back to article Tories oppose charges and speed cameras

A Conservative government would end support for local congestion charging schemes and stop funding new fixed speed cameras Theresa Villiers, the party's transport shadow minister, said that councils would be given more ability to introduce innovative schemes: "When local authorities want to innovate and try out new ways to …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Mark Davies
    Thumb Down

    They need to walk the walk....

    Are they going to pass this information onto their flagship councils - Westminster has more CCTV than any other borough, and raises more funds through traffic control than any other borough by a significant margin. Another nice sound bite contradicted by the Conservatives behaviour where are in power...

  2. Mat
    Thumb Up

    Hmmm.

    At first glance that all looks like common sense.

  3. Andy 97
    Thumb Up

    Good

    Let's hope they stick to this.

    Police cars are a much more useful speeding deterrent and tend to make drivers think a bit more.

    Unmarked cars - doubly so.

  4. Nick Fisher
    Stop

    The thing about the congestion charge...

    ...is that it works. Roll it out nationwide, do us all a favour.

    Best thing Ken Livingstone ever did IMO.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Yeah...

    And now she's got to get it past the ACPO and the police. And we all know how good they are at removing speed cameras.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Hooray, common sense at last.

    On a couple of roads nr us, the pro camera campaigners show that since cameras we installed there has been a 50% reduction in accidents on the duall carriageways

    Of course other may argue, it's the two extra sets of lights at bad junctions, the closing of gaps in the central resevations, the extension of the length of slip roads, better lighting, better road layouts the anti skid surfacing at islands, the cutting back of hedges on "blind" junctions.

    But no, it's the speed cameras that have done it.

    Sometimes they are justifed, but many times they are there for cash. Usally decent signs or road marking will do just as good.

    (yes I got done by one several years ago, on a different dual carriageway, doing 55 in a 60 because, and I quote "The section of road has a track record of excessive speed"

    Well when you set a speed limit of 50 on a perfectly good bit of dual carriageway (apart from a single sharp bend), of course you get excessive speed i.e 60 -70mph.

    Our village opted away from cameras (the residents opposed them) and instead created a couple of sections where the road was reduced to single lane, put in an extra set of crossing lights and a mini roundabout.

    Job done. Everyones happy.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Call me an ostritch...

    ... but I thought that the, "cash cow camera culture," had already reached the end of the road with newer roadside distance camera/video systems already.

    Either me or the Conservatives have missed something here.

  8. Jay Castle
    Unhappy

    Dammit!!

    I really wish the Tories would stop talking sense.

    If they keep this up, I'm gonna have to vote for them! *shudder*

  9. Ian 11

    Yay for populist measures!

    ...except, the population is stupid.

    The problem is this, many speed cameras do work and do in fact make roads much safer by forcing people to slow down. Similarly congestion charges do cut congestion, and also cut pollution- even if you don't buy the global warming argument it's good to have cleaner air, better moving roads and so on.

    No one likes congestion charges, no one likes speed cameras, but they really are a necessary evil for a population that can't act sensibly by itself like that here in the UK. So here's the crux of it- those who oppose these changes don't oppose them because they have done any research into whether they work or not- they can't, because they do work. They oppose them because they're the ones that want to speed, who believe they can drive safely at high speeds and only find out they in fact can't when they kill someone, they oppose congestion charges because they want to be able to drive their kids half a mile to school in the chelsea tractor and not see any repercussions, despite the fact that en-masse, they're holding up business users, making them late and as such, actually causing real cost damage to the economy.

    I hate the nanny state, but the fact is, in some areas, large parts of our population really cannot sensibly look after themselves. I applaud the Tories commitment to opening up data on cameras so that yes, some can be removed where they're truly stupid, but their commitment to no more cameras at all and to scrapping congestion charges is idiotic.

    Coupled with the fact the Tories have announced no anonymity for criminals and they're finally showing their true colours- equally as idiotic as Labour after all, just in different ways. Either the criminal justice system works and someone does their time and comes out rehabilitated, or it doesn't work and you keep them locked up. You don't release them then tell people who live near them about their crime else rehabilitation is pointless, and we've seen so many times how wrong these things can go, particularly when vigilantiism becomes part of it.

    I'll be interested to hear if the Tories announce any technology related policies, if they're not different to Labours dated, ignorant and inept technology policy then we're basically just getting more of the same next year and might as well just keep Brown in as it's the same difference, not that I'm suprised of course. If only we lived in a non-FPTP, two party state then we might see real change.

  10. Cody

    Control cars, and also control drivers

    The issue is real simple.

    We kill 3,000 people a year on the roads. Most are pedestrians, many are children. This is not acceptable. We also seriously injure well north of 20,000, which is also not acceptable.

    If you look at the relation between death and speed it is roughly as follows. At 40mph 90% of struck pedestrians die. At 20mph 90% of struck pedestrians live.

    So, we do need speed cameras, because we need speed limits to be real and enforced like any other law. We do not need advisory speed limits which are widely ignored. We need real, rigorously enforced ones. We need the speed limit to be 20mph in residential areas and near schools, shops, community centres and the like. We need to bring the death rate and injury rate down to the irreducible minimum.

    Funnily enough, by doing this, we will actually increase traffic flow and decrease congestion.

    People who cannot manage to drive within the speed limit are simply incompetent drivers, and not safe on the roads. They are like people who are legally blind, who are also not allowed to drive. They must be moved to buses or bicycles. Or perhaps they should walk, or use electric mopeds.

    I am not anti-car. I drive all the time, and observe all speed limits staying a few mph under them. Its not hard, it just requires attention. Driving does. My view is that much as I appreciate the car and its conveniences, I do not like cars enough to like being killed by one, or having my nearest and dearest killed by one. Control the things, and more important, control the drivers!

  11. richard 69
    Stop

    scrap cameras?

    i wonder......how about getting rid of those ridiculous car sharing lane as well???

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Anyone else?

    Keep hearing good policies coming forth from the Tories now.. Why can't someone UKIP or Lib Dems come up with stuff like this? I don't wanna vote for the Tories :(

  13. dunncha
    Thumb Up

    Do you believe?

    A Government which is going to think before they legislate.

    We are doing this for the good of Society. The money doesn't matter to us. We want what is best for Us as a Society.

    Next thing they will announce tougher laws on hoodies and more prisons for scum.

    And then once they get in they will announce a review which will last 4 years and then conveniently forget all their promises.

    I wish I could believe but I don't. But maybe I'll be surprised. But if you don't Vote you can't complain. So get out and Vote for somebody/anybody.

    Me I'm Voting Lib Dem. Time for a change

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Yay!

    ...now all they need to do is:

    - Get some more bloody traffic cops on the beat, to catch the real hazards on the road. I'm looking at you, "max power brigade", and the phone-totting, tail-gating white van man. And that git who insists on doing 65mph in the 3rd lane, overtaking 2 clear miles of fresh air - you know the guy - he'll *maybe* let you past...but will immediately pull back into the 3rd lane afterwards, to resume his overtaking maneouver on the same 2miles of fresh air.

    - get the silver haired cap wearers to resit their test every 3 yrs; and anyone caught trundling along at 42mph (or less) oblivious to the indicator they've left on, or what the white lines on roads and roundabouts mean (no...taking the "racing line" across 3 lanes at 9mph does not make you a good driver), gets a retest anyway. Fail = 3 months ban.

    - actually teach people to drive properly, instead of treating us all like muppets by whacking up 40mph zones on dual carraigeways. Currently enforceable by cameras, obviously...

    - Repair the damn roads so we don't have to weave about avoiding potholes like drunken squirrels with ADD. And than also means taking away the damned speed bumps and road restrictions - some of which were obviously designed by a raging lunatic.

    - ban anything that does less than 35mpg on the urban cycle, instead of the conjestion charge. That'll keep the X5 totting mum's from clogging the roads too...

  15. David 45

    Hmmm

    Well, they WOULD say that, wouldn't they? Anything to try and swing public opinion their way:

    "Ah, now, what can we do, Sir Humphrey? Got it! Speed cameras! That's it. Publicly reviled. That'll do nicely. Next up - abolition of the ID card scheme".

    Mind you, it won't take much to swing over to the Conservatives these days, the way Labour have been acting of late!

  16. DT

    smart move

    Enforcing the law is so passe and unpopular these days, so this is the smart move by the libertarian conservatives.

    Some people might say that if you fail to spot one of those massive roadside cameras and the lines on the road, you weren't paying attention enough, but I say, that I'm a law abiding citizen, driving at 50 in a 30 zone is clearly a victimless crime, despite what the "statistics" on road traffic accidents show.

