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SatNavs and Speed Cameras: Lies, Damn Lies And Statistics?
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RobBrady
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2008 6:35 pm    Post subject: SatNavs and Speed Cameras: Lies, Damn Lies And Statistics? Reply with quote

Speed Cameras2008 has been choc-a-block with UK drivers' surveys, so we thought we'd bring together a few of them to give you a small insight into British attitudes to road safety.

SatNavs often get the blame for accidents. The media often cite incorrect or inappropriate SatNav commands for misdirected cars driving into rivers or lost lorries colliding with buildings. The blame of course rests firmly with those who blindly follow all routing instructions without engaging their brain.

SatNavs aside, surely road signs should be followed to the letter? One survey confirms that many drivers are unable to decipher road signs let alone make intelligent decisions about them.

Benjamin Disraeli famously said: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics." Which of the following statistics do you believe?

We start with a spate of recent insurance company surveys that get a bit closer to the truth behind why there are so many accidents. They also give an insight into our attitude towards speed and speed cameras.

According to Tesco Car Insurance:

* 26% of UK drivers believe that the sign representing that no motor vehicles are allowed means the exact opposite
* 56% thought that the road narrows sign actually meant dual carriageway ends
* 28% wrongly identified the uneven road sign as the sign for a humpback bridge

Allan Burns, Head of Tesco Car Insurance says: "It's