Just switch them off, and leave them there as decoys? They'll still act as a deterrent to speeding to an extent, just without costing anything.
The proposition that speed cameras improve road safety looks likely to be severely crash-tested this summer, as government cutbacks make the likelihood of some counties becoming camera-free zones a near certainty. According to the Guardian, all 72 fixed speeding cameras in Oxfordshire are likely to disappear as the county …
Just switch them off, and leave them there as decoys? They'll still act as a deterrent to speeding to an extent, just without costing anything.
1. Regression to the mean accounts for a large part of the apparent success of placing a speed camera in a "blackspot".
2. Will the cameras actually be removed, or just left there with no film in so that you can't tell the difference. Can we look forward to updated lists of non-functioning cameras, or perhaps a nice new sign with a "Camera Non-functional" pictogram on it?
Go icon, obviously.
"Ironically, switching off the cams may be the only way to work out whether they have been having an effect or not."
Ironic ? Perhaps 'sadly' would be more accurate, whereas i'd say ironic is the tenor of the article - especially when commenting on bias in safety reporting.
I'm ashamed to say this but the French and others on the continent may be a few steps ahead of us here in terms of controlling the speed of traffic effectively and cheaply in at least some ways.
In many places where we'd expect to find a camera, the French have simply put a ruddy great section of bollards where the road normally goes, and diverts the traffic around them. The simplicity of it is that the motorist has to slow down to navigate this section of road that effectively juts out and back in fairly sharply from the main highway and it's hardly cost them a thing, it doesn't damage whatever traffic is passing through (ie speed bumps etc) and it doesn't hinder the traffic flow either as everyone has to slow to a reasonable speed to get through it.
I will add I've only seen this on a single-lane road, but it could be a useful way of slowing traffic without the aggro. No speed bumps, no cameras. How can the Mail readers moan?
Still, it's french. So I'll get my coat...
"It would be especially hard to justify the idea that all speed cameras should be turned off. Speed cameras are a really cost-effective way of managing speed, which is one of the biggest issues on our roads.
Really? According to DfT statistics (for which time period I do not remember) speed was a contributory factor in 5% of accidents, meaning 95% of accidents would have occurred regardless of the speed of the vehicle(s) involved.
Also, since speed cameras were introduced the year-on-year decline in number of accidents has flattened out.
I'm sure there's more evidence on www.abd.org.
Hmmmm.... seems like a good place to mention a recent Cambridge incident.
There, for those unfamiliar with the city centre, automated bollards go up and down depending on whether the approaching vehicle has the requisite key fob (or gizmo...) or not. So buses, taxis, etc. may enter the town centre. Others may not.
Watched, one saturday, what happens when you try and sneak through in the tail of a bus. The guy was not swift enough.
Cue large popping sound (as bollard took out nearside tyre). Cue clatter, as front bumper fell to the ground. Cue large pool of water, as something obviously essential got ruptured inside the engine. Add in airbag going off - apparently the car objected to being "shafted" in this fashion...and the engine coughing to a halt a few yards later.
Hmmm.... not bad for a few seconds thoughtlessness. A repair costing several thousand pounds (unless the car was a total write-off). Public humiliation. And an interesting insurance claim.
If you hurl your car at a brick wall, do you get your money back? Dunno...but this seems similar.
Oh a statistic I cannot remember, but lets make up a number, make it small, call it 5%, can't search on google as this would disprove it.
Pint glass for you too.
6% according to Swindon
Now if he steps in front of a car, he can be confident that the driver will be looking at either the bright yellow box or their speedo.
"Speed cameras are a really cost-effective way of managing speed, which is one of the biggest issues on our roads."
I'd say speed is not the issue, it's driving fast and *badly* that's the problem. The vast majority of accidents I see on the roads (and I do a lot of miles 35k+ a year - never had a ticket or an accident in 12 years) are people running in to the back of the car in front because they were tail gating or just not paying attention.
"...that the presence of speed cams on one stretch of road may push accidents to elsewhere in the county."
