back to article Lies, damned lies and government statistics

Apparently statistics are all down to personal opinion. Except, of course, when you are a government spokesperson, in which case they are the gospel truth. Despite expert evidence – and public exposure - that the “official estimate” of casualty reduction due to speed cameras is seriously overestimated, the Department for …

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  1. oliver Stieber
    Coat

    all this

    And I thought the government we supposed to be listening to scientists and experts.

    Time for a change I think, but not to any of the self loving parties we have at the moment.

    Mines the one with the real democracy in the pocket.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Not an issue

    The complaining speeder is somewhat like the dissatisfied porn punter or the pissed off smoker, let's face it they are not someone that engenders an awful lot of sympathy with the general public when they bitch about their predicament. Consequently the powers that be feel they can ignore and tax/fine them at will, and indeed they do. Surprised they haven't played the "What about the children card.". Break down the KSIs to age group and show that 87.9% of all of these are sweet blond curly haired cuteypies.

    Vultures can be roadkill too.

    Efros

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Evidence-based policy...

    "...a government that claims to rely on the evidence..."

    Erm. I think they debunked that particular claim a *long* time ago.

    Evidence-based policy, my left buttock. Dogma and spin (or flat-out lies) characterise this Government's policy framework.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Morons

    If you don't want to pay speeding fines, don't speed. It's that simple. Are drivers in the UK so stupid that they cannot get that through their thick skulls? Christ almighty, the cameras have warning signs, road markings and are feckin' day-glo!

    If you can't see all the warning sighs, road markings and the camera itself; what else can't you see? If you think it is somehow "unfair" rather than your own dumb-ass mistake for being so inattentive to your driving, you are unfit to drive.

    Having just said that, I wish the same level of effort was applied to middle-lane hoggers (yes YOU, get left moron) and red-light runners (even amber means STOP*, idiot).

    *I am perfectly aware of the full definition for amber, but it's a bit long-winded. Green too for that matter (clue: it does not mean "GO").

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  6. Scott

    Saving lifes.

    And if it was proved that placing a diffrent detterant to speed could save even more lifes but wouldn't get the 100m in fines would the goverment do it?

  7. Geraint Jones
    Thumb Down

    Listening to scientists and experts?

    ...what, like they did when reclassifying cannabis?

    As has been said in previous comments, they've dropped, or rather shied away from that idea a long time ago.

  8. The BigYin

    KSI is wrong

    IIRC KSI covers the dead (obviously) and those referred to hospital for any reason whatsoever (regardless of how serious any actual injuries are). This one reason by bikers over-represent as they are often carted off for check-ups (quite sensibly too). If they are found to be uninjured (or only slightly) they still appear on KSI stats.

    I am not sure if the same applies to cyclists and peds, but I'm guessing it does.

    So even if the 870 KSI figure is "accurate", it's not actually measuring "serious injuries" at all and is still an over estimate. How far can that 870 be cut if you remove the "noise" of people just getting post-incident check-ups?

    Then there is this gibbermunts obsession with speeding. Why? It is only a factor in around 7% of accidents (according to their own figures), so why not focus on other more significant causes? I reckon it's because speeding is the easiest to fine and thus raise revenues from. Most others require a trained plod to sit and wait to see it happening.

  9. John Robson Silver badge
    Stop

    Revenue^H Speed^H Safety cameras are evil

    All the gatsos do is cause mass slamming on of brakes and rapid acceleration - costing us all money in increased fuel bills.

    Specs at least maintain some degree of sense, except that people think that they are instant as well as average cameras and slam on the brakes anyway.

    My real problem is the inappropriate positioning of speed limits, speed cameras and other road hazards.

    We had a lane on a quiet road blocked off with lights recently because they were replacing a drain cover, in the week and a bit the roadworks were there I never saw anyone working. A metal sheet over the area, or just a couple of cones would have been enough - you could see the road for far enough to pass safely.

    icon - It's what UK.gov want us all to do

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  11. Chris Collins

    Mobile cameras

    In reponse to AC's morons, I think you'll find many speeders are caught by white vans with a tiny speed camera symbol on the side that sit in laybyes or on bridges, operated by contractors (not the police). These are quite difficult to spot in time and are fundamentally entrapment. The other common one is average speed cameras, which take no account of road conditions or the fact you can do a ton and then wait just before it. Neither of these are practical solutions to the alleged menace of speeders. Around 3,400 people are killed on the roads and if 800-odd are killed by speeders then 2,600 are killed by non-speeders. Even you declare that people driving like cunts are a major issue with your middle lane hogs. However if it is not safe to stop for amber, you should still go through.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All cameras do...

    ...is make you slow down to the `safe` speed where there are cameras - it does not slow people down who are driving fast over any significant distance. They _do_ make a lot of money for the government to spunk on whatever it fancies though.

    Physical obstructions slow people down - like the hard plastic sleeping policemen. Now, if they _really_ wanted to slow people down for the sake a saving the poor wikkle pedestrian then this is what they would do. Or even introduce compulsory devices to regulate speed in all vehicles on our roads. Or they would make the punishment for speeding a year in prison - no exceptions, first time. Or any number of other, effective deterents. But why the f*ck would they do that?! How does that benefit any of them? If noone drives faster than the speed they say you can, then no money can be made! No, much better to put little yellow boxes up and have a computer issue a penalty fine. Because that allows people to drive as fast as they like, and makes the asshats a tidy buck to spend on other inane shitty pointless projects to boot.

  13. Simon Cresswell

    Classic

    From the R-T-M appendix

    "Many fixed cameras had to be excluded from this analysis because they were existing cameras which changed operation to cost-recovery."

    QED

  14. Mike Street
    Stop

    For the benefit of the AC who seems to support speed cameras...

    You need to understand that speed limits are just an arbitrary number. It does not indicate that someone driving 1 mph below the limit is in any way safer than someone driving 1 mph above. Many other factors are important, such as the state of the road, the traffic, the time of day, the presence or otherwise of pedestrians, your skill as a driver, the vehicle you are using etc. etc.

    So, if the 'government' is taking £100m a year from drivers for exceeding an arbitrary number they pulled out their nether regions, it seems reasonable to ask "Is this actually contributing to road safety" and, more importantly, "Is this the best way to spend this money and time to increase road safety".

    If you have no answer to those questions, it's not a fine, it's a tax. I don't expect you to complain about another tax, but those of us who aren't sheeple would like to know, and prefer it when our own 'government' doesn't lie to us.

  15. Mark

    Re: Morons

    Generally true.

    However, their placement and feature creep are based on incorrect statistics. If I gave a statistic that banning broccoli saved 976 people each year based in a PFMA rigorous test on the effect of high-iron foodstuffs on the UK population, should this mean that we pay to have broccoli changed? Or have packaging show how much broccoli is contained ("may contain broccoli")? No. Why? Because the figure was pulled from my arse. Now you may find out that one or two people a year die within hours after eating a meal containing broccoli, but does that mean that my proposal should stand?

    And we don't want to reward PFMA statistics. And certainly NOT from our government.

  16. Matthew Hepburn
    Stop

    Speeding..... not always clear cut

    For instance, the stretch of road my current g/f was driving home on at around midnight, in the countryside, totally empty, with few or no speed signs and a gatso partly covered by shrubs..... and a 30MPH limit FFS!!

    I'm all in favour of speed humps by schools, and sensible 30 limits in built up areas - but this one is a pure money-maker, installed at a spot where people may have crashed due to their own stupidity doing over 60 round a blind corner followed by a fairly sharp opposite corner. Do-able at 60, not at 80..... so lets have a 30 limit and a camera! Yay.... just glad the thing didnt flash.....

  17. Scott

    @AC Morons

    People that live in glass houses and all that, if you had read the article in full you would of read that this is not about speed cameras but the way the govermnent manipulate figures to there own ends. So moron may be a bit rich coming from a moron.

    but then again i surpose your one of these law loving citizens whos children go to the school in your catchment area and you never over fill you bins, i read a goverment statistic that if you hop every where you can save the planet and porduce enough energy to light your home...

    ...So off you hop

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    @AC re Morons

    Oi, you! Get off yer friggin' high horse.

    The real issue here is that the DFT are using LIES rather than STATISTICS to fine drivers.

    The issue is not about whether or not speeding is right or not.

    Please don't feed the trolls...

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Again with the "then don't speed...."

    Fair enough, by not speeding you can avoid paying this tax - but its still a tax, plain and simple. Worse still, it allows the police to get their vital performance statistics without actually lifting a finger in catching dangerous and incompetent drivers! in my personal experience as both a driver and a biker i have had my life put at risk numerous times by dangerous driving well under the speed limit. I have also almost never felt threatened by people driving over the speed limit - apart from those tossers in body kitted abominations with a table bolted to the back who think the M1 is the staging area for grand turismo - but even then its not the speed thats the danger, its the undertaking, following closely and aggressive driving.

    People who complain about speed cameras aren't IMO bitter about points on their licence (FWIW mine's spotlessly clean), they just see that they are purely for revenue generation, and believe, like me, road safety cannot be left to mechanical devices that only use a single measure yet have the capacity to ban you from driving. The sooner we get rid of them the better! (except perhaps by schools...)

  20. Geraint Jones

    @ AC (Moron?) re. Morons

    "And before El Reg commenters reach for the flaming green ink, please note: this is not about the effects of speed. Nor is it about the effects of speed cameras, precisely. Rather, it is about the way in which the government treats evidence when it doesn’t like the way experts interpret it."

    Do read the article before commenting.

  21. hugo tyson
    Pirate

    RTM is when it was temporarily *unusually* above average.

