back to article Speed cams ditched in Wiltshire

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

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  1. Tony W

    Controlled trial?

    I hope they take the opportunity to do an experiment that might give some useful information on whether speed cameras really do reduce accidents. When they were first introduced accidents went down dramatically, at least on some stretches of road. Now we might get the chance to see if the effect also works in reverse.

    Of course this still won't tell you whether speed limits might improve safety more if observing them wasn't optional (for anyone who knows where the cameras are).

  2. Jonathan McColl
    Thumb Up

    Hooray!

    I don't mind the police doing it, I'd feel fairly caught if I were that bad at keeping a lookout, but the fixed cameras are a nonsense that cause accidents. So often I see overtakers braking dramatically, or I have to slow down from a perfectly legal speed because the driver in front of me suddenly brakes in reflex at catching sight of a camera.

    Of course I am a saint with a halo when driving around the country ...

  3. Alexis Vallance
    Go

    Course they don't work

    Of course they don't work. See a yellow box and slow down for 50metres before speeding up again. Great bit of thinking.

    How drivers slowing down for 50m could save anybody's life is beyond me.

    It's all down to the stats. Road has 1 death, next year 2, next year 1, next year 6. Stick a camera in, and the next year it goes down to the average of 1 or 2 deaths. The police and council claim the camera has reduced deaths by 83%, when in fact it's just gone down to the average and the spike was just an anomaly.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Fuck Yeah!

    "or driver training"...

    My God! Common Sense from a local council! Let's hope this is contagious.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bet this piece of news has made Jeremy Clarkson happy...

    Stay tuned for his "I kept telling you they were rubbish" speech on the first episode of the next Top Gear season.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Wow

    At last a council which has seen sense, speed cameras ONLY slow traffic at the camera site - then they just speed up again. Though I am loathe to say this as I hate them, speed humps are about the only thing I have seen that slow traffic down, but speed bumps don't generate revenue....

  7. Nano nano

    Will they also abolish

    those camera vans on the A417 - you know, the white vans with blacked-out rear window that sit in the layby OR on the bridge over the main road.

    Thought not.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Pete Greenhalgh for PM

    Anyone else think Councillor Peter Greenhalgh, who is a friend of mine, should stand for PM? Or would this kind of common sense thinking not be welcomed in Whitehall?

  9. Ed Blackshaw Silver badge

    Probably less to do wtih road safety...

    ...and more to do with the fact that it's costing them £320,000 p/a to maintain the cameras, and any 'proceeds' go straight to central government coffers.

  10. KarlTh

    This is why

    They need to be hidden and unannounced to work. If you knew (as I understand is the case in Germany) that you could be caught speeding [i]anywhere[/i], then people would be more inclined to observe the limits. Or at those who didn't learn would pretty soon get a ban.

    But the Clarksons and Suns of this world forced them to be bright yellow so that they became useless. This was the plan all along; make them useless (in the same way that store detectives would of little use if they had to wear Ronald MacDonald outfits and shout "I'm a store detective" every five minutes to be allowed to catch shoplifters), and then get rid of them, fired by the mistaken belief that they are somehow entitled to speed as much as they like.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Jim Booth

    Co Durham has NEVER had fixed speed cameras

  12. Alex Cooper

    Good

    Nice to see a rare dose of common sense, speed cameras can cause as many accidents as they prevent, even the law abiding folks, as they stare at the speedo trying to make sure they don't break 30mph. This will only get worse if the rollout of spec average speed cameras happens on motorways, great idea to have people looking at their speed at 70mph and not the road, absolutely brilliant.

  13. dervheid

    @ Jonathan McColl

    The guys in the mobile speed camera vans are, almost invariably, NOT police officers, but employees of the local 'Safety Camera Partnership'. I've yet to recall any fatalities at the motorway sites they regularly operate in my area, which, IIRC, was where these fecking things were supposed to be used. Not to generate cash.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Common sense?

    "Nice to see a rare dose of common sense, speed cameras can cause as many accidents as they prevent"

    Er, do you have any evidence for that?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    my mate - up to 120 MPH every day, there and back

    with his nose stuck up the exhaust in front all the way in Wiltshire (yes, firefox, Wiltshire is a word. So is firefox but you think that's mis-spelt as well?) Seriously scary when he gives me a lift.

    He's been stopped once in X years so far. It's ridiculous. The only way to deal with it is to make sure the price is too high to tazz on at 100+. Why bother with laws when you don't enforce them.

    Mine's the one with the smell of fear still leaking from the armpits

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Whatever next? stop arresting criminals?

    Of course speed cameras aren't a 'tax on the motorist' - there's a simple way to avoid a fine - it's called not breaking the law, and sticking to the speed limit.

    What next? abolish prison sentances because they're unfair on criminals? let everyone break the law whenever they like because they feel like it?

    Excessive speed kills. Perhaps the Clarksons of the world should go and explain to the relatives of the family killed in the recent, and very tragic pile up on the M6 why cutting back on speed cameras is a good idea, and why it's unfair that the police fine people for breaking the speed limit.

  17. Michael
    Coat

    Michael

    To keep traffic speed down why don't we simply get someone to walk in front of each vehicle with a red flag to warn of the vehicle's approach? That would make the roads safer.

    Or, do as has been done here in Cambridge, put in so many traffic lights that unless you have a Typhoon fighter there is no chance of reaching walking pace before the next set of lights stops you.

    To be fair to the Council they haven't done that everywhere (yet). In other places roads have been turned into crazy golf courses with the addition of various obstacles lumps, bumps, chicanes, posts etc .

  18. Ken Smith
    Thumb Up

    Never worked anyway

    Glad to see that some councils are starting to see sense. There is a fixed camera on the A9 near Gleneagles. There was a set of skid marks leading up to the camera a few months back, then they swerve to the verge and into a lampost. Save lives, I think not, the driver died at the scene. Most of the camera on the A90 also have skid marks leading up to them on a regular basis. As other have said, all people do is slow down until past them. Most drivers on the roads are responsible enought to be able to drive at a speed which is comfortable for them and at which they feel safe and in control of their car. Many tests have been conducted in other countries that show when speed limits and other "driver aids" street signs, traffic lights etc are removed, accidents drop and traffic flows freely.

  19. Perpetual Cyclist
    Thumb Down

    Pathetic

    Speed cameras were originally designed to stop people speeding. Speeding being defined as faster than the locally declared speed limit. ALL speeding is dangerous, because ALL speeding vehicles are driving in a way that other road users cannot predict, and therefore ALL other road users need to drive more defensively ALL THE TIME just in case some idiot decides he has more right to get there sooner than other road users. It is deeply antisocial behaviour.

    I agree that clearly marked bright yellow cameras in well signposted locations are worse than useless. ALL SPEEDING IS WRONG ALL THE TIME. It makes ALL roads more dangerous.