This is absolutely true. There's a speed camera just after a slip road on to the A14 near Cambridge that causes mayhem at peak hours because you've got people coming on to the A14 and slamming on the brakes when the see the speed camera and people on the A14 itself either trying to get out of the way of those coming on and hitting the brakes or slowing down for the camera. In the normal course of events the area would be fairly smooth flowing, but the addition of the camera causes people to drive in unexpected ways which inevitably leads to accidents.
Interestingly people instintively slow down for the camera even if they're doing under 70mph! Then, after the camera you have some people trying to accelerate, some trying to change lanes and others just pootling along at 50/60mph that everyone else has to get round.
Can I have the franchise to put speed cameras up where i like? I think I'd be able to make some money. (P.S. i don't drive a motor vehicle, fnar fnar)
Not without a motor vehicle anyway. Those things are heavy.
Cameras outside the schools round my way should stay, the ones that are there just to make money ie a 30mph dual carriageway that has seen no fatal accidents ever, can nod off.
. . . if everyone (yes, I know it's not actually *everyone*) stopped driving their kids to school, there wouldn't be such a problem with traffic and certainly not around the school.
Stop the madness of driving kids to school every day and lots of the problems would go away.
School starts at 9am.
A lot of jobs start at 9am.
Not a lot of bosses are sympathetic towards someone who is consistently 15-30 minutes late.
While there are always situations where one is compelled to drive ones kids to school (so don't bother listing them) Why the hell can't the majority kinds these days walk / cycle / catch the bus / car share with other kids parents?
I did all of these things at varoius stages during my school life and we're only talking about 15 or so years ago here.
Oh, the moment I got into high school I was quite happy to walk there. However, you'll find some parents not very eager to let their darling 8 year olds out of their sight even on the way to primary school, understandably enough.
<quote>"When the cameras were working there were eight slight accidents and one fatal accident across the sites, and post-switch off there were seven slight accidents and two serious accidents." Hardly an impressive argument for cameras.</quote>
I don't know...
<quote>IT pointed us to a piece of research (pdf) claiming that over the nine years from 2000 to 2008, "there was a reduction of 75.2% (113 to 28) in Killed or Seriously Injured (KSI) collisions at camera sites[...]"</quote>
... so, on the KSI measure, Swindon suffered a 200% worsening post-switch off. Quite impressive, if you didn't know the raw figures.
One could possibly surmise, that the drop in KSI from 2000 to 2008 is due to improvements in car safety design from 2000 to 2008.
"<quote>IT pointed us to a piece of research (pdf) claiming that over the nine years from 2000 to 2008, "there was a reduction of 75.2% (113 to 28) in Killed or Seriously Injured (KSI) collisions at camera sites[...]"</quote>"
Some selected camera sites, of course. But that is something which is never said, so small part of the whole truth that's it's a blatant lie.
Some other selection of camera sites would bring opposite numbers but you'll _never_ see those published, anywhere.
Also: No mention of overall collisions and/or injured, meaning both increased at least same percentage, because safer cars caused less deaths or severe injuries (and more normal injuries).
Thus _only the camera_ attributes to deaths and mandatory crash tests for all cars don't mean a thing. Why are they mandatory, then?
Nor the tripling of the petrol price (meaning _much less_ traffic). Everytime "authorities" are playing with absolute numbers (not relative, like "the deaths/100 000 cars"), they are lying. Cut 50% of the traffic and slightly safer cars and you'll have 75% reduction in deaths _anywhere, all the time_.
So, show me the naive idiot who buys this BS?
We've just had a year of unusually low road accident stats. We can expect that next year the figures will, most likely, go up again to something closer to the long term average.
At that point you can jump up and down and screech about how scrapping cameras has cost lives.
Google "regression to the mean". It's the trick where you wait for something bad to happen -- like too much rain, or too little rain, making the crops fail -- and tell the tribe you can placate the Angry Gods and make it all OK again if they give you lots of virgins. Of course the weather will go back to normal (otherwise it wouldn't be "normal", would it?) like you knew it would, but you're better off with all your new virgins, and best of all, the ripped-off thickos in the rest of the tribe think you're great. This trick works just as well with a spate of nasty accidents, speed cameras, and a fat salary for running the quango that "solves" the problem.