    @AC: it wasn't meant to be about speed itself; you're right though, I too regard speed cameras as being the same as the lottery, a tax on the stupid. My objection is that we seem to get cameras *instead* of policemen in cars, so no action on middle lane-hoggers tailgaters seatbelts and phone-users et al.

    About the article: "cameras are sited on spots where the accident rate is usually above average." I think you mean "unusually above average" (for a particular, short, measurement period) hence RTM has a powerful effect. If the accident rate is above average (for that sort of location) for many years (ie. "usually" above average) then that's the normal rate for that location, so RTM won't be a strong effect.

  22. Martin Lyne

    £100m a year in speeding fines

    That pays for one minor logo change and attributed consultancy fee then. Every 2 years.

  23. Pete Silver badge

    who needs a state-controlled media

    when all the "free" channels do is swallow the government line, whole, without challenging it?

    OK. Points to The Times for bringing it to people's attention. However I have a sneaking suspicion that this issue won't get picked up by any other highstreet-publication - or TV/Radio. The reasons being that:

    a.) it's too abstract

    b.) it involves numbers

    c.) there are no pictures

    d.) it's not about the olympics

    As the old song goes: "freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose". In the case of press freedom, we've already lost any critical, intellectual or iconoclastic reporting, so I guess that makes them free, afterall.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How many old people die of hyperthermia

    Because the money needed to pay their winter fuel bills was spent on cameras?

    How many hospital deaths, how many stress deaths from extra work to pay the tax bill? How many extra rear end collisions? In the great grand scheme of things are they even a net positive?

    Difficult thing, you can look at the UK mortality rate and say it's high vs most of Europe and conclude the wrong choices are being made overall. It doesn't mean that all choices are bad, just that overrall the net effect of UK.gov is more dead people. The net trend is for the UK to climb the mortality ladder vs similar countries.

    I know each government department likes to slice the world up into it's own little piece then consider their little piece in isolation, but they consume budget, their budget is paid for with tax and that means somebody working their butt off on a Friday night to pay their bills, then driving home exhausted and crashing.

    Or some other more important thing to lose it's budget because Madam Fakir's dept falsifies it's statistics.

  25. Onionman

    KSI

    Pal of mine was dazed for a few seconds after a car hit him. No other injuries at all, but as a precaution he was kept in hospital all night (no disagreement with that). Turns out that an overnight hospital stay = seriously injured. Hmm.

    My first question on his return by bus was "So, which do you feel, killed or seriously injured?".

    I'm sure people read KSI as "Killed". Might be worth bearing this tale in mind next time you read any stats that quote KSI.

    V

    PPS, "Moron" post, by AC. Not relevant AT ALL. Comment is about stats, not about speeding.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    If saving lives is REALLY the aim then

    how come the NHS kills more than 3,500 each and every year, by having filthy hospitals. No money in stopping C. Diff and MRSa is there.

    Why not a washing your hands camera for NHS staff? Complete with fines etc.

    Speed camera's no - GREED camera's yes.

    Paris - because she's far more upfront than HMG ever is!

  27. Liam Johnson

    @AC re Morons

    I think you just answered your own questions. The problem with speed cameras is that they are pointless. Drive down the street and tell me how many people you see speeding. Many? Not really. And those who are technically speeding are probably just a fraction over the speed limit, not hugely over.

    Now tell me how many people you see each day buggering around on the road as if they don’t reallise that they are in a 2 ton tank. As you mentioned, hogging centre lanes or just generally unaware of what’s going on. I think you will find it is a much larger number.

    Problem is, bad driving is not easily measured with a mechanical device, so it is easier to put up a few cameras. It doesn’t matter if they work, as long as the sheeple think they are getting their monies worth. You can probably count yourself in that group.

  28. Nebulo
    Paris Hilton

    @AC

    Well said, mate. Morons. If you don't want the camera to take a picture of your car, try driving within the speed limit, not crashing red lights, etc. It's really very easy, even for morons.

    There's always this idiot chorus whenever the subject of speed cameras comes up yet, in that they *only* take pictures of those who are breaking the law, they are one of the fairest uses of technology yet. Mention the millions of CCTV cameras shoved in your innocent face as you go about your innocent business, though, and it's always "Oh, but they make the streets *so* much safer" ... even though every study ever done shows that they make bugger all difference to anything.

    Stop moaning about speed cameras, and try driving safely, fools. If you have to moan, do it about actual abuse of technology, like just about everything this Godforsaken UK government is stuffing down your throat.

    Paris, because she knows what to do in front of a camera.

  29. This post has been deleted by its author

  30. Martin
    Go

    @AC "Morons"

    It could possibly be that motorists really don't see the relevance of (for example, the 70mph motorway limit) a speed limit introduced in 1965, by a non-driving transport minister, for cars with drum brakes and cross-ply tyres, in response to accidents in fog; when that limit is applied in 2008 to modern cars in good weather.

    Added to this is the recent fetish for local councils to drastically cut the speed limit on many roads without good reason (quite often from 60mph to 30mph) and then put a shedload of cameras up, some of which are 'accidentally' hidden behind a convenient tree or road sign, and all of which are on the straightest, safest and most downhill sections of the road, where most people (perfectly safely) can exceed the limit by at least 10mph. This is what happens when policy is set by people in London who think that every road in Britain is a busy high street where 30mph is actually quite fast for the conditions.

    When speed limits are set to a genuine 'maximum safe' speed, rather than merely as low as they think they can get away with, THEN talk to me about not speeding. Until then I and most other people will take the signs (in most cases) as a suggested minimum speed, rather than a hard maximum.

    /gets the coat with the clean licence in the pocket

  31. michael

    real question

    "" Drivers now fork out well in excess of £100m a year in speeding fines, and Mr Ruffley would like to know what the money is spent on.""

    did we get an anser to the question that was asked not the one they would have liked to be asked? ie WTF are they spending £100m on?

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    @Chris Collins et al

    The camera van will still only catch YOU when YOU are breaking the law.

    This is still YOUR fault. No one else's.

    Take some personal responsibility for YOUR actions.

    As to the comments on revenue generation:

    The fines are NOT a tax, they are NOT mandatory (like the road fund license). You can CHOOSE to pay them or not by simply OBEYING THE LAW. Whether that law is good, the limits valid or not is a different conversation.

    And one YOU should try and have with YOUR MP if you are so upset up about it.

    As to the government stats:

    If you believe anything Labour say, then you are an even bigger idiot than those who lack the wit to keep the vehicle they are fully in control of below the posted limit.

  33. Greg

    @Morons

    Totally agree on the speeding. You know the rules of the road when you pass your test. You agree to them when you get your licence. Everyone knows the score. Then going on to bitch that you got caught speeding is just stupid. If you don't want to pay then don't speed. Going 35mph instead of 30mph on bog standard urban/suburban roads will get you nowhere faster. You'll either get caught at lights, or you'll brake for a bus, whatever.

    But this wasn't an article about speed cameras. It was about the government doing its usual fingers-in-its-ears act whenever someone proves it wrong. And on that point I have to agree.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    lets see...

    1,745 people saved

    100,000,000 revenue

    = £57,306 per person saved

    and how much was that cancer treatment per patient that the NHS won't provide coz it's too costly but very effective?

    It's all one government right? right... ?

  35. andy gibson

    Breaking a law

    It's not about speed, it's about a law. If you break it you get fined.

    It really is black and white, there's no grey area. You're either deliberately breaking the law (to get where you want to quicker), or you're not safe on the road (i.e. failing to maintain your vehicle's speed - if you can no longer do something you were REQUIRED to do before you were given a full driving licence, maybe you should retake driving lessons or turn in your licence and get on public transport).

    A driving licence isn't a right, its a privilege. And if you break the rules of the road, expect to get a penalty for doing so. It's just a shame there aren't cameras to catch other poor driving standards.

    Roll on the day that speeding points are taken into account when you come to renew your car insurance. People like me who can monitor their speed and keep it at or under the limit can then benefit from cheaper premiums.

  36. Pierre Knouwds

    Smoke and Mirrors!!!

    Why dont they place a camera on a safe road and see the increase in accidents?

  37. Frederick Karno

    It's nothing new

    Government spin is nothing new, commissioning people to produce "independant figures" is what needs to be looked at.

    Unfortunately many of us fall for the figures produced like people did with smoking .

    They are on a winner because joe public are not going to drive within the speed limits and even if they do they will find another tax to make up the shortfall.

    My beef with the camera's is accountability the operators of the cameras can cherry pick who they fine,i'm not saying that they do but it is a possibility, do they actually send out fines to all who are caught or do the contractors/police do checks to see if its worth their while first,for example do police officers get tickets when they are off duty ??? or MP's the only cases i have seen have been where people were caught with other means .......

    For a law to work it has to be fair to all with no exceptions,these cameras are not IMO a fair way to administer law.

    If the government are serious about speed all caught should be banned after one warning but getting back to the stats ....we have to have a more responsible way of Government stats being presented otherwise we end up with the situation where we believe none of them.

    One stat that is irrefutable is that no matter what we do with our lives 100% of people will die.

  38. dervheid

    Cowardly rantings.

    Besides the by now Statement of the Bleeding Obvious", ergo that this, and any, government will lie it's tits off to justify any revenue raising when it feels like it, the one thing I notice (again), is the number of people ranting away whilst hiding behind the "Anonymous Coward" posting.

    Yes, I use a nom-de-plume, but at least the thread of my postings are traceable, unlike yours, you weasels.

    Right, that's that off me chest, to business.

