 2 or 3 years at part 3 level, Making it hard to pass would weed out a lot of bad drivers (who think they are better than they are) and produce a lot of good drivers able to drive at high speeds safely and aware of what can happen and the risks associated.

Reasons to fail someone - panicky behavior when driving, refusal or hesitance to maintain good progress (meant to be a requirement currently but I've seen a ton of people driving who crawl along), failure to speed up in a safe manner when entering a motorway for example (ie stopping at the end of slip roads, crawling down slip roads at 30 when entering a 70 zone), panicky reaction when horn sounded (again lots of people out there who freak out drive dangerously when honked at to alert them of someone's presence.) etc

But this will never happen, both the Tories and Labour want a nation of docile sheep to lord over, and make policy based on what the red tops, the heil and the communist broadcasting politburo (formerly known as the BBC) (why do you think they have disarmed all the law abiding citizens? not for public safety.....to stop us from getting rid of them, threat of a public uprising tends to keep politicians more honest in my experience. But then this is the nation where the peasants revolted in years gone by, almost won, the King of the day said "go home" and everyone did.....depressing

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my experience

broadly matches what is said above, the problem with speed cameras, is that they enforce speed limits, and speed limits are absolute. However road conditions frequently are not. I agree that consistently driving above the speed limit is wrong, however, there are times when you absolutely MUST exceed the speed limit in order to remain safe, cameras cannot account for these times.

As mentioned also there is the problem that the limits are quite often very different to what most people would consider a 'safe speed' for the road. some high speed roads are of such poor upkeep that you have to break the law by driving too slowly on them!

in all my time on the roads, i have only ever had 2 near misses, both cases were people pulling out of junctions in front of me, for a right turn, without looking, and in both cases i stopped well short of them (i was under the speed limit), however according to the 1950's stopping distances used to actually calculate speed limits, i ploughed into the side of both cars at high speed!

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lack of speed

Seen more accidents cause by some one doing 40 in a 65. Most accidents I've seen were do to driver not paying attention . were I work the main road is 45. at 8am you are lucky to do 30. I would see atleast one accident a day. People running into the back of stopped cars. If at 25 mph you should be able to stop in time. The other cause see is people cutting people off.

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Speed may not cause many accidents on its own...

But it sure makes 'em worse. The old e = 1/2 m v^2. If all road vehickes were limited to 15mph I imagine we'd have shedloads more accidents, but a whole lot less corpses...Its funny how its a national concern if 30 people a year get killed on the railways, but just fine for 3000 to get killed on the roads...

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Pirate

thought required...

Too many kneejerk responses here...

Speed on its own clearly cannot kill, it's crashing that kills. Short version:

30 limits are generally there for a reason, like the little kids wandering around on the pavement. If you're doing 40 and hit one you will kill it, and you will deserve to be beaten. Often you should not even be doing 30, like when there's cars on both sides and kids coming out of school. If you do 45 and 'get away with it' by not actually killing anyone, then you deserve to return home and find a fine and points on the doormat.

40 limits, usually same goes (though there are some bits of 40 limit where you have to think they should be national limit... a long stretch of crash-barriered and inaccessible to pedestrian dual carriageway in Nottingham comes to mind here).

In general, you go at whatever speed you think is right. If it's wet, go slower. If it's foggy, go a lot slower. If it's a clear bit of motorway on a fine day, there is no good reason not to sit on 100, as the German autobahns prove.

@teecee - cyclists should be treated as normal road users, and they should behave that way. That means they should not ride ten abreast, hop on and off pavement, jump lights... but also if the cyclist pulls out to go round a parked car without looking, then that is his privilege. You don't look behind when you pass a parked car, nor does the cyclist. You're supposed to overtake safely, not expect the cyclist to stop and wait for you. That said, 18 inches is enough room if you're passing at a sensible pace (i.e. not 60), when I'm cycling I find I spend a lot of time waving cars past that seem to want to wait till they can give me six feet of room. If you're only going 5 or 10 miles an hour faster than the cyclist, just move a little over the centre line and you can overtake me easily without waiting for the other lane to be clear.

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Alert

rather speed cameras than road humps.