    Anyway, ten year from now speeding will be a thing of the past. Petrol prices might be down a bit because the credit crunch has hit demand, but the global supply of oil is now past peak. In ten years, no-one will be able to waste money driving too fast, fuel will be far too scarce.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Will they also abolish

    Possible because they have the same effect of causing traffic to slow down on sight.

    What they need to do is to redeploy these vans either in places where they cannot be spotted or "disguise them". Speed enforcement will only work if people think they can be caught anywhere. Salutary lesson is someone I know who drove down the M4 to Pembrokeshire for a holiday at high speed and came home to discover *3* separate speeding tickets waiting for him

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No offense

    But if you're doing 50, and have to brake to 30 to avoid getting flashed and cause an accident, isn't it technically your fault for speeding in the first place? To be fair, you knew the rules before you decided you were above them.

    That being said, speed limits on motorways, and to an extent, dual carriageways are a joke. Leave other roads as they are, but stick the motorways back to no limit.

  22. Gavin Jamie
    Coat

    Swindon's not Wiltshire

    At the risk of being extremely pedantic Wiltshire is still going to have its speed cameras. Swindon is a separate authority. So Salisbury, Devizes etc etc will still have them.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Morons

    And when the death toll rises - who will be to blame? Drivers, obviously, but these councillors as well.

    We need EVSC and we need it ***NOW***. All drivers caught speeding should face a mandatory 1 year ban and 10% of their salary fine. Prison and a 30% salary fine for the second offence.

    SPEED KILLS, people. The evidence is irrefutable, you are a brain dead moron if you think anything else.

    8 people die a day on our roads - most of those caused by speeders, probably of the same ilk as anon coward @ 1002's. Hey, anon coward @ 1002; do the right thing for society, report your "mate" as a dangerous driver. He's not much of a mate if he keeps putting your (and other's) life in dager by driving in such an irresponsible manner.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    @ KarlTh

    Actually it was some safery groups as well, who wanted them painted in bright colours, to bring attention to accident black spots, but hey whats wrong with an ill thought out rant with no factual basis

    and there was rumblings of a potential court case if there was an accident where the victim (or perpetrator was caught on camera seconds before, and obviously in our health and safety conscious world that wouldn't do

  25. Graham Davis

    Keep them mobile and hidden

    I quite agree with the above comments, it's absurd to insist that cameras be visible as this has precisely the effect stated above, of making drivers slow for 50 metres or so. Any road feature which causes sudden decelleration is going to cause accidents. If a pedestrian stupidly runs out into the road it may not be your fault if you hit them, but the extent of their injuries and whether they live or die is down your speed. Life is too precious to throw away because we're in too much of a hurry to get from A to B.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh wow what good news....

    yeah I am being sarcastic.

    What they are saying is that people are not speeding where the cameras are so they will use mobile models as they catch more people.

  27. Baldychap
    Flame

    Why oh why....

    Do people insist on saying "Speed Kills". Speed does not kill. Bad driving kills - Full stop.

    Doing 90 on an empty motorway won't kill anyone. On the other hand I know some built-up areas where driving at the speed limit is just bloody dangerous. You have to use common sense and adapt your driving to the environment around you. If you need speed camera's and signs to tell you what to do then you probably shouldn't be driving in the first place.

  28. David Evans
    Thumb Up

    @"whatever next?" AC

    As the Swindon councillers realised, excessive speed is a minority cause of accidents (about 6% according to the gov's own figures). If Swindon are going to reallocate their money towards better road design and driver awareness, then I applaud their efforts.

    Your line about the M6 pile-up shows the typical "think of the children" pig-ignorance about speed; speed had nothing to do with it, and the accident happened in "heavy, slow traffic" according to the beeb. Would a speed camera have saved those people? Would it f**k.

    (we really need a Maude Flanders icon).

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This may turn into a rant...

    I don't have a problem with increasing the speed limit on motorways, just wanted to get that out to start with. I think that fixed cameras there are not such a hot idea.

    Fixed cameras in an urban environment at least make accidents around them at a slower speed. I think that the most dangerous part of speed cameras is making them clearly visible, because this makes people do the whole, brake when it's coming up, accelerate away like a nutter form of driving. Much better to have a sign saying 'speed cameras for 1 mile' and concealing them and move them, people would be a whole lot better at keeping to the speed limit then.

  30. Dave Morfee

    You sure about that?

    Posted by AC @ 10:05

    Perhaps the Clarksons of the world should go and explain to the relatives of the family killed in the recent, and very tragic pile up on the M6 why cutting back on speed cameras is a good idea, and why it's unfair that the police fine people for breaking the speed limit.

    -------------------------------

    It was my understanding that the traffic was slow, due to an earlier accident, so please tell the assembled masses how a speed camera on that part of the M6, would have prevented it from happening?

    Thanks

  31. David Neil
    Flame

    @AC 10:05

    Where is the suggestion that excessive speed caused the crash on the M6?

    Seriously, stop ambulance chasing for stories which you want to fit your worldview and actually show some evidence. A Family has just died, a lorry driver has been arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving, but as long as it helps me defend a position in lieu of any actaul evidence then I can hijack the emotional trauma for my own purposes.

  32. CeeJay

    I think we need a new handle...

    ...available for anon posters to use. It should be "Sanctimonious Coward".

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    @"Whatever next? stop arresting criminals? "

    "go and explain to the relatives of the family killed in the recent, and very tragic pile up on the M6 why cutting back on speed cameras is a good idea"

    Since the lorry that ran them off the road wasn't speeding I fail to see your point?

    The cause of the crash was tiredness, caused by a foreign driver. No amount of speed camera's would have prevented this accident. One copper doing his job *might* have noticed the erratic behaviour of the driver, but ofcourse we don't need officers anymore because speed camera's can do their jobs for them!

    You response is nothing short of progogandist nonsense, and is an insult to the people who died on the M6 the other day.

  34. Ash
    Thumb Up

    They never stopped accidents

    They either caused dangerous driving by breaking suddenly at the sight of one, caused people to watch their speedometers on the approach instead of the road ahead, or just caused a momentary slowdown before they piled on the calories once out of range again.

    Total rubbish.

  35. Simon Painter
    Stop

    @KarlTH

    No, you are wrong. The reason why they were painted yellow is that people were seeing them at the last minute and slamming on their brakes. They are not supposed to be a hidden cash raising device, they are supposed to be a high visibility deterrent.

    If you want to get people to slow down you have to employ onboard GPS based devices (like the ones proposed in the road pricing plans of yore) or use the average speed cameras over large stretches of road.

    The problem with both of these plans is that if people know there is no way of getting away with speeding then they will simply not speed. That's not what the government wants though because that would mean they would get no revenue. What they want is a solution that gives the impression that you can get away with it so that people risk it and then get caught so they can be taxed.

  36. David Kelly

    @AC re: Whatever next? stop arresting criminals?

    "there's a simple way to avoid a fine - it's called not breaking the law, and sticking to the speed limit"

    Those speed limits were set over 40 years ago. Since then cars have changed significantly. The limits need to change, especially on motorways. Most people already drive over 70mph on the motorways and yet the number of accidents has fallen despite there being more cars on the roads than ever.