    Speed cameras are, in the vast majority of their current useage, fixed or mobile, a pox on society and a bare-faced tax on the (otherwise law-abiding) motorist.(at this point I expect a reaction from the *if you don't speed you don't get fined* brigade, but I'm willing to bet that there ain't any saints out there, really, and any driver who says "I don't speed" is suffering from delusional tendencies, and will have, at some time, albeit unintentionally or even unconsciously, exceeded the speed limit, even slightly).

    Driving at 80mph on a near-deserted, dry motorway, at 4am is only likely to present a danger to the driver & occupants of said vehicle. the Gatso/mobile camera operator, unlike your average Traffic Plod, takes no account of this, nor any extenuating circumstances there may be involved. This is not good policing, in anyone's book. It's arbitrary, dispassionate and without any sense of mercy or balance, which is what is required of good lawmaking, and good law enforcement. a sense of proportionality needs to be returned to our roads.

    On the other side of the argument, there ARE places for non-discriminatory speed enforcement. Busy urban/suburban areas, where there ARE higher numbers of more 'vulnerable' people, where excess vehicle speed DOES contribute to fatality/serious injury levels. These are the places that speed cameras (and the like) should, IMHO, be being deployed, not the major arterial routes. They need to be policed properly, with highly trained, dedicated, passionate HUMAN BEINGS, not automated systems.

    Rant over. Thank fuck it's Friday!!

  39. JimC Silver badge

    Implications of RTM...

    Of course the other implication of RTM is that the to get a real overall benefit you need to change drivers habits so that people don't speed at the places that are going to exceed the mean next time. And of course they do speed, all the time. You just have to drive around at the speed limit all the time and watch the queue up your rear fender.

    And the only way to change peoples habts will be to make the cameras more or less invisible, located completely at random locations, not just where you can see them, and in huge numbers. That would greatly increase the tax take in he short term, but it would drop in the long term. It would also be completely unacceptable politically in spite of the number of lives that would be saved... Speed doesn't necessarilly cause accidents but it sure makes them worse... Not to mention the green benefits from the fuel saving etc....

    It is bizarre actually, this labelling of speed cameras. If it was just a tax raise thing you'd think they wouldn't be labelled so prominently so the take would increase. Of course it could just be muddled thinking and half ass compromises, but that couldn't happen in UK government. Could it?

  40. Dave

    How much?

    So what was the average reduction in fatalities / KSI's in the areas that didn't have speed camera's? I have often heard it suggested that they reduced as well, something to do with better cars etc.

    Mind you, I would also assume that the camera's have a tendency to displace accidents - they stop you from being able to overtake a tractor safely in one particular place, so presumably people will try and overtake somewhere else, where it may well be less safe?

  41. Red Bren
    Coat

    @How many old people die of hyperthermia

    I thought the UK mortality rate was the same as Europe and the rest of the world - 100%

    <-- Mine's the one with the cowl and scythe

  42. Matt Bryant Silver badge
    Boffin

    Can't believe I'm actually going to say this....

    ..... but I'm generally in favour of speed cameras. That's strange coming from me when I (like most people I know) would quite likely admit to speeding almost daily (in a hypothetical way, blah, blah, deflect lawyers kinda way). Most speed limits are not set arbitarely as stated above, and if they make people drive more slowly in dangerous areas then I'm all for it. If I am caught speeding it's because I knowingly broke the speed limit, no-one put a gun to my head. But the main reason I'm all for it is because I hope some of the money will go into providing more patrol cars to go out and catch some of the twits I see doing every day motoring lunacy, often at speeds well inside the limit, which seem to cause the majority of accidents I have seen. Speed does not kill, it is innappropriate speed or driving behaviour, IMHO, that does.

    Speed compresses the amount of time you have to react to a given situation, hence all those braking distance reminders in the Highway Code. If you are driving too fast for a situation, you may leave yourself too little time to react and avoid an unexpected change in the situation. It is not usually the expected that kills us, but the unexpected. Driving at 100mph down an empty motorway at 3am is likely a lot safer than doing it in rush hour, but I'd advise you take make sure you always drive at a speed that allows you to see far enough ahead to avoid the unexpected such as a car broken down in the middle lane. Likewise on country roads with the national speed limit - just because you can do sixty, it may not be so wise to do it round that tight bend or over the bridge ahead, as what may be hidden from view is a stationary vehicle, a pedestrian, an animal, a tractor, a whitevanman knuckledragger cutting down a lane marked as too small for such a vehicle in his oversize delivery truck....

    The most dangerous spot by crash stats in my area is an innocuous bend on a dual carriage A-road. The road in general is open and fast, and drivers get sucked into the idea they can cruise safely at the limit (and often over it). The problem is that this bend in particular has a thick wedge of woodland right up to the kerb, and drivers cannot see more than twenty yards ahead. They often come round the corner at full pelt to find a stationary queue of traffic and plough into the rearmost car (seven such fatal incidents in the last three years!), mainly by drivers driving inside the speed limit. A local politician has suggested a drop in the limit to 40mph for the bend and a camera to enforce it, and much to my surprise I think I'm going to sign his petition.

  43. james

    arse

    so the reduction in deaths and serious injuries has absolutely zero correlation with advances in vehicular safety devices, i would suggest that the 800 and some less occurances after taking rtm into account is actually due to safer cars.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @let see

    saving may be £57k per "life" but assuming average distibution of people "saved" then each £57k probably "buys" 30-ish extrra years of life ... most of the cancer drugs are only going extend life by a year or two .... so in terms of QALY's the benchmark from the speed camera test ~£2k/year

  45. demat
    Flame

    @lets see

    If there are 40,000 revenue cameras in the UK each costing £20,000, that’s a total outlay of 800,000,000. Subtract from that the 100,000,000 earned by those cameras and divide that figure by the number of lives saved, gives a value per life of £804,597. NICE by contrast places a figure of somewhere between £20,000 and £30,000 on that same life. Some joined up thinking wouldn’t go amiss…

  46. John Stevens
    Paris Hilton

    Rabbits

    Of course, the implication of the rtm effect is that if you placed ANY object at a site that had experienced a higher than average accident rate over a period of time, then there would be some reduction in the accident rate. The important thing is to determine how much reduction is due to the camera, how much due to rtm.

    Given the apparent lack of statistical nous at the DfT, may I propose the following.

    That an independent group carries out some research. This would involve placing rabbits at sites of high accidents. No, not the furry sort, but, because the government seem so wedded to hi-tech solutions, the latest in vibratory dildonics. The rabbit!

    Then ask them to explain the subsequent reduction in accidents WITHOUT rtm, (which they seem so keen to ignore elsewhere).

    Yes! Roadside vibrators reduce accidents by 60%!

    Let's campaign for roadside vibrators NOW.

    Paris, cause she probably knows a thing or two about roadside vibration.

  47. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

    A few comments

    1) I completely agree with the article. The govt do manipulate statistics, and most people have such a limited understanding of maths that they just swallow it whole. It is all about telling people what to think, and those who cannot think for themselves (the vast majority of the population...) lap it up. They don't realise that 72.6% of statistics are made up.

    2) My only problem with speed cameras is that they have no brain. It does not take into account that speeds will naturaly vary. OK, they allow a little margin, but this is not enough.

    If you are stopped by a cop for speeding, you can explain yourself. Take for instance the time I was stopped for doing 36 in a 30 zone. I had just driven back from university, motorway all the way, a 2 hour drive. I had only been off the motorway a mile or so, and it was night, with no other traffic about. In these circumstances, your perception of speed is altered. I was not intentionaly speeding and, just before the cop pulled me over, I had noticed and was slowing down. The police talked to me for a couple of minutes and let me go. They understood that a little common sense is necessary. If it had been a camera, £60 + 3pts, no questions.

    3) They are a distraction. I have heard of one guy who ran someone over because he was looking at his speedo going through a speed camera. They make many people think about their speed more than the road (actualy about their wallets, hence their speed).

    4) Because people don't want to be fined many people drive at 5mph bellow the speed limit while going through them. This will wind up many people, the ones who know you are given a small margin, and angry people are more likely to take risks, and taking risks increases the chance of having an accident.

    Myself, I am a reasonably calm driver, but it does irritate when you have to slow down to way bellow the speed limit when you were sticking to it, then you see the car in front zoom off at 5-10mph above the speed limit as soon as they have passed.

    5) Not admitting you are guilty is a crime (I know this is not quite accurate, but it's close enough). I have one friend who was 'caught' by a speed camera. She knew there was a mistake, so she filled in the form, didn't sign it (because signing is admitting guilt), and sent in a form stating that she was driving but she wasn't speeding. In this case it was a mobile camera, outside a school where she had stopped to drop her kid off, 50yards away from where she stopped. She had only just turned onto that road, before stopping, so it could not have been before she stopped, and the car could not possibly have reached 30 before the camera. In any case she does not break the limit.

    She was summoned to court, but she was too unwell, in hospital, for the court date, so she sent a letter pleading her case. She was not done for speeding. She WAS convicted of "failing to disclose driver details", which is a pile of tosh as she DID tell them that she WAS driving. Hence 6 points and approx £200 fine.

    This is only one of many similar case I know of. It becomes a case of guilty untill proven innocent, and the courts do not listen to those damn lying maniac speeding drivers. The camera is always right.

  48. Clarissa

    @ Matt Bryant

    Seems to me that cutting back the woodland to improve the vision of drivers would do equally as well as the measures suggested by your politico.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    >"But it comes to something when they so blatantly spin against what their own experts tell them."

    Hardly news, as the bereaved relatives of the late Dr. Kelly could have told you.