Its a nice status quo at the moment
Were doing something about speeders
Were slowing down for about 1/100th of our journey
<quote>There is also the issue ... that the presence of speed cams on one stretch of road may push accidents to elsewhere in the county.</quote>
What, like there's a certain number of accidents that *have* to happen, but they are excluded by the yellow-box-fluence field? Or maybe people think "Sod it, I've had to drive safely down that bit of dual carriageway, I'll just floor it on the back road, and who cares if there's a tractor coming the other way".
There's no theoretical minimum number of fatal road traffic accidents, you know, and no theoretical minimum amount of stupid driving behaviour.
people take a different route to avoid the cameras. And quite likely a less suitable route. Like they rat run to avoid traffic lights or roadworks. You'd expect it, wouldn't you? And they would tend to be the impatient ones, the 'accidents-waiting-to-happen'. They probably think "Wa-hay! I'm much less likely to be done for using my mobile on _this_ road!" too.
"There's no theoretical minimum number of fatal road traffic accidents, you know, and no theoretical minimum amount of stupid driving behaviour."
In theory, yes.
In practice they'll be always be some suicides and there is no way you can stop those.
Nor stupidity, it's infinite. No matter how much you lessen it, it's still infinite.
I agree put up loads of the things, an not tell anyone which oen is active. If they are money spinners that means there are loads of retards breaking the limit. If you cant pay the fine dont do the crime biatch!
Your comments are neither useful nor grammatical. Trot off home now - your mum's calling you in for your tea.
I demand a far higher standard of driving, not just speed cameras. They dont stop the 1000's of other accidents each day, caused by the atrocious driving skills of the populace as a whole.
What about the fact that most school kids dont get road safety lessons. How many times have I had to brake suddently because some daft kid has run out into the road? LOADS!
What was the mother/father doing instead of watching their sprog? ANYTHING but! Probably too busy with their reason for not having a life phone or wondering what they're going to have for tea.
Backwards, totally retarded.
Something I hate about speed cameras in general... people slow down for them for no legitimate reason.
We've all been there, doing 70mph on a dual carriageway behind someone else also doing 70mph and suddenly finding ourselves catching up on the cretin in front when they see a speed camera and slow/brake to 60-65mph.
Yet speed cameras apparently increase road safety. I consider them to be just another road hazzard along the same lines of a kid riding a bike at the side of the road. You don't know if the kid will fall off about the same as if the driver in front of you will brake for no reason at the sight of a camera. Just something else to worry about...
Some are money spinners. Mostly the ones on empty stretches of dual carriageway that make a couple of million/year from catching people speeding on an empty road at 4:00am.
Some are more expensive to install and operate, and don't catch as many people - like ones in built-up areas or in front of schools.
Guess which ones are going to be cut.
Rather than scrap them, move them to good roads - set up a MINIMUM speed cameras.
Start fining the morons that insist on driving waay below the speed limit.
Less queueing, less people getting frustrated, less lost work time, less dodgy overtaking and less accidents!
I doubt many would agree after they get fined because the car in front is driving slowly, or because they're getting fined for being in traffic
what worries me is this change is being driven through so quickly.
As speed cameras are on the way out I'll tell you my foolproof method for beating speed cameras - works every time and they can't touch you for it...
drive inside the speed limit.
If you can't control the speed of your vehicle you shouldn't be driving - catch a bus
And I love all the insane statistics experts who can prove every accident black spot is a potential regression to the mean. With knowledge like that, how come you haven't won the lottery?
...says it all:
Stop believing everything that comes of Clarkson's mouth people...
I don't really mind people who speed, it's the bloody morons who have no idea what those little yellow things are at each corner of their car and still further fail to comprehend what they are when going right around a roundabout that are the biggest danger on the road.
THEY ARE CALLED INDICATORS AND LET PEOPLE KNOW WHAT THE FUCK YOU INTEND TO DO !