    I hope they relax the rules on drink driving and giving the wife a slap whilst they're at it.... the current mob are such a bunch of killjoys and things were so much more civilised back in the 70s.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Time Trials

    Look, a Time Trial is a competition where drivers follow a normal road course, and, with the aid of a co-driver attempt to keep their average speed as close to a target as possible.

    A drive to work in Wales, is similar, only without the co-driver to help and with penalties if you get it wrong, and to top it off, there are lots of children around, so you have to balance your checking the speedo with the checking for kids.

    Oh, and this is done because back in 70's a man drew a graph of (ratio of fatalities to non fatal accidents) vs speed, and f*cked it up. Causing generations of experts to later focus on changing fatal accidents into non fatal ones, forgetting the best way to reduce road deaths is to PREVENT THE ACCIDENT FATAL OR NON FATAL.

  18. Maliciously Crafted Packet
    Megaphone

    Hit and Run Drivers Charter

    Thats what it sounds like to me.

    The Tories, although out of touch, were a pretty decent lot in the days they were run by toffs. Not any more.

    Once they let the Jeramy Clarkson element in they have turned into bunch of spiteful, selfish chav's who want the right to race around our towns and villages unfettered, on brand new roads paid for out of the NHS cancer care budget.

    And to think we're sleep walking into letting a government run by vicious minded Daily Mail reading estate agents and second hand car dealers into power. God help us.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Things Can Only Get Better

    Maybe it's just me, but I get an eerie feeling of Deja Vu over the forthcoming Conservative election victory.

    I'm no Tory fanboi - the very idea of giving them my vote rather sickens me - but New Labour's totalitarian dictatorship ideology is so dangerous and has to be stopped that tactically I have little choice. I expect it to be a landslide win.

    Bizarrely, the Tories are much more in line with my political ethos than New Labour are on the really important issues so, while stopping New Labour will be a satisfying thing, I can't help but worry what the price of that will be a few years down the line.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If cars couldn't speed...

    ...there'd be no need for the cameras!

  21. Dazed and Confused

    Who's cash cow?

    As much as I would like to see the end of the current dictatorship and the return to using qualified Police officers who's ONLY interest is road safety. I think this one is a case of the pot calling the kettle black. Gestapo cameras were introduce by the last Tory government and they have always been used primarily as a legalised form of mugging. Even when sited near accident spots they were normally setup facing away from the trouble to catch motorists speeding up.

    That Maus Gatsonides should be associated with the Gestapo camera is horrifically ironic given his personal history. But like so many good ideas it can be abused.

  22. magnetik

    hmm

    I'm all for getting rid of speed cameras, especially considering something like 95% of accidents having nothing to do with speeding. Not sure about the congestion charging though. I quite like being able to get on a bus in London and get to my destination without being delayed by tons of traffic.

  23. MnM
    Pint

    Damn right (npi)

    In giving up their own identity, Labour seem to have managed to spread their malaise to the entire kingdom. Despite foreign policy seeming to trump home affairs (war stories take precedence over the nanny state), it's this government's domestic policy that sticks in my throat. On the world stage the UK is one of many players, whereas at home we are exclusively self-governed. Too often, home doesn't feel like home. This article raised a guarded cheer.

    Pint of bitter for Mr Clarke.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    I call headline grabbing bullshit

    Cameras are worth far too much in revenue to the Exchequer for them to ever to be scrapped. Or maybe this is just typical polictio weasel words? She mentions "fixed cameras", perhaps the Tories are backing a legion of mobile units (do they have shares in the company doing the conversion?)

    The cameras raise millions every year to cover MPs expenses (you think the money is hypothecated? You think wrong). You think the bunch of corrupt arseholes in our government will cut off part of their gravy train? You think wrong again.

    If they actually gave two shits about road safety, we would not have the third licensing directive fiasco, we'd still have traffic police and the roads would not look like the face of the moon. But caring about safety and actually improving things means less tickets, less fines, less revenue, less champagne for the Westminster bars.

    Democracy is dead in this country. If you think your vote will make any differences whatsoever, then go on and waste your time. The government in Westminster has no real power, all they do is enact the diktats from the unelected quangos in Brussels (who are so secretive, you are not allowed to see their minutes and so corrupt that their accounts have not been signed off for years).

    We are compelled to deport our citizens to foreign powers with dubious judicial regimes because of the EU. Do the Tories have anything to say about that? No. Why not? Because it doesn't grab headlines like "Oooh, we love you really. Look, no cameras! Be a good sheep and do as you are told, peasant."

    MPs are too busy schmoozing bankers for those lovely post-MP directorships ("post"? Who the hell am I kidding; during!) to give two damns about you or me. But they'll say they do. They'll say what you want to hear. And you'll lap it up. You know you will.

  25. Trevor Watt
    FAIL

    FIXED

    Notice the use of the word FIXED prefixing SPEED CAMERA.

    That is because fixed cameras are almost useless and generate little or no monies, lets face it with SAT-NAV and such being in most cars and local knowledge thrown in too only the stupid people get caught by a fixed camera. Indeed many councils are now removing them as they are costing too much money and only slow drivers down for about ten metres.

    Mobile vans and average speed devices (including the new mobile average speed device) are a different kettle of fish though, fixed average speed cameras work well reducing the mean average to below the limit in force, and vans are still a nice little earner with the scope of adding mobile phone use and other similar offences to their remit.

    Why is it with our career politicians you always have to read BETWEEN the lines, and what they don't say means more than what they do say?

  26. Syd
    Stop

    Until they get into government...

    ... when they will take a look at the revenue, which would have to be replaced from other sources, and develop a mysterious case of amnesia.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pathetic

    They think they can win votes by promising to get rid of the "cash cow" speed cameras. So they're going to make up the deficit by raising taxes instead. And they think we're too stupid to understand that.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Yeah Right

    I guess the Cons will also make my c**k bigger and wife more attractive?

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Linux

    Good - Transport sanity rumoured to be coming the UK sometime soon

    Now make my day. Give us a EU referendum today and have Harriet Harman deported to pluto.

    Oh bliss!

  30. Chris Redpath
    Thumb Up

    About time too

    I'm all for increased road safety, but cameras have a reputation for being located in prime cash generating spots. I believe this is largely because of the lack of published effectiveness data - if they really are so great then show us all the data and we will maybe start to support them.

    Publishing data about effectiveness and encouraging the most effective strategies for road safety sounds eminently sensible, so I'm skeptical that it'll ever happen but let's see.

    I support driver education and traffic police personally, you only have to drive ten miles to see numerous examples of bad driving which cameras cannot prevent. Perhaps if drivers thought that a policeman may stop them for a little chat, they might take more care when driving a 2 ton lump of metal through busy streets.

    I'm not a saint in the car, but I do try to drive responsibly. A policeman has the opportunity to apply some judgement in any action to be taken, at least in theory this should allow them to encourage good driving habits rather than blind avoidance of cameras.

  31. Si 1
    FAIL

    They'd have my vote just for this...

    ... if it wasn't for the fact they won't give us a referendum on Europe.

  32. Doc Dish
    WTF?

    Clarkson vote

    Surely the Tories already have the Clarkson vote, so there's no need for this sort of pandering, is there?

  33. Georgees

    "councils would be given more ability to introduce innovative schemes"

    Oh god no. This is terrible news.

    Car GPS tracking? Average speed cameras?

    At least with speed cameras I know where I stand, and I only have to be going the speed limit for that 20 meter stretch.

  34. Herer
    Thumb Down

    click

    Don't forget it was the Tories who introduced the scameras in the first place!

    Sounds like more populist crap to me.

  35. A J Stiles
    Thumb Up

    Hmm

    Sounds like a vote-winner.

    Part of me would like to qualify "No congestion charging" with "unless and until local public transport meets the following standards: ....." but another part of me is sure that's never going to fly. After all, public transport good enough for people not to need cars would break the taxation policy of pretending that a car is a luxury aot the necessity it really is.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good for drivers

    But I'd like to see the Tories put that money into policing the roads, and catching the idiots who perform dangerous manoeuvres. I'd also like to see reforms to the current testing regime, as being able to do well in one forty minute test doesn't necessarily mean that you are a good driver (especially in areas where there is predominantly one type of road - you should have to show that you can cope with both windy country lanes and 70mph dual carriageways). And something better than the hazard perception test - I personally can't see exactly how it is effective.

    Though I think that saying that no speed cameras will be funded is a mistake. The ones that are effective in reducing accidents at particular blackspots should be funded.