  50. This post has been deleted by its author

  51. John Imrie
    Happy

    How to force car drivers to drive carefully

    1) Get rid of ALL speed cameras

    2) Ban seat belts

    3) Remove the Air Bag from the steering wheal

    4) Attach a large metal cone to the steering wheal with the pointy bit aimed at the drivers chest.

    See how carefully drivers now drive.

  52. Mark

    Re: Breaking a law

    And sitting on a bus and not walking to the back if a white person wants a seat was breaking the law.

    Speeding is *definitely* not on this scale, but using "it's the law so we must obey" is purely wrong.

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    believing politician's statements

    David Ruffley is doing what all opposition politicians do, try and score points off the government. He knows where the fine money goes, into the treasury and it's the same for fines for all offences including being drink driving. In this case a similar sum has been given to highway authorities to spend on road safety and most of them believe that spending it on speed and red light cameras is good value.

    Like it or not the law requires drivers to obey speed limits, if you don't accept this how would you feel if I said I don't think stealing is wrong so I'm going to nick your television, I might even set fire to your house while I'm at it. Get real if you choose to break the law then don't whinge when you're caught, if you don't know that you are breaking the speed limit then go and take some driving lessons.

    Statistics are there to help provide insight, it's unfortunate that some people obviosly don't have the capacity to understand or ask intelligent questions - much easier to deny.

  54. Christoph Silver badge
    Flame

    Where are the other statistics

    Where are the figures on accidents caused by speed cameras, when someone driving entirely legally and safely gets their vision wiped out with no warning by a flash gun on the opposite side?

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: RTM on accident blackspots

    It does not follow that RTM would actually occur on a particular blackspot.

    If you had a road that for one reason or another was prone to accidents (a blind turn for example) and the road itself had a speed limit that appeared lower than it should (with the exception of the blind turn or whatever) then it would likely be that peope would keep driving too fast and keep crashing.

    The thing with a speed camera is that it is more effective than a slow sign or a bend warning or whatever as there are immediate and consequences of failing to comply.

    So the point of this rambling is that although governments misuse statistics to prove points it appears that those opposed to the points being made also appear to "creatively interpret" the stats to prove their points.

    So where has this £100,000,000 gone? I want my share.

  56. Scott Broukell
    Stop

    Driver information

    Past studies have shown that if you remove the majority of road signage, both signals and markings, (even speed cameras) leaving the bare minimum, drivers are suddenly faced with the loss of all that comforting information. As a consequence drivers tend to slow down and be more cautious as they have to engage their briains some more in order gather information about what's ahead for themselves.

    Sadly I guess sat-nav technology would provide a replacement, but removing the signage might enhance the streets and roads aesthetically ?

    I would argue for more than this reduction though;

    - Remove all seatbelts

    - Remove all air bags

    - Remove all side impact furniture

    - Design vehicle interiors with lots of sharp edges

    - Build lightweight, fuel efficient cars that are crap in collisions (Tests are currently being conducted into the use of plant cellulose in non-structural body panels)

    These measures would not only make you drive with greater care and attention, but the lightweight modern 2CV'esq motors envisaged would give a big saving on fuel and environmental pollution.

    PS - I recycle plant cellulose from hemp ;-*

  57. Steve

    THIS IS FAR WORSE THAN YOU REALISE – PLEASE READ

    I have spent a long time doing in-depth research in to the area of the claimed effectiveness of speed cameras. Yes, RTTM takes up about half of the fall, but there are other separate and independent factors which are also never considered.

    One of the long term-trend where non-local improvements (such as car design, post-crash response and care) have lead to casualty reductions. This has been analysed and accounts for about 1/5th of the drop.

    A more significant factor is ‘bias on selection’ where one or more other local safety measures are introduced within a camera site (such as pedestrian crossings/barriers, junction re-engineering, cycle lanes – the list goes on), any of which are individually far more effective than the camera (I have document proving this). Although this effect has never been analysed, it would likely account for MORE than the remaining 3/10ths of the fall; this means the camera effectiveness IS LIKELY TO BE NEGATIVE (i.e. they cause accidents) but we would not know it due to the positive contributions from the other local measures. The RTTM analysis was done for urban areas only, so one can expect multiple improvements to be done within the defined range of urban camera sites. Indeed the SCPs often state that their camera will be ‘one of a range of measures taken at the site”.

    Furthermore, the rural data was never released by the partnerships – and preliminary analysis showed that the RTTM figure for rural areas is even greater (this is mentioned in the appendix of the forth year report).

    All these lies have caused a serious misallocation of road safety resource, that’s why road deaths (per unit distance travelled) are not falling. If only people took time to understand how we are being mislead.

    Smeggy (member: safespeed.org.uk)

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Government = Mafia = Con-artists = Liars

    Paris, simply because even she is probably more honest than "our ?" Government and their henchmenn!

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pure doublespeak

    "...It becomes a case of guilty untill proven innocent, and the courts do not listen to those damn lying maniac speeding drivers. The camera is always right...."

    This is the truth. A relative is a magistrate and they have close to zero discretion as to whether they issue the fines that cameras generate. I had been considering applying for a magistrate's seat but would be incapable of just signing through every camera-generated speeding ticket, so decided that I couldn't in good conscience go through with it.

    Speed limits are *not* all set by experts, or if they are, then the "expertise" is in something else, possibly onanism.

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Or it could be ....

    ... that the speed cameras, per se, do nothing (except frustrate drivers and raise revenue) and that it's the associated *bloody great signs* that alert drivers to the fact that they're approaching an accident blackspot and need to take extra care.

    Hmmmm. Here's an idea. Why don't they improve the roads at the accident blackspots so the signs aren't needed! Failing that, save us a bit of money and stop putting speed cameras there and just leave signs alerting drivers to the conditions. Maybe, they could even improve driver education and skills so that drivers can recognise accident-prone zones all by themselves and can avoid a collision if things get a little hairy.

    Just a thought.

  61. b

    A driving licence isn't a right, its a privilege.

    It's more of a necessity these days.

  62. Stuart
    Paris Hilton

    Speed Camera Cults

    There are people (see above) who believe they are the work of the devil and those who see them as our saviours.

    The gist of the report is that the supporters (and some opposers) embellish stats to support their cause. Easy unless you are a professional statistician. But that's the error - the placement and number is not really evidenced based.

    Little consideration appears to be given to the expected result of placing a camera (driver looking down at the speedo and manouver to a safe margin under the limit). Can be very effective when there is a deceptive bend ahead. Or madness if it is at a school crossing when eyes are better used watching the pavements. Not to mention the consequences of hitting the accelerator 50 yards further on - which can move the casulty further along the road but can make the gatso stats look better.

    The issue is lowering casulties. And overall we have not since the crashworthiness/surviveability of cars was dramatically improved. That saved thousands of driver's lives at the cost of 100's of pedestrians and cyclists through the by-product of making drivers feel invulnerable.

    Its always more complicated than politicians declare (and I fear understand). The accountants and gatso salesmen exploit that. We really need a really independent evidenced based authority to arbitrate on this.

    Paris? Encouraging hands-on statistics?

  63. Jon Turner

    Does the government fix estimates?

    Hmmm that's a hard one. They employ professional liars (called spindoctors) to keep us poor shmucks in line by telling us what they want us to hear. Never trust a politician.

  64. dervheid
    Boffin

    @ Matt Bryant

    A reasonable argument.

    However, this (populist) proposition is intended to address the symptom of the scenario, not the root cause:

    Symptom:

    "They often come round the corner at full pelt to find a stationary queue of traffic and plough into the rearmost car (seven such fatal incidents in the last three years!), mainly by drivers driving inside the speed limit."

    Solution; "A local politician has suggested a drop in the limit to 40mph for the bend and a camera to enforce it,"

    Root Cause:

    "The problem is that this bend in particular has a thick wedge of woodland right up to the kerb, and drivers cannot see more than twenty yards ahead."

    REAL Solution;

    Cut The Fucking Trees Back so that;

    a) Visibility is improved.

    b) The tree hazard is removed from the vicinity of the roadside. (As any foole knowe, roadside trees are a major contributor to accident fatalities, especially on rural roads.

    Where there are more trees, unsurprisingly.)

    But since this is proposed by a 'local politician', he's not likely to want to be seen advocating the removal of the THH's Raison D'etre, is he now.

  65. David Kelly

    the needs of the many ...

    "Does it matter? After all, a reduction in casualties of even 870-odd per year is still worth having"

    Is it though? The government could force all cars to be limited to a max speed of 10mph and that would save many more lives, would that be worth having? Is it right to inconvenience millions of people to save the lives of a few hundred?

    Speed doesn't kill, bad driving does. If speed was the problem there would be thousands of dead people on the autobahns every day. IMO more should be done to educate people to drive better, such as leaving a safe distance between you and the car in front, indicating before changing lanes, pulling left when not overtaking, slowing down when the roads are wet, etc.

  66. james

    nuff said

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1034919/Council-scraps-speed-cameras--blatant-tax-motorist.html

    wish we had more like them

  67. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Think of the children!

    Personally, I love speed cameras. The locations are generally well known, so I can speed as much as I like inbetween them. In the old days, you were never quite sure where the police might be - so it was much more difficult to speed. Interestingly, the only time I've ever had speeding tickets is for speeding on the motorway which is statistically 5 times safer than a single carriageway A road.

    If the government was serious about reducing accident rates, then they would spend the money on road improvements, specifically :

    (i) Better and clearer road markings (i.e. repaint roadmarkings at junctions etc various studies have shown that this simple act can reduce accidents by at least 35% - some studies show improvements of 65%!)