    I read somewhere a test where current model cars were tested against 20 year old cars for braking efficiency. The new cars had as much as 50% less braking distance as the old ones.

    Laws are all well and good but they should be appropriate to the times.

  37. Sebastian Brosig
    Coat

    franchise

    Can I get a franchise please to set up speed cameras for a share in the profit? That'll teach them. The argument by various people above ("speed cams dangeroud because people slow down suddenly on sight of orange box") is void if I get a go at hiding the things, moving them around and such.

    Stealth tax my arse: tax on stupidity is what it is. Fine by me.

    Oh, mine's the daygo bicycle coat, thanks.

  38. TeeCee Gold badge

    Speed kills.

    No it doesn't. They proved that when they built the first steam locomotives and nobody died from travelling at more than 20mph, despite a lot of eminent fools being sure that speed killed.

    Excessive speed kills. True. But define excessive. A ton plus at 3AM on a deserted three-lane motorway is not excessive. 30mph past a school at kicking out time is excessive, regardless of what the speed limit says in both cases.

    Oh, and anyone who uses the the word "cyclist" in their handle shouldn't be commenting in this area as none of this applies to the axe-grinding, small-minded, smug, kneejerk reactionary, luddite little twats anyway.

  39. michael

    the problem

    the problem with speed camras is not weather they work or do not work it is that now they are SEEN to be meany a revinew genrator so pepol hate them the anser in MHO is to dissacosate the crime form the income maby by donating all speeding fines to charity or maing speeding an fice with a non monryt penilty. that way if concles realy think they are a cost efective way to cut road deaths hty can pay for them the full econic cost

  40. Chronos Silver badge

    Re: Whatever next? Stop arresting criminals?

    The M6 accident was caused by a Portuguese LGV. Left hand drive (blind spot conveniently on the right), driver not used to British law, overworked and had probably been driving for way more hours than are permitted in this country. Even then I'm guessing that the driver isn't just a convenient hook upon which to hang the outrage.

    Nothing at all to do with excessive speed, despite the fact the the idiocracy seem to think speed is the root of all driving evils. If I wanted to read non sequiturs all day I'd read the Mail or Hansard for my daily quota of irrelevant justifications for stupid laws and ideas from people unable to connect cause and effect.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    @Morons

    "8 people die a day on our roads - most of those caused by speeders"

    government figures would disagree.

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

    Odd, having just taken the train at 100mph, I'm still alive! Inappropriate speed kills, speed in itself doesn't.

    "All drivers caught speeding should face a mandatory 1 year ban and 10% of their salary fine."

    Utterly ridiculous, and completely disproportional to reality.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    speeding isn't the problem

    It's crap drivers that cause accidents, not speeding per se.

    It is blatently stupid to believe that it is only safe to drive at a certain blanket speed, and people who think this presumably believe that there's no need to slow down on blind bends or in the wet because it is safe to drive at the speed limit.

    There are plenty of places where it is entirely safe to drive in excess of the speed limit (and 3 inches off someone's bumper is not one of them), and equally there are plenty of places where it is not safe to drive at the speed limit.

    The safest way to drive is by observing the conditions and adjusting speed to suit. Spending all my time checking I haven't accidentally wandered 3mph over the speed limit means I'm not looking at the road, so am clearly less safe.

    I've been speeding for 20 years, and I've never had an accident nor got a speeding ticket. Why? Because I pay attention to the road rather than to my speedo.

  43. Dave
    Coat

    RE: Morons

    RE: SPEED KILLS, people. The evidence is irrefutable, you are a brain dead moron if you think anything else.8 people die a day on our roads.

    So does alcohol, smoking, walking across the road in front of a bus, jumping off a bridge, eating too much fatty food etc. BAN IT ALL!

    300 people a day die from smoking so shouldn't something be done about that first??

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    How many times..

    Do we have to hear the same crap peddled "speed kills". This argument is just as lame as "if you have nothing to hide".

    SPEED DOES NOT KILL. If speed was a killer NO ONE would be allowed to speed, including emergency services. This message has been hammered into us by the same government who cant even give you un-massaged figures of road deaths and supposed reductions due to speed cameras - give me a break.

    You can kill someone at 5mph just as easily as you can at 60 mph. If anything is to blame, its the inept driving ability of the idiot behind the wheel.

    Paris - because only she would believe the shite the government peddles.

  45. Simon Ward

    Re: @Jim Booth

    "Co Durham has NEVER had fixed speed cameras"

    Neither has North Yorkshire, but nip a few miles down the road into Leeds and you can't move for the bloody things.

    I don't have a problem with speed cameras *providing* they're used for road safety purposes - unfortunately, they're not - their prime purpose seems to be revenue generation. However, I do agree that speed limits on motorways (or motorway-standard roads) should be removed or at least made 'advisory' (isn't this what they do in Germany?)

    Then again, City of York seems to have followed Cambridge's example of putting so many bloody traffic lights in place that it's faster to walk than drive or cycle, thereby rendering speed cameras redundant anyway.

  46. Jonathan Carlaw
    Stop

    Speed does NOT KILL

    It anoys me every time someone reels out the old 'Speed Kills' line.

    In some places the speed limit is 20mph. At others is is 70 mph.

    If speed kills (and speed alone) then the speed limit shoudl be universal.

    As no-one is suggesting that it is plain that Speed does NOT kill, speed is simply ONE of the factors in an accident.

    If you have an empty motorway and good conditions, 100mph in a well maintained, modern car is not inherantly lethal.

    If you have a busy motorway in the pouring rain 50mph may be dangerous.

    Stop taking the easy target of an absolute speed and instead get actual police officers patrolling the roads and stopping the idiots who drive too fast or too close for the individual road conditions.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    WTF?

    So the argument is that they don't control speed, so scrap them. Why not use ones that do control speed? Hands up those who've driven over the limit in an area with "average speed" measurement in force?

    I agree that the cameras aren't always effective, but to just get rid of them is a green-light to all the people out there who think one of the following:

    a) My time is more imortant than someone else's safety.

    b) Going fast is fun, my skills are brilliant so everyone is safe!

    c) I'm not paying enough attention to know what the speed limit is.

    The majority of these cameras are in urban areas, enforcing speed limits of 40mph or less. I think this a classic bit of pandering to popular opinion, good for headlines and popular with the people who read the Daily Mail. I don't even think that the cameras will vanish, £320k doesn't sound like the total budget required to operate them, only part of it; council funding may well be replaced by money from other sources (e.g. central government, who presumably get the "profits" from cameras).

    I love the phrase "tax on motorists" though, as if breaking this particular law is totally acceptable and we shouldn't be inconveniencing anyone who does; fuck it, why not call them "heroes", like the metric martyrs, and give them money?

