Saturday, October 2, 2010

Game, set and match

People had been saying it ever since they were introduced, but cops and politicians loved them so handy were they at raising revenue saving lives.
 However the first town to show any sense over the matter by scrapping the speed cameras has seen its decision justified.

THE first town to switch off its speed cameras is celebrating the decision after accident rates and fines plummeted.
There have been no deaths on Swindon’s roads since the fixed cameras were turned off in August last year.
In the past 12 months, the town has had just two serious accidents and 14 slight accidents.
This is compared to one death, five serious and 15 minor crashes the year before. The council raked in £80,000 less than the previous year, issuing 1,341 fewer speeding tickets.
Councillor Peter Greenhalgh, in charge of transport for Swindon, said: “I am encouraged by these figures. They justify what we did.”
Swindon’s move came after the Government cut £38million from the Road Safety Grant, which funds the devices.
But the AA’s Andrew Howard said: “We have said that cameras should not be switched off. ”
You see, it isn't speed that kills, it's reckless or inappropriate driving and there's nothing quite like a speed camera to produce inappropriate driving. People upon seeing one suddenly become obsessed by their speedo's rather than looking out through the windscreen at traffic. I've observed people actually on or below the limit suddenly apply their brakes (just in case) when passing a camera and have nearly tailgated them in the process because it's an unexpected move, lets face it, even keeping lane disciple and correct distancing can be endangered by someone throwing on the anchors on a busy road at seemingly random. It also slows down traffic flow too. The problem for speed cameras is one that their proponents can't answer in that they don't catch dangerous driving or dangerous drivers, they just catch people going over a certain speed limit and whilst that limit may be suitable for rush hour traffic, it's wildly inappropriate for 2am in the morning. They are also quite discriminatory in that yes they catch people speeding (safely speeding) they don't catch the morons who are unsafe at any speed. Government stats already show that speed is a factor in only 3% of accidents, 97% of car crashes have nothing to do with breaking the speed limit. The figures from Swindon prove the point of all motorists who saw them as revenue raisers alone and nothing to do with road safety. Swindon is apparently safer without them.

2 annotations:

Fascist Hippy said...

The AA’s Andrew Howard said: “We have said that cameras should not be switched off.”

No you arrogant cunt Mr Howard, you should say, we believe that cameras should not be switched off!
Stating "we have said" just makes you sound like the nazi you are.

English Pensioner said...

And today's Sunday Telegraph reports that towns which have imposed a broad 20 mph speed limit have not seen any significant reduction in accidents.
Portsmouth, which introduced a blanket scheme to all residential areas at a cost of over half a million pounds found that that the number of persons killed or seriously injured on the roads has actually gone up, not down, since it was introduced.
It confirms my view that occasional limits or warning signs work well, as drivers mentally think "there must be a reason for that sign", put them every where and they are ignored.
A local radar operated 30mph sign just prior to a nasty narrow "S" bend on a busy road near home has worked wonders with the accidents on the bend, unlike the previously installed speed camera, and I've no doubt it will continue to do so, provided that the council doesn't install too many of them.