Ah - Feel better now :)
A friend of mine who pootles along in her mondeo (she is 73) was recently "caught" doing 31MPH in a 30MPH zone. This was on the flat after a short steep hill. I believe the damp conditions may have lead to her actualy been doing <30 but she did not want to fight it.
However while the young WPC was taking my friends details an insanley aggressive "sarge" with the speed gun came up to her and rammed the gun in her face screaming SEE SEE SEE!. Thankfully she is build of stern stuff and did not do what many OAPs in that position would have done (had a coronary) but ignored the moron. When she cleaned the spittle off her face, the WPC apologised profusely for his behavior but my friend went straight to the local station and made a formal complaint.
Of course, the paper pusher behind the desk could not cope and "went to get someone", leaving her to stand at the desk for over half an hour - they probably assumed she would
give up and walk off. SHe did not and ignored the various (obvious) attempts to disuade her from making a complaint.
FYI this road is perfectly safe during the day (it was 2pm) but at night all sorts of local boy racers use it as a race track. Of course the police NEVER attend such events.
Oh and there were 8 police officers and maybe four plastic plod. IN reality one with a gun and thre WPC taking details with teh rest standing around drinking tea and coffee. No DVLA either.
Got to call BS on that. You would never be stopped for doing 31mph in a 30mph limit. By law you can't be pulled until you are doing the limit + 10% + 1mph so that would be 34mph. Either you are talking cock or your friend is talking cock. Somebody certainly is.
The 10%+2mph is merely guidance from ACPO. No poloice force is required to adhere to it, and zero-tolerance is used in some areas.
Why not just put up automated toll booths, or when one doesn't buy the transponder, the tried and true box behind a concrete barrier? Gov makes money, speeding becomes harder (if you stagger the stretches) win win! Speeders just pay an extra 'toll' (because, this is less to do with safety than to do with making money) by calculating the average speed between the toll booths. Go faster? Pay more. Then when someone gets into an accident the records could be pulled. This also has the advantage that if you use it, you pay for it.
Yes, I'm in the USoA. It seems the toll roads are both safer (more barriers, better signage/lighting, and better maintained) and more people seem how to drive, ie, drive faster. The regular cattle pens seem to be less maintained (more road debris/pot holes) and are driven by more idiots.
It'll never work tho.
This could be a debate into whether or not the removal of fixed speed cameras is a good thing or not, but...
I think what this clearly shows is that the argument of most of the anti lobby is a crock. The fact that cutbacks are forcing "safety partnerships" to remove speed cameras shows that, by and large, these cameras cost more to run than they rake in. So they are not a revenue raising device.
They were once, but only in a way. Under the original system safety partnerships liked the cameras because they got to keep the revenue (supposedly to plough back into road safety). However since they were receiving a chunk of funding from central government for every camera they were making a "profit". However when the system changed supposedly to make speed cameras more fair and less corrupt the old government pulled a flanker in a an attempt to win votes. They claimed that it was clear that some authorities were fudging the case to get cameras installed so they could have more cameras and more revenue, so they were going to change the way it worked. The press bought this line wholesale believing it to mean the government were goign to change the way the process of deploying cameras was managed. It wasn't, if anything the criteria became more lenient. What did change was where the revenue went. Instead of going to the safety partnership and getting ploughed back into road safety (no honestly none of it was spent on salaries and the like, ahem) the money now went into the treasury.
The problem with the whole process from a safety POV is that while KSI accidents may reduce at the camera sites, and the effect may even be genuine, it does not take into account the effect elsehwhere in the area. We have an A road which shows high KSI stats for years, the speed cameras went in over the last two years and already casualties are down. If the cameras stay then I believe the casualties will stay down. I don't think this is a case where RTM applies since the statistical mean showed high KSI rates for years. This is a geniune case of speed cameras working, at the camera sites. The accidents were generally late at night and tended to involve street racing. Now the cameras have been installed the boy racers have moved their operations to other roads in the area and accident rates are starting to increase on those roads.
Yes speed cameras do work in some cases, but in the official statistics no allowance is made for increases in accident rates elsewhere.