  48. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    The other way of improving road safety

    20 years ago, most of the roads near home had no speed limit. Now most of the big wide major roads are 30 with a few 40's. 20 years ago I paid attention when driving. Now, there is a real danger of dozing off at the wheel.

    Some of the narrow windy back roads still have no limit. Occasionly you can find a boy racer's wreck in a ditch. More please!

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    About time too.

    I agree with cameras but in very specific places. There is a strech of road near me where speeding will cause problems and people know this. A silly few kept trying it though and now there is a camera and it has helped so this is a situation where they are really usefull.

    Another one not too far away is at the start of a section of dual carriage way. Conifer trees on the council owned land dont get trimmed and obscure it from oncoming traffic. the road turns from a 50 to the national speedlimit about 100 yards from the camera. There are no houses or junctions nearby but it seems the camera is there simply to catch people who speed up before the road widens. How is this not a revenue generator? Most seem to be like this in our area except for the one i mentioned at the start.

    @By Anonymous Coward 10:05 GMT - The tragic accident you mention happened in slow moving traffic. Like the vast majority of accidents nobody was breaking the speedlimit so in that situation cameras wouldnt have made any difference.

  50. Pete Smith
    Go

    @ AC:1022

    8 people a day do die on our roads, you're right. The "old" government line was that 33% of accidents were caused by speeding, so this would equate to ~20 people a week (so it's not "most" caused by speeders)

    A recent study by the same government however, said that only ~5% of accidents are directly down to speed in excess of the posted limit, i.e. ~150 people a year. There was a further breakdown of the remaining 95%, but I'd bet most of them are "not looking where they're going" , "pullout our without looking" or "pissed pedestrian walked out into the street without looking".

    A speed camera won't get someone driving under the posted speed limit, and we don't have "driving like an arse" cameras, which is where the problem actually lies.

    However, a watchful copper *would* spot someone driving like an arse, and would hopefully do something about it. Unfortunately, they're all back at the nick, filling out forms.

  51. KarlTh

    @Ken Smith

    If the things were hidden and unannounced that driver would probably be alive today, because either he'd have been flashed so many times he'd have been banned, or he'd have sobered up and started driving legally.

    It's not the cameras that are the problem, but the requirement to make them bright yellow.

  52. Frank Bough
    Thumb Down

    Clarkson the Bogeyman

    The Clarkson comment at the end is the oh so predictable sign off from a Guardian-reading twat. Say it ain't so.

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Stop speeding!

    These days I'm an infrequent driver, but I've had a licence since college.

    Before speed cameras came out, I spent 6 months as a taxi driver in a rural home counties borough. To start with I drove normally, paying a reasonable respect to the limits. Then for about a month I went mental and drove noticeably over the limit. Finally, I rigourously respected the limits. What I found was that I was happiest observing the limits, plus the main trick in shortening journey times is to time your arrival at junctions such that you slot into traffic - so not top speed.

    Anyway, the DfT have already held trials on Intelligent Speed Adaptation - fitting cars, trucks and motorcycles with location-sensitive speed limiting:

    http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/roads/vehicles/intelligentspeedadaptation/

    Take that, Mr Clarkson et al. If you persist in wanting to flout the law of the land, your gas guzzlers will be hog-tied. So behave yourselves now or we'll legislate you into submission. After all, Top Gear has already tested a car in Japan with a similar GPS-based system.

    There is IMO validity in the argument that cars are already too safe - the Volvo effect. With ABS, air-bags, crumple-zones, etc, the driver is lulled (tempted?) into feeling invulnerable. EVSC will undoubtedly save lifes, but how foolishly were the drivers behaving anyway?

    Mine's the cycling one with the egg stain down the back from a stupid youth in a speeding car!

  54. Phil Arundell

    @AC "Whatever next? stop arresting criminals?"

    The recent accident on the M6 was caused by a lorry going over the top of a car. lorrys are all speed limited to 60mph so it couldn't have been breaking the speed limit. Cameras may serve a purpose but they are only marginally as effective as more patrol cars sat on our motorways. Unfortunately, they are much cheaper than coppers and raise lots of revenue. Cameras make the police and government lazy because they can say they are tackling dangerous drivers when they're doing nothing of the sort - they are tackling one very specific part of bad driving that doesn't cause as many accidents as they'd like to make out (particularly on motorways, where most accidents are caused by simple bad driving).

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Morons

    Speed does not kill. If I do 62mph in a 60mph zone someone does not instantly die, speed does not kill. If you look at the DFT official stats, you'll see that speed actually accounts for a very small percentage of KSIs.

    Driver training is what is needed, I've lost count of the amount of idiots I've seen doing 70mph on the Motorway in heavy rain or thick fog where you can only see 25-50m in front - But hey, they weren't speeding so that's okay. Same as people who try and take corners faster than their car or themselves are capable of, but within the speed limit for that road (because the rest of it is fine). We need people to be able to use their own judgement, rather than be told speed if the ultimate killer - it isn't, people not driving to the conditions is the real problem, along with tail gaters and people who think it's fun to swerve in to the middle of the road because you've dared to overtake them when doing 40mph in an NSL area.

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    To all those who say "speed kills"

    can you provide figures on what proportion of road accidents are caused by "speeding" and what proportion are caused by '"drivers not looking where they're going properly"?

  57. ElFatbob

    Can't think of one

    Good on them.

    >The guys in the mobile speed camera vans are, almost invariably, NOT police officers, but employees of the local 'Safety Camera Partnership'.<

    of which a large number are ex Police Officers, retired and on a nice little number thanks very much. Time to end that gravy train methinks....

    Put Traffic back on the road and catch ALL the dangerous drivers (mobile users, tailgaiters, aggressive nobs and speeders).

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "ALL SPEEDING IS WRONG ALL THE TIME"

    Bullshit. Just like most absolute statements.

    Unless you define "wrong" as "breaking the law". And exclude emergency response vehicles (such as police vehicles responding without lights and siren to catch the perp). And "private citizens" rushing emergencies to hospital.

    There are innumerable roads where the limit is set at 30, and which is all fine and reasonable (or even a tad fast) for daytime/average use but cretinously slow for quiet times, like midnight. Many speed limits are set by parochial local councils "thinking of the children" , not by rational, objective criteria, and when the concept of speed limits was conceived it was always imagined that there would be an element of discretion in their enforcement.

    But the nanny state decided that the Camera was God and infallible in its judgement of safety. *That* is "wrong".

  59. b
    Alien

    re SPEED KILLS, people.

    6% of accidents are caused by speeding. Overblown hyperbole such as yours really doesn't advance the debate.

  60. Guido Bozward
    Coat

    Speed Kills

    Here is a link,

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/safety/2749525/Speed-kills-inconvenient-facts.html

    the point being that only 5% of accidents (official figures from the Department for Transport) involve exceeding the speed limit, now I admit accidents are more often caused by travelling too fast for the conditions but how does a speed camera work out the conditions are bad and you should go slower or relax restrictions in good conditions?

