back to article Oxfordshire cops switch speed cameras back on

Oxfordshire police have turned speed cameras back on as others throughout England switch theirs off, prompting questions as to whether senior police and county council figures are playing politics. Last August, following the withdrawal of central government funds, Oxfordshire made motoring history by being the first county to …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    You'll wait forever for comment from Oxfordshire Police...

    Because it doesn't exist. The force is called Thames Valley Police. :-)

  2. Anonymous Coward


    August 2010 to January 2011 is 6 months not 7 months

  3. Tim #3

    Speed awareness courses

    How does one get to become a provider of these, is there a tendering process? 20 speeders a time at £100 each, less room hire & speaker hire (total £400 max) looks like a very nice little earner.

  4. Martin 19
    Thumb Down

    West Mids cameras aren't being scrapped;

    but the number of 'active' camera sites containing an actual camera is being massively reduced. Also, from today(!) all the cams will be operated by the police, not an arm of the council. The camera sites (ie the yellow boxes) are all being kept as this will 'save money'.


    It is also interesting to note that no budget is available to replace any vandalised cameras (or empty boxes), so all cameras currently burnt out or burnt out in the future won't be replaced.

    1. Stratman


      I believe they're run by ACPO.

      No wonder they're so keen on them.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        The one I did was run by the AA, provided by an independent training company.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      This is of course not a call to action. ;-)

      The post is required, and must contain letters.

  5. Refugee from Windows

    Nothing to do with safety

    More do do with cash really. Nice little earners, and they make it look like your doing something about improving safety. Whereas the idiot 7mm from your bumper with bald tyres and no insurance has business as usual.

  6. Marky W

    Slip slidin' away

    I wonder how much of the increase was due to the stupendous amouts of snow and ice at the tail-end of last year.

    Can't have helped road safety much, is all I'm saying...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      What about the stupendous amounts of snow and ice the previous winter?

      1. Boring Bob

        A Title

        Last year the snow came in the months after Christmas. There is a good chance that the statistics do not not cover those months.

    2. The Original Ash

      Look up the phrase

      "Low hanging fruit"

    3. Ben Bawden


      Cameras never earnt much more than they cost in running.

      Are fines for shoplifters and muggers also merely "nice little earners"?

  7. Mike Bell

    Speed Kills. And so do cameras.

    For those of you who haven't seen this BBC report, it makes hilarious viewing on a Friday afternoon:

    Once upon a time it was on the BBC news website, but they sheepishly pulled it when it was pointed out to them that they were filming a menace to society on the road (said menace being a mobile camera operator). Further, they refused requests to re-upload the video... so some kind soul put it on YouTube, much to their annoyance. Ah, the power of the internet.

    Focus on what happens at about 2 minutes in. It's a bloody miracle nobody was killed during the filming of that report.

    1. nsld

      of course they wont re upload it

      The level of lobbying, threats and and abuse from the vested interests like Brake is huge.

      They love speed cameras and cant abide having anything negative said about them

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Road safety starts with parents.

    Tell your "little darlings" to keep off the road! Its for cars and they will smush you first and stop later.

    When I was a kid the green cross code man taught road safety.

    Cuts prevent this, and no we have "safety" cameras which every one knows are just revenue generators.

    Parents shouting otherwise really need to look hard at they way they are parenting and stop the relentless push to have the rest of us bringing up and being responsible for your mistakes.

    Just don't trust what an English parent says or does! Plain and Simple!

    1. FrancisKing

      Thank God for that

      "Its for cars and they will smush you first and stop later."

      Thank God for that. For a horrible moment I though that the roads belonged to the Queen, for everyone to use.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      oh, it's the Clarksonists out again

      You've been believing the daily mail too much again. Speed cameras only get money out of people who choose to break speed limits. Choose to. You can opt out by not speeding. It's not a tax on "the innocent motorist" its a tax on those who choose to endanger other road users -usually pedestrians and cyclists. And I for one thing it is justifiable.

      That doesn't mean fixed speed cameras work: GPS killed that. Mobile speed cameras though, unmarked (so as not to trigger avoidance actions), that works.

      1. IanPotter

        I am/am not The Stig

        "Mobile speed cameras though, unmarked (so as not to trigger avoidance actions), that works."

        Depends what you mean by "works" really, a retrospective fine hasn't prevented anything. Maybe you mean it stops them doing it again, because no one has ever got more than one ticket have they?