  37. Eponymous Cowherd
    Megaphone

    One sure-fire vote winner.

    Outlaw private wheel clamping.

  38. Matt 21

    Just to point out that

    ...even if the government stats were correct, getting hit at 40mph is not the same as driving at 40mph because drivers generally brake if some idiot steps out into the road. It also doesn't answer the question of what the person was doing walking out in front of a car.

    As others have pointed out there are many, many, other things which can be done to reduce accidents, even simple things like cutting hedges!

  39. Paul Chapman

    Don't throw your vote away!

    "Me I'm Voting Lib Dem. Time for a change"

    No offense intended but that's stupid. The recent conference has shown that the Lib Dems are just desperate to get into 2nd place.

    The Tories need a huge upswing to cleanly take it. If you take your prejudices because of their name and history away, what is there to not like about their policies, and their fairly brutal honesty?

    Or you could vote Lib Dem and make it more likely that Labour retain some influence. Our electoral system is deeply flawed, but as it stands, Conservative is the only sane vote if you don't want another 5 years of Gordon Brown and Harriet Harman thinking that they have the mandate to do whatever they like.

  40. Paul Chapman
    WTF?

    Admitting that stuff isn't working is a good thing

    "Don't forget it was the Tories who introduced the scameras in the first place!"

    I'll vote for the people who try something and admit it's not working and try something else over the people who try something then blame others and fake statistics when it doesn't work.

    Also, was it the current Tory leadership who introduced them? Or are they damned by being in the same party some years later? That would be a logically bizarre way to judge the current party leadership.

  41. alain williams Silver badge

    Speed is easy to measure

    There is too much an emphasis on prosecuting people who drive too fast and as a result other things seem to be ignored, eg: people who drive too close to the car in front, or: people who undertake (overtake on the inside). I am not saying that speed is not dangerous, but so are other things.

  42. dunncha
    Thumb Up

    I'd Vote for this comment! ....

    By Chris Redpath Posted Wednesday 7th October 2009 09:11 GMT

    I'm all for increased road safety, but cameras have a reputation for being located in prime cash generating spots. I believe this is largely because of the lack of published effectiveness data - if they really are so great then show us all the data and we will maybe start to support them.

    Publishing data about effectiveness and encouraging the most effective strategies for road safety sounds eminently sensible, so I'm skeptical that it'll ever happen but let's see.

    I support driver education and traffic police personally, you only have to drive ten miles to see numerous examples of bad driving which cameras cannot prevent. Perhaps if drivers thought that a policeman may stop them for a little chat, they might take more care when driving a 2 ton lump of metal through busy streets.

    I'm not a saint in the car, but I do try to drive responsibly. A policeman has the opportunity to apply some judgement in any action to be taken, at least in theory this should allow them to encourage good driving habits rather than blind avoidance of cameras.

  43. markfiend
    Coat

    Tories pandering?

    There's a surprise.

    Unfortunately, given the state of Gordo-n-co's popularity, the Tories could announce the sacrifice of everyone's first-born as a policy initiative and still win. Remember the Thatcher years and prepare yourselves for a rocky ride.

    Mine's the one with the UB40 in the pocket.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    @DT

    "I'm a law abiding citizen, driving at 50 in a 30 zone is clearly a victimless crime"

    If you're driving at 50 in a 30 zone, you're not a law-abiding citizen, are you?

    I suspect that the 50 is more likely to be your IQ.

  45. ShaggyDoggy

    Oh wait ...

    Is there an election coming soon ?

  46. Dale 3

    FIXED cameras only

    Thanks to @Trevor Watt for saving me the trouble. You're spot on. Only the FIXED cameras are mentioned, which leaves the tories completely free to put up all sorts of other cameras without breaking their mandate.

  47. Rasczak
    Flame

    @ Cody, Lies Damned Lies and Statistics

    I was wondering when someone would come up with this tired old statistic.

    <quote>

    If you look at the relation between death and speed it is roughly as follows. At 40mph 90% of struck pedestrians die. At 20mph 90% of struck pedestrians live.

    </quote>

    What that doesn't say is what the speed limit is where those struck at 40mph are. If it is 50 or 60 mph then it is irrelevant to include it in the numbers as speeding was obviously not an issue.

    <quote>

    So, we do need speed cameras, because we need speed limits to be real and enforced like any other law. We do not need advisory speed limits which are widely ignored. We need real, rigorously enforced ones.

    </quote>

    And what should be the speed limit for any particular road, on any particular day, in any particular weather ? Speeding may be illegal, but is not necessarily dangerous. Driving too fast does not necessarily mean you are speeding, but is always dangerous.

    <quote>

    We need the speed limit to be 20mph in residential areas and near schools, shops, community centres and the like. We need to bring the death rate and injury rate down to the irreducible minimum.

    </quote>

    And putting cameras that catch someone doing 65 on a clear dry day, on a motorway that someone has decided to set a 50 mph limit for no apparent reason, does this how ?

    <quote>

    People who cannot manage to drive within the speed limit are simply incompetent drivers, and not safe on the roads.

    </quote>

    People who cannot manage to drive at a safe speed are incompetent and not safe on the roads. As I have said, you can be driving too fast and not be speeding.

    <quote>

    I am not anti-car. I drive all the time, and observe all speed limits staying a few mph under them. Its not hard, it just requires attention. Driving does. My view is that much as I appreciate the car and its conveniences, I do not like cars enough to like being killed by one, or having my nearest and dearest killed by one. Control the things, and more important, control the drivers!

    </quote>

    Driving does require attention and I am sure that you pay a lot of attention to your speedo to ensure you stay under the limit. Competent drivers will know if they are going too fast by paying attention to the road and use the speedo as the over-riding decision maker, not the only decision maker.

    Now what happens if someone driving in a 50 mph zone, watching their speedo conscientiously to ensure they are doing 40, and your kid runs out into the road from behind a hedge without looking, and the driver doesn't see them as they are busy concentrating on their speedo to even know there was a hedge to come out from behind and your kid becomes one of the 90% struck at 40mph ?

  48. dunncha
    Stop

    @ Paul Chapman End See-Saw Politics

    I'm not Voting for Tory because my Family need our Tax Credits to continue working to support my family and to contribute towards society.

    I don't see why we should be punished because my wife enjoys her job and likes putting something back into the community in which we live. She doesn't get paid much but it will be enough to push us over the 50k limit for losing all our subsidies. Subsidies which go on Childcare.

    And where is that money going to go. to pay Bank Bonus AND/OR To try and get the great unwashed and unemployable off their arse to get a job to help drag this country out of the mess the Banks have put us in.

    I want a new way and as long as voters only consider 2 parties then see-saw politics will continue and nothing will change.

    Thanks for taking part thought. Talking/debate is good

  49. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge
    FAIL

    Parasites

    "Theresa Villiers, the party's transport shadow minister, said that councils would be given more ability to introduce innovative schemes: "When local authorities want to innovate and try out new ways to make traffic flow more smoothly they'll get encouragement from Whitehall not the stonewalling and inflexibility for which Labour's Department for Transport is notorious."

    I disagree with this. My local council are just parasites who want every possible piece of money they can lay their hands on which is why they won't want to "innovate". Escpecially if it reduces their cashflow.

  50. PirateSlayer
    Stop

    A big meh,

    "Well when you set a speed limit of 50 on a perfectly good bit of dual carriageway (apart from a single sharp bend), of course you get excessive speed i.e 60 -70mph."

    That's the problem. Speed limits are there to be obeyed...people who call cameras cash cows are people who consistently break the law because they think it doesn't apply to them are inviting points and fines, and potentially death (probably of someone else not in a huge chunk of metal travelling at 70).

    Speed kills.

    I suggest ditching random speed cameras all together and installing average speed checks EVERYWHERE. Drivers are not free to do whatever speed THEY think is safe. Drivers are given the privilege of driving, not the right, they need to do so according to the law. All this crying into their beer (before they get in their cars) really irks me because if they just obeyed the law, there wouldn't be a problem!

    You are not being regulated, you are being policed. Don't break the law: don't get charged! Unbelievably simple.

  51. PirateSlayer
    Happy

    @DT

    Don't worry, the sarcasm didn't escape us all.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Zoom Zoom

    A greater number of Tories own fast cars, therefore less speed cams = good

  53. Perpetual Cyclist

    Cameras can work

    Fixed cameras, especially when brightly painted, are pointless. Better to install automated warning signs that light up for speeders - as they do in our village. They are solar /wind powered and very cheap and effective.

