Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by enterprise, Aug 16, 2008.

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    while working as a LIVERPOOL taxi driver last night the conversation between my passengers and myself turned to the speed camera,s..
    one of the lads then told me that in swindon all the speed camera,s had been removed as the councelor i/c was fed up with just generaing cash for the goverment..


    i found this..

    Home > News > UK > Home News
    The Big Question: Do speed cameras work, or are there better ways to make our roads safer?

    Wednesday, 16 July 2008

    Ever since Richard Moffat Ford became the first man to be prosecuted for speeding in 1901 after he was clocked by a policeman with a stopwatch hiding in a hedge, speed traps have had a bad name with motorists. But now, its modern and ubiquitous form – the hated speed camera – could be getting the boot. A local council is considering whether or not to ditch speed cameras altogether.

    Swindon Borough Council has threatened to withdraw the £400,000 annual funding it gives to the partnership that sets up speed cameras in the town. It says it is not seeing any of that money back in the form of the fines paid by the unlucky drivers snapped. It will make a final decision over the next two months.

    Why are they doing it?

    The Conservative-led council said that it was considering the move because the cameras were a "blatant tax on the motorist". At £60 a time, speed camera fines are certainly hefty enough to hurt the pockets of motorists, a group already hard hit by high oil prices.

    According to Peter Greenhalgh, the man in charge of Swindon's transport policy, the Government are using the cameras to fill their ailing coffers. He said: "We treat road safety very, very seriously. But we pay about £400,000 a year to the partnership – money which goes straight into the Government's pockets. We don't get anything back.

    "There are much more important things we as a council should do instead of acting as a law enforcement arm of this government."

    How much do they rake in?

    Accurate information on the amount of cash they raise is hard to come by. Figures released under the Freedom of Information Act in 2005 showed that during the 2003/04 financial year, speed cameras in England and Wales had raised £112.2m. Not a bad little earner.

    It is not the first time that someone has suspected that speed cameras are being used as a cash cow rather than a road safety tool. Drivers have complained about cameras being too hidden in the past, despite rules saying they must be clearly visible to oncoming drivers.

    How long have they been around?

    Speed cameras first came to the UK in 1992, but it wasn't until 2000 that they became a significant factor as far as speeding motorists were concrned. It was then that the Government gave the go-ahead for a pilot scheme in eight areas, in which local authorities were allowed to recoup the cost of operating them with the fines collected from speeding drivers. The scheme was then extended a year later. According to Mr Greenhalgh, it is the system of using fines to finance the running of speed cameras that has broken down.

    Do they work?

    Their doubters say that speed cameras deal with the wrong thing. It isn't speed that kills – tiredness and careless driving does. The best way to tackle those is not through any kind of device cluttering the road, but to educate drivers properly on when to take a break, and to give them driving refresher courses. Investing in proper policing of the roads would be another way to avoid speed cameras, though it would be an expensive option. And they aren't good for the blood pressure of the nation's drivers. A petition on the 10 Downing Street website to scrap speed cameras, set up by the pressure group Safe Speed, attracted over 28,000 signatures. It argued that drivers should not be subject to speed traps of any kind, but should simply learn a "100-word Highway Code", based on being aware and driving predictably.

    But other evidence suggests speed is a big factor in road accidents. One study into the effects of reducing a speed limit to 20mph found that accidents of all types fell by 60 per cent. And fans of speed cameras will be pointing Swindon's council towards its own statistics. In the 12 months to April this year, the number of people killed or seriously injured on the roads of Wiltshire and Swindon was down by more than 30 per cent compared to the time before speed cameras stalked the streets. The reduction was even more dramatic for accidents involving children under 16, where there had been a 47.7 per cent fall.

    And when the areas where the cameras lurk are taken in isolation, the effect on accidents seems even more dramatic. The number of people killed or seriously hurt in road collisions shows a 69 per cent fall. Before the cameras arrived, 19 people were dying on the roads in those areas each year. That is now down to six, while 10 of Swindon's speed camera sites have not had a death or serious injury at all since the cameras were installed.