Also the criteria for camera placement include the incidence of speeding and the number of KSI accidents where speeding is a factor. The problem with this particular measurement is that the speed of vehicles in an accident can only be estimated and if you take a road where the incidence of speeding is high then it is likely that the estimated speeds will be high. Even if the vehicles were exceeding the posted speed limit, whos to say that doing so caused or contributed to the accident? There is seldom any evidence that it did. This is usually an assumption.
What really worries me is the number of sites where the speed limit is reduced and weeks later a camera turns up. How on earth can statistics have been gathered for this particular camera site for both the rate of KSI accidents and the incidence of speeding over a few short weeks. They haven't, is the simple answer. Statistics for speeding were usually recorded before the speed limit was lowered. So, for example, statistics that show a high proportion of vehicles were doing 55mph against a limit of 40mph are actually bogus since the speed limit at the time the statistics were recorded may have been 60mph and very few vehicles were actually speeding.
Most people are against speed cameras on general terms, but are in favour of them in very specific terms. That is to say they don't want cameras where they drive, but they do want them near their homes.
All of the above hopefully goes some way to showing that the whole issue of speed cameras is enormously complex and both the pro and anti lobbies oversimplify them enormously.
In closing however I'd just like to say that BRAKE infurate me because they oversimplify all road safety issues beyond all reason and try to suppress all debate. Nobody, but nobody should do that.
Has Jeremey Clarkson posted this argument on his blog and all you sheeple have come here posting the same phrase.
The whole issue with RTM is that if you look into the statistics for speed camera sites (freely available on the web) you will see that the beneficial effect of some speed cameras is clearly a case of RTM. Since there is a delay between the gathering of stats, the application to install the camera and the installation of the camera In some cases you will even see RTM *before* the cameras are deployed.
In some cases however there is a clear benefit to the speed cameras. I can think of one particular site where the camera is located on a straight stretch before a blind summit which hides a priority junction. An additional problem here is that beyond the blind crest drivers can see the end of the speed limit. Despite lots of warning signs the accident rate continued to be high. The speed camera just before the crest did it's job. Now you could argue that it's the junction itself that's dangerous, but it isn't if traffic approaches at 30mph it only becomes dangerous when traffic is doing 40mph or more. You can see from the statistics that this site that the KSI rate had a high mean for years and then fell after the installation of the speed camera and stayed low.
The problem with the popular use of RTM as an argument against the deployment of speed cameras is that whatever the argument and whatever side they are on most people want a "one size fits all" argument and that's why the anti-lobby like RTM. They think that the will win the argument by shouting RTM everytime somebody presents statistics that seem to support speed cameras as a road safety measure.
These days local authorities like to talk about "self enforcing" speed limits. This is where such things as speed humps, chicanes, mini roundabouts and other traffic calming measures force drivers to travel slowly. The problem here can be twofold; firstly that some of these measures can lead to traffic congestion when volumes get too high; and secondly that these measures can lead to a significant increase in damage only accidents. Since they don't directly cost the local authority an increase in such accidents may not seem to be a problem for the LA, but there can be indirect costs such as those incurred by traffic congestion caused by these incidents.
Oh and KSI accidents as a measure are flawed, because of the way KSI are recorded. If somebody is killed then obviously the "K" bit is fulfilled. However the "SI" bit is not so clean cut. A serious injury is considered to be anything requiring a visit to hospital. If you've ever been involved in an accident where the emergency services have been called you will know that you are advised to attend hospital for seemingly minor injury. This is an arse covering excercise, but it skews the statistics badly. Furthermore the compensation culture means mor people will visit hospitals after an accident. These hospitalisations are seldom followed up so the statistics don't truly represent accidents causing serious injuries. Again this can have an effect on the speed camera statistics, it doesn't take many visits to causualty for bumps and bruises before it looks like a particular site is very dangerous, when in fact it isn't.
Not only do people using the RTM argument not understand statistics, nor do the people collecting the statistics. If statistics do not clearly reflect reality they are no use at all.
Why is it so many hate the speed cameras?