    Also, average time cameras work. The A14 near Cambridge is much safer and has better average speeds since they were introduced. There are still plenty of accidents because the road is inadequate for the number of cars, but there are a lot fewer fatalities.

    Anyway, with North Sea Oil running out in the next decade, and the economy going belly up, we will all be driving like grannies because we can't afford petrol at £10 a gallon.

  54. MinionZero
    Big Brother

    @Mat: "At first glance that all looks like common sense."

    Yeah sounds great doesn't it "Tories oppose charges and speed cameras" ... unfortunately NO... No they don't "oppose" "speed cameras". Sadly its all just yet more typical political manipulation of everyone. The small print is "stop funding *new* fixed speed cameras" ... keyword being new. That means they can still keep all existing cameras, but they try to appear as though they are on everyone else's side.

    Typical political manipulation as usual and you have just shown their manipulation works well because it left you with that fuzzy warm feeling of that sounds good news. Exactly the trap they want enough people to fall into. Politicians in every party play this game.

    Her plan means the end of a central government scheme which she knows provide campaigners with a central scheme to focus onto, to oppose and fight against it, whereas her plan means we will end up with many "innovative schemes" all over the country, where no large group of people can stand together against because everyone throughout the country is then divided into different groups each fighting different schemes. Its divide and conquer, to fragment opponent groups.

    Doesn't mean it'll end the control. It just means we will end up with ever more "innovative schemes".

    "I believe that fixed speed cameras have reached their high watermark in this country" ... yeah we have enough already thanks!

    "It's time to put a stop to Labour's cash cow camera culture," ... yeah it'll be called the local council cash cow cameras from now on.

    Theresa Villiers sounds like a politician to watch. With such a two faced attitude she'll do well in politics. Problem is almost all politicians in every party are very good at this two faced manipulation game.

    The bottom line is now technology allows them all some control over us they want to use that control. Every party will just use it in different ways, it doesn't mean the control will *ever* end now they have it and as technology gets ever better their power to control gets ever stronger over us all.

    Personally I much prefer the Tories. I find the Lib Dem leader very two faced and manipulative and I do not trust him one bit (plus I very much doubt they would get in) and as for NuLabour, they are an endless bloody nightmare that has to be stopped. So at least the Tories are going to free us up from some of the excesses of the NuLabour's police state. They are less controlling. But anyway all politicians want power and control so over time whichever lot get in, its the same end goal of them all seeking ever more ways to control us. So as technology gets ever better their control gets ever worse regardless of which party is in power. So I think an election is a distraction from the huge issue of what we all do about the ever improving technology being ruthlessly exploited to control us all ever more. Political exploitation of ever more technology is growing into a nightmare on its own regardless of which party is in power. So I don't see any party solving this issue because it goes to the core of what makes a politician. They all want power.

  55. StooMonster
    Big Brother

    1980s retread

    markfiend: "Remember the Thatcher years"

    Yeah I do, it's not easy cleaning up the mess of a failed Labour government who bankrupt the country is it?

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Ian 11

    Well done! You put your name forward and I'll vote for you!

    Exactly it, speed cameras do work, when they have been put in for a reason not just to make money. Right place, they make a massive difference. The Great Cambridge Road in Enfield, nasty piece of road, people used to scream up there over taking, now with cameras every half mile and 40 mph limit, it snarls up sometimes, but at least everyone gets home in one piece and still alive!

  57. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    Dunncha

    A lot of us would be very happy with £50k.

    I actually NEED child tax credit (or just pay less tax)

  58. MJI Silver badge

    Fixed cameras cause crashes

    Come up to cameras and people brake hard, they also do not watch the road and drift over lanes.

    And then the person following runs into the back as they are doing exactly the limit according to their speedo as they watch it to the exclusion of what is ahead.

    Take away the cameras - does the speed change much - no - every one drives at their same speed - in 30 limits 32 to 33 seems common away from cameras.

    As to cameras on good roads - nothing but fund raisers.

    Actually I can only think of one sensible install and that is on the A30 in North Devon near a junction with poor visibility, and it has plenty of warning signs.

    Most in 30 limits seem to be monitoring wide roads with no nearby houses, where people speed as the road should have been a 40.

  59. Fogcat

    Call me suspicious....

    But

    "In a move that would affect the introduction of computerised average speed automatic numberplate recognition cameras... "

    If you just happened to have the country covered with a network of number plate recognition cameras... what are the chances of them being used to "prevent terrorism"?

  60. Alex King
    Black Helicopters

    @ PirateSlayer, 11:18am

    "Drivers are not free to do whatever speed THEY think is safe."

    So, you'd rather have someone in whitehall deciding what is safe at any given time on a given stretch of road than the person sitting at the wheel? Strewth. Lets just all give drivers blindfolds and have a centralised "Department of Driving" in London where people are emloyed to remotely control people's vehicles on their way to work...

    Speaking as a "vulnerable road user" - that is, someone who covers over 80 miles a day on a motorbike, there are many things that bother me more than the guy doing 90mph in his silver BMW 320d on the M4, such as:

    - People smoking and flicking fag ash out the window into my face

    - People pulling out of junctions or changing lanes without looking

    - People texting their mate whilst doing the above

    - People who don't realise that filtering on a bike is legal

    - People who camp in the middle lane with nothing on their inside doing "a few miles an hour below the limit"

    - People braking suddenly for speed cameras...

    I could go on, but I'm sure you get the picture. All the above have caused me to fear for my life. Someone else speeding never has.

    As for being policed - we are policed by common consent, and where the law being enforced is unreasonable it will fail regardless.

    Oh, and to all this people who decry this plan as being populist, isn't that what a good, democratic government should do - that is, do what most people want??

  61. Jonathan 12
    Thumb Down

    Small Potatoes

    This stuff is small potatoes, there's much bigger fish to fry, and I personally don't like being distracted from that... Clearly designed to sway your average larger-swilling big-brother/hollyoaks viewer who can't afford any more points on their licence.

    Besides that, it's easy to push populist policies when you're running for something... doesn't mean you ever have to act on them...

  62. Budley.Sama
    Pirate

    @ PirateSlayer

    Well said mate! Don't break a law, don't get a fine, if you can't manage that you don't deserve to drive.

    A quote from Matt 21

    ...even if the government stats were correct, getting hit at 40mph is not the same as driving at 40mph because drivers generally brake if some idiot steps out into the road. It also doesn't answer the question of what the person was doing walking out in front of a car.

    So you were going faster than 40mph (in a built up area) to start with?

    You have to wonder how some people even got a licence in the first place.

  63. Igamogam
    Coat

    Say it how it is

    Britain has some of the the safest roads in the world (just compare the accident statistics against population size) a big part of the reason for this is that Brits can't really travel as fast as they want to. That's down to congestion, the cameras and poor public transport and cycling alternatives.

    Take away a deterrent and you will see the number of road deaths rise, there is no other possible result.

    All politicians are at best untrustworthy. The Conservatives will not do what they promise, they rate wealth above the wellbeing of others and always eventually get caught lining their own pockets. "Conservative" because they lag behind reality.

  64. Dazed and Confused

    @PirateSlayer & A big meh

    Speed limits do not tell you the safe speed to drive on the road.

    Much of the UK's Motorway system can safely be driven well in excess of 100MPH, when it is empty, the roads are dry and the lighting conditions are good. Provided you are in a good car which is in good condition.

    Only we live in the UK.

    So most of the time the Motorway is not empty, it is over crowded. It is not dry, it's pissing down with rain and foggy.

    But do the speed limits change?

    Not on most of the motorway system they don't.

    The Motorway speed limit was set at a time when most cars on the road struggled to achieve it. More importantly most of the cars on the road had brakes that were of little or no use at 70MPH.

    Have we updated the speed limits?

    Rigidly enforcing speed limits tends to result in drivers ignoring the safe speed idea and just going with the idea than the government know best. Lots of the time 70MPH is not a safe speed, how would your proposal handle this.

    Treat drvers like adults. Propecute the hell out of the ones who don't deserve it.

    Somedays the safe limit is higher than the legal one. Many days it's lower.

    Drivers need to learn how to tell.

    Anyone who thinks the legal limit is the safe one you clearly can not drive and should not be allowed on the road. They are a danger to everyone else.

  65. Scott 19
    Troll

    I agree

    with some people here lets get more speed cameras and do away with traffic cops, i only drive around where i live and know where all the cameras are so they don't bother me (nor does the speed limit as there are no traffic cops to catch me).