      2. Russell Long

        You forgot a couple.

        In your list of Evil Things. You didn't mention Thatcher or Murdoch, which are rolled in to a gigantic gestalt entity with Clarkson and DailyMail to create a vast, throbbing Thing To Hate for people who think that the Guardian is the Fountain Of Lovely Truth.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          All those things are true, except for the fact that I don't like the Guardian much either. Middle class liberal twaddle is almost as bad as the right wing facist fantasy spouted by the nazi loving Daily Mail.

      3. nsld
        Paris Hilton

        @AC 1st of April 21:53

        Speed in isolation is rarely a factor on its own in an accident, its a combination of factors.

        Take people tailgating in fog at 60 mph on the motorway for example, or undertaking on the motorway, or sitting in lane 3 of 4 on the m25 at 60 mph when the inside 2 are empty.

        No "dangerous" speeding going on but plenty of dangerous driving which is why most accidents are the result of bad driving.

        Please do explain how driving over 70 mph on an empty motorway endangers cyclists and pedestrians whilst your thinking about it.

        I am a cyclist and speeding vehicles are not the issue, cabbies doing scratchcards or jumping lights in London are more dangerous, as are bus drivers that just have to get past before they pull in again or pedestrians on mobile phones wandering aimlessly, the list is endless.

        What we really need are more traffic police as your cameras wont deal with any of the above.

        1. The Original Ash


          You're believing the hype. The statistics don't show that speed causes many serious accidents. They show that speed *is a factor* in many serious accidents in the same way that alcohol *is a factor* in many serious accidents.

          The way to look at this a paraphrase: Someone was moving at a speed when the accident occured. That speed could have been below the speed limit, but may have exceeded the safe speed for the road conditions.

          The person had alcohol in their system. It may have been below the level allowed by law and it may not have been the major contributing factor to the cause of the accident, but someone involved had alcohol in their system.

          Got a little off topic. My point is that a "safe speed" depends on the conditions of the road and the car. We have speed limits because drivers can't be trusted / don't know how to make that judgement for themselves.

        2. Ben Bawden


          Because speed cameras can't catch people tailgating, we should get rid of them?

          That's like saying that shop security staff don't stop muggings, so we should get rid of them.

  9. system11

    CASH! Om nom nom!

    Oh goody - $cameras getting turned back on.

    I wouldn't have an issue with them if they placed them where speeding even by a small amount is dangerous. You know, places where reasonable drivers don't even do 30, like going down residential roads and past school entrances. Accident blackspots where crashes happen at over 70mph would be excellent sites too. They might make the roads safer, along with a sensible policing of driving, like pulling over those idiots who tailgate habitually, can't find their indicators, or shoot out from traffic queues and then try to jam themselves back in where a gap doesn't exist. We've all seen them, we see them every single day getting away with dangerous driving. That's ok though as long as they're staring at their speedo.

    However, that's never going to happen. It just makes too much sense, and doesn't let plod abuse the motoring public - put them in their places, get them for something and make a nice fat wadge of cash though fines and license re-applications, and a nice boost for the greedy insurance industry.

    Instead, we get:

    * Cameras at the bottom of a hill where limits change.

    * Average speed cameras on stretches of road where crashes only ever happen at rush hour, when people can't even do 60 let alone 70. Instead they only make money off people doing 75 when the road is empty.

    * Plod hiding their cars and mobile vans behind trees on curved, little used A roads where speeding is perfectly safe. In fact the safer the road would be for a higher limit, the more likely they are to stick a camera there. It's not about safety, it's about money and getting to put the little people in their place.

    And they wonder why so many people don't like them anymore - this is just one reason. I'm really tired of looking at the speedo more than the road, but it's extremely easy to lose your license for a string of extremely minor transgressions.

    1. vulcan

      Full coverage

      System11, you missed out one use of average speed cameras. Those 'enforcing' a 50MPH limit over a whole County because a number of bikers think they are Barry Sheen and commit unintentional suicide.

      1. Ben Tasker Silver badge


        You also missed those enforcing a 50MPH 'for safety' when the roadworks have been packed away and there's no bugger about!!

      2. Anonymous Coward

        RE: Full coverage


        If you are referring to SPECS average speed cameras, these cannot monitor motorbikes.

        No number plate on the front y'see...

