July 27th, 2010

It’s not all bad

Posted in The Job - General by 200

With all the hand-wringing worrying about whether the P45 is imminent, it’s nice to see that at least one group will be celebrating the government cutbacks.

Motorists, or a large proportion of motorists, will no doubt be celebrating the news that the new financial measures will mean speed cameras may go.

The new government is flashing 40% off the funding bill which may cause authorities to withdraw cameras from service.

Oxfordshire council is considering the removal of some or all of its 79 cameras. Devon, Cornwall, Northamptonshire & Somerset are also considering the removal of equipment.

The budget cuts amount to a saving of £38million a year.

Of course, views will be split on the issue. Supporters say this can only lead to an increase of deaths on the roads, while others see it as an effort to show less importance on relying on the motorist as an easy target for tax-dollars; it is estimated that speed cameras bring on £100million a year into the exchequer.

Having written this earlier today I saw on the 6 O’clock news that the AA are saying their last survey of 15,000 members found that nearly 70% of them were happy with speed cameras. So perhaps people really will be annoyed if the cameras disappear. I don;t think I’m one of them though.

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  1. shijuro says:

    Clarkson et al will be cheering… until someone wipes up someone he cares about…

    July 28th, 2010 at 07:32

  2. Dan H. says:

    To be honest, I’m not certain that speed cameras actually did a great deal, apart from punish casual carelessness. However, we can never know because no police authority or safety camera partnership ever did a controlled study to determine how much effect the cameras had.

    About the only study worth a damn of their effectiveness was one which looked at accident rates in motorway roadworks, adjusted for traffic volumes. The control treatment was no speedcams and no additional police patrols. As compared to this, Gatso speed cameras consistently increased the number of accidents by a statistically significant margin. SPECS average speed cameras increased the accident rate, but this increase was only just statistically significant. Increased visible police patrols decreased the accident rate by a statistically significant amount.

    I would not like to speculate on how much (if at all) these studies could be extended to normal non-motorway roads, but would hypothesize that substituting cameras for more patrols by traffic police would have quite a good effect, especially in the numbers of untaxed, uninsured cars which would also get netted by such patrols.

    July 28th, 2010 at 10:11

  3. boy on a bike says:

    For the generally law abiding, there’s nothing quite so awful as being pulled over by a copper for speeding. You feel it right in the pit of your stomach. Never felt that way about a speed camera.

    Melv – surely you are horrified. This may mean that next time you are caught doing something naughty on the road, the fine will be issued by a nazi sticking his head in your car window, rather than an anonymous letter in the post.

    July 28th, 2010 at 11:26

  4. shijuro says:

    Won’t bother me…

    Been driving 30-years, owned fast bikes and a Porsche…

    No tickets.


    I can read.

    July 28th, 2010 at 12:12

  5. Dr Melvin 'Banned from most police blogs' Gray says:

    Amongst my many weaknesses, colossal torque petrolheading is one of my favourites, although I should point to the existence of even more exhilarating pleasures, Shijuro. I am certain to have encountered many corrupt police officers but I choose to rely on my sense of responsibility to maintain a ticket-free status.

    Nobody wants a ‘nazi sticking his head in your car window’ but I never feel inconvenienced by a polite road traffic officer doing his job. I also enjoy playing games with PC Nobrainer when he slyly moves off the bridge to creep down the slip road behind me. Sometimes I must assist him by adjusting speed so that he can be maintained in my mirror blind spot.

    July 28th, 2010 at 13:23

  6. Tigggger says:

    The orginal case for speed cameras that they could free up traffic officers to deal with more serious offences.

    The reality was that those officers were diverted to other duties, and the dangerous, careless, tailgaters, drunk, untaxed, uninsured, unlicenced motorists went about their business safe in the knowledge that they were invisible to speed cameras.

    No doubt traffic patrols won’t be reinstated, accident rates will go up and Brake et al will claim it as proof that cameras work.

    Also, how is it that with all the ANPR cameras there are 2 MILLION uninsured drivers in the UK ? It’s because their chances of being caught are minimal and even if they are unlucky enough to get caught with no licence, tax, mot or insurance they’ll get find 150 quid, much cheaper than being legal.

    July 28th, 2010 at 15:07

  7. Tony F says:

    Good riddance to the bloody useless things.

    They don’t catch criminals, they don’t prevent mobile phone use, they don’t catch people without seat belts.

    July 28th, 2010 at 18:49

  8. Civ_In_The_City says:

    I think Swindon was first to switch them off some time ago. I`m not (yet) part of the ‘if it only saves a single life’ brigade.It`s been that sort of thinking that has led to the most extreme and bizarre of consequences.

    Do speed cameras work? Maybe yes, maybe no. I expect if there were the right amount of them in the right places they would have been far more effective and respected. But as soon as someone got a whiff of the money that could be raked in through the ‘strategic’ positioning of the bloody things the game was up.

    Now they are no longer a novelty, they’re bloody everywhere, people ignore them.

    I understood that all the Speed, sorry, SAFETY Camera Partnerships only made enough cash to cover their own operation anyway? Any profits going to Mr Blair Inc.

    Speeding is only one of the Broken Britain symptoms, along with ASB (Anti-Social Bastards), littering, graffiti, drinking/urinating in the street and the rest.

    (Littering is the one that amazes me. We all pay council tax one way or another, which covers the bin men coming to our gate. But people still throw litter in the streets where they live (?) and have to pay more counciltax for more people to come and clean that up as well!).

    Nucking Futs.

    July 28th, 2010 at 19:05

  9. shijuro says:


    1. Drive within the speed limit.

    err.. that’s it really…

    July 28th, 2010 at 19:42

  10. shijuro says:

    Joking apart… here’s some logic…

    Don’t like speed cameras?

    Think they are revenue raisers ?


    The Highways get money from them, some of the money is used for maintenance yes?

    If nobody speeded, no revenue, but still maintenance costs are coming in, yes?

    Eventually they will scrap them because of the cost…


    We are the people financing the cameras and it’s in our hands if they stay……

    July 28th, 2010 at 19:49

  11. Blueknight says:

    Does ‘excess’speed cause a problem on the German autobahns? If not why not?

    July 28th, 2010 at 21:55

  12. shijuro says:

    Excess speed on its own is not the problem. Bad driving and excess speed, now that’s a different thing.

    Police driving courses train you to use advanced planning to give you ‘time to react’.

    Remember, at 70mph you are travelling at 102 ft per SECOND. At 90 its 130 ft per second…

    If you make a mistake at that speed its all over for you and anyone in your way too.

    For me, the actual speed thing is a red herring.

    This is about SELFISH, ME, ME, ME, ME, behaviour.

    The ‘it’s my right to drive as fast as I like’ my right to risk the lives of other road users…

    I have no time for selfish people.

    Like Clarkson et al…

    Well it’s my ‘right’ to lock you up…

    July 28th, 2010 at 23:11

  13. Oi says:

    I was aware of the so-called “Montana Experiment” where the upper limit was abolished resulting in a noticible drop in road fatalities, until it was reimposed and fatalities sprang back up again and while trying to locate it, found this article which also mentions it.
    Interesting conclusions.
    Of course the upper limits wont be removed any time soon, as revenue collection would suffer yet again.

    July 29th, 2010 at 00:30

  14. shijuro says:

    See my post Oi…

    We are the people creating the revenue…

    July 29th, 2010 at 07:29

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