    (ii) Removing surplus road signage (remove all the visual clutter)

    (iii) Changing road layouts (i.e. straightening corners)

    (iv) Better maintenance of hedges and trees to improve sight lines

    (v) upgrading single carriageway to dual carriageway where feesible.

    (vi) Improved road surfaces (i.e. don't just put chippings over the top of worn out roads, recover road surfaces, rather than just fill potholes)

    (vii) introduce more by-passes around small towns and villages.

    (viii) More barriers between the road and dangerous objects such as trees & ditches!

    (ix) Better street lighting, and lighting on motorway junctions.

    Of course this will never happen as all of these require investment, whereas speed cameras provide revenue.

  68. rory alsop
    Stop

    And rtm isn't the whole story

    Examples such as the A77 also explain reduced deaths without it being anything to do with cameras. The A77 south of Glasgow used to be a 4 lane road with no central barrier. It iced up in winter and was very dangerous. There were always accidents there, then a large upgrade happened, including lane separation, road rerouting etc. and at the same time some average speed cameras were installed.

    Needless to say the reduction in accidents has been overwhelming. Also needless to say, the government is placing this squarely at the feet of the cameras which have 'reduced accidents significantly'.

    It's a nonsense, but then honesty wouldn't allow them to pocket this extra road tax quite so blatantly!

  69. Lukin Brewer
    Boffin

    Anyone for increased speed limits?

    Once again, everyone is bitching about the fact that speed limits are enforced, or the manner in which they are enforced. Nobody seems to want to get the speed limits raised to something that they can live with. Or partially removed, as in Germany.

    Why is this?

    While you ponder that, I have an even less populist solution. There have been cases where people have complained about dangerous corners and junctions in their locality. Eventually, the council has widened, straightened or removed obstructions or occlusions from the road. Drivers are happy because the way looks safer. However, the accident rate increases.

    Drivers compensate for perceived risk. For instance, in some places they have artificial pinch points in the road. It slows drivers down, even though they know that they can fit through the gap, and that they are lined up correctly.

    So, the old, outdated, discredited traffic calming measures could be ripped out and replaced with new traffic *worrying* measures. Bends and junctions could be made to look dangerous while remaining perfectly safe. Instead of irritating suburban drivers with speed bumps and chicanes, we could make them wet themselves with "crossing child" mannequins or pop-up dog puppets. Instead of nailing speeders, how about those who can't do an emergency stop? I think that even Jeremy Clarkson would agree that if you hit a stationary object in the road, *you* were going too fast and never mind if you were under or over the speed limit.

  70. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    government LIES or Speeding tickets?

    seem to me that a lot of people here missed the point of this article. this is about the people of this country being fed LIES, LIES and more damn LIES and not the fact that the only way to avoid getting a speeding ticket is - you've guessed it - DON'T SPEED. i haven't even started on the £100Million a year in hard cash being handed over in stealth TAX

  71. Ross

    Stats etc

    "How many old people die of hyperthermia?"

    I'm gonna go out on a limb and say very, very few. Hypothermia on the other hand...

    </pedant>

    Regarding the stats, it's hardly breaking news is it?

    Given that we live in a world where UK.gov owns half the worlds reg'd domains (made up stat) there should be a rule whereby if they want to quote stats at us they link to where we can look at the data ourselves.

    Obviously most ppl couldn't give a rats arse and wouldn't bother, but at least the stats would be open to public scrutiny, much like open source software (where 99% of ppl couldn't give a rats arse either but you presume someone has looked at the code).

    As has been pointed out, RTTM will depend largely on the camera sites. If every one is in a location that is inherently more dangerous than the average stretch of road then you won't see a great deal of change, as the mean for those locations will be higher than the mean for my street (as an example).

  72. Alan Parsons
    Go

    @AC - morons

    Does red come after amber? I never hung around long enough to find out.

  73. A J Stiles

    Change the Speed Limits

    The obvious solution is to raise speed limits where conditions favour it and cut speed limits where that would be more sensible.

    We could have 18.64mph around schools, 31.07mph or 37.28mph in urban areas, 62.14mph on single carriageways, 74.56mph on dual carriageways and 86.99mph on motorways.

    And while we busy putting up all the new signs, we could do them in kilometres -- like they do in every other country in the whole world!

  74. Shady
    Pirate

    @Morons

    have you driven through parts of Derbyshire in the last few years?

    They might as well put camo nets over the cameras for how visible they are.

    Skull and crossbones, because this government steals and plunders as much in stealth taxes as any pirate of the high seas in yesteryear

  75. David Leigh
    Coat

    Wrong target - aim for druggies/drunks/stolen cars/uninsured/untaxed

    Having been (mea culpa!) on a speed 'awareness' course I was not surprised that all the other criminals were like me - boring. law-abiding (obviously not the speeding variety) citizens. We are the only people who are suffering - because we are essentially honest, have a fixed abode, register, tax and insure our cars properly.

    It beggars belief that the BiB & political scum do not try to solve the real problem (see the title for a clue!).

    Speed is a contributory factor in less than 7% of all accidents (TRL 323) - contributory factor mark you, not the cause!

  76. andy
    Unhappy

    But there IS a grey area...

    People's car speedometers are less accurate than speed cameras, the older the car, the less accurate the speedo.

    Some speed cameras are set to go off at exactly the speed limit and are thus unfair to people who think they are within the law.

    Please get off your high horses and stop talking this 'if your breaking the law you should have known better' bullsh*t.

  77. Mark

    Re: But there IS a grey area...

    "People's car speedometers are less accurate than speed cameras, the older the car, the less accurate the speedo."

    But the speed camera is not registering how fast you're going. It is beaming out to a wide swathe of the world a signal and seeing what shift it is getting back and converting that to speed.

    a) a bush in the wind (ooer!) may register a speed of 95mph and be "accepted" as your speed

    b) the conversion needs calibration

  78. Steve

    @ the various morons who say “don't speed. It's that simple.”

    You completely miss the point of the article. Yes if people didn’t do the crime they won’t pay the fine (mostly), but the point here is that the policy has been shifted towards unnecessarily unnaturally low limits and their subsequent enforcement BECAUSE of the deception perpetrated by those who gain from rolling out the enforcement – their lies. If our road safety policy was based on good science, then people would be less inclined to exceed the better suited speed limit, both accidentally and purposefully. But hey, don’t let the facts and reason get in the way of your trolling! In fact, no-one seems to have mentioned that the limits keep being lowered to ensure a revenue stream for the SCPs.

    @AC

    “The camera van will still only catch YOU when YOU are breaking the law.”

    Incorrect. The camera will only catch you when you are exceeding the limit. Break the law in any other way and you’ll get away with it. You can even exceed the speed limit and get away with it if another particular law is broken (that’s why the most dangerous drivers are now getting away with it).

    @ John Imrie and Scott Broukell

    “Attach a large metal cone to the steering wheal … See how carefully drivers now drive.”

    For one no driver would advocate those; also your language implies that you are not drivers. You are obviously cyclists who are out for a troll.

    @ Greg

    “You agree to them when you get your licence.”

    No we didn’t! You obviously didn’t take a driving test (or you didn’t pass it).

    @ JimC

    “And the only way to change peoples habts will be to make the cameras more or less invisible”

    Why does no-one ever suggest a review of the speed limits instead? Surely if so many people are breaking the law without posing risk or being inconsiderate, then the law must be fine tuned? (note, I support the principle of speed limits and their enforcement, but not when the setting of the limit is so unreasonable).

    @ Lee

    “It does not follow that RTM would actually occur on a particular blackspot.”

    It does but you don’t have all the information. The site must have a significant (4KSI) and temporary (3 year baseline) increase in accidents for it to become a camera site, the camera policy dictates it. Hence it is not surprising that the KSI rate falls after the baseline – when the camera is conveniently installed!

    And it is not a “tax on the stupid”. Many of the speed traps are hidden behind bushes signs and other street furniture. Sure there are signs warning drivers of their presence, but there are also many signs in areas where there is no enforcement, hence the signs have lost their value so people can be forgiven for not knowing about the enforcement.

    The really sad thing is: no-one here knows the real reason why limits are so important (no, its not about the likelihood of a fatality when hit). If people understood why then they would also understand why I am tolerant of ‘speeding’ drivers.

    PS, I’ve never been caught by any form of speed camera – ever!

    Smeggy (member: safespeed.org.uk¬)

  79. Steve

    Getting back to the point:

    RTTM (and ‘bias on selection’ to a lesser extent) is a well known phenomenon and has been for many years, yet the SCPs choose to gloss over these critical facts - is this not DECEPTION? (or are you telling me that not one of 2000 full time SCP staff have not ever heard of it, in the last 4 years?)

    Furthermore, the SCPs are gaining an advantage (their revenue stream) by doing so – is this not FRAUD?

    Furthermore, the SCPS are committing fraud at the cost of misallocation of resource towards their own ineffective measures resulting from their deception, hence costing lives – is this not EVIL?

  80. RW
    Alert

    Statistics; and Highway Safety

    Honestly, "statistician" needs to become a true profession with a very high entrance hurdle, with those not accepted forbidden to do anything more than compute an arithmetic average. As I've commented before, statistical analysis is incredibly difficult to carry out and it's very very easy (and common) to draw improper inferences from statistical data.

    The science of statistics is so difficult that statistics that aren't vetted in detail by one of the top six statistical boffins in the country are probably meaningless. [Further issue: it's fairly easy to get an advanced degree in statistics, but possession of such a degree by no means ensures that its holder can distinguish between a hole in the ground and the proverbial rear orifice.]