    BTW, I have no points on my license and have never had any and I don't speed, just figured rather than random unproven arguments maybe a thirty second search of the internet may enlighten, then again I realise too many people have strong opinions backed up with no evidence so why am I bothering, carry on people, I'll just stop reading the comments pages and get my coat

  61. Steve Swann
    Stop

    Acceleration

    Statistically speaking, the vast majority of RTAs take place when the driver is accelerating (second place goes to braking hard). Traffic calming measures (such as speed bumps) and cameras lead to *more* instances of acceleration and therefore increase the statistical probability of an accident.

    Furthermore, speed cameras, if they weren't simply a profit-making device for government/police (over 60% of *all* policing in the UK is traffic related), would be visibly displayed everywhere as the intention should clearly be to discourage speeding. Why then do they hide them regularly?

    I am not a driver, and I do not approve of speeding lunacy, but surely there has to be a better way to discourage dangerous road usage than this?

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We need more Speed cameras not less

    Our village suffers from a lot of speeding being situated on an A road. The speed limit is 40mph (we have a primary school, pubs, and shops) and people still do 70mph+ through the village (top speed caught was 94mph).

    The police asked people not to park their cars on the road as it caused accidents.

    Hold on a minute... it isn't the parked cars causing the accidents!

    I think we should have more cameras and more police, and they should all be hidden so that you don't know where they are or when you will get caught.

    If you don't like the fine/ban/points then slow down. It isn't difficult to lift your foot off the loud pedal and slow down to the limit and hell, you are no more important than me and have no right to put my families life in danger because of your driving, and yes, I see idiotic, dangerous driving every single day on my journey to and from work.

  63. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Jim Booth

    Speed bumps are too a revenue raiser.

    Kwikfit et al are doing very nicely thank you repairing suspension components.

    And don't even get me started on the price of replacing a tyre "egged" by hitting a pothole (Unlit road, oncoming traffic and I wasn't even at the speed limit for that stretch). Oh, I did get started. Coat please.

  64. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    @ AC 23rd October 2008 10:05 GMT

    Quote: "Excessive speed kills. Perhaps the Clarksons of the world should go and explain to the relatives of the family killed in the recent, and very tragic pile up on the M6 why cutting back on speed cameras is a good idea, and why it's unfair that the police fine people for breaking the speed limit."

    I take it you mean the family of six killed the other day in HEAVY SLOW MOVING TRAFFIC!! Very Tragic loss of life: Yes. In anyway related to excessive speed: NO .

    The Lorry driver should have been paying attention, you can expect to see more acidenets where drivers were not looking at the road if they put up average speed cameras here there and everywhere, people will look at their speedometers rather than anything else. It would be much better of they could develop a motorway camera that monitors distance between vehicles relative to speed of travel, then you could stop all the flipping tailgaters.

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RE: Whatever next? stop arresting criminals?

    It would be wise to check facts before using emotive issues such as this week's crash on the M6 as the basis of an argument:

    "Police said the crash appeared to have happened in heavy, slow traffic caused by an accident less than two hours earlier on the same stretch of motorway. "

    As we are discussing speed cameras, I can't help feeling that your comment is entirely misplaced.

  66. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @AC

    Speed in and of itself does not kill, inappropriate application of speed can certainly be an aggravating factor. Please stop parroting propaganda.

  67. Pete James

    Meaningless point scoring bilge

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

    What evidence is that then?

    What you will find when you come down from your keyboard-jockey trance is that accidents/injuries/deaths occur where the victim or the perpetrator make an error of judgement of some kind. The speed itself is irrelevant. Speed doesn't kill. Do try to open your eyes.

    I remember one Government report inot the positive impact of speed cameras (cracking read, robbed of the Booker Prize y'know) which stated that speed cameras also save money as they mean the Police, Ambulance and Fire are called out to accidents less, and actually factored in their 'saved' wages into the published cost saving to prove the point. Which therefore follows that these Police officers, Paramedics and Fire crews have all been dismised because there is less work for them to do. So great news people, seed cameras save lives AND money according to Mr Brown!

    Er........

  68. Aortic Aneurysm

    @Morons

    "8 people die a day on our roads - most of those caused by speeders" - got statistics to back that up ? Saying its speeding is such an easy cop-out.

    I live in Fife, In Scotland. We have NO fixed cameras, and two mobiel vans - operated by the Safety Camera partnership people. the Police now have camera vans, and ofcourse, traffic poilce and unmarked cars on our dual carriageways / motorways etc.

    Now, It might be bias, But i believe we have probably the safest roads in Scotland. Co-incidence? I think not.

  69. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Morons

    Speed cameras used to replace traffic ploice on the road. They can't catch tailgaters, unroadworthy cars, drunk drivers. or people who are below the speed limit when that is still too fast for the conditions (ie fog).

    Pure speed is not the main cause of accidents, not concentrating and tailgating are the main ones. The recent accident involving the Plymouth footballer would not have been prevented by a speed camera, but maybe by a traffic cop.

    The M6 accident may not be down to speeding at all, the lorry failed to stop in time. He may have been under the limit but not left enough stopping distance.

  70. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Michael

    > To keep traffic speed down why don't we simply get someone to walk in front

    >of each vehicle with a red flag to warn of the vehicle's approach? That would

    >make the roads safer.

    Dunno about you but I can't walk at 30mph, and the motorways would be an

    especially significant challenge.

    I'm all for heavily disguised cameras that are hard to spot and ubiquitous, it's

    the only thing that would stop me speeding.

  71. Fluffykins Silver badge

    Is this why?

    http://www.autocar.co.uk/News/NewsArticle/AllCars/235495/

  72. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    @AC: Morons

    On the right track there but a far more effective approach IMO would be to hit them where it really hurts. Double the fine for each offence and remove the points system for speeding and change it to a simple fine count record.

    So:

    1st £60

    2nd £120

    3rd £240

    4th £480

    and so on.

    This way you also hit the jerks who have their partners take the points hit on their license.

    Add to this the threat of being caught anywhere, as mentioned previously and Bingo, problem solved.

  73. david bates
    Linux

    @Whatever next? stop arresting criminals?

    A lorry (which would be limited to BELOW the national speed limit) slams into the back of slow moving traffic on a motorway.

    Care to explain how speed cameras would have helped on that one? Particularly if the driver was asleep or otherwise engaged, which has been the case in the past.

    Even if the camera *did* get him, he was Porteguese driving a Spanish lorry - do you think he would even care?

    Tux, cos there is no "you're a bloody muppet" icon.

  74. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Morons

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

    Really? I thought it was the sudden decelleration that killed. But what would I know, I'm a brain dead moron, apparently.

    Remember that "inappropriate speed" is the terminology used by those who actually know anything about driving. You can be travelling inappropriately quickly and still be well within the speed limit. Observe the M25 at just about any time of day or night and you will see that 50mph can be quite inappropriate. Take a tight corner at 30mph on a residential road and tell me the resultant tyre-squealing isn't inappropriate. Drive past a school at chucking-out time and tell me that 30mph is a safe speed with children running about the place.