    What could Swindon have instead?

    Mr Greenhalgh says he would prefer the money to be spent on traffic calming measures and more state-of-the-art equipment, like vehicle-activated speed signs. The devices would be much easier on the budget of the local authority, too, with a sign costing as little as £5,000. Old-fashioned speed bumps could make a come back, or more road furniture and signposting could be used.

    Would they solve the problems?

    There were plenty of traffic problems before the days of speed cameras. When they came in, many local authorities were keen to use the cameras to replace speed bumps. Many thought the bumps were a poor method of improving road safety. Motorists could end up accelerating between bumps or damaging their car. And the bumps might have slowed down traffic, but they also hold up ambulances and fire engines. Opponents to speed cameras may be won over by the development of the new breed of the device, which can measure the speed of a car over a longer distance, making it a fairer assessment of a driver's speed.

    Will we see the end of speed cameras?

    Until technology moves on to develop a better way of slowing traffic, not likely. In fact, a parliamentary advisory panel floated the idea of reducing the speed limit to 20mph in all built-up areas last year. To enforce that would mean more speed cameras, not fewer. And even if the Government decides not to take such a measure, there are plenty of people still flying the banner of the speed camera. Swindon Borough Council has already run into opposition. The local MP, Anne Snelgrove, who is also the parliamentary private secretary to the Transport Secretary, Ruth Kelly, has sprung to the defence of Swindon's speed cameras. So they do still have supporters. Just don't expect motorists to join her campaign.

    So are speed cameras the answer?


    * Studies have shown that a reduction in the speed limit to 20mph in built-up areas causes a 60 per cent fall in accidents

    * Evidence from Swindon showed a 30 per cent reduction in the numbers of people killed or injured since cameras were installed

    * At 10 of the sites in Swindon where cameras were introduced, no road accident deaths have been recorded


    * Critics say it's not speed that kills but tiredness and careless driving. It's this that should be targeted with safer driving campaigns

    * Speed cameras are being used as an easy way for the authorities to bump up their revenues, antagonising the public

    * Cameras are counter-productive in creating a tendency for drivers to break the speed limit when they are not around
  2. And your point is?
    Obey the speed limit,no problems.
  3. What he said, but I'll be breaking it around Fareham now that the average speed cameras through the road works have gone! :lol:
  4. If, as indicated, all cameras increase revenue for local and central government and the maintenance of the cameras are paid for by this revenue, surely if we, as a nation, drove within the speed limit then they would have to get rid of all speed cameras as they wouldn't be able to maintain them.

    Or they'd just up council tax by some random percentage.... :evil:
  5. bollox

    many speed limits are inappropriate.

    most have been in place since 1935, the 70 mph on motorways has been in place since the 60s.

    we need a review.
  6. It's nice that the council in Swindon have said these things, but I think this has more to do with the fact that as a result of camera partnership regulation changes, they are no longer allowed to keep the fines generated from cameras, they have to pay it into a central pot and apply for some of it back.
  7. Just get rid of fines.

    If the current system of points is used, if people got too many point in too short a time period, then they could have their licences revoked. a cool off period and a re-test.

    For others, a ban could be used a la german style.

    They have 6 months to pick when, and then hand their licence in. THe police could arrange a parking place for the car if needed. And the car is high on the stop, list.

    After a month, they can drive again. Faster the car goes, the longer the ban-more points.

    No money, no accusations of the gubmint using the scheme as a cash cow.

    And it focuses the mind brilliantly.
  8. But until we get that revue,( the day after Hell freezes over) we are stuck with those limits.So obey them.
  9. Ummm increasing the motorway speed limits...........half the driver's I see on the roads can't drive for toffee so increasing the speed limits will only lead to complete carnage, unless people start driving properly and start using correct lane discipline etc, we'll just have to do with what we've got. Anyway you can hardly get above the speed limit most of the time as there is too much traffic on the roads/road works already.
  10. Speed cameras in the middle lane.

    If you aregoing below 50 - take 10.

    Esp if the picture shows no one in the slow lane.