Am I the only person here to actually prefer speed cameras to speed humps ?

I can keep to the speed limit , and cameras don't bother me.

However speed humps wear out the suspension of my car.

Around where I live there are some speed humps, the type that buses can clear without going over them, the problem is the way they are arranged is that quite often cars parked by the kerb force me to go over the middle of the speed hump, at which point I have to go down to about 5 mph to avoid bashing my head on the roof of my car.

I want speed humps banned. Give me a speed camera any day.

Whilst I'm at it , near where I live there is also a "traffic calming" obstruction that entirely stops one lane of traffic, forcing it to give way and risk going into a lane of on-coming traffic. I would like to meet the half brained dim wit that thinks this is a good idea , I'd rather have a speed camera , and the slight risk of someone slightly denting my rear bumper due to braking for it in comparison to a head on collision with another car .

Also why don't we have average speed cameras over longer sections of road, they also wouldn't discriminate against minor excesses of speed , they would only catch those permanently speeding, and they wouldn't wear my suspension out.

The bottom line is unfortunately there are a few real idiots who need speed cameras to keep them in check. To me the issue is more about the speed that they are triggered at. A speed camera measuring average speed over 200 hundred yards in a 30 MPH limit that only triggers when the person is averaging over 36MPH sounds like a good idea to me.

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IT Angle

Speed cameras CAUSE accidents...

30 speed limit, person driving along at 35-40.

Driver sees camera, hits brakes, dropping to 30 and possibly overbraking a bit down to 25

(Chance to be rear ended)

Past speed camera, driver accelerates again

(Chance to rear end guy in front still doing 30)

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All the idiots who say that excess speed kills

It doesn't poor and erratic driving along with poor awareness and road sense do. Speed cameras cannot combat this only driver training and police patrols with consequences for the idiots that endanger other road users will.

If you believe the shite and rigged statistics that the government churns out then I am surprised you have the intelligence to wipe your own backside in the morning. Properly independent studies prove the excess speed is a factor in only a minority of accidents (I cannot be bothered to look it up but it is very low) and that bad driving and poor awareness is. The threat of cameras distract drivers from the task of driving and concentrate of their speedo instead of the road.

Partnership cameras are revenue generators for the government pure and simple just thinly disguised as something that adds to road safety.

Wiltshire council are to be applauded and I hope other see this intelligent move and follow suit.

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@Tim Parker

Tim, do you really understand the debate here? It's basically the government and its' supporters on one side and its' oponents on the other. So do you really think the government's figures are not in any way biased? Do you believe everything the government says, or just the stuff that supports your particular world view?

Here's a question for all those of you who blindly chant the government's "Speed Kills" mantra: Which is more likely to cause an accident, driving at the magic 10% + 2mph over the speed limit or jumping a red light?

If you honestly think that speeding is more likely to cause an accident, then you are even more stupid than you first appear. So if "safety cameras" are such a good idea then I argue that not another speed camera should be installed in this country until such time as every set of traffic lights, every toucan and pelican crossing and every single level crossing is fitted with a permanently active camera. Care to argue against this?

Oh and since you are so keen on evidence here's a little supporting evidence (no it's not just anecdotal, it's a matter of record):

The road through our village carries a 30mph limit, for two miles before it are at 40mph, as you enter the village there is a sharp bend which would slow almost anybody to below 30mph. However the local council's studies show that vehicles passing my house average (yes, average) 38mph, so people are slowing for the bend and then accelerating to well above the limit even though they are already in the thirty limit. And for those of you who don't realise this, in most cars 38mph will see an indicated speed of at least 40mph. Manufacturers make sure speedometers over read in order to protect themselves. Oh sorry, I meant "to protect you".

Some local residents campaigned for speed cameras, but were told that the stretch of road concerned does not meet the criteria for speed camera installation. When pressed they told us that in the last two years there has not been a single "serious" accident. Serious in this case meaning, apparently, that it lead to injuries requiring a visit to hospital or a fatality. So two years without a serious accident on an A road that is the main route from the M1 to a large town. The straight stretch where the 38mph average was measured is lined with houses and has three junctions and an intermittent pavement on one side. So average speeds of considerably above the magic 35mph and no serious accidents in two years. Either the world is coming to an end or the government are not telling us the whole truth.