What's needed is a way to make it much easier not to break speed limits: some kind of automatic cruise control included by law in all new vehicles. Once this has been implemented, people who break the speed limit can then be given huge fines, at least after the first or second time, and that way speed limits can be actually enforced. The trouble with the current system is that lots of people are paying fines because they accidentally broke a speed limit while driving safely, and this makes people very annoyed and thus makes it politically difficult to enforce the speed limits properly.
(Several members of my family have been caught by speed cameras; none of them was deliberately speeding. I have broken speed limits by accident on several occasions, too, though I haven't yet been caught. I went through a red light the other day due to being a dopey idiot. I think I'm probably too intelligent to copy with such a boring task as driving safely ... :-)
a part of the company i work for used to specialise in retexturing roads. basically they had a lorry than drove down a road, and added texture back into the tarmac, that basically got all full of melted rubber etc.
could we sell this tech to local councils? its 10x cheaper than resurfacing the roads, and you get a better grip. nope, the thing is they are all in bed with the people selling the roads.
you could retexture 10x more roads for the same budget yet they werent interested. oh, and its much quicker than resurfacing too.
you can very quickly sort out a dodgy bend or a stretch with poor grip or even reverse cambers. many of these affect the safety of roads too, yet nobody seems clued up enough to worry about it. they dont care about safety, they care about the backhanders and added finace from cameras.
also, remember that every year there are more and more drivers. so an accident spot with 10 crashes 10 years ago might actually have 20% more traffic today, yet they only look and see how many accidents, not how many per populace etc.
Unfortunately, I didn't have number plates on my bicycle.
Any athletic cyclist worth his muscles can always outrun car in a city.
I've witnessed no accident caused by speeding. I've seen near misses caused by (a) driving too close (b) distracted drivers (phones/food/fags/family) (c) sudden unpredictable driving changes (d) lack of indication (e) the slow lane creep of the drowsy/sleepers (f) idiotic maneuvers (g) lack of consideration to weather conditions.
I'll grant you that going faster reduces your ability to cope with other peoples mistakes, but a blanket limit is counter productive because wherever the driver feels it's unnecessary, it's disregarded and that reaction is easily extended to the point where there's no respect for the rule, in a place where it's actually extremely appropriate.
I've followed many drivers that stick to the 60 limit on the open road and then refuse to drop below 40 in 30 limits. I'd rather see 70+ mph on the open road (with care) than 40mph in a village/town, where vulnerable pedestrians are much more common and where road hazards abound.
Thrashing the bad boy when caught, does not enforce the rule, nor (more importantly) engender appropriate behavior in future. More often than not, it encourages worse behavior.
It does, however, tax the relationship between the individual and law makers/enforcers.
Teach better driving habits, not compliance and reward those that excel.
Whether speeding causes accidents is irrelevant and nobody other than BRAKE seems to be claiming that it does. The problem is that a small increase in speed can increase the serverity of the accident disproportionately. If you don't understand that you have no place either in this debate or driving a car.
In certain circumstances excess speed can cause an accident, I can think of one near me involving a T5 with pretty blue lights on the roof. 40 limit on a seemingly safe semi rural road, plod (not attending an emergency) takes a blind crest at about 70. The blind crest happens also to be a bend. T5 goes through the hedge.
I did see a newspaper article a few years ago that claimed the total profit from the cameras nationally that year was £73M and that the treasury was going to take just £7M of that and allow the rest to be re-invested in road safety.
I've never looked at the companies house web site to try and find out, but I suspect the directors and others due dividends from any monies like this are all related to the recently departed London based criminal gang rather than the new one. Therefore this particular human battery-farming method gets cut.
Last year the speed limit on our local road was dropped from 40mph to 30mph despite there having been no accidents on this stretch of road recorded.
The reason was to protect children walking to school, thats fair, but they changed the limit about three months before knocking down the school.
Now, because of the hill into town every week we see a mobile speed camera setup on a motorbike which is part of the Swindon camera partnership.
In fact these guys appear to be getting very good at finding target rich environments for speeding motorists.
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