  66. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Cameron and on and on and on ....

    @StooMonster

    "Yeah I do, it's not easy cleaning up the mess of a failed Labour government who bankrupt the country is it?"

    Coming from South Yorkshire I can wholeheartedly say that putting nearly everyone in a region out of work isn't what I'd call "fixing a problem" so much as "creating another problem". A bit like fixing a computer by belting it with a 141b lump hammer until it's as thin as a postage-stamp.

    If Thatcher had any common sense she'd have tried to put folks to work elsewhere rather than just laying them off en masse, but then "fixing problems" wasn't really what she was about, was it?

    @ Alex King

    All good points except for "People smoking and flicking fag ash out the window into my face". Why does fag ash bother you if you're doing 70mph and have your visor down? Or do you have your visor up, in which case - why? Don't insect parts get in your eyes at 70mph?

    As for Mr. Mackeroon and his crowd of Sloans they can promise what they like, but if they don't do something about emissions they'll find themselves getting a smacked bottie when Mr. Brussels and his crowd of lawyers take them to court, and quite right too. It's not fair for our kids that we shit all over the place and then try to pretend the enormous pile of honking doo-doo wasn't anything to do with us and we had 'no choice' about the matter. That's just a pathetic surrendering of personal responsibility that deserves nothing but derision. It's also a really, really, really stupid way to live your life. So if you want to be a retard, go ahead. Me - I'll be over here using the brains God gave me to do something constructive.

    Whatever smart thinking gets us not inhaling lots of lovely CO, not burying tons of radioactive material in the sea, not killing all the fish, exterminating the animals, and generally shitting all over the place gets my vote, which - funnily enough - won't be going to any of the main three bunches of berks if their current doublethink's anything to judge them by.

  67. Ed Blackshaw Silver badge

    *blink*

    Politicians spouting what sounds like common sense? Where are the weasel words we have grown to love? There has to be a catch somewhere...

    Oh yes, they're trying to get elected and so will say anything to garner popular support. What's the betting that they will drop this like a red-hot rabid AIDS-ridden bitey thing the moment they get into power?

  68. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Seems like a step in the right direction

    There's no reason to believe that congestion charging would work on a large scale. It seems to work in Central London, i.e. one very small area that is massively well served by public transport. But how is it supposed to work more generally? Most congestion occurs in the rush hour, are people going to stop going to work to save money? People don't like sitting in traffic jams anyway, so congestion is already self-limiting. If we could change our journey patterns to avoid busy times most of us already would.

    No one knows how effective speed cameras are at saving lives, the government figures were manipulated to the point of being fraudulent. But we do know that excessive speed is a factor in only about 10% of accidents and speed limits are set conservatively so even exceeding the speed limit doesn't necessarily mean you are driving dangerously fast. Often it's about driving too fast "for the conditions" (weather and traffic) but automated cameras don't know about conditions. And what about the risk of everybody driving around with their eyes glued to their speedometers, not the road?

  69. Eradicate all BB entrants

    Stop looking for lies.....

    ..... and read the full statement. Yes the do just mention FIXED cameras will no longer get funding......but they also mention that the average speed cameras will still be restricted to motorway roadworks and similar as they are now.

    As for those who say they drive safely a few miles an hour under the speed limit, you are morons. Ask any advanced driver, police driver, driving instructor or tester and they all agree that driving too slowly actually causes more accidents as the line of poor chumps stuck behind you become more annoyed and attempt rash overtaking moves.

    I hate cameras but I dont speed, I am proud of the fact that in 2 years of using my route to work I havent tripped the flashy sign thing that says you are speeding, and that's on a steep hill. Why do I hate speed cameras? Its simple ...... lets compare what a speed camera catches to say what a traffic car could catch

    Speed Camera = Someone speeding. Thats it. Nothing else.

    Traffic car = Speeders, people yakking on the phone, ladies applying mascara while doing 40 ( i pulled over and let her past .... not risking it) MORONS DRIVING UNDER THE SPEED LIMIT AND CAUSING A ROLLING OBSTRUCTION, chavs in their saxo vtr, vehicles without operational brake lights......are you getting the idea now?

    As for blaming the Tories saying they introduced them, yes they did, but it is Labour that have abused them.

    My god I could go on forever but my lunch is almost over

  70. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Cody, Lies Damned Lies and Statistics

    "If you look at the relation between death and speed it is roughly as follows. At 40mph 90% of struck pedestrians die. At 20mph 90% of struck pedestrians live."

    That's actually the whole core of the problem. It's the reason that whenever a politician tries to improve the fatality statistics they think the answer is to reduce speed. Then they scratch their heads as to why the stats didn't improve much, so they reduce it some more, add some more penalties on etc.

    If they'd looked at the two graphs that were merged to form that one graph they'd realize the problem with that graph.*

    Even if speed had ZERO effect on fatalities, the way the graph is constructed means speed will still APPEAR to be the major cause of fatal accidents, and common sense tells them that a faster car has more momentum, and this tends to confirm that view.

    So that graphs exaggerates the perception that speed is the cause, and it distorts the fix to be always about reducing speed.

    * Basically they took 2 graphs, non fatal accidents vs speed and fatal accidents vs speed.

    * The non fatal accidents are far far more common and occur mainly at slow speeds.

    * The fatal accidents are far rarer, far *flatter*, and drop off at very low and very high speeds. The low speed drop off is common sense (slower car less momentum etc.), the high speed is most likely because faster roads are better separated from pedestrians so fewer chances to hit them on each km journey.

    * By flatter, I mean that small changed in the speed, have small effect on the fatality rate.

    * They calculated a ratio of fatal to non fatal, (they merged the 2 graphs) and it shows a sharp shift to fatal above 30mph.

    * Hence it's 30mph for a reason.

    * Yet if you drew a horizontal line through the fatal graph, then constructed the merged graph it would also show the same effect. The ratio would flip from non fatal to fatal above 30mph.

    * Yet that fatalities graph is horizontal and speed therefore had no effect on fatalities in that scenario.

    * The graph misleads them. They can see fatalities drop by a small amount, of say 10%, but the merged graph says it should be 70% so they think the speed limits must be continually broken in a clever undetected way. Hence they try smarter average cameras to catch these super sneaky speeders.

    * Yet if they looked at the unmerged graph they would see it is expected to drop 10% not 70%.

    * So they think that a tiny increase over the speed limit makes a big difference, yet it doesn't make a big difference.

    * The same one faulty study contaminates road safety research and is quoted and requoted as the definitive study. Yet it is flawed.

  71. Grease Monkey

    Revenue

    Ignoring the the well worn arguments for and against speed cameras for a moment. Many councils already object to speed cameras on the grounds that they are expected to contribute to the (apparently very high) running costs, but do not benefit from any of the revenue. The original argument that revenues from speed cameras would fund road safety improvements is a nonsense. Local authorities are responsible for funding highways infrastructure, but receive none of the revenue.

    Some councils are still convinced of the benefits of speed cameras and stick them in anywhere and everywhere they can. Others are only backing their installation where it's obvious that speed is a major problem.

    There is one road locally which runs from one LA to another. It's a high casualty route and one of the authorities is installing lots of cameras, the other authority is claiming that other measures will be more effective. The trouble is local campaigners and the local media are pressing for the speed cameras. Which is odd because the media and the public at large always seem to be against speed cameras. Presumably it's IMBY effect (like NIMBY, but without the Not). They don't want people speeding near there own homes, but they want to speed near other's homes. So they want a speed camera right outside their own house. The police (unsurprisingly) are right behind the idea of cameras, because they consider it cheaper than policing the road.

    The odd thing is that the accident rate seems to have gone up since they dropped the speed limit from 60 to 50 & 40 in places. There's a lot of complicated reasons why this may be the case, but the one thing it does prove is that lower speed limits do not, of themselves, reduce accidents. And the argument that they do reduce fatalities? Sorry, but the fatality rate has apparently risen since the limits were lowered too.

    Maybe it's as simple as the fact that some drivers are flouting the 40mph limit (two fatalities on that stretch recently) while others are (a) obeying it and perhaps more importantly (b) expecting others to do so too.

  72. ChrisC
    FAIL

    @Budley.Sama

    "So you were going faster than 40mph (in a built up area) to start with?"

    Two points to make here.

    1. There are thousands of miles of roads, on which the speed limit is >40MPH, where pedestrians are legally entitled to walk alongside the road or indeed along the carriageway itself, and where a moments inattention (*) on their part could easily see them stepping directly into the path of a vehicle legally travelling in excess of 40MPH.

