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Swindon removes speed cameras

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/wiltshire/8178347.stm

Good idea or not?

I must admit I'm not against Speed Cameras, but then I didn't realise they cost that much to maintain. Each camera needs to pick up £60k of fines to pay for itself, which doesn't seem likely. So it may well be better value to put the cash into improving road safety in other ways.

Comments

  • SkiveSkive No discipline. No morality. No respect. New ForestPosts: 15,170 Skive's The Limit
    This is old news. Some have already gone.

    Swindons got some funny ideas about roads (the Magic Roundabout?) but this is a good idea I think.
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  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I much prefer the idea of mobile stealth cameras, where people get fined if they are speeding, but dont cause safety issues with mongs breaking hard when they dont need to, when there are static cameras about.
  • SkiveSkive No discipline. No morality. No respect. New ForestPosts: 15,170 Skive's The Limit
    MrG wrote: »
    I much prefer the idea of mobile stealth cameras, where people get fined if they are speeding, but dont cause safety issues with mongs breaking hard when they dont need to, when there are static cameras about.

    Mobile cameras are no better for that. Other drivers coming the other way warn those about to be snapped.


    Quite happy with a radar gun operated by a copper who can then use discression.
    Yesterday is history
    Tomorrow is a mystery
    But today is a gift
    That’s why it’s call the present
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I have no problem with clearly marked speed cameras protecting dangerous junctions. If you get caught by them then you're driving dangerously and you deserve the fine and points. Stick one outside every school and hospital and so what if they cost £60k to maintain, it's worth every penny.

    What I've always had the problem with is hiding speed cameras behind signs and trees with the sole objective of catching people out. That's what most cameras are like, simply to rake in cash for the Government.

    It's a good step by Swindon council to do this. You can tell it's a good step because of how upset Brake are.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Kermit wrote: »
    What I've always had the problem with is hiding speed cameras behind signs and trees with the sole objective of catching people out. That's what most cameras are like, simply to rake in cash for the Government.
    Maybe there are lots of those in your area but I must say that in my driving experience at least 95% of all cameras I've encountered are ludicrously well visible.

    I don't know how many other countries in the world actually paint their cameras bright yellow so they are easily spotted, but there can't be many. In Spain at least the opposite is true. Cameras are concealed to catch speeding drivers in the act- which to be frank makes sense when it comes to combat speeding. The concession to paint cameras yellow and make them highly visible is an indication of how powerful the driving lobby is in this country.

    I'm not complaining though. As a driver I loved it when the 'high visibility' policy for cameras was introduced. Couldn't quite believe it in fact :D

    I'm sure a number of cameras remain in hidden places though.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    High visibility cameras are good if you want to deter, useless if you want to catch.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm dubious about the whole thing. Removing the cameras will please the driving lobbyists and morons like the "taxpayers alliance" (whoever the hell they might be) no end.

    Will it make a difference though? I think the assumption that we're going to see loads of police officers with radar guns appear is a false one, all we'll see is a lot more speeding drivers.
    As morbid as it sounds it'll be interesting to see if the accident rate goes back up.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Most other European countries don't have the same reliance on fixed speed cameras, they have traffic police monitoring roads instead. Speed cameras are only useful if you believe that excessive speed is the only or main indicator of bad driving. They're completely useless for any other types of dangerous driving, such as driving too slowly, tailgating or overtaking on bends.

    Equally, most other European countries have sensible speed limits. If there's a speed restriction on a German road they mean it. In this country the local authorities set the speed limits to catch people- there are several big wide dual carriageways through business parks in the north east, all with 30mph speed limits.

    We need to get rid of speed cameras, apart from as a deterrent to make people slow down for dangerous junctions and corners. We need to spend the money on traffic police who will actually police the roads, who will start arresting tailgaters and those old codgers who do 35mph on the A1 in August.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    High visibility cameras are good if you want to deter, useless if you want to catch.

    Exactly this.

    If, as is the stated purpose, you want to save lives, then the cameras have to be visible. If you're after generating revenue, then hide them.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think speed cameras are in a way a form of tax. We should pay more road tax based on our mileage and car and the kind of cars we drive, and there should be variable limits on motorways up to unlimited. I think we need to start phasing out of the car culture imported from America (where it's seen as a 'right' to have and drive a car everywhere) as simply put there isn't enough space for everyone to have a car.

    The problem with speed cameras is people look at them and think they are only good for raising revenues and so ignore them (most roads have to have a proven history of accidents to get a speed camera on, at least here in Leicester) and then also ignore the speed limits because 'they know better'. But a kid got killed not too long ago just near my house because he was doing 80mph down a 40mph road. It's a single carriageway, it is quite a nice road and appears very safe, but it has a long sloping curve so the visibility of hazards ahead is significantly reduced especially if you are travelling at 80mph. They tried to overtake a car (see: speed difference between cars is the killer rather than speed itself), another car was coming the other way, ended up driving into a tree and that was that.

