Government Plans For Major Introduction Of Average Speed Cameras

Thursday, 26. May 2016

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I don’t know about you but speed cameras totally confuse me. Many have been shut down around the country because they were too expensive to keep going which is strange because I would have thought anything more than a couple of fines a week and they would be in profit.

I’m a believer in speed cameras being installed near danger spots such as schools, old people’s homes and play areas but as we know they were often put up behind a bush, tree or building where there was no extra danger to pedestrians or other drivers, they were there to catch motorists and boost the coffers of the local authority or those managing the cameras.

Well that’s what I thought but I clearly got that wrong with so many shut down. On the other hand those who argue against speed cameras would claim that they are unnecessary as the number of detected motoring offences more than halved between 2004 and 2014, from 4.33 million to 1.62 million, in their minds proving that cameras are unnecessary. Really?

Maybe it has something to do with the huge drop in active speed cameras. Having reviewed the situation a committee of MP’s have suggested that relatively low cost average speed cameras should be used more widely. These would help to replace the large drop in traffic police who not only caught those speeding but also acted as a deterrent parked at the side of motorways or simply cruising our roads.

The committee have recommended that revenue generated by fines should be re-invested, through road safety grants, rather than kept by local authorities. Even with the shut down of many Gatso’s 90% of all Fixed Penalty Notices in England and Wales are detected by cameras. Exceeding the speed limit resulted in 254 fatal accidents in 2014, 16% of all fatal accidents, as well as 1,199 serious accidents.

Whilst the committee has recommended the use of average speed cameras there are some experts that have said that you have to ask why people speed and in many instances it is a result of being under the influence of alcohol or drugs, so these people get away with a fine and points for speeding when in fact they were committing a much more serious crime.

Speed cameras also allow those driving carelessly or without due care and attention to get away with a relatively small fine and 3 points. Personally I’m not sure what the answer is but time will tell if the roads are made safer through the installation of average speed cameras on motorways and A roads. By Graham Hill

Report Suggests That Speed Cameras Could Lead To More Accidents

Friday, 30. October 2015

As we know many local authorities have questioned the effectiveness of speed cameras with some switching them off completely as they found them just too expensive to maintain. But the presence of speed cameras, whether working or not, are considered to be braking ‘black spots’.

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A study carried out by driver data firm, Wunelli found that hard braking was on average 6 times more likely to occur just before a speed camera with some sites up to 11 times more likely. The report raises concerns that speed cameras actually encourage poor driver behaviour with drivers braking hard within 50 meters of a camera then speeding up immediately after.

The conclusions were reached after analysing data collected collected over a billion miles of motoring resulting in a top ten of speed camera braking black spots. The events were collected within 50 meters of each camera and between 50 and 100 meters in residential areas with 30, 40 and 50mph speed limits.

Founding director of Wunelli, Paul Stacey, explained that he wasn’t in favour of speeding and wasn’t opposed to speed cameras but the report questioned the value of speed cameras as safety tools. He went on to say, ‘They appear top encourage poor driving behaviour. After hard braking, drivers often speed up again.’

Looking at the top ten, number 1 on the list is on the M4 near to Boston Manor rail station, West London. They recorded 57 hard braking events within the 50 meter range, that is 11 times the average. In 2nd place, again 11 times the norm, was a camera on Rochdale Road in Middleton, Greater Manchester. Followed by a camera on the A4146 Leighton Buzzard Road in Hemel Hempstead, Herts running at 8 times the average number of events.

The highest number of single hard-braking events was found at the camera on the A40 Western Avenue, Ruislip, North West London. Here drivers hit the brakes 261 times within 50 meters of the camera. The usual response came from the RAC Foundation pointing out that the law is the law and no-one should be exceeding the speed limit in the first place which would mean that drivers wouldn’t have to slow down at the sight of a speed camera. Really?