        The new SPECS3 cameras apparently can catch bikers, but I don't know of anywhere they have been deployed yet.

      3. The Original Ash


        The great thing about an idiot biker over-cooking it on a corner is that, by virtue of the fact that it is a very small vehicle with a squishy meatsack on top, it's quite unlikely to take anyone else with them, especially on country lanes. I call that Darwinism in action.

        Full disclosure: Ridden bikes since I was 16 (over a decade ago). I have no sympathy for teenagers on pocket rockets who have no idea of how to handle them, and they should be off the road as fast as possible. This reflects well on my earlier comment of "too fast *for the conditions*" being the major factor in accidents, not necessarily faster than the speed limit (which is what cameras catch).

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Please explain

      how any one of these means that you could not avoid breaking the speed limit

      * Cameras at the bottom of a hill where limits change.

      * Average speed cameras on stretches of road where crashes only ever happen at rush hour, when people can't even do 60 let alone 70. Instead they only make money off people doing 75 when the road is empty.

      * Plod hiding their cars and mobile vans behind trees on curved, little used A roads where speeding is perfectly safe. In fact the safer the road would be for a higher limit, the more likely they are to stick a camera there.

      I await your reply with interest.

    3. David Beck

      And don't forget the specific one the TVP used to support the more "speeding"

      when the cameras were switched off. That would be the camera on the A44 headed south out of Woodstock where the road remains at 30 for far longer than needed and far longer than anyone not familiar would expect. Since your actual limit signs are often obscured or missing they get lots of "speeders" on this stretch. You'll know it, it's the background scene used in all of the video coverage talking to the police about how people speed without the cameras, sorry, I meant how they speed and we don't get to dip into their pockets. Without the cameras they still speed, TVP just don't get to dip. Excellent choice for a place to monitor the speed once the cameras were off. Wonder if they are still monitoring there.

  10. Nick 65

    A bit of truth obscured under a pile of spin

    I have no problem with average speed cameras enforcing the 40mph through roadworks, especially when those run at night, just the time when some people will be complaining the road is empty so the speed limit is unfair- I bet the roadwork gang disagree with them.

    I also approve of occasional, random, rozzer-with-a-speed-gun checks, especially in the "right" places. I of course reserve the right to say what a "right" place is. Now I know the smiley/lightup speed limit signs record the speeds to help the plod with finding when and where to be with the speed guns, I like those signs.

    As it's Friday afternoon, there now follows some ranting.

    I disapprove of fixed speed cameras enforcing (what I think is) a ridiculously low speed limit, think 40mph on a full-size, well engineered dual carriageway where you can see halfway to forever and there are no non-sliproad junctions or pavements..

    I also disapprove of the Talivan mobile speed camera parking up on the bridge over a similar, major trunk road. And the habit of painting the huge speed camera logos on the tailgate of said van, knowing bloody nicely it's invisible except to aircraft when they open up the van to use the camera.

    And I thoroughly disapprove, with attendant urine-boiling, in full-on, "Dear Daily Mail" fashion, of calling speed cameras safety cameras. They do not measure safety. They measure speed.

    Now to drive home and annoy the crap out of everybody by doing 29mph through the villages. I bet the line of cars behind me gets to be longer than I can see in my mirror.

    1. Intractable Potsherd

      @Nick 65

      "Now to drive home and annoy the crap out of everybody by doing 29mph through the villages. I bet the line of cars behind me gets to be longer than I can see in my mirror."

      I came across someone worse than that in a black Ford Focus between Bala and Wrexham yesterday The one that seriously believed that he was driving safely by not going faster than 40mph on a road in good condition and in fine weather, and slowed down for every corner and *uphill* section and slowed down without erratically without using brakes in between. The one that tried to cut me off by crossing the white line when I overtook quite safely, at less than the posted limit of 60mph. The one with a queue of eighteen cars behind him that he clearly did not give a fuck about. The one that my wife says pointed at the speed camera sign on the road and suggested that I was crazy. The one that did not pull over to let others go about their business in their own way. The one that, in short, was driving at least without due care and attention, and at times dangerously (deliberately driving into the path of an overtaking car).

      He is the one that should be in for driver retraining, not the ones doing a bit more than the speed limit.

  11. Chad H.

    If you can't obey the road rules

    Get off the damn road!