    Somewhat like quantum mechanics, statistics can yield counter-intuitive results. Politicians, being lying weasels at the best of times, stupid as pithed frogs the rest of the time, get confused simply because the material is far beyond their education and experience. Hence, they turn to statisticians who tell them what they want to hear; they can understand *that*.

    Highway safety: I am intrigued by reports of the Dutch town that got rid of all traffic signs and signals and found that traffic moved more smoothly than ever before. And I have fond memories of that sign on the freeway leaving Las Vegas for LA in 1962, "resume safe speed."

    As for school zones, perhaps it would be more beneficial to the species if we got rid of them and taught the kids "those cars move fast, jump out in front of them and you're toast" and then let Darwinian thinning of the sprog population take place.

  81. Graham Marsden
    Boffin

    @Steve Re: "Deception"

    I find it ironic that you refer to "Deception" and then say you're a member of the so-called "Safe Speed" site which is notorious for its own spin and using cherry-picked statistics to make its case.

    Consider, for instance, a classic example: the second photo on the following page that is entitled "This is a dangerous place to exceed the speed limit. Speed cameras are not allowed."

    http://www.safespeed.org.uk/rules.html

    The first time I saw that picture I thought "Hang on, I recognise that!" It is a pub called The Thatch at Croyde in North Devon. Out of shot to the left of the picture is a road with "traffic calming" indents. Behind the camera the road "squeezes" between two high stone walls. Out of shot to the right, the road takes a tight 90 degree left-hand bend, again between stone walls and goes into a narrow street in Croyde village.

    It is not "dangerous" to exceed the speed limit there, it would be virtually *impossible* to do so and all the times I've been there on holiday I've never been worried that someone's going to come blasting past at a silly speed whilst I walk down that road.

    Putting a Camera there would be utterly pointless and, as far as I can tell from a bit of searching, there has never been an application to put a camera there, so WHY does Safe Speed try to use this as an example of a place where "Speed Cameras are not allowed" as if one *should* be put there but the application has been refused?

    Pots and kettles come to mind...

  82. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We deserve it

    Mr and Mrs Public are apallingly bad at understanding statistics or resisting basic manipulation. Look at the advert for shampoo with their percentage of women who saw an improvement, while the small print blips on and off at the bottom of the screen. Look at the appeal to fear in consolidating all your debts into one easy to suffer uber debt - but they were smiling and seemed so happy, what could go wrong?! Look at the Deal Or No Deal moron behind his box, who had reds all this week so is now "due a blue" - and the idiots chanting "blue blue blue" who will clap and cheer at their influence if it happens to be blue, but groan and forget the 'anomaly' within seconds if it's a red.

    The government need to do very little work in massaging the data to suit their needs. They simply need to massage it a bit and pack it with a story that the gullible, thick public want to believe. So yes, we deserve it. I'm a driver and dislike speed cameras, not because they're evil or make money or any of the simplistic choices that thick, Daily Mail drooling robots regurgitate day after day. I dislike them because they represent the way that the public are so very easily duped.

  83. Dave Bell

    Which Speed Limit?

    You guys do know what the speed limit for Large Goods Vehicles is?

    On ordinary single carriageway roads, it's 40mph.

    Which means that almost every trucker is routinely breaking speed limits, and going undetected by cameras set to trigger at higher speeds.

    You get hit with 40+ tonnes of loaded artic, and 40mph is quite enough KE and momentum to leave a messy red patch on the highway. But the speed cameras don't enforce that speed limit/

  84. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Smeggy eh?

    Good name. Suits you...

  85. Jimmy

    Back to the point.

    Does the government manipulate statistical data?

    a) There are lies, damned lies, and statistics.

    b) Do bears shit in the forest?

    Where does the £100 million go?

    The same place as your road-tax, straight into the treasury melting pot from where it is redistributed to impoverished bankers who have fallen on hard times due to a combination of greed, incompetence and government inspired light-touch regulation.

    Any other questions?

  86. Justin

    Smug?

    To all the smug people with the message that if you don't speed you won't get fined. I used to be one of you.

    Then one day, whilst I was at work, they changed the speed limit on my route home. Obviously I failed to notice the tiny A4 bit of paper 6ft of the ground on a lamp post announcing the change.

    So on the way home, I came round a bend to find a 40 mph sign that hadn't been there in the morning and "click" £60 and 3 penalty points from the mobile camera parked just after it to catch all the mugs who were similarly unaware.

    1. Positioning a Speed notice just round a sharp bend didn't strike me as the safest place to put it. And further investigation shows it doesn't conform to DfT guidelines.

    2. I was fined for doing 45 mph, in what was previously a 60 mph zone, I'd slowed down for the road conditions.

    3. The claim is that the speed limit was imposed on a road with a poor safety record. The accident blackspot is at a T-junction a mile away that really needs a roundabout.

    So I came to the conclusion, that the safety camera crap is utter bollocks and nothing more than a revenue earner. Particularly when the speed limit is posted to make it difficult for people unfamiliar with the road. In this case, they've created a road hazard; people take the corner at 60 and slam their anchors on or if you know its there, you're tail gated by the plonker who doesn't.

  87. elderlybloke
    Coat

    Subject is - Government massaging statistics

    I live in New Zealand, and assumed that those of you who reside in Britain could read and understand the English language .

    However most of your posters have rushed off a tangent about road safety.

    I know about the effects of speed,booze ,stupidity etc as I spent over 11 years as an Volunteer Ambulance Officer on night shift.

    I can also noticed what the article is about ,It surprises me that readers of this site are so lacking in comprehension.

    Do drive safely though.

  88. Frank Haney
    Coat

    The numbers don't add up

    So there's been a reduction in KSI (killed and seriously injured) figures. What they don't tell you is that the reduction is almost completely in the seriously injured figures. The number killed each year has remained almost the same in spite of improvements in vehicle and road design.

    And when you think about it that doesn't really make a lot of sense. You would expect the number killed to be a more or less constant percentage of the total KSI number. But I'm sure nobody would stoop to massaging the seriously injured figures just to pretend that speed cameras actually do what they promised - save lives.

    Mine's the one with the abacus in the pocket.

  89. Nexox Enigma

    Comments...

    I love how about 9 people responded to comments about how bad speed cameras are... before anyone actually managed to get the anti-camera comments posted. One would think many of these people read the title and skipped right down to assuming that everyone who speeds is obviously killing fractional children at every mile.

    That's more or less consist ant with the personality type that'll believe all of those 'think of the children' arguments that are currently ruining the developed world.

    And as others have mentioned, trusting a law just because it's a law is fundamentally wrong. You have to assume that the government is not only attempting to do everything correctly, but nailing it the first try in each case. I seem to be able to recall evidence of extremely illegitimate laws in the not-so-distant past of most large countries, some of which are probably still around.

    Doesn't it just really piss you off to no end when you realize that there just isn't anything at all holding the government accountable, since the whole thing - all the checks and balances, and all the major parties - are composed of fucking tools?

    And these days a revolution isn't even considered a proper response to bad government. Hell you'd just be called terrorists. Lets not get me started on that topic just yet though.

  90. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    To Justin

    "So on the way home, I came round a bend to find a 40 mph sign that hadn't been there in the morning and "click" £60 and 3 penalty points from the mobile camera parked just after it to catch all the mugs who were similarly unaware.

    1. Positioning a Speed notice just round a sharp bend didn't strike me as the safest place to put it. And further investigation shows it doesn't conform to DfT guidelines.

    2. I was fined for doing 45 mph, in what was previously a 60 mph zone, I'd slowed down for the road conditions."

    Erm. What on earth are you doing 45mph around a sharp bend for? What if there was a broken down vehicle just around the corner? Never mind speeding, you should be done for dangerous!

  91. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    And another thing...

    Maybe the reduction in KSI's could be linked to improvements in car safety features such as ABS, airbags and improved NCAP designs. But that wouldn't help the tax take would it?

  92. Roger

    Nobody seems to have noticed...

    ...this is run by the Government, so if it makes 100 million it probably costs twice that to run, hence the uncertainty of the figures!

    Remember, there are two important facts you must always keep in mind about politicians:

    1. If their lips move - they are lying.

    2. If their lips are not moving - they are getting someone else to lie for them.

  93. Steve

    So much for 'cherry picking'

    @ Graham Marsden

    You don’t understand irony do you.

    You say that Safespeed is notorious for cherry picking examples, so let’s review your own comment. I gave a string of arguments which address the point of the article; you responded directly to me by: not responding to the article, not responding to any of my comments, and - cherry picking - an example from the website, oh dear!

    BTW, I strongly suspect it is possible to exceed the speed limit on that shown road. I think it safe to say that it’s very unlikely that you’re a driver yourself, hence you won’t be able to appreciate exactly what a dangerous driver behind a wheel is capable of.

    More to the point: look at the graph shown with it, it suggests the threshold speed for action (indeed the speed limit itself) for that shown road is too high - well I never! If only you hadn't cherry picked an interpretation of the section you had cherry picked, your argument may not have made you look so silly.

    Now, do you fancy staying on topic or should I continue showing you up for the ingenuous fool that people now suspect you are?

    @ AC,

    It seems ad hominem really does become those who simply will not allow themselves to consider (let alone accept) the arguments given.

  94. Steve

    @Graham Marsden: spellcheck

    got the better of me. Replace ingenuous with disingenuous, to correctly describe your response.

  95. Justin

    To Chris

    Really? I'd adjusted my speed to the road conditions, plenty of people were caught going much faster. And if my driving really had been dangerous, I'd have been done for it.