Well who’d have thought? The fact is that there must be a better way of controlling speed, someone needs to get their thinking cap on. By Graham Hill

New CCTV Auto Fines Being Trialed Exposes Graham Hill

Tuesday, 11. March 2014

A Gatso speed camera

A Gatso speed camera (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sometimes you get the feeling of déjà vu when you read something in a magazine and think to yourself, here we go again! Years ago, before most of the bloody things were turned off, local authorities were accused of putting up speed cameras to simply raise money, not to save lives.

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They would hide them behind trees or camouflage them so that you didn’t stand an earthly of seeing them. So as you raced past the gates of a school, you weren’t slowed down, as was supposed to be the intention, instead you simply received a fixed penalty notice in the post.

As a result the local authorities were forced to paint the Gatso’s yellow so that motorists could see them and slow down to prove that the point was safety not money making. So I was surprised to see that London council, Redbridge, is trialling automated CCTV cameras to capture motorists straddling yellow boxes and making illegal turns in order to issue automatic fines.

At the moment fines can only be issued when a camera operator views the offence either live or on a recording. The new system uses number plate recognition to identify the driver then issues fines automatically via the computer system. The system has already been introduced by some local authorities to capture drivers illegally driving in bus lanes.

However this latest move has caused the AA and RAC concern who believe that the objective may be money raising rather than deter bad driver habits. Time will tell. By Graham Hill

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Speed Cameras, Good Or Bad?

Monday, 29. August 2011

The Department for Transport has started to issue statistics on their website relating to individual speed cameras with a mixed response. The overall pictures suggests that road accidents and speed at camera locations is no less than the national average which has dropped over the last 10 years. Mike Penning, Road Safety Minister said that the statistics Read more

New Technology Speed Guns To Capture More Drivers

Monday, 15. August 2011

Police officer using a hand-held LIDAR speed gun

Image via Wikipedia

Speeding convictions are set to increase as the technology moves into the 21st century. The latest speed guns incorporate video which can record the car, its driver as well as date, time and speed. The TruCam speed trap is expected to be available to all police stations in the UK and is so portable that all traffic police will be able to carry one Read more

Government Decides Not To Ban Speed Camera Detectors

Saturday, 13. August 2011

A GATSO speed camera

Image via Wikipedia

The Government has decided not to ban speed camera detectors as it was felt, by the DfT, that they actually improve driver behaviour. They said ‘Such a move would be inconsistent with (the DfT’s) focus on improving driver behaviour. However, the Government is to ban the use of laser and radar jammers that prevent speed cameras from working. In Read more

Your Sat Nav Could Be Grassing You Up To The Police

Monday, 30. May 2011

Very few of us would complain about speed cameras placed in areas where there are a lot of pedestrians, especially elderly and children, if they help to avoid accidents. What most of us object to is the placing of cameras where clearly they are only there to make money. So how would you feel if information from your sat nav was being sold to police to Read more

Has The Coalition Helped The Motorist As Promised?

Saturday, 5. February 2011

A GATSO speed camera

Image via Wikipedia

Auto Express has reminded us that when the Tory led coalition came to power they were going to stop Labour’s war on the motorist but has that war ended? They analyse the key areas:

Speed Cameras: We already know that many of the UK’s cameras have been switched off but we also know that many local people are being trained up to use speed Read more

Speed Awareness Courses Save Lives

Sunday, 10. October 2010

Whilst all fatalities on UK roads dropped last year the figures are still too high. 2,222 people died on the roads of Britain last year, down 12% on 2008. Car occupant deaths fell 16%, pedestrians 13%, cyclists 10% and motorcyclists 4%. Whilst speed awareness courses are often not taken seriously by drivers who have been caught speeding and prefer to attend a course rather than suffer a conviction, the courses have been known to improve drivers’ attitudes towards speeding. This is particularly Read more

Speed Cameras For Rent

Monday, 4. October 2010

A GATSO speed camera
Image via Wikipedia

And so the debate goes on regarding speed cameras. I first of all reported that many local authorities were switching them off as they could no longer afford to keep them operating. Then the public stepped in and complained that they were necessary if we are not to see a rise in deaths on the road, supported by safety bodies. So now it seems that some local authorities are willing to rent a Gatso for £5,000 per annum if local people want to keep particular cameras operating. When Oxfordshire Read more