    2. Built-up areas (not that Matt21 mentioned these in the first place) don't automatically imply low speed limits.

    * or plain stupidity - too many pedestrians now seem to think it's acceptable to walk in front of a moving vehicle and force it to take evasive action, just because they can. Fortunately most of the time such stupidity only results in a bit of extra brake/tyre wear and a brown trouser moment for the poor driver, whilst the moronic pedestrian ambles off with a look of smug superiority on their neanderthal-like visage.

    Every now and again however, such actions result in a fatality, at which point the local rags are oh so quick to print articles saying how wonderful so and so was, what a pillar of the community they were, what a first-class student/parent they were, and how Something Must Be Done to tame the reckless drivers causing havoc and mayhem on the streets, conveniently glossing over the fact that had it not been for the behaviour of this apparently fine citizen, they'd still be alive and kicking right now.

    Seriously, as much as I have sympathy for anyone (pedestrian or vehicle occupant) injured or killed through no fault of their own, the number of times I've read reports of pedestrian fatalities on roads I know well and found myself thinking "the only way you could get hit by a car there is if you didn't bother looking, or were playing chicken and got it well and truly wrong" is steadily growing. And then I think about how often we see road safety ads on TV these days (barely ever) compared to how often they appeared when I was growing up, and I wonder how much time is spend teaching road safety to kids in schools (I guess I'll be finding that out in a few years when my little lad starts school) these days... Blaming drivers is all well and good if they're the ones at fault, but the time is long overdue for pedestrians to start shouldering some of the blame as well.

  73. markfiend

    @ StooMonster: ToryTard

    I had a bet with myself on how long it would take to jump to Thatcher's defence. So thanks for that. When she goes I'll be dancing in the streets.

    And trying to blame Labour for this recession? Well, it's funny, I didn't see Gordon Brown in the boardroom of Lehman Brothers...

  74. ElFatbob

    re: AC 'Yeah...'

    Get rid of the PLC that is ACPO while you're at it...save some dosh to offset the losses from less cameras!

    I think camera's have their place and can be effective in some circumstances.

    However, local authorities do just use them as revenue generators, so they are effectively a tax.

    My main problem is that their effectiveness is not properly measured and we've had the mantra now for years - speed kills.

    This simplistic message has been used to brainwash us into accepting the large scale deployment of cameras.

    The idea is perfect in it's simplicity - create a simple association in people's mind (speed kills). Provide a solution to one part of the problem (speed) and present it as a solution to the end result (less deaths).

    After you've done this, it's easy to reduce the number of traffic police on the roads as you are taking 'effective' action on the source of road deaths (according to your simple mantra).

    Just make sure you don't talk too much about the other causes of crashes which can't be addressed by cameras....

  75. Iggle Piggle

    Scrap the cameras?

    I could not agree more with PirateSlayer. Sticking to the speed limit should not be that difficult to do! But in these modern times with the modern technology we have perhaps the speed limit could be based on current road conditions and not just a theoretical number that was devised many many years ago when cars were very different. But I still agree that only those people who plan to travel over the speed limit really need to worry about the cameras.

    Some people have commented that accidents are caused by people braking sharply at cameras. Firstly that suggests a scenario where both the car braking and the car following are exceeding the speed limit only the car behind was too close to stop in time. Well perhaps adhering to the speed limit and keeping a safe distance would have solved this issue. However I have seen people braking to well below the limit out of a sudden panic. It should be no problem to someone driving at a safe distance behind but imagine that they were actually not stopping for a camera but a child that has run into the road. Now they are not going to simply slow down but might actually need to stop. If the driver behind is too close to avoid sharp breaking from 60 to 40 in a 50 limit then what hope is there if the person in front had to brake from 60 to 0 for a child?

    Average speed zones can be a pain in the backside. I've had the experience myself that you a driving through road works on a motorway you find yourself constantly monitoring the speedometer and that really cannot help safety. So how about a kind of matrix of lights on the road or road side that ripple along at a safe spacing and speed, then all you have to do is watch the lights out of the corner of your eye. Even better would be if this was an active system that went red and slowed down as vehicles ahead are slowing.

    Good idea to open up the safety data for a particular camera. But as someone mentioned, if they introduce a camera and another safety measure at the same time then how can you tell which really made the difference and I am sure local councils will not be above such tricks to keep the cash rolling in.

  76. kieran 1
    WTF?

    Wow...

    'I really wish the Tories would stop talking sense.

    If they keep this up, I'm gonna have to vote for them! *shudder*'

    I'm afraid I have to agree 100% wit the statement above.

  77. Chris Green
    Thumb Up

    I'll vote for that, if true and applied with common sense

    Didn't Tony Blah promise to do something similar before going down the 'power corrupts' and 'I know best' route, once we elected him?

    Personally, I'm very happy with 20mph around schools, but it should be when the kids are arriving and leaving, not the rest of day and all holidays! Over control breeds contempt and failure to comply.

    The 30mph limit is necessary, but enforcing it is not something a camera should do. It makes no one safer, unless you spend your life in the few yards before the camera and catch zone that follows.

    The biggest factors I see in accidents or (much more often) near misses are (1) Distraction (2) Driving too close (3) The idea that driving is so easy, it can be done with eyes closed and/or brain in power save mode.

    As an example, there are far too many people that try to climb in another car boot and far too few police cars to point out the error of their ways.

    If you drive 50 miles on a motorway and fail to spot at least one bad driver, who warrants pulling over and warning, then you'd have to be someone that's too busy texting a friend and never looking in a mirror, least of all one that reflects your image.

    Speed? Well, it can play a part, sometimes, but it's not the biggest failure point.

    That'd be politicians and authorities, where the rise of the (apparently) squeaky clean politician and the fall of common-sense-man is a serious loss.

    Speeding is an easy thing to capture, graph, point at and spout about, but it's like lying, it comes easy to some, hard to others, but make no mistake, it's practised by almost everybody.

    We just need the driving fools of this land to know what's safe and what's stupid. A flash & fine can't do that. A policeman writing reports for politicians can't do it either.

    Oh, nearly forgot...Congestion charge? Read TAX.

    Rule one: If money is taken from people by authority, it's a TAX.

  78. The Other Steve
    Flame

    @The Silver Fox - history fail

    "Coming from South Yorkshire I can wholeheartedly say that putting nearly everyone in a region out of work isn't what I'd call "fixing a problem" so much as "creating another problem". A bit like fixing a computer by belting it with a 141b lump hammer until it's as thin as a postage-stamp."

    Coming from the North East, and having attended actual miners picnics with banners an' that (mines bigger than yours, look!) I shall simply call you a fool.

    Scargill put the miners (et al) out of work, not Thatcher. That and the fact that nationalised industries are far to expensive and were, at the time, running on pure protectionism. Most of the heavy industry in the UK was economically doomed.

    Still, it needn't have been the bloodbath it was, and If that pig fucking ginger trot mentalist hadn't turned a pay dispute into a blatant attempt to bring down the government by means other than democracy, it wouldn't have been.

    Everyone involved in that act of terrorism got what they deserved. Many, unfortunately, got what they deserved for being to stupid to realise what was going on and getting all carried away in the jingoism, but that's still their own fucking fault.

    Flame away, maggie bashers, but you know in your tiny red hearts that I'm right, that is why you hate yourselves so much.

  79. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    (untitled)

    Well kieran, if you wish they'd stop talking sense then you probably weren't listening to Osborne recently. I think the ideal is to raise the retirement age at the rate you age, so you never stop working. And as an added benefit you can keep your kids from being employed at the same time since you still have what would have been their jobs; and they can enjoy the welfare you're paying for. That's much better than them paying for the pension you'd need isn't it. After all if you want a job done properly you have to keep doing it yourself.

  80. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    @dunncha tax credits

    I really hope you are a troll. Thanks to the new labour financial meltdown, tax credits are all that's keeping us afloat - £50k really should be enough for /anyone/ to live on! We get by on a fifth of that now.

  81. Paul Chapman

    dunncha...

    I'm over the 50k in total and I'm OK with losing the (very minor) benefits we still get partly because a) it's not going to break the bank for me, just be another half-notch tightening on my belt and b) I am expecting everyone to lose out in some way - that being the nature of trying to recover from a big recession and c) I expect them to be dealing as much as possible with the issues of those who abuse the benefits system.

    I would rather vote for the party that genuinely appears to be trying to sort this mess out as fairly as possible and is at least borderline honest as opposed to those who pretend there aren't going to be cuts, then admit there are going to be but spend their conference talking about some new ways to spend money.