The average speeds at tge other end of the village are slower, even though the approach road has a 50mph limit. And not so long ago that of the village got "traffic calming measures" when our end got nothing more than a couple of nice aluminium signs that read "Traffic Calmed Area Slow Down". And yet the curious thing is that accident rates are higher at that end of the vilage than this

.

Now this may be a little cynical of me, but since they stopped giving the revenue raised by cameras back to the local authorities to fund further road safety initiatives are speeding fines not just another form of indirect taxation? Now traffic light cameras are more expensive to fund than speed cameras. On a cross roads you would need four cameras, a two lane road only has one speed camera hereabouts to cover both lanes. So presumably a set of traffic light cameras costs roughly four times as much as a speed camera installation. However, the traffic light camera would prevent a lot more accidents while generating a lot less revenue than the speed camera.

So which does the government really care about most: Our safety or their revenue?

Of if were not going to get too cynical about this: Have the government become so focused on proving they were right about speed cameras that they have lost sight of their stated aim in the first place?

Oh and bus lane cameras. Are they there for safety reasons too?

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Driving Ban

Somewhat reduces the impact when you learn that the council chief was banned from driving for three months for speeding. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1035514/Revealed-Driving-ban-council-chief-wants-scrap-speed-cameras.html

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Anonymous Coward

It's irrelevant whether speed kills or not.

If you accept that there must be _A_ speed limit, not forgetting that some people have

cars that'll do 200mph, then you must also accept that it must be enforced.

Cameras do enforcement, hamstrung by the limited numbers, high visibility and warning signs.

It may be that the speed limit is too low, but that's not an argument for it not to be enforced.

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Some facts for a change

The UK has the lowest road deaths of any country that has a reasonable number of cars:--

http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=1208

Now the interesting bit which need to be deduced form various other stats:

Some 12% of accidents involve drunk drivers -- a highly illegal and severely punished offence.

Some 200 (approx 4%) fatal accidents involved uninsured drivers -- a highly illegal and moderately punished offence.

The statistics for accidents involving stolen vehicles or other crimes are strangely not available but a quick google comes up with dozens of local newspaper articles about fatal accidents involving stolen cars.

The statistics for for fatal accidents involving unlicensed or banned drivers are likewise unavailable. However take the claims "one in fifty drivers is unlicensed " and " unlicensed drivers ten times more likely to have an accident" and do some arithmetic you get perhaps 20% of accidents involving drivers who have never had a license or have had their license taken away.

An astonishing number of fatal accidents involve drivers who were already committing a serious crime and who were unlikely to be deterred by something as trivial as a speeding fine.

Taking out the 600 motorcycle related deaths (they do not have more accidents in total but if they do have an accident it is more likely to be fatal.) Of the remaining 1600 fatal accidents take away the 50% where the driver was already involved in a serious crime you are left with some 800 accidents which involved "ordinary" drivers. Given the high levels of road usage in the UK it is difficult to see how anything short of a total ban on private vehicles could reduce this number.

Diminishing returns have set in with a vengeance -- any further spending on road safety is a waste of money.

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@ the person who said...

something like "i like the stat that >50% of drivers think they are better than average,

Guess I'm in that percentage then. I KNOW my driving is better than that vast percentage of people on the roads. This is because I recently undertook an advanced drivers course, and I passed the test with flying colours. I am know a member of the Institute of advanced drivers, and therefor can rightly claim I AM better than most.

I'm only 21, have 4 years no claims, however, I have 3 points from earlier this year. I got caught doing 84 on a 70mph dual carriageway @ just before midnight, with the road empty, other than the trailing traffic cop.

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Dead Vulture

Spain has the answer

In town if you speed the next traffic light ahead goes to red. It works.

Mind you on the motorways I've never seen a speed camera, and you never see a police car unless it is attending an accident, which invariably results in loss of life.

Speeding in town = Stop. Speeding out of town = Death. Simple and effective.

Different culture I suppose.

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IT Angle

Oh shit, we have a fuckwit here...

