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. Mycho Silver badge

    I have come to the conclusion

    Speed cameras are an excuse for no enforcement of traffic laws whatsoever. Stay within the speed limit and you can drive as dangerously as you want, the police no longer care. 71 in a 70? Your arse is theirs.

    1. Matt Bridge-Wilkinson

      yup but

      Only if they ignore the ACPO guidelines which state 10% + 2mph for speedo inaccuracy... which many do...

  2. ShaggyDoggy

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

    Their figures were for 7 months

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Thumbs Up for Speed Cameras

    I got the ticket in the mail. Thank heavens I wasn't pulled over by a cop who might have found the kilo of cocaine under the front seat, and the body in the trunk.

  4. David Gale

    ...and another thing

    Can Supt Povey confirm that the Thames Valley Safety Camera Partnership has had no maintenance schedule for the power supply units within GATSO cabinets and that, as a consequence, their GATSO facilities cannot be deemed to be within Home Office specification? Can he also confrim what arrangements have been made with UK courts to inform wongly convicted drivers and to return fines levied on evidence known to be flawed?

  5. Steve Evans

    I wouldn't mind but....

    I wouldn't mind the cameras if they actually did punish bad drivers, unfortunately they are letter of the law devices, not spirit of the law. They don't know when it is raining, snowing, or there are kids walking on the pavement, they only know that the car with the bald tyres which drove through did so at 29mph, so is obviously safe. It doesn't matter if the driver is drunk, on the phone or shouting abuse at his/her kids in the back, as long as he/she was doing 29mph, they're safe.

    Another car on a nice dry summer night at 3am goes through at 35mph and *bang* fine.

    If that's not bad enough, these yellow boxes seem to have replaced police patrols, you hardly see them about these days. I can't remember the last police car I saw that didn't have the flashing lights going already.

    Now if someone could come up with a camera which would punish people who don't indicate at junctions (usually taxis and private hire in my experience), and those that insist on doing 10 mph under the limit when ever they are in a 40 or 50 zone, then yes, those I would welcome. Hell I'd help them install them!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Whining anti-camera supporters

    There is so much whining from anti-speed camera folk about how the "poor motorist" is "being fleeced for money", or how the "evil police" are just "making money from innocent drivers", what complete and utter tosh!

    Speed camera never catch people for doing 30 in a 30 zone, or 50 in a 50 zone. The easy way to avoid a ticket is to abide by the speed limit, simple as that! Anyone still getting caught for speeding these date when there are signs warning you and cameras painted stupidly bright yellow and orange are either genetically stupid or have left the guide dog at home!

    Regardless of the rights and wrongs of what speed limit is applied to a stretch of road, or whether it is applied for "safety grounds", speeding is breaking the law and there is no argument that changes that fact. Speed cameras should be there to enforce a law IMHO not under the pretence of safety. They should also be unmarked and preferably not obvious, then I suspect people would drive a little more carefully.

    Ans then you get the other whining motoring groups trying to support the motorist, or at least the speeding ones. They would do a better job if they actually came out and urged people to uphold the speed limit rather than trying to slag off the system as some evil beast with 666 on its head.

    Next thing you know we will have the "guild of shoplifters" complaining how unfair it is on their members that security cameras in stores are catching them stealing!

    If it's against the law you simply should not be doing it. What gives the speeding motorist the right to decide that in their opinion 30 is too slow down this residential street and actually 50 is more appropriate! I think you will find that that is the opinion of most thieves, that what they are doing is fine by them and to hell with the rest of society. I suspect most motorists that speed habitually would be up in arms if their car got nicked by a joy rider who hold the law in the same contempt that they do. "Oh but that's different" I suspect would be their argument., "speedings not really breaking the law".

    1. Steve Evans

      Re: Whining anti-camera supporters

      I am a "Whining anti-camera supporter", and can I just say right from the outset that I have a completely clean licence, and have never been caught by a Gatso. I know where they are, I can see them, and as a back up my GPS warns me...

      My problem with them is they are used to replace real policing on our roads with their letter of the law instant judgement. The quality of driving I see on the roads these days is definitely on the way down. Only this morning I saw someone in a car nigh on flying over the speed humps round the corner from my house. Well over 40mph, but with no cameras about to judge his stupidity (had trade plates on, so he didn't care about the suspension) and no cops to tell him off. However if a kid had run out in the road he wouldn't have been able to stop, his wheels were barely on the ground!

      Speed does not kill. Inappropriate speed may contribute. There are so many other factors, road conditions (rain, snow, oil, ice), tyre condition, driver alertness, skill, experience etc. Unfortunately none of these can be judged instantly by a remote box on a pole. As I said before, which is safer, 29mph in the rain, 3:30pm with kids on the pavement joking about or 35 mph at 3am on a dry summer night with nobody about?

      The magic box will judge 35mph at 3am to be more dangerous and worthy of a photograph, when anyone with any sense will know the 29mph driver in the rain is the more likely to squash someone.

      1. David Bilsby

        Re: Re: Whining anti-camera supporters

        You make a very good point with regard speed cameras not stopping dangerous driving (rather than speeding if for now we separate those two categories). I too was passed this morning by an idiot who was both speeding and driving dangerously, i.e. overtaking in a completely inappropriate place given conditions and general visibility.

        However unless we are all prepared to pay a considerable amount more in taxes to fund police to monitor these lunatics then sadly they will keep getting away with it.