    Driving is not a right. If you can't keep you speed below the limit or obey traffic lights then you shouldn't be there.

    <---- if you don't know what this means, then this post means you!

    1. Bonez

      Right to Travel

      @Chad H. Indeed, driving is not a right. But travelling is (See Acts of Union 1706 and 1707 Article 4). There is a very important difference between the two. To drive means to travel in commerce (Taxi/bus driver, etc). As a private individual, I do not drive; I travel, as is my right to do so.

      1. The Original Ash

        Re: Right to Travel

        Indeed it is! You are more than free to travel by foot, bicycle, or any of the state and privately provided services, i.e. rail, bus, taxi, tram, and light railway.

        You don't need a car to travel.

    2. The Original Ash

      @Chad H.

      If you think obeying the speed limit and stopping for lights is what it takes to make you a good driver, you have no business telling me to get off the road.

      Go look up "defensive driving" and maybe consider a course.

      By the way, you're part of the 70% who think's they're the 30%.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Did all the 'cash in on the law abiding motorist' commenters not notice that this is actually going to cost Oxford something like £600k per anum?

    1. Steve Loughran

      Cost of death

      you forget that the cost of KSI is usually measured in millions of pounds. It's cheaper for people not to die.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      That means

      They would have to get at least this much in fines.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    Turning off Speed Cameras? I'm all for it.

    The trouble is the usual budgetary forgetting --- in this case, that the streets used to be *policed* by *policemen*.

  14. lp15

    Law-abiding motorists...

    have nothing to fear from speed cameras. Only the ones who can't pay attention to their speed. Drivers don't even know to stop when the light turns red. They seem to think no laws apply to them.

    1. IanPotter

      RE Law abiding motorists

      "have nothing to fear from speed cameras. Only the ones who can't pay attention to their speed."

      You try driving into the setting/rising sun and be able to even see the speedo without taking your eyes off the road long enough to adjust. Now try this on the M8 (which runs east/west) during rush hour. I'm damn sure I'd rather use my situational awareness on the surroundings, but maybe you can use the force?

      "Drivers don't even know to stop when the light turns red."

      You hit the centre pedal until the screeching stops. (sorry mum)

      "They seem to think no laws apply to them."

      Laws apply to everyone (even cyclists) it doesn't necessarily stop them being bloody stupid though.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        A few suggestions ...

        * Put the sun visor down

        * Buy some sunglasses

        * Aim for about 60mph to give yourself room for error

    2. Cat Sitting

      RE Law abiding motorists

      Yes, and some people are stupid enough to believe that everything the Bureaucracy says is correct and well thought through.

  15. Primus Secundus Tertius Silver badge

    Poisson distribution

    Before = 1171

    After = 1179

    These are randome events which obey a Poisson distribution. Mean=1175, variance=1175, standard deviation = sqrt(1175) = 34.3.

    The difference is a tiny part of one standard deviation. The overwhelming probability is that the fluctuation is due to chance, and the (temporary) removal of speed cameras made no difference whatsoever.

    G*d almighty, when will the authorities listen to real science?

    1. John Angelico

      Real science?

      Begging your pardon squire...

      "These are randome events which obey a Poisson distribution"

      Statistical techniques to help our minds cope with random events doth not real science make (necessarily).

      Real science deals with repeatable tangible events in an orderly universe. Events do not "obey" some statistical measure in the way that bodies with mass "obey" the law of gravity.

      So mind your language, please...

      The one with Newton's Principia, please.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      confused about poisson distribution

      How have fish got anything to do with this?

  16. Anonymous Coward

    Natural variation

    The levels of KSI are so low that any decrease or increase is due to minor random variations. So it can't be said that cameras cut down the number of accidents, nor that removing them increases them. Especially after only 6 months.

    With numbers so low it would take more than 6 months to see any trend. The underlying trend is already down and has been going down from well before camera were introduced. If camera were the cutting down on accidents then there would be a dip. There isn't. So cameras don't save lives.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    I'd prefer a spike on the steering wheel

    My preferred method of transport is a motorbike, and yes sometimes I break the speed limit. Only I know that if I speed on my bike I'd better be damn sure it's safe because in any accident I'm likely to be the biggest casualty.

    The problem with cameras, and in fact any form of summary 'justice', is that they take no account of the circumstances. You are 'blackmailed' into accepting any penalty by the high cost of opposing it.


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