    The issue is that the speed limit being imposed after the bend creates a hazard, do you not agree or are you only out for a spot of light trolling before lunch?

  96. Steve

    Are they merely testing the water?

    We know the SCPs are spouting crap; we also know the government are standing by them and their crap. Could it be that the government are deliberately letting the SCPs spout their crap such that they can gauge the level of stupidity of the electorate? Getting away with something as well known, obvious and irrefutable as RTTM (and bias on selection), let alone getting continued public support for the policy based upon it, sets the bar for further unaccountability and cover-ups of self serving interests.

  97. Anony mouse

    @ Smeggy

    'BTW, I strongly suspect it is possible to exceed the speed limit on that shown road.'

    seriously it fucking isn't...

    behind the camera the road bends blindly to the left with a wall to your left and a junction emerging from the right.. the junction is obscured by a surf hire shop.. after the junction we have a straight bit of road for about 150 yards with parked cars down the right, pavement on the left, after that there as a very sharp bend to the right and the road continues to be tight for 2 cars and very twisty until you get to the next town...

    in the picture where the red car is that's just big enough for 2 cars, then it opens up for 50 years then a bend right with walls each side and not enough room for 2 cars.. let alone all the VW camper vans.. the road after that it pretty straight but narrow with passing places until you get out of the vilage.. where there's a very tight left hand bend..

    lack of speed doesn't make it any safer though.. where the bike is on the right is where you come staggering out of the pub right into the road..

  98. Mr Ropey
    Thumb Down

    @Dave Bell

    Dumfries & Galloway Police noticed this point and re-set and re-angled their cameras to snap any large vehicle going over 40 mph. The net result was a large number of bus and coach drivers legally traavelling above the 40 mph speed limit being issued with fixed penalty notices, myself included! Numerous phonecalls and faxing of the actual vehicles V5 failed to stop proceedings so I took the very vehicle I was driving to the magistrates court and aprked it outside! The case against me was dismissed in 28 seconds and I got the costs awarded! May be its time the rozzers stopped blondly issuing fixed penalty notices and checked to see to whom they were issuing them to? That little episode severly buggered up D&G's traffic statistics.

  99. Steve

    @Anony mouse

    I was going to let you have the benefit of the doubt, but then I decided to Googlemap it [EX33 1LZ]. Are you kidding me? It is perfectly possible to exceed the current speed limit through there (assuming no obstacles of course); those bends are not sharp at all, not in terms of either angle or radius. A road not wide enough for two will still hold just one doing way in excess of the speed limit. I'm sure a nutcase could do 50 on Hobb's hill (and probably does just that during the small hours) - yes it would be risky, but possible. A 'blind left' makes for a not so blind right from the other direction; nor does it make for a slow left; nor does it not make for a hard brake just beforehand (which is kinda the point of that webpage).

    This cherry picking (on Graham's and your part) is irrelevant anyway - I did also highlight what was mentioned regarding the setting of the speed limit on that road. Graham’s tactic has backfired, and your continued insistence to totally evade the underlying and fundamental point further demonstrates your bigotry! Are you SCP staff?

  100. Steve

    @ Dave Bell and Mr Ropey

    Gatsos can be set to differentiate between HGV and PLGs, this done by examining the signal return strength. Tuvelos can also differentiate by using inductive loops buried in the road at the sensor which guesstimates the weight of the vehicle.

    Mr Ropey: there must be an operator who must check the details of each offending vehicle before the FPN is sent; this is the only safety net (short of well informed individuals fighting their case). However, when some SCP staff act link this:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/lancashire/7487966.stm

    it makes you wonder how dirty their other unseen laundry is, not just their statistics.....

  101. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Dawdlers

    We need to look back at the real cause of the accidents. It is **NOT** always speed !

    It is either people not paying attention or making stupid mistakes out of frustration.

    WHY ? Dawdlers. The 'I must be a good driver cos I'm doing 22 mph in a 30 mph limit' idiots that hold up lots of people who all have places to be at prescribed times. There was a time when dawdling was actually an offence. Now everyone wants us to dawdle. So those of us that have to get somewhere get up and set off several hours early just to allow for these people. We are all tired and frustrated by this - in some circumstances this leads to mistakes. If the dawdlers were not there, this would not happen. Ergo : make dawdlers retake their driving test, but make it much more stringent. If these people cannot drive at the speed limit or as conditions dictate - eg. rain, ice, etc. then they should not be driving.

    Now on to my next pet hate : the 'speed indicators' that warn you when you exceed the speed limit. Except some retard has set them for 0.000000000000001 mph above the speed limit, so even correct speed traffic gets flashed. If I am doing about the speed limit, and I am paying attention to the hazards on the road ahead then I am a far safer driver than the dawdling twit '22 mph - must be a good driver' halfwit with his/her nose glued to the speedometer. I will be far less likely to crash as I will see approaching hazards. The halfwit on the speedo will just end up with it embedded in their skull when they crash as they are not looking where they are going. And I have to pay taxes for their treatment. What is the point of these stupid devices except to boost my ego as I exceed the speed limit on my push bike (not for long - pant) ?

    Now my last pet hate : the scum that use their mobiles while driving. I have to thank all of you idiots at least in part for the current state of affairs. You weren't paying attention when you had that accident were you ? No you were too busy pissing about texting a mate. Except you couldn't admit that could you ? So now thanks to your part to play in this sorry tale we all have to suffer. A lot of you are still doing it now. If you're in an accident with a mobile using driver, I suggest you insert it as a suppository in that driver. Shame mobiles have shrunk since the 80s ...

    What is needed is a common sense approach. I am sorry for any family that has lost loved ones in accidents. I truly am. But as I describe above, speed in most cases is not really the problem. Blatant speeding is, but speed cameras will never stop that, and it is only a *VERY* small part of the issue.

    What we need to do is get people paying attention behind the wheel again, and driving at a speed suitable for the conditions. So as far as speeding is concerned, about the speed limit give or take as long as you're paying attention to hazards is OK. Hmmmmm a bit like the olden days when the rozzers followed you for a bit to make sure you **really** were paying attention. What we really need is a zero tolerance attitude to not paying attention while driving.

  102. Steve

    @AC

    "We need to look back at the real cause of the accidents. It is **NOT** always speed !"

    Let me show some factual data to backup that statement (whilst remaining on topic). The ‘Contributory factors to road accidents’ (dft_transstats_612594.pdf) report corroborates the general argument that the effectiveness of speed cameras is significantly overstated. It shows the percentage of KSIs caused by exceeding the speed limit, the ONLY behaviour a speed camera can possibly change, is surprisingly small: “Exceeding speed limit was attributed to 3 per cent of cars involved in accidents” (page 11). That figure includes joyriders and those who improperly register their car; neither will get an FPN via a speed camera, yet these are the most dangerous driver groups of all.

    I feel it is wrong for dawdlers to get such level of blame. They are well within their moral right to drive at speeds lower than the speed limit, so long as proper lane discipline is used. They may not even know they are doing it, speedos are allowed to overread by quite a lot (10% + 6.25mph). Of course you get the occasional ‘pace car’ (or cycle) who seeks to block people passing them; this of course leads to further poor behaviour.

    I’m not convinced that mobile users are having a significant impact on the fatality rate. If they were then there should have been a significant drop in fatalities when the legislation banning hands-on use was enacted. There was no such drop. Furthermore, the contributory factors stats show there is no impact from mobile phone use.

  103. Graham Marsden

    @Steve

    Please excuse the delayed response, but for the past week I have been on holiday in Croyde and thus have not only stood at the *exact* point that the photograph in question was taken, but also ridden my motorbike along that road, so please also excuse me when I say that, unlike Anony mouse above, you clearly have *no* clue what you are talking about regarding the possibilities of speeding there unless you wish to have a very rapid encounter with an entirely unforgiving stone wall or an oncoming vehicle.

    As to "irony", I do entirely understand it, I also note that you don't seem to like it when it's used to point out that the arguments you use are as flawed and spun and silly as the ones that you are decrying.

    The fact that you then accuse Anony mouse and myself of being "SCP staff" simply because we disagree with you shows the shallowness of your arguments.

    FYI I have often in other forums stated my objections to unnecessary cameras indeed, riding down to Croyde I was very lucky not to get caught by a camera van when I was doing a perfectly safe overtaking manoeuvre at 75mph on a dual carriageway, but neither do I therefore subscribe to the "bigotry" that all cameras are thus seemingly the Devil incarnate.

    "Safe Speed" might have some good points to make, unfortunately the way they (and you) present them does their cause no benefit.

  104. Steve

    Back @ Graham Marsden

    “not only stood at the *exact* point that the photograph in question was taken, but also ridden my motorbike along that road, so please also excuse me when I say that, unlike Anony mouse above, you clearly have *no* clue what you are talking about regarding the possibilities of speeding there unless you wish to have a very rapid encounter with an entirely unforgiving stone wall or an oncoming vehicle.”

    It appears you wish to remain with your cherry-picking! It also looks like I have to repeat myself (see 1st para of 11th August 2008 12:59 GMT). I even gave the postcode of the actual location such that the reader could Googlemap it and form their own opinion, so much for ‘no clue’! Now if you care to answer the comments given within that post instead of saying “oh no it isn’t” in classic panto style then perhaps we can progress that issue – irrelevant as it is.

    Actually, I fail to see why the reader should trust you given your clearly disingenuous behaviour, so I think the reader will forgive me for disbelieving your oh-so entirely coincidental choice of holiday location.

    “As to "irony", I do entirely understand it, I also note that you don't seem to like it when it's used to point out that the arguments you use are as flawed and spun and silly as the ones that you are decrying.”