A fuckwit said here "SPEED KILLS, people. The evidence is irrefutable, you are a brain dead moron if you think anything else."

Well he/she is the brain dead moron. Where is this irrefutable evidence? Fact: traffic travels fastest on our motorways. These also account for the majority of the miles travelled by road. So if by moron's logic the motorways would be the deadliest roads. They're not. They're by far the safest ones. Check out the Department of Transport and Transport Road Laboratory ratios for accidents and fatalities per mile travelled by road.

Oh and if this fuckwit looked closer, he'd see that *inappropriate* speed (which could be 25mph in a 30 zone in some circumstances) is a factor in laround 14% of crashes. The biggest cause of road crashes is inconsiderate and inattentive driving, not exceeding the (arbitrary) speed limit.

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Go

Roads are dangerous places.

So by driving as fast as possible, you actually reduce risk as you're on the road for less time.. surely :-)

and I'm quite surprised by some of the comments on here, I'm guessing a lot of people are network engineers.. who wants slow traffic on their network? You want it going as quickly as possible to move as much of it as possible in the shortest possible time.

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Re: Excessive speed kills.

The title is quoted from an AC on here. I'd agree with it. Let me say it again 'execessive' speed kills. That's speed over and above the conditions allow. That's not exceeding an arbitary speed limit.

I drive 25,000+ miles per year and am amazed at some of the behaviour I see. As an example people tooling along the outside lane of the motorway at 70 mph less than a car length from the car in front. In thick fog. If they have an accident then it would be recorded as speed related, they were driving too fast for the conditions. If there were cameras though they wouldn't get caught. Its the main problem with the dash to cameras over manual enforcement.

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Pirate

Sanity?

Any policy based on a false assumption is likely to fail. Speed does not kill.

Speed within the limitations of the vehicle, driver and conditions is not lethal or even dangerous.

Usually it's the stopping that is the bit which hurts.

Governing lorries to 56 miles per hour did not reduce the number of accidents lorries are involved in. Disparity in speed is a greater danger than uniform speed.

To the sanctamonious amonst you.

Next time you are a passenger in a car look at the behaviour of your fellow drivers and understand the value held on human life. Yours is worth less than a look, not changing the cd or talking on the phone, turning round to shout at the kids or reading the paperwork for the next job. Strangely speeding drivers are rarely a problem unattentive drivers are.

You make the roads a lot safer by removing the dangerous drivers, most of whom are not speeders. We used to have traffic police for this. They would spot erratic, drunk and bad driving and act accordingly. Now we have cameras.

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Better use of technologies

Speed camera that flashes you if you are closer than your stopping distance to the vehicle in front ... now that would improve safety !

The two times I have been flashed (or rather, 'vanned') in Wiltshire on the aforementioned dual carriageway the road was empty and I was 10 mph over the limit ...

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Speed does not kill.

Problem with that soundbyte is that you can't refute it as simply.

If your speed is zero, you can't kill.

So it DOES apply. But in situations where you have to make silly assumptions.

If you DO hit someone, the greater the speed the more damage done. What is missing is that the chances of hitting someone doesn't depend on speed except in so far as the real cause tertiary effect is speed. E.g. a twat of a driver will speed because of their personal feeling of entitlement. The collision with a car coming on to the road is because they MUST be allowed through and this other driver is impinging on their right to drive. The severity is increased because of the speed but the speed didn't CAUSE the accident.

So the best response to "Speed kills" is to say "Speed doesn't cause accidents. Bad driving does".

And you can kill at 0.1mph in a car: just roll over the head of someone lying on the floor. Should the speed limit be 0.0 mph?

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Speed cameras

Have the cams where the speed limit is less than 30mph (so outside schools and so on) and in places where a fast road goes into a built up area (because you don't want people braking late going through Little Hamlets and finding that there's pedestrians coming out of their houses.

Elsewhere, they should only be used to see if there needs to be a police presence.

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Anonymous Coward

Drunk Driving

The indidence of drink driving is, according to official figures, declining. Fine until you realise that speed cameras are replacing traffic policemen. Speed cameras do not stop drivers on suspicion of driving while under the influence. So the fact that fewer people are being caught over the limit by Police could be caused by the fact that there are fewer traffic officers out there breathalising people.