    The point is this: Speed cameras are incapable of capturing inappropriate speed when it's under the speed limit, or dangerous driving in general. For that you need a man in the loop, as we brain-dead morons refer to Police patrols. I've driven behind a Police car at an indicated 100mph before, he didn't seem to have a problem with it.

  75. N Silver badge

    regulation

    I think what drivers resent most is excessive regulation with no right of reply & as a result, despise the widespread introduction of speed cameras. Furthermore, the governments obsession with them fosters a desire to exceed the speed limit only to brake for the camera then speed up again in defiance of the law.

    Whilst theres a need to observe and regulate speed limits in built up areas, Im at a loss to understand why, in our area the speed along a perfectly good dual carriageway with a crash barrier in the middle is only 50mph whilst an A road with no crash barrier is 60 somewhat loses the plot where safety is concerned, if speed is the sole consequence of accidents as we are often led to believe.

    Whilst the sight of a burn out speed camera in a pointless location, is a joy to behold, Im all against careless & dangerous driving in the form of too close, too fast, not thinking, not looking, Im indicating so Im changing lanes, not caring about the cyclist and just swing out into the oncoming traffic to pass, Its a 4*4 so fuck the priority, too busy with a cigarette & sometimes, all whilst making a phone call in complete oblivion of the dangers & consequences. It is unfortunate, that very few of these incidents listed which we all witness on a regular basis, could ever be stopped by a speed camera, unless there was one every 20 yards.

    I therefore wish Swindon every success & trust that a firm, but fair policy along with improved road design to actually assist traffic flow as opposed to hampering it will achieve safer roads for all who use them.

  76. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    lies, damned lies and selective statistics

    " In 2007 and 2008 70 people were killed on Swindon's roads. The council said this was proof the speed cameras were not effective in changing drivers' behaviour "

    Perhaps if they were to publish the figures from previous years, this statement might be a little more credible (unless of course, they didn't publish it for fear of the opposite?).

  77. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @AC: Morons

    How many of those deaths are pedestrians walking out into the road without looking?

  78. Steve Foster

    Not the hoary old "speed kills" nonsense...

    Speed does not kill. Excessive speed, in the wrong place and at the wrong time, occasionally kills.

    If "speed kills" were true, the motorways would be the most dangerous roads we have. They're not. Statistically, they're the safest.

    For the AC who referred to the fatal accident on the M6 - that wasn't caused by excessive speed as the motorway was almost at a standstill (leftover effects of a previous accident). Most M6 accidents occur on the northern section where it's heavily congested all the time, and that doesn't leave room for even the slightest of errors.

    What we really need is traffic officers out on the roads in decent numbers. Pulling motorists who can't drive properly and safely (regardless of speed) off the roads: idiots who drive around with their foglights on when they shouldn't or missing lights, centre lane hoggers, tailgaters, drunk drivers, aggressive drivers, etc. And yes, they should stop speeding drivers too, but exceeding some arbitrary (usually) speed limit should not be the narrow focus of their efforts (unlike "safety" cameras).

    Unrestricted German autobahns aren't vastly more dangerous than our motorways - so perhaps it's time the 70mph limit on motorways was rescinded, possibly with the proviso that anyone involved in an accident travelling above 100mph is automatically classed as at-fault (along similar lines to the German model).

  79. Dangermouse

    Speed kills, huh?

    So how come we are not throwing billions of pounds at prevention, creating uberdatabases of suspected speeders and generally monitoring everybodys cars if speeding kills more people yearly than terrorism?

  80. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We need police

    Salutary lesson is someone I know who drove down the M4 to Pembrokeshire for a holiday at high speed and came home to discover *3* separate speeding tickets waiting for him

    This is why we need police and not speeding tickets, he could very well have killed someone doing this, getting a ticket many weeks latter, may or may not change there attitude. Having a copper pull you over and explain the error of your ways, issue a fine, and a producer, and possibly do them for dangerous driving etc would be far more effective, but alas would cost more and generate less. Also all these cameras can be linked into a number of databases and provide tracking...

    Cameras of any sort CCTV, Speed, etc are no replacement for bobbies on the beat with the power to prevent , and deter criminals. Without the fear of being accused of racism, having to fill in large amounts of paperwork, and deal with chavs "who know their rights".

    And no i aint a copper :)

  81. Chris Pearson
    Go

    @ AC Morons

    "SPEED KILLS, people. The evidence is irrefutable"

    It's also saved my arse on more than one occasion when someone's decided I am in their section of road! The evidence is irrefutable, I still have a car and there's not a lorry in my skull. So no it didn't kill. It saved my life when a blind polish truck driver decided to pull over with out looking on the M3. The fact I could drop a cog and floor it into the 3rd lane meant I didn't get hit, and the power meant I wasn't in the the lane 20mph slower than everyone else and so causing an accident. Seeing as it was a lorry he would have had a limiter at 56 (or what ever it is) so would have been at a legal speed.

    Risking a flaming but of all those begin righteous and saying all speeding is 100% wrong: how many of you can hand on heard confirm you have never drifted over the limit by so much as 1mph? I would wager most (if not all) have sped at some point. Yes it's illegal but being all pompous about it and saying 1 offence should land you a ban is just ridiculous.

  82. Richard Silver badge

    @Morons

    Speed doesn't kill.

    Driving in such a way that you cannot avoid an unexpected event is what kills.

    Tailgating is *far* more dangerous than speeding - but it's harder to make a camera that spots tailgaters than spots vehicles producing a doppler shift greater than an arbitrary value.

  83. Steve
    Thumb Down

    How can anyone publicly approve of dangerous driving?

    We have speed limits to save lives, people who break these laws are potential murderers and should be treated as such.

    If they find they are unable to maintain control of their vehicle within legal limits they should not be allowed one.

    I'm against speed traps, people slow down for them, I'm for limiters on vehicles and prison sentences for those who tamper with them.

  84. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    Yaaaaahoooooooo! Sense at last!

    God bless Swindon local council and all who sail in her!

    I haven't felt this good since I was a little kid watching the Death Star blow up for the first time - a similar triumph of good over evil.

    Now for ID Cards .......

  85. Simon Painter
    Flame

    er... it's a bold claim but...

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

    Do you think that putting it in capitals makes it true? Does insulting people make it a fact all of a sudden? Rather than bleating on in a twat-o-tron style why not come up with some facts to support your claim, or is your claim based on stuff you read in wikipedia?

    MORONS who use capital letters to emphasise their POINT are normally a little thin on any evidence and that's irrefutable FACT.

  86. Gordon Silver badge

    @Morons

    Hey AC never let the facts get in the way of a good rant eh?

    Quoted from bbc.co.uk on the same story

    "The Department for Transport annual results - published on the 25th of September - show that, nationally, only 6% of accidents are caused by people breaking speed limits and yet almost 100% of the government's road safety money is being invested in speed cameras,"

    Now if only they remove the mobile cameras who park over the M4 bridges we'd be in clover.