  82. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    cash cow cameras

    my thoughts on these cameras is they should remain.

    just dont fine drivers who are breaking the law.

    instead give them points on their licence and remove licence after they have been proven to have broken the law 3 times.

    may sound harsh but speeders should get whats coming to them. idiots!

  83. spam 1

    Take away a deterrent and you will see the number of road deaths rise

    A deterrent to exceeding a number on a stick is not a deterrent to killing people because the two things are mostly unrelated.

    If you ripped out all speedometers and threw them away deaths would fall because people would have to start deciding on what an appropriate speed is based on what really matters not numbers on sticks.

  84. willowtoo

    It all makes perfect sense

    The repetition of the claim that pedestrians are twice/three/ten whatever times more likely to be killed when hit by a car moving at 20/30/40 or whatever miles per hour always remind me never to trust any quoted figure.

    Let's try a simple thought experiment.

    Those looking for a Darwin award may wish to try this for real.

    Try stepping in front of a train travelling at 20 mph. How much did that hurt ? You probably didn't feel a thing.

    How about stepping in front of an bus at the same speed. Not nice is it. Nasty, very nasty mess.

    Say you try a typical 4x4, probably your local Waitrose car park would be good for this. Not quite so bad, you might even live with the broken back and the fractured skull.

    Now try my car, it's a little tiny thing and will probably catch you below the knee. I'll see you in hospital.

    Clearly the speed limit for my car should be a bit more than the 4x4, far more than a bus or an HGV. Trains should clearly have a man with a red flag walking in front.

    My biker mate claims this means the limit for him should be about 140 mph but I intend to ignore him.

    Serious scientic research has shown that a big heavy thing does a lot more damage to pedestrians than a small light thing at the same speed. I believe the figure is something like 3 times worse ( all other things being equal ).

    Others have said that the road conditions matter but so does the size and geometry of the vehicle. HGVs are very bad news for pedestrians because they are very heavy and resemble a wall while cars are lighter and have some curvy bits to soften the blow.

    I don't recall seeing any speed limits or cameras that can tell the difference so, logically, the limits ( except on motorways ) are being set for HGVs and not cars. I don't recall ever hearing anyone in authority explaining this to me but now I think about it everything makes sense.

    I can easily negotiate a bend at 60 mph that would bring on a severe case of brown trouser driving a 32 tonner. Hence the cry from car drivers that the limits are too low. Just picture yourself at the wheel of a big rig trying to wrestle it around the drunk who staggers unexpectedly into the road.

  85. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @The Other Steve

    Ah, my blue-hearted amigo, you've got the wrong end of the wrong stick.

    I moved on from this Thatcher -vs- Scargill debate years ago and although I dislike both of them as political figures that's not really the point.

    The point is that if the gummint is going to nationalise something and then have to lay workers off because it's no longer an economically viable industry it's their duty as employers to help them find work, not merely to shut the steel plants (who ever mentioned coal mines? I'm from South Yorkshire, not Geordieland) and let them find their own way.

    Given the almighty UB40 bill we continue to pay for this exercise in nationalised idiocy it'd be a wonder if we saved any money at all from the dimwits fiasco that was the end of nationalised heavy industry.

  86. ElFatbob

    re: markfiend:Labourtard

    'And trying to blame Labour for this recession? Well, it's funny, I didn't see Gordon Brown in the boardroom of Lehman Brothers...'

    No, but they did help engineer and support the massive credit bubble that led to the inevitable collapse.

    And at the end of a period of 'unprecedented economic growth' (ye know, that period they used to love to crow about as a Labour achievement), we have SFA in terms of a surplus. In fact we're effectively bankrupt.

    So yeh, good one Labour.

  87. MJI Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Iggle Piggle

    >>However I have seen people braking to well below the limit out of a sudden panic.

    >>It should be no problem to someone driving at a safe distance behind but imagine

    >>that they were actually not stopping for a camera but

    >>a child that has run into the road. Now they are not going to simply slow down

    >>but might actually need to stop. If the driver behind is too close to avoid sharp

    >>breaking from 60 to 40 in a 50 limit then what hope is there if the person in front

    >>had to brake from 60 to 0 for a child?

    False premise - the person following would be watching the road not their speedo, just watch a few revenue camera sites and you see this happen a lot.

    I tend to watch the speedo carefully - don't want any points, but if some idiot in front of me emergency stops what might happen?

    I only worry about number-on-a-stick speed when I am near a camera, otherwise I drive at a a safe speed - and that is a wide range.

  88. andrewjg

    riiiight....

    No they won't. They're going to need every penny of income they can bleed out of the public to fill the gaping maw in the country's finances.

  89. Anthony Cartmell

    Double standards

    @Grease Monkey: I like "IMBY" - you're quite right, people hate speeding cars unless they happen to be driving them. There's something very odd about a car, perhaps the power, that turns normally nice and sensible people into Clarksons (myself included).

    @willowtoo: HGVs and PSVs have tachographs, that record the speeds that they're driven at. These heavy vehicles also have slower speed limits on roads than cars do, because they have greater kinetic energy at a given speed, and hence are much more damaging when they crash.

    Speed cameras aren't a tax, as you don't have to pay any speeding fines if you don't break the law. If you must think of it as a tax, it's the only optional tax in existence!

    Those that find it difficult to drive within the speed limit almost all the time, wouldn't pass the driving test if they had to take it again. If you can't satisfy the requirements of the driving test you shouldn't be allowed a licence to drive.

    Lower speeds increase the time a driver has to react to unexpected situations, as well as reducing stopping distances, as well as reducing the impact energy if a collision can't be avoided.

    Speed limits are used, even on apparently empty and safe roads, because the whole point of crashes is that they're the result of something completely unexpected happening!

    Would those who want to remove speed cameras, also vote for all speed limits to be removed too? Or just make abiding by speed limits optional for self-appointed Good Drivers?

  90. Alain Moran

    ANPR

    They wont need those archaic speed cameras once they have ANPR anyway ... this is just a vote buying exercise with no meat to it.

  91. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    @AC-09:08 GMT

    "I guess the Cons will also make my c**k bigger and wife more attractive?"

    No, but they WILL make your wife's c**k bigger so you'll quit your whinging.

    Happy now?

  92. b166er

    Promises, promises

    I remember some promises the Labour (yes, Reg, the word Labour has a fucking U in it!) party made that promptly disappeared from policy once elected. What makes anyone think the Tories would be any different?

    If you want to deal with dangerous roads, how about you stop people once in a while for driving like tossers rather than speeding? The real problem lies with peoples attitudes to driving. I do think however, the average speed cameras work exceptionally well and go a long way towards improving the safety of workmen on our highways. Of course, cars should just be automatically limited on 20, 30, 40 and 50mph roads (a use for EGNOS).

    BTW Eponymous Cowherd, it already is outlawed in Scotland.

    And seriously Reg, WTF is going on with the spell checker? Other sites seem to manage having a US/UK combined dictionary and the URL I use to visit your site has UK at the end. Surely you could allow me my own native spelling without a line of red ants underneath?

  93. Giles Jones Gold badge

    @It all makes perfect sense #

    >Clearly the speed limit for my car should be a bit more than the 4x4

    There's some sense in the argument for limiting 4x4s more than other vehicles. Especially when these are the sort of vehicles we need to slow down and they're just the right width to roll over speed bumps.

    Personally I'm up for the idea of variable speed limits on the motorways (up to 100mph) but making most other roads 40mph.

  94. Puck
    Stop

    Pulverised quivering bloody Tory

    The ironic thing about this implicit wink at people who like to drive fast, is, that with 3,000 road deaths and many tens of thousands thus maimed each year, the odds are, it's one of the Tories' loved ones who'll be on the wrong end of a speeding idiot.

    Even if one cannot credit them with anything so burdensome as care for their fellow man, you'd nonetheless think those supposedly public-cost-hating Tories, would be mindful of the financial burden of supporting those thus injured.

  95. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge
    Stop

    Oh dear, Pirate Slayer ...

    ... you are the one that has triggered my lesson on speed. It isn't the first time I've posted it here, and it won't be the last, I'm sure!

    "Speed kills", you say - well, you couldn't be more wrong. You are in the same category as those people that said passengers on the Rocket would die because humans were not designed to go that fast. Speed does not kill, it doesn't even cause harm - think about the speed the Earth is going, around it's own axis, around the Sun, through the galaxy, etc. Get the point? Technically, it is *acceleration* that could cause injury or death (depending on how much, etc).

