Speed Cameras – a Necessary Evil or No Good to Mankind?

November 12th, 2008

Author: Anna Hallam

In October 2008 Swindon announced that they would be scrapping the fixed point speed cameras that previously caught speeding motorists in over eighty different locations. The controversial move has sparked debate across the country, with some decrying the decision and others applauding it. By November 2008 it was reported that Portsmouth, Walsall and Birmingham were all considering copying Swindon, but is banning the speed cameras the right thing to do? Nobody likes them, but let’s have a look at some of the arguments surrounding the issue.

Statistics:
2002 saw the introduction of Safety Cameras in the Swindon, and according to statistics the numbers of road-related fatalities has fallen noticeably since then. The number of people killed or seriously injured on the county’s roads fell by 5% and for children it reduced by as much as 33%; so is this a direct result of the cameras? Statistics again would say not; there were seventy fatalities on Swindon’s streets in 2007-08 and that seems to be proof that speed cameras did not make the roads safer.

Money:
The money from fined motorists caught speeding goes directly to the HM Treasury; neither the police nor local councils profit from the cameras, yet it costs a council like Portsmouth £380,000 a year of public money for six fixed speed cameras. Swindon has been accused of saving money over saving lives, yet if the cameras truly don’t work surely it’s best to stop spending money on them and start spending money on finding other traffic calming measures that do work.

The motoring public:
Speed cameras rarely work because speeding drivers simply slow down to pass them and very often speed back up again afterwards. When they do catch someone speeding it is likely that the driver won’t even realise until the fine arrives in the post some two weeks after; then because the driver has achieved distance from the offense, both literately and figuratively, the fine does very little to raise awareness of the danger of going too fast. Instead the cameras have bred a feeling of animosity in the motoring community, and have alienated the public against road safety efforts. Drivers feel as though the government is trying to ‘catch them out’ in order to make money rather than help them to reduce speed related fatalities. In the end, because the public sees the cameras as ‘the enemy’, they will never be effective in helping repeat offenders see the error of their ways.

The fear of being caught:
It’s true that most people who know that there is a camera will slow down for the camera and speed up afterwards, but what if a driver is on an unfamiliar road? The warning sign for a speed camera is often enough to make people check their speed and slow down regardless of whether there is actually a camera or not. Although not as preferable as people keeping to the speed limit of their own accord, the fact that drivers are frightened to speed on roads that might have a camera is a lesser evil than speeding and causing an accident. By removing the cameras Swindon is removing the ‘fear’, and might end up seeing a lot more speed limits broken than they anticipate.

Ultimately we have to face the fact that speed cameras will not stop crashes completely ; only we as the motoring public can do that by facing up to our responsibilities and becoming better drivers. As Tony Simcock, driving instructor and director of The Big Red L Company in Kent commented, “Speed cameras have helped raise the awareness that ‘Inappropriate Speed Kills’; however, unless motorists across the UK begin to drive in a way that significantly reduces the risks to our children, to other road users and to themselves, we will always be faced with government initiatives that are blanket measures that appear out of place or heavy handed.” He continues, “I do a lot of driving, I try to stick to speed limits, have never been caught speeding, I am very rarely late for a meeting and have never been involved in an injury accident – is that coincidence, or good driving?”

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/cars-articles/speed-cameras-a-necessary-evil-or-no-good-to-mankind-635025.html

About the Author:

Anna Hallam writes on behalf of The Big Red L Company who provide driving lessons throughout Kent; and for their sister site, www.intensives.co.uk who provide intensive driving courses throughout the UK. For more info visit www.bigredl.co.uk

Can You Beat The Speed Cameras?

November 8th, 2008

Author: David Thomson

Love them or hate them, there is no getting around it the fact that speed cameras are here to stay. Some love the fact that they cut speeding down while others say they are nothing but a way of invading your privacy.

Regardless of the fact, if you are caught speeding then the simple answer is there isn’t much you can do about it. You could of course go to Court and argue the fact, but if they caught you on film, then generally the camera doesn’t lie. This of course means that in addition to the fine you originally got, you now have to pay Court costs too.