And the fact that fatalities caused by drink driving are on the decrease. Does that not point to corresponding decrease in drink driving? Well if you don't take all factors into account when reading statistics it might do. If, however, you take into account that secondary safety in cars is continually increasing then the argument is less convincing. People are more and more likely to survive RTA's so fewer people will be killed by drunk drivers.

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@the guy who got caught 3 times in one trip...

If the *whole journey* was done at over the limit, you have only committed *one* offence. You can only be prosecuted three times for speeding on one journey if they can prove you slowed down to under the limit and then exceeded the limit *again*.

Definitely worth a punt to see if you can get two of those offences thrown out....

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Dead Vulture

Daft buggers...

OK, I'll let rip.

1) 8 people a day do die on our roads, you're probbly right.

Yep, a lot more people die in their beds daily. Let's ban them fuc*kers, too. Beds are obiously far too dangerous. Stands to reason!!. Won't get in one ever again. (except for a bit o' "Horizontal Jogging")

2) Why is the speed limit set at 30, 40, 50? Why not - if these folks are the "experts" in road conditions the Muppets must be, have 34.25, 40.1, or 51.88? Jeez.

3) Why is it deemed that driving at 29m/h is OK, but at 31m/h, children riccochet from bonnet to bonnet? (Think of the children!!!)

Cunch of Bunts.

(Gravestone, natch)

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Anonymous Coward

Be Careful of Statistics

Governent accident statistics are somewhat misleading.

For a start they only include accidents that have been reported to the police, the majority of accidents are not reported to the police. This skews the statistics somewhat. No you are not legally required to report an accident to the police. If you and another party have a shunt where no damage is caused to property other than your cars and the contents thereof then you do no have to report the incident to the police.

Fatalities are one thing, but the statistics for "serious" injuries are a joke. A serious injury is classified as one where a visit to hospital is required. However after a very minor shunt a few years ago a police officer attended and recommended that I attend casualty in case I had suffered whiplash or concussion he even offered to call an ambulance. I didn't go to hospital and was absolutely fine. However had I attended hospital then this minor bump would have gone down on the logs as an accident involving a serious injury. I don't know if the PC's recommendation was based on honest concern or is a standard procedure for that force. If it was the latter then it appears that any accident in that area, and perhaps the whole country, then the majority of accidents where the police attend may well be classed as involving serious injury. If this is the case then the accident figures for serious injuries are worthless.

There is also a huge question over the figures published for accidents where excess speed is a contributory factor. How is that decision made? Are they only including accidents where the speed of the vehicles involved can be measured properly? In which case the vast majority of accidents (like 99%+) could not be recorded as such, since no proper investigation is carried out. How is the decision reached that excess speed contributed to the accident? Is it enough that one or more vehicles were breaking the speed limit? That in itself is no proof at all that speed was a contributory factor. It makes the assumption that the speed limit was reasonable for the location and conditions at the time.

In the real world away from official statistics most accidents, whether including serious injury or not, seem to fall into one of

Vehicles failing to yield right of way. T-Junctions, lane changing, roundabouts, etc.

Tailgating.

Pedestrians failing to yield right of way.

And not forgetting "My Lane Myopia" - i.e. people driving into things that shouldn't be there.

All of these are basically down to people, peds as well as drivers, failing to excercise due care. And it can't be reasonably argued that the primary cause of the vast majority of accidents is not at least one person failing to excercise due care. This being so it is ridiculous to single out speed as being a contributory factor in the majority of accidents. The primary cause of most accidents is carelessness and the primary cause should be addressed before you start looking at other contributory factors.

Excercising due care is effectively the primary rule of the road traffic act and I believe that driving standards would improve immesurably and accident rates fall accordingly were more prosecutions brought for Driving Without Due Care and Attention. However this would be too labour intensive and not cost effective, so it won't happen. Our lords and masters seem to believe that all public services should be cost effective and preferably run at a profit.

To be fair to drivers I also think more action needs to be taken against pedestrians causing accidents in a similar way. It is ridiculous to assume that everybody who steps under a bus is the victim, and yet that assumption seems to be made in most cases.

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