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Swindon speed Cam switch-off: 1 year on.


Article by: Mike Barrett
Date: 22 Jul 2010

pocketgpsworld.comThe BBC had an item on the breakfast news today following up on the switch off of Swindon's fixed speed cameras a year ago. Swindon council claim that the accident rate has not changed since the big switch off. A counsellor stated that the reduction of funding for speed cameras helped them focus funding towards accident prevention in infrastructure. This is in terms of flashing speed warning signage and physical features in the roads.

Typically opinions are very polarised on speed cameras.

The Tax Payers Alliance regards them as being a good source of revenue for the government where all profits from the camera go, not the local councils. The Tax Payers Alliance claims that the trend in the accident rate has not changed since the speed cameras were introduced in 1992. Prior to the introduction the accident rate was falling and this has not been accelerated by the introduction of camera enforcement of speed.

At the other end of the spectrum there are the Police and Speed Camera Partnerships. The Plymouth police claim that there has been a reduction rate of 67% over 4 years at camera sites. The Safety Camera Partnerships say that the camera are effective in reducing speed and preventing accidents. The cynical among us would expect this as their jobs are dependent on the success of the speed camera programme.

With a reduction in the national funding for speed cameras from 77 million to 56 million and no funding for new fixed cameras things will have to change. Devon and Cornwall are reported to be halving the number of staff employed in their Safety Camera Partnership, assumably this will be replicated to a certain extent around the country.

Back in Swindon a councillor claimed that 6% of accidents are related to speeding, and they were more interested in taking a holistic view of the issues and try to tackle the other 94% not attributed to speed. He also suggested that if an accident site had a number of crashes then it would be statistically less likely to see another as the accident numbers reverted to the mean. I am not convinced by this as some accident sites are as a result of bad road design and are going to attract a high number of incidents.

An edited version of the BBC news item can be viewed here on the BBC website.

I suspect that we may well see the death of the ineffective fixed speed camera and more resources directed towards the more effective mobile cameras. It is good news that Swindon are taking a wider view of matters and are trying to address the root causes of problems on the roads rather than use the sledgehammer solution that is seen purely as a revenue generator.
Comments
Posted by Guivre46 on Thu Jul 22, 2010 8:54 am Reply with quote

On the other hand there is every indication that the Government wants to increase speed related penalties to pay for services for victims. This difference of views between local and central may be some sort of bargaining to allow local councils to keep some/more of the revenue?


Mike R [aka Wyvern46]
Go 530T - unsupported
Go550 Live [not renewed]
Kia In-dash Tomtom

 
Posted by Wazza_G on Thu Jul 22, 2010 1:24 pm Reply with quote

Hopefully this link will give you the story concerned:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-10723343

I for one won't shed any tears when the last one of these piggy banks switched off for good!

Although I might shed some for the redundant staff at PGPSW! Sad


Be alert.. This country needs more lerts.

 
Posted by Skippy on Fri Jul 23, 2010 9:31 am Reply with quote

Quote:
He also suggested that if an accident site had a number of crashes then it would be statistically less likely to see another as the accident numbers reverted to the mean. I am not convinced by this as some accident sites are as a result of bad road design and are going to attract a high number of incidents.


The comment about bad road design is true, but the point about regression to the mean is a different one.

Let's take the (hypothetical) case where there is a section of road where there are three fatalities in 12 months. So the answer is to put up a speed camera to make the road "safer". The next year, there are no fatalities and the speed camera has therefore "saved" 3 lives. A fantastic result, which "proves" that speed cameras DO save lives!!

The regression to the mean theory states that after an exceptional incident, things will go back to normal. When you look at the section of the road, you find that there were only 4 fatalities in total over 10 years and that the three in one year was an exceptional event. Most likely, the accident rate would have returned to normal regardless of the speed camera installation, "Regression to the mean".

Consider that there are about 4000 fixed cameras and 1000 redlight cameras (I'll discount the 6,000 mobile locations). If each camera saved just 1 life every 5 years then we would have a reduction in the number of people killed of around 1000 people per year. Except it's been nothing like that many lives saved...

They have made a lot of money though.


Gone fishing!

 
Posted by DennisN on Fri Jul 23, 2010 10:08 am Reply with quote

Gosh, I wish I lived next door to Skippy. Even if he's a biker, a half hour's conversation per week would bring me closer to "normal" intelligence. Thanks Skippy, really good stuff as usual from you.


Dennis

Where there's a will .... there's a wake.

 
Posted by Blinkenlights on Fri Jul 23, 2010 11:57 am Reply with quote

Guivre46 Wrote:
On the other hand there is every indication that the Government wants to increase speed related penalties to pay for services for victims. This difference of views between local and central may be some sort of bargaining to allow local councils to keep some/more of the revenue?



That makes sense. Impose higher penalties on speeders, yet all the other dangerous driving behaviour, and those with no MOT and no insurance continue to get away with it, due to lack of police on the roads.


 
Posted by tikii on Fri Jul 23, 2010 6:41 pm Reply with quote

As a side note (I hope you don't mind me putting this in you post), BBC East Midlands did a short piece on speed cameras tonight, three of which they are removing and replacing with 'flashing speed warning' signs instead.

The Derby cameras raised about 800,000 last year, but three have been proven from previous statistics not to have brought about any beneficial road safety, in fact the councillor spoken too said they had been shown to have been more of a danger than a help in safety! All the other cameras in Derby are now being looked at with this in mind.

Read more here http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-derbyshire-10732425

Keep your fingers crossed, Derby could be going the same way as Swindon!

On a sadder note Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire councils have said they are not planning to remove any of their cameras!


 
Posted by aj2052 on Fri Jul 23, 2010 11:45 pm Reply with quote

Quote:
On a sadder note Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire councils have said they are not planning to remove any of their cameras!


Fortunately Leicestershire is not rife with cameras I can travel a 15 mile radius in Northwest Leics and only see 1 or possibly 2 cameras, unfortunately not the same situation in Nottinghamshire or Leicester City.
To add Leics seem more happier putting up Camera warning signs than actually putting in cameras and also using the flashing warning signs, perhaps they saw more sense than other councils, personally I think this way more suitable.


Moto G 2nd gen, Sygic 16.2.12, Navigon 5.7.1

 
Posted by mxmaciek on Sat Jul 24, 2010 7:00 am Reply with quote

Hmmm... safety or paranoia?
Take a look on the Russian example: 37th km of Novoryazhanskie shosse:

http://img803.imageshack.us/img803/9466/imag0010.jpg

Link edited by DennisN - please keep images to width suitable for the site (max 450 pixels wide).


HD2, Galaxy S3

 
Posted by whiteshark on Sat Jul 24, 2010 5:17 pm Reply with quote

Well Oxfordshire switch off there cameras from the 1st.August, they have pulled out of the TV Partnership, so they are following Swindon.


 
Posted by Skippy on Thu Jul 29, 2010 9:06 pm Reply with quote

DennisN Wrote:
Skippy, really good stuff as usual from you.


Thanks Dennis. Wink

I don't know if it's a comedy or a tragedy to see how quickly the case for speed cameras is collapsing now that the government isn't allowing them to be used a a money generating machine anymore.

The lastest casulty is the Department for Transport admitting that they over egged the statistics for the effectiveness of the scameras by claiming a 42% reduction in KSI at camera sites.


Gone fishing!

 
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