While speed cameras are undoubtedly put there to safeguard the driver and the public by cutting down and clamping down on those who habitually speed, we all speed at sometime or another even if this is as little as going just a few miles over the limit. These are the people who generally get the letter through their letterbox, the one timers, not that there is an excuse for any speeding no matter how small.

However the average person can receive between 3 and 6 points on their licence from speeding and when it comes to renewing their car insurance, this can make a huge difference to the amount they have to pay. Whether speeding is on the increase or not, one fact remains, that by April this year it was estimated that around 1.3 million drivers had on average around 9 points on their licence.

Points on your licence do make a difference to the premium that you pay and in order to get the cheapest insurance your licence should be clean.

In order to get the best possible deal on car insurance, drive safely, keep within the speed limits and shop around for the right deal.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/automotive-articles/can-you-beat-the-speed-cameras-174739.html

About the Author:
David Thomson is Chief Executive of BestDealInsurance an independent specialist broker dedicated to giving consumers the best insurance deal. They offer great value car insurance , life and home insurance.

Common Sense Speed Limits

May 2nd, 2008

It would be much easier if the speed limits were more driver friendly. It is hard to know how fast to drive with 50kph and 60kph limits let alone checking the time to see if it is school time and slow to 40kph. I think school limits are a good idea but they need flashing lights operating to indicate when the lower speed limit is in force.

A lot of cars have broken clocks while others never had a clock fitted at the factory. It is inconvenient to be certain of the time when driving and it is another distraction. Flashing lights operating when the lower speed limit applies would remove all of the confusion.

Police Patrols Replaced by Cameras

April 29th, 2008

 http://www.policespeedcameras.info/  –  Originally Accessed on 29/4/2008

Why do you think speed cameras are so appealing to governments? Simple, speed cameras are cheaper to run than real police. Speed cameras don’t ask for pay rises or let off drivers with a warning – Real cops do! It’s based on a false economy to save money and raise revenue. What the community gets is a rise in road deaths and a bunch of young road hoons running the streets like a scene out of the movie “Mad Max” Don’t believe it? I live in Western Australia where the Police Traffic Branch was amalgamated with the local suburban police stations. So who looks after the streets now? Basically, its a free for all.

Pommy Speed Camera Error

April 29th, 2008

Civil disobedience: Dutch squatter protests in the early 1980sSpeeding

Fine

Disgusting

By Paul Fielding 9th January 2008

London – Blackpool
A SPEED camera campaigner has condemned the controversial devices after it was revealed hundreds of motorists had received tickets by mistake.
Police are handing back 300 fines to drivers after it was found their speed guns were set up wrong.

In 2004, Coun Mary Smith of Bloomfield ward chaired a scrutiny committee which was highly critical of cameras in the resort, and today said she was not surprised by the blunder. Full Story…

The http://www.policespeedcameras.info/ website where this article was located is an excellent website for news articles on radar and speed cameras from around the world. This is a short article from the home page accessed on the 29/4/2008.

Do Speed Cameras save lives? Statistics from around the world and Australia suggest not! Why? Because speed cameras target the vast majority of law abiding citizens who travel a few kms over the speed limit, not the true causes of road fatalities! Speed Cameras are “fools gold” for governments looking for a quick fix solution to road deaths, but prove a bonanza for cash strapped governments looking to reduce police manpower and raise revenue. Add to this mix speed detection technology that is inaccurate, low speed tolerance limits and a court system that is blind to these problems and you have a recipe for disaster.

Radar Facts vs Fiction

April 29th, 2008

This website is the result of indepth research on the correct use of radar devices to detect speeding vehicles and what the common problems are. With the large rate of errors that occur it is obvious the public are ripped off everyday by governments that use the devices to raise revenue.

The information on the Radar Fact Pages is based on research that is several years old. In the near future when time permits the findings of more recent research will be included. I hope the work is of benefit to people who believe they have been booked in error to prove a point to the authorities but from my personal experience that it is a lot of hassle and it is hard to win. The system is against you.