  87. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    @all + sundry

    Just to reassure you, this is being moderated. I know there's a lot of repetition but quite a lot of fair points, too.

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

  88. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Speed Kills?

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

    I hope Andy Green realises your sage words before making any further attempts on the land speed record.

    In fact, as most sane people recognise, speed does NOT kill, you brain dead moron.

    INAPPROPRIATE speed kills.

  89. IndianaJ

    Swindon

    Pig Town has always been a road traffic experiment. Magic Roundabout (which works really well actually), bus lanes, roundabouts, traffic lights ON roundabouts (never figured this out).

    Nice to see it at the forefront still. Hopefully other councils will follow.

  90. Matthew
    Thumb Up

    Yay

    Finally a council with sense.. And it will probably save lives since people will be looking where there going, not at there speedo

  91. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Morons

    Provide some evidence, moron.

    Why am I replying to a 12 year old?

  92. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Commen Sense? & Morons

    "Nice to see a rare dose of common sense, speed cameras can cause as many accidents as they prevent"

    "Er, do you have any evidence for that?"

    In fact there is evidence to suggest that speed cameras actually cause more accidents than they prevent http://www.cis.org.au/policy/spr03/polspr03-1.htm which probably played a large part in Swindon taking the decision to remove the cameras.

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

    Of course speed kills but as shown in the link above it is only irrefutably responsible for between 7 and 8% of all accidents, with evidence to show in a lot of cases that the faster the traffic the fewer the accidents.

    Certainly on my daily commute the potential for accidents aren't so much caused by speeding they are caused by people dangerously overtaking, having a poor awareness of their surroundings, on mobile phones, driving too SLOWLY for the conditions (e.g. at 30-40mph in 60mph zones) and general poor driving skills.

    If the government removed all the speed cameras and actually put the money into road safety, more police cars on the road etc, then maybe they would have a chance of hitting their accident reduction targets.

    Would appreciate if anyone actually had any links to studies that showed that speeding is a major factor in accidents, I've looked and have yet to find any!

  93. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Too many false positives, too much suspicion of using cameras as a cash cow

    Much as I dislike speed cameras I'm not sure I support the removal of them in general. If they are put up at accident blackspots then I certainly support them staying put. But to make it plain, add early warning signs "speed cameras in the next 2 miles" so that the objective of the camera is achieved - to get people to pay attention to the road and their speed at known dangerous places. And ensure that all camera revenue goes into running the cameras and then into road safety improvements.

    At the same time we should also enforce the removal of speed camera warning signs where there are no cameras. I drive about 2000 miles a month and I see plenty of 'false positives' - I am warned that there are cameras, yet there are none. So people start to be desensitised to these signs and don't take them seriously.

    I'm dead against hidden and mobile cameras. If a blackspot needs a camera, put one up. Anything else is just going to be viewed as revenue generation and fosters a general dislike for the cameras and their operators which is counter-productive in road safety terms.

    If legislation was in place that ensured speed cameras only went up at blackspots, complete with waring signs, then everybody knows they are there to protect us all, and the use of cameras will get more respect from the general public. Personally I'd support higher fines and awareness training for people who are repeat offenders.

    Every individual that chooses to break the speed limit must be prepared to face and accept the consequences of that action, or to stick to the limit. Incidentally you can still be prosecuted for a driving offence such as driving without due care and attention even if you are driving within the speed limit.

    I've read a lot of opinions here but very few people are brave enough to stick their neck out and state how they drive. Here's my disclosure on this subject: I do not deliberately exceed the speed limit in urban areas and on country roads but regularly drive at a speed "appropriate to the conditions" on motorways and trunk roads. Sometimes this is slower than the speed limit, sometimes it is faster. At all times I drive defensively and ensure I can stop using only the road that I can see ahead of me.

  94. Adam Foxton
    Flame

    @Morons AC, etc

    Anon coward @1002's friend is a dangerous driver- going right up behind people etc.

    Speed doesn't kill. You can travel quite happily in a car at 3,000mph and be entirely fine. You'd not even feel any ill effects.

    Rapid decelleration kills- either from hitting someone else or ploughing into a wall. Or rapid accelleration- going from walking pace to 50mph in a quarter second.

    There's NOTHING dangerous with finding a long, dry, straight and clear stretch of motorway and letting the engine do its thing. Danger only comes into it when someone stops paying attention- either someone pulls into the "fast" lane at 80 without looking in their mirror and you hit them doing 120, or you don't notice someone further ahead and again plough into the back of them.

    I suppose Speeding can kill, but that's more in residential areas with kids running over the road, old people doddering about and genuine fault-free accidents. And anyway- hit someone at 20 and they'll still probably die unless you stop the car.

    What about old/drunk/stoned/etc people driving at 30 down a 60-limit country road at night? Frequently with their interior lights blazing (limiting their vision outside the car) or sometimes with all of their lights off (just going by limited streetlighting or ambient light)- late last week I almost ran into one of them while doing 50 and only noticed it when my lights picked up some reflectors on the back. Couldn't safely overtake them (tried a couple of times, always something coming), so I stayed behind them for 5 miles to the nearest roundabout whereupon they stopped(!!!!!), got out of the car, came up to mine and asked me why I was in such a hurry that I was trying to overtake them! And then had the cheek to call ME a hooligan/dangeous driver for telling them it's a 60 limit that they were doing 30 in with no lights and that I'd like to get at least somewhere near the speed limit so I can get to the shops before they close.

    I really don't see what people have against all speed. Dangerous driving - as conveniently demonstrated by AC1002's friend - is dangerous driving and should be frowned upon. But if you get to the situation I outlined above with the open motorway- what's so wrong with wanting to let your car do what it's designed to do if you can see it's safe?

    Also, "Moron" AC, I'd like to call your bluff and ask you to provide a piece of evidence- i.e. a large dataset pre-interpretation (to eliminate any chance of bias on either side) showing irrefutable proof that speed (as opposed to dangerous driving, which can be done at high or low speed) is unquestionably bad and evil.

    Well, this is getting to be a lengthy rant so I'll just say "no offence AC" 's idea (above) is a good one!

  95. The Fuzzy Wotnot
    Flame

    I have no problems with speed cameras

    Why is everyone against them? What's the problem? The law is 30mph here, 40 mph there and whatevrr MPH over there. THE SPEED LIMIT IS THE LAW! It's not a question of rights or slightly iffy stance like photocopying a page out of library book, it's a the law! I'm a driver, been caught nearly 3 times, nothing yet ( touch wood ). I do 85mph down the M25 like everyone else, so I'm not saying this as a sanctimonious squeaky clean peddle-pusher. As a free thinking adult, I know the risks of breaking the law, if I get caught I don't have a leg to stand on, entirely my fault!

    I do object to them being everywhere at every turn, that really is money making for it's own sake. but the principle still stands, they uphold the law.

    ( Bring on the flames! )

  96. Secretgeek
    Pirate

    Not my line.