    Yes you understand irony; the point was that you did it!

    Exactly what about what was “flawed and spun and silly”? The RTTM argument? (you know, that thing we were debating until you tried to divert the debate). What I don’t like is your continued refusal to explain your claims and your attempt divert the debate – yet again!

    I made the effort of explaining how illogical yours input was, also making further reference to the page in question (remember that graph I pointed out), yet you conveniently dismiss all these and make the same generic claim without any further substantive logic or evidence. And here it is: you are still remaining with your cherry picked example whilst avoiding the actual issue at hand – the exaggerated/fabricated claims of speed camera effectiveness. This nicely brings me onto the next point:

    “The fact that you then accuse Anony mouse and myself of being "SCP staff" simply because we disagree with you shows the shallowness of your arguments.”

    No I didn’t, please don’t misrepresent my words (which ironically is what SCP staff are doing, as per the debate). My exact wording was “and your continued insistence to totally evade the underlying and fundamental point further demonstrates your bigotry! Are you SCP staff?”, so where exactly was the bit that connects it to our ‘disagreement’? I think the reader is smart enough to realise that you’re desperately grasping at straws – “shallowness” indeed! Of course people can feel free to disagree, but no-one can be surprised when I scrutinise their opinion (to see exactly how we disagree) and make an example of anyone who I can show to be acting disingenuously.

    “but neither do I therefore subscribe to the "bigotry" that all cameras are thus seemingly the Devil incarnate.”

    Neither do I. To apply that to my input would be a misrepresentation of my position. I have already explained my opinion in the matter (8th August 2008 16:31 GMT). Given that, would you say that the claims of SCP staff are ‘the Devil incarnate’? (Remember, this is the point of the article/thread).

    “"Safe Speed" might have some good points to make, unfortunately the way they (and you) present them does their cause no benefit.”

    “Might”? What about RTTM?

    The Safespeed campaign makes some excellent arguments, such as what we’re meant to be discussing: RTTM (here’s a very relevant webpage for you: www.safespeed.org.uk/rttm.html ). The real problem here is that there are some who simply refuse to discuss the issues (for whatever disingenuous reason), then they try to divert the blame to safespeed/others for their refusal to discuss it. I suspect you don’t like the way my argument is presented simply because you cannot fault the actual argument at hand, the one demonstrating the SCP manipulation! (well look at your input so far – all cherry picked, all irrelevant, none substantiated [by means of reason or evidence]).

    So are you going discuss the issue at hand: the difference between the claimed and the actual level of speed camera effectiveness, or will you instead continue to refuse to discuss it and try divert the topic - again?

  105. Graham Marsden

    @Steve

    Googlemaps does *NOT* give you an accurate impression of what the road is like *when you are on it*. The fact that I and Anony mouse have been there and can state this for a fact (unlike you) once again shows you don't understand this.

    Trying to discredit me by asserting that I am being (in your opinion) "disingenuous" and then making comments like "I think the reader will forgive me for disbelieving your oh-so entirely coincidental choice of holiday location" is simply gutter smear tactics.

    If you want more proof, I can post my holiday snaps, taken on Croyde beach and around the surrounding area. I can give you a verbal tour of the area. You can even phone up the staff at Mitchum's campsites and ask if I stayed there last week (and, indeed, the last three years). For further corroboration, ask them if I was one of the people who had to move from their Beach Site to their Village Site because the weather was so bad on Monday and Tuesday!

    So I think the reader might be able to make up their own minds as to who is more credible in their opinions of whether a) speeding is possible at the location shown or that b) a speed camera would be desirable or even necessary there.

    As for the rest of your arguments, you attempted to discredit Anony mouse and myself with your implication that by disagreeing with you we must be "bigoted" and the subsequent implication we must be "SCP staff", which is just pathetic.

    As I have already said, the way you are presenting this and the attitude you have adopted does *NOTHING* to make myself or anyone more inclined to consider your arguments or those of the self-styled "Safe Speed" organisation worth paying attention to.

    If you would care to take that chip off your shoulder you might do better in convincing people that your case has some merit.

    Oh, and, no, my apologies, you didn't say cameras were "the Devil incarnate" you accused SCPs of being "EVIL" which is nonsense. You also made the fallacious argument at the same time that cameras "cost lives" which is equally ridiculous and is a perfect example of the "spin" I referred to before and repeating the word "disingenuous" doesn't make your arguments any more valid.

    In closing let me re-iterate the point I was trying to make which you seem to dislike so much: "Safe Speed" might have some good points to make, unfortunately the way they (and you) present them does their cause no benefit.

    Please, feel free to have the last word, I have better things to do.

  106. Steve

    The end?

    "Googlemaps does *NOT* give you an accurate impression of what the road is like"

    Oh no, it just gives you a wonderfully clear overhead aerial photo so the strength of the bends can be measured without optical illusion or subjective bias. The fact that you’ve not even acknowledged my reasoning (1st para, 11th August 2008 12:59 GMT ), despite my subsequent prompt, leads me to conclude that you can’t justify your statement and hence don’t know what the road is actually like.

    “If you want more proof”

    Sorry, what was the other ‘proof’? Besides, your being in the area doesn’t prove you were at the point of interest.

    "smear tactics..... discredit....."

    Care to remind us exactly what your input has been throughout this thread? Your very first words within it were "I find it ironic that you refer to "Deception" and then say you're a member of the so-called "Safe Speed" site which is notorious for its own spin and using cherry-picked statistics to make its case."

    Is that not a deliberate attempt from you to smear and discredit? Was this not your one and only intent in this thread? This was before I had first addressed you so you can’t blame my attitude towards you for your response. It wasn’t my presentation or attitude which you took issue with, indeed your first post made no mention of those (8th August 2008 19:43 GMT); it was merely because I am a safespeed member, nothing more.

    “Trying to discredit me by asserting that I am being (in your opinion) "disingenuous"”

    I didn’t just assert it, I justified it (3rd and 5th para, 11th August 2008 08:50 GMT). Your continued insistence to never get on topic only reinforced this.

    You claim that my presentation and attitude are somehow wrong, that my arguments are ridiculous, fallacious, nonsense and spin, but you never ever explain how, you just keep saying that it is – is that not the very essence of disingenuous behaviour?

    "As for the rest of your arguments, you attempted to discredit Anony mouse and myself with your implication that by disagreeing with you we must be "bigoted" "

    Really? More smears on your part? I implied no such thing, only you did so (17th August 2008 21:46 GMT). Prove me wrong - can quote my offending text and explain the connection?

    "you accused SCPs of being "EVIL" which is nonsense."

    So why is it nonsense? I gave my reasoning (within that post: 8th August 2008 16:31 GMT) so you can't claim it is nonsense without some sort of supportive logic which counters mine - no?

    "You also made the fallacious argument at the same time that cameras "cost lives" which is equally ridiculous"

    Why is it ridiculous? I already gave my reasoning (same post): "misallocation of resource towards their own ineffective measures", so how is this not costing lives? How is the argument fallacious?

    I suspect that you knew I was going to make you squirm by asking you those questions. It is pretty clear that, despite my previous prompting, you have no answer for them, so can anyone really be surprised that you’re now choosing to duck out of the debate? Prove me wrong!

    This irrational, illogical and disingenuous behaviour is typical of those who dislike the safespeed campaign: usually those who don’t drive, or are SCP staff!

  107. Steve

    BBC article

    I just read this and thought of this thread

    “Speed camera torched in attack”

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/bristol/7569853.stm

    I’m not going to allow myself to be diverted into a debate on the issues of speed camera vandalism by those less than ingenuous; what I would like to demonstrate is another subtle instance of RTTM, among other issues.

    "In the past 20 years people have been killed on this corner so that's why it was put in - since then nobody has died.".

    I can well believe the statement to be true; however, the bloke clearly implies that the camera is responsible for the subsequent fall in casualty rate. I hope we all now understand that the camera will only have been installed after a random, and more importantly: temporary increase of casualties (it’s most likely that none of these were due to drivers exceeding the speed limit [12th August 2008 09:01 GMT]), so it is a given that the accident rate will substantially fall again even without the camera.

    The camera won’t have been there for long anyway, perhaps even only 1 year, so it’s not surprising that there are fewer events in the relatively shorter later timeframe (camera partnerships first formed in 2000).

    Then there is the long-term national trend, where the overall national casualty rate was falling anyway (thanks to improvements in car design and post crash response and care)

    I should also point out that that very same stretch of road has also benefited from other newly installed safety features: “Ilchester Road pedestrian crossing has been installed to provide a safe crossing for the northern pedestrian route across the A37. It involves a light controlled junction and is one measure that compliments the re-routing of HGV’s onto this route as part of an HGV Management Plan.” (www.somerset.gov.uk). This is another instance of ‘bias on selection’ – other unrelated safety features making the camera site (up to 5km long) more effective than the camera itself actually is. Funny how those other critical safety features weren’t mentioned at all, huh?

  108. Steve

    ps Graham

    I never accused anyone of being SCP staff; I merely asked if you were (yes there is a big difference). Claiming the words "Are you ..." are part of an accusation is yet more misrepresentation. This was a satirical question designed to highlight the similarity of behaviour between yourself and the SCP claims. The implication that you "must be" (your words) is entirely your own inference, and a fallacious one at that. I would have thought this was obvious; clearly I had overestimated you - my bad!

    Go off and do your 'better things' - you couldn’t have handled this thing any worse!

    .

    Is ANYONE up for defending the SCP claims of the effectiveness of their speed cameras?

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