    But then we live in a culture where everyone knows best, not a day goes by without someone telling me their opinion on something as if it was an undisputable fact. Everyone "knows" that speed cameras are bad. I think they are bad in the sense that people don't take them seriously.

    The speed limits from what I've read though are largely there for traffic volume flow (lower speed = higher volume of traffic because there is less space between cars) and sound / pollution issues. The roads used to be limitless and temporary limits were brought in thanks to petrol shortages to stop people wasting petrol through excessive speeds, but as politicians do they just extended it and kept it. This is what I've learnt from rerading anyway.
  • SkiveSkive No discipline. No morality. No respect. New ForestPosts: 15,170 Skive's The Limit
    Whowhere wrote: »
    all we'll see is a lot more speeding drivers.

    No you won't.
    Camera's don't stop drivers speeding, they stop drivers speeding in very specific locations.
    Yesterday is history
    Tomorrow is a mystery
    But today is a gift
    That’s why it’s call the present
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Skive wrote: »
    No you won't.
    Camera's don't stop drivers speeding, they stop drivers speeding in very specific locations.



    Time will tell.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Mobile units are more effective at catching speeders because they move about. Cameras are only effective at catching speeders when they are hidden, which is why so many are hidden. Even then, they're not all that effective at preventing speeding. In my local area I know where the cameras are, so I slow down for them and then speed up again.

    Cameras continue to serve a purpose in protecting dangerous junctions and corners, but beyond that they're useless.

    Besides which, cameras assume that excessive speed is the only measure of bad driving. The old biddy doing 20mph on a trunk road is driving far more dangerously but will never get caught by a camera.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Whowhere wrote: »
    As morbid as it sounds it'll be interesting to see if the accident rate goes back up.

    Back up? They never went down in the first place. And don't give me any of this "at the sites the camera's were placed" BS, because I could pick the 10 highest accident blackspots over the last few years without a camera, do absolutely nothing, and the law of averages would result in reductions in the accident rate. It's no different from the whole "Manager of the Month is a curse" fallacy. A manager performs above average, gets the award, and then 9 times out of 10, his team reverts to their normal level, and the MOTM award is portrayed as the thing that caused a drop in form. The only way to measure it is nationwide, and as Kermit says, there are a limited number of dangerous areas where cameras would be useful. Not straight roads with good visibility, often through the centre of town, where I've seen them most. Sending people caught doing 34mph on a clear road to do a speed awareness course is a waste of money. And nationwide, there has been no reduction in the rates of death and serious injury (because slowing down doesn't prevent accidents, it only makes them less dangerous) beyond what we would expect from increasingly safer cars.

    And I don't buy this argument that they're a money-making scheme. This story itself proves that they don't make massive amounts of money. They're more of a political tool. Putting a camera there is a nice visible way of showing that you're doing something about the problem.
  • SkiveSkive No discipline. No morality. No respect. New ForestPosts: 15,170 Skive's The Limit
    Whowhere wrote: »
    Time will tell.

    We don't need time to tell us that drivers speed despite camera's.

    Theg number of speeding drivers isn't going to go up or down, all it will mean is that those who do speed wont have to slam on the brakes everytime they see a yellow box - which is all that happens now.

    Speed camers don't reduce the number of speeders, they just stop them speeding in for a about 50m of road before the camera.
    Yesterday is history
    Tomorrow is a mystery
    But today is a gift
    That’s why it’s call the present
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Whowhere wrote: »
    Time will tell.

    I can't display it, but look at this graph. The image is pinched from here.

    Anyone fail to see that the fatal accident rate - which was steadily dropping for many, many years - actually levelled out with the introduction of speed cameras, and hasn't shown any improvement in the last 15 years?

    "Speed kills" is an utter fallacy, and frankly a terrible way of making people drive in a more reasonable fashion. All speed cameras should be removed, aside from those outside schools and proper accident blackspots. For too many years, we suffered speed cameras in completely the wrong places - and most people seemed to think they were there solely for revenue generation. It's difficult to argue otherwise.

    Anyone with a radar detector care to mention how often the cameras outside schools are live? I went past one virtually every day for several years, and not once was it live, which would indicate that the vast majority of people have the sense to slow down around these places at the obvious times.

    Driver education is the key. We all should be retested every 5 years, at the most. Fail on a group of minors, and you've 12 months to pass the test again. If you don't, your licence is revoked. Fail on a major and you have to retake the test within a month. Fail this, and you're off the road.

    Too many people forget how they should drive once they pass the test. It is utterly ridiculous that Granny Mavis is still on the roads, with vastly reduced eyesight, reaction times, and general skill compared to when she passed the test 50+ years ago - without ever being checked again.

    Too many people think that 40mph in a residential area is acceptable, but that 90mph on a motorway with little traffic is lethal. It isn't.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    And I don't buy this argument that they're a money-making scheme. This story itself proves that they don't make massive amounts of money.

    No, the story shows that the local authority who puts them up doesn't make any money. The profits go to the Treasury. There are significant profits to be made.
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