    'The best way to get people to reduce their speed is to have a fucking great spike sticking out of the middle of the steering wheel.'

    Definitely think that would discourage Mr 120mph - knobend.

  97. Campbell
    Stop

    @David Kelly

    Yeah, but Human reaction time is still 2 seconds and therein lies the problem, you could have anchors, retro rockets, parachutes or any other braking system, it still takes 2 seconds to think "Oh fuck...." and begin to deploy said braking mechanisms.

    So it's not speed per se rather the fact that the majority are dumb asses whos' reality shrinks to about 10feet in front of the bonnet, with them at the centre of the universe, when they get into a car.

    Get them to look, think, act responsibly and courteously and then, only then, can we consider altering laws and limits

  98. Mark

    re: This is why

    But this would mean that they couldn't go to a place where there has just been an accident, declare it an accident hotspot and put the camera in. Then, because it isn't an accident hotspot, declare the camera a success at safety enforcement because there hasn't been another death there.

  99. Brian
    Coat

    @Tee Cee

    "axe-grinding, small-minded, smug, kneejerk reactionary, luddite little twats"

    Concise, correct and completely inspired.

    I've lost count of the number of near-misses I have had due to some lame-brain coming the other way passing a cyclist too wide - I give them 12-18 inches of room, and if the twats can't ride in a straight line, it's their own fault.

    Not to mention the bastards that won't ride in single file, the idiots that think it's my job to avoid them when they pull out to pass parked cars without checking behind them, etc. etc.

    30-odd years ago, when I was taught to cycle, it was impressed on me that I was a very vulnerable road user - soft, unprotected and not as visible as a car. The way most cyclists ride these days, you'd think they're unbreakable.

    And speed cameras? Outside schools they are fine. Everywhere else they disrupt traffic flow and cause irrational behaviour, especially with older drivers.

    Mine's the one with a piece of 4x2 in the pocket for getting cyclists as I pass them :)

  100. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lies, Damned Lies, etc.

    We have the pro- speed camera lobby arguing that serious accidents are down at the speed camera sites. This is true. We have the council arguing that serious accidents are up over the rest of the district. This is also true. Interestingly the council accept that accidents have reduced at the camera sites. However the pro- speed camera lobby (including the local MP) are totally ignoring the fact that serious injuries and fatalities are on the increase accross the whole district.

    This is pretty typical of the use of statistics in what is, after all, political argument. Take a single statistic that supports your case and repeat it in an ever louder voice all the while ignoring any statistics that prove your argument to be a load of dingo's kidneys.

    The council's argument is, in a nutshell: a third of a million quid is a lot of money to spend on reducing accidents at a few key sites, when the rest of the area suffers. Better to spend the money on the whole area.

    Seems like a perfectly sound argument to me. And I have yet to hear a coherent counter argument.

    There are those that argue that the persistent speeder will slow down for speed cameras and then drive faster the rest of the time to compensate, therefore making their driving more dangerous. I have never seen any hard evidence to support this. Likewise there is no evidence to support the argument that speed cameras cause accidents due to speeders braking on the approach. Without nothing more than anecdotal evidence ion support I don't think either of these arguments should be used in support of the council's stance. However I think on balance the council's argument wins the debate.

    Personally I never understood why local authorities are expected to contribute to the speed camera budget when they already pay for the local police force, surely the funding should come from there?

  101. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    @Sarah Bee

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

  102. andy gibson

    Why is it?

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

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

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

  103. Steve Martins

    figures for uninsured drivers

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

  104. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re. Speed Kills

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

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

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

  105. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Clarkson's best

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

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

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

  106. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Speed kills

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

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

  107. Steve

    @ the pro speed camp

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

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

  108. Tim Parker

    Ah statistics....

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

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

    and in particular, for last year

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

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

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

    Sheesh.

  109. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Alright. ALRIGHT.

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

  110. michael

    @ sarah bee

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

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

  111. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    I'm glad...

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

  112. Steven Raith
    Stop

    "We have speed limits to save lives...

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

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

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

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

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

    Steven R

  113. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    my rant

    A well moderated thread, moderatrix.

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

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

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

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

  114. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    @ Perpetual Cyclist

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

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

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

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

  115. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Speed is safe

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

  116. Alexis Vallance

    Done already

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

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

  117. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Accident hotspots & yellow paint.

    Why?

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

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

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

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

    capture utterly bizarre.

  118. Simon Ward
    Flame

    Re: @ Perpetual Cyclist

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

    Ah, that old chestnut.

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

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

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

  119. George Speller
    Coat

    Dave . . .smoking?

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

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

  120. Tom Silver badge

    I've never heard of a single accident

    caused by a speed camera.

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

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

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

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

  121. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Used as Cheap Alternative

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

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

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

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

  122. Juillen
    Alert

    @Tim Parker

    Had a look at those documents.

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

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

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

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

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

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

  123. Charles Tsang
    Flame

    Statistically, Speed kills

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

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

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

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

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

  124. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Speed control on motorcycles and other stuff

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  125. Sooty

    my experience

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

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

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

  126. kain preacher Silver badge

    lack of speed

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

  127. JimC Silver badge

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

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

  128. Peter Allen
    Pirate

    thought required...

    Too many kneejerk responses here...

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

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

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

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

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

  129. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    rather speed cameras than road humps.

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

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

    However speed humps wear out the suspension of my car.

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

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

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

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

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

  130. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    Speed cameras CAUSE accidents...

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

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

    (Chance to be rear ended)

    Past speed camera, driver accelerates again

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

  131. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    All the idiots who say that excess speed kills

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

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

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

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

  132. Gareth Jones
    Flame

    @Tim Parker

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    .

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

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

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

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

  133. Steve Bush

    Driving Ban

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

  134. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's irrelevant whether speed kills or not.

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

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

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

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

  135. James Anderson Bronze badge

    Some facts for a change

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  136. Aortic Aneurysm

    @ the person who said...

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

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

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

  137. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Spain has the answer

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

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

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

    Different culture I suppose.

  138. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    Oh shit, we have a fuckwit here...

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

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

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

  139. Anonymous Coward
    Go

    Roads are dangerous places.

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

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

  140. Mick Sheppard

    Re: Excessive speed kills.

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

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

  141. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    Sanity?

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

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

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

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

    To the sanctamonious amonst you.

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

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

  142. Nano nano

    Better use of technologies

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

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

  143. Mark

    Speed does not kill.

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

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

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

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

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

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

  144. Mark

    Speed cameras

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

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

  145. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Drunk Driving

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

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

  146. Matthew

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

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

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

  147. Andus McCoatover
    Dead Vulture

    Daft buggers...

    OK, I'll let rip.

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

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

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

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

    Cunch of Bunts.

    (Gravestone, natch)

  148. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Be Careful of Statistics

    Governent accident statistics are somewhat misleading.

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

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

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

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

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

    Tailgating.

    Pedestrians failing to yield right of way.

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

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

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

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

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