        You argument that speed does not kill, inappropriate speed may contribute is a glib glossing over of the problem. Acceleration / deceleration is what actually kills, whether that be deceleration of the driver in the car when they hit something or acceleration of the person hit by the car. Both of which will cause damage to delicate internal organs within the body. However from a physics stance, acceleration / deceleration is related to force which is related to speed and mass (weight). The mass of a car is constant, so the speed is the variable which matters as to how much damage is inflicted in an accident.

        You may well consider 3am to be safer than 3.30pm and therefore give you the right to go 6mph faster, however your reaction time is the same, whether it be 3am or 3.30pm, and infact possibly slower at night. However your speed is the same, so if someone, child or not, appears in the road in front of you you have less time to react, therefore less time to break, therefore you hit them with a higher speed and inflict greater damage. There is no argument that mitigates this.

        There are also many other factors as you say, so why increase the risk by speeding. The only way therefore to reduce the likelihood of an accident is to reduce the speed so if the unexpected happens, a dog runs across the road, you hit a patch of ice, etc. there is more time to take action.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    Simple Solution

    Clearly the problem is the use of motorised transport that permits man to travel at a speed higher than nature ever intended. Let's face, if evolution actually existed then man would adapt to crashing at those sorts of speeds. Internal combustion engines and electric motors - clearly the work of the devil since Inteligent Design hasn't provided us with the protection.

    Let's all move back to riding horses. Then let's see how the fatalities increase when we fall off. (and you can't argue that it's Gods will that we ride horses - they still only travel at a "natural" speed.

    </sarcasm mode off>

  8. Bassey

    Cash Cow

    Can the dozen or so posters suggesting the turning on of speed cameras is because it's a "nice little earner" for the police please explain why the cameras were turned off when budgets were cut? Wouldn't the police want to INCREASE the number of "nice little earners" during budget cuts?

    Or would thinking about that too hard shatter your self-delusion that your speeding is fully justified and you are really just sticking it "to the man"?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm going to upset some of you...

    20% of road fatalities involve bikers, 2% of motorists are bikers.

    The bikers will tell you (with a straight face!) that they never break the speed limit and all those fatalities are down to car drivers. If I ever see a biker in the rear view when I'm travelling at GPS measured (more accurate) speed limit then I can be absolutely certain the idiot will be about to overtake. I drive down stretch of road with yellow signs like "10 bikers killed on this stretch in the last 18 months". It's all very well to blame the car drivers but the simple fact is if we really cared about reducing road fatalities we'd have a much stronger focus on bikers. Speed cameras can't "see" side-on number plates so they get away with it. What about a legal requirement for tachographs on bikes? Using GPS technology it could be done in a tiny package for a couple of hundred quid.

    On the subject of fatalities - UK figures (about 3000 p.a.) are low compared even with EU and even better compared globally. But if we are thinking about fatalities in the overall population I've seen estimates as high as 80,000 p.a. for the combined effects of fatalities in a medical environment - i.e. MRSA, C.diff, surgical accidents, inappropriate medication, misdiagnosis of a serious complaint as minor. (I wonder how many of the "road fatalities" are actually a cover-up for a medical error.) We could cut that figure significantly if basic hygiene procedures were observed.

    Now what about those that keep saying "the law's the law and that's an end to it" - I guess they'd be saying the same if they lived in one of those places where adultery is punished by stoning to death, theft by amputation and women must keep their faces covered and not be allowed education. Some speed cameras are confusingly positioned and things like at the bottom of a hill where the limit changes down disregard the fact that harsh braking may be necessary, that's dangerous, and unlike some who choose to post here, I spend more time looking out of the window and checking the mirrors than obsessively staring at the speedo, there are moments when I exceed the limit. Then my SatNav beeps and I respond (even on an empty dual carriageway at 3am). Trouble is the local authorities change limits without always telling the satnav suppliers. A simple bit of legislation to the effect that every authority responsible for any stretch or road must publish speed limit data in an agreed digital format and provide 6 months notice of changes then none of us would have any excuse for not complying (... why should I be forced to buy a satnav?? You're not, stick to the limits yourself or pay the fines).

    Mobile cameras make thousands of pounds an hour because the cops know where to place them - so the correct action, if their objective was to enforce the speed limit (sorry, I'm supposed to say "improve road safety" whether that's evidence based or not), would be to place electronic "Your speed is..." signs, rumble strips or other solutions that would work 24x365 rather than when the cops want an easy day out sat on their bums to make a few grand.

    Another concern is Oxfordshire's reversal of policy on the basis of evidence so weak no credible scientist would rely on it, 0.7% increase over 6 months is not "proof". I hope their standards of proof in other areas of the law are higher or we're all screwed.

    1. Intractable Potsherd
      Thumb Up

      Nice one, AC...

      I wish I could give more than one up-vote.

  10. Ben Bawden

    Here's an idea

    If you don't want to get a speeding ticket, don't drive faster than the speed limit.

    I got zapped by a camera a few years ago. I took it on the chin, and accepted that I shouldn't have been going faster than the limit. I didn't whine like a spoiled child that I was being victimised.

  11. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

    Doesn't bother me except

    I'm probably considered an annoying motorist as I go the speed limit, so cameras dont bother me.

    What bothers me is someone coming up to a camera overtaking me then stamping on their brakes before the camera coming into my lane and causing me to have to slow down and start shouting yob out the window, cameras dont work for people like that, get more police on the road cut the red tape and get idiots off the road.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Interesting that ....

    Not one person yet has come up with a single reason why they were not at fault for being caught by a camera.

    Let me spell it out for some of you :




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