    Maybe you really want to say "Speeding kills" - the problem with that is it is an absolute: i.e. every time someone speeds, someone dies as a result. This is clearly wrong - over half the driving population exceed speed limits, yet most drivers are never involved in an incident involving injury, let alone death. Equally, I'm sure you expect certain drivers to exceed the speed limit when appropriate (police, ambulance, fire brigade etc), so this formulation fails too.

    Maybe what you are trying to say is that speeding increases the chance of someone being killed - but again, you are wrong. Assuming that by "speeding" you would mean "exceeding the speed limit as set for a particular stretch of road", I cite the example of someone doing 50 mph on a dual carriageway with the national speed limit a in heavy fog. The speed limit is still 70mph, but the driver is still acting in such a way as to increase the chances of causing injury or death.

    I think what you really want to say is, "Inappropriate use of speed may lead to a situation in which an incident may occur which may lead to injury or death". However, that is a fairly poor soundbite, isn't it? Especially when we take into account other things which can be substituted for "inappropriate speed" are considered, such as "Texting on a mobile phone", "Driving too close to another vehicle", "Not watching the road (for reasons including keeping an eye on the speedometer because of cameras)", and so on. So, I think that what you really wanted to say is, "Driving in a manner inappropriate to the prevailing conditions may lead to a situation in which an incident may occur which may lead to injury or death", which I admit isn't half as catchy as "Speed Kills", but makes up for that by being accurate.

    What is clear is that the simplistic notion of abiding to a number on a pole is wholly unsatisfactory. Nothing is gained by absolutist stances such as yours. The distaste for cameras is just one indication that we are not being policed by consent, and adding to the overall distrust of regulation, even when it is sensible. What we want is good drivers who OBSERVE what is going on around them, drive with consideration for others, and act appropriately to the prevailing conditions. This requires education first and foremost, enforcement by police officers who can respond appropriately to the offence (45mph on a 30mph ring road at 3am may only require a warning, but 30mph outside a school at 8.45am would probably require a ticket). Cameras might be part of the solution - they are irritating, but the average speed cameras on road works on motorways work well to keep traffic moving and prevent accidents, for instance. However, they come long after education, education, and education, and good road design an maintenance.

    Thank you for your time - class dismissed!

  96. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Intractable Potsherd - they're all dead

    'You are in the same category as those people that said passengers on the Rocket would die because humans were not designed to go that fast.'

    Yes, and I was right too, every last one of those Rocket passengers is dead, the fools, I warned them.

  97. Phil Parker
    WTF?

    Traffic police a good idea ?

    On the face of it yes. When you get pulled over and fined by a bored copper because you forgot to indicated on a left hand turn, perhaps less so.

    Be careful what you wish for...

  98. Andrew Denton 1

    @Silverfox

    I too am from South Yorkshire (just moved back there in fact) and the simple fact is that the steel and mining idustries were inextricably linked. Scargill did for the miners and took the steel industry with it. Of course, the whole area has received a massive amount of European development money which has for example, transformed the former site of Europe's largest coking plant (and eyesore) into a thriving university campus, business parks, parkland and some very nice housing developments. Sadly (and ironically), the area is now full of free enterprise, yet the people still vote Labour through some misguided loyalty to previous generations of miners and steel workers.

    @TheOtherSteve - You sir, are utterly correct.

    Back on topic, the whole issue of speed = road deaths is simplistic in the extreme. What is needed is more traffic police and better driver training. Cameras don't stop people driving drunk, driving on drugs, texting, or generally driving like a complete tool. Traffic police do.

  99. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    Councils and speed cameras

    Three points about speed cameras.

    1) They are extremely difficult to get permission to get installed. Basically four people have to have died or been seriously injured in the past three years at the point you want the camera. Speed has to have been a factor for the death/injury to count as one of the four.

    2) they costs the Council a small fortune to run and they don't get the revenue, so there is no financial incentive for them to install them.

    3) Local people love having a speed camera where they live but don't want any on the roads they use.

    Quite why cameras are so expensive to install (£20K plus) or to run no one at Highways has ever been able to explain to me.

  100. Jon G

    My head hurts....

    If speed cameras are generating a lot of money in fines, then they are surely failing to deter people, so should be removed and replaced with some other option.

    Also, in Nottingham we are being threatened by a workplace parkiing tax to pay for a tram extension - I hope the Conservatives want to scrap this as well

  101. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge
    Happy

    Following up ...

    @ AC 8th October 2009 02:32 GMT: Thanks for that - I had to go back and make sure I'd put "... die as a result of ..."! However, point taken - as far as we know, mortality is 100% over a lifetime!

    @ Silverfox and others responding to him - I am native to South Yorkshire, lived through the miner's stike and the decimation of the industry here, and was in a profession that dealt with the effects on individuals and families (no, not a social worker - honest!!!). My grandfather was a miner all his working life (from 14 to 65, mostly underground), my father was in the fire-brigade, which covered the steelworks. I know how dangerous, and dirty, they were (we even went down a mine as part of a school trip!), yet I am still in two minds whether what happened was good or not. Yes, the area is cleaner, greener and more beautiful than ever, mining villages that were extremely insular and suspicious of/dangerous to) strangers have gone (though it still isn't wise to admit being a miner in Nottinghamshire at the time of the strike anywhere around here!), and many people have avoided injury or death from mining/steel working incidents. However, at the same time, job security, and therefore life security was also a victim, and not just for the miners and steel workers - Thatcherite "efficiency" has afflicted us all. I often wish Scargill had been struck down by something that made him unable to run the miner's strike, so that it could have been run differently. A simple referendum of the NUM members would have made all the difference, and could have led to a national strike, allowing for another election which could have democratically allowed people to consider their options. Overall, the country is not a better place as a result of the Thatcher administration, especially since it directly led to New Labour. Ah well - we have to live in the world as it is, not how it could have been.

    Oh, and AC 8th October 2009 09:09 GMT, your point 3 - are you telling me that locals are actually asked if they want a council piggy bank on their street? If you are, you live in a very different place from me. They are imposed regardless of local views. And your point 1 - I can show you four cameras in my town that are sited where there has not been a road traffic incident involving death or serious injury in the last thirty years, let alone four in the three years previously! That isn't to say that I can't see why three of them are there, but it does raise the question as to how "serious injury" is interpreted by the Traffic Partnership ...

  102. georgeclooneylookalike
    Grenade

    @Cody

    Where pray did you get your figures? out of your hat? http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/statistics/datatablespublications/accidents/casualtiesgbar/roadcasualtiesgreatbritain20071

    I work in road safety and it not speed but inappropriate speed that is a problem.

    Bad driving is the problem. No argument. Someone, who thinks they are a safe driver because they travel everywhere at 40mph is more likely to cause more accidents than someone breaking the speed limit. We need more police on the roads and we need to throw the book at drivers for dangerous driving or when they are the cause of an accident. Cameras do not make safe drivers. If the motoring public saw a marked police car everyday along their route they would pay more attention. Once you know where a camera is located you brake and speed up, just like speed humps. Not paying any attention to anything else.

    For example which catches more mobile phone users? a speed camera or a police officer?

  103. Graham Barker
    Thumb Down

    Not such good news

    Can't help thinking that anything that raises a cheer from car drivers, libertarians and Jeremy Clarkson has got to be bad for road safety. Let's have many more speed cameras - I'm not frightened of them.

  104. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    cruise control?

    Is cruise control (speed control) illegal in the UK? When I drive in the US, if the speed limit is 65, I set my cruise control for 65, and proceed to ignore the speedometer until the speed limit changes. Of course, I also use cruise control at 35 (as low as it will work) and up.

    On the other hand, I live and drive predominately in Atlanta, where, if you leave more than a car-length between yourself and the car ahead, someone will slip right in and use it and you'll be back to a 5 foot gap whether you want to or not. Like previous comments have stated, Speed doesn't kill. Sudden (read instant) accelleration (nailing a pedestrian)/ decelleration (nailing an 18-wheeler (lorry for you locals) kills.

  105. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Nice, but lawlessness and usurpation continue.

    These were unlawful from the start, so it's about time these, and other, unlawful extortion schemes were stopped, including all BS charge centres.

    Well while they are apparently paying attention to common sense, like say Common Law, maybe they could look at the unlawful treason of fraudulently handing our sovereignty to the EU, without our informed consent, and not deceitfully chickening out on holding a Referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, and the other unlawful EU treaties!

    See here, to see why fixed charges, and lot of other governmental corporate BS, are unlawful:

    http://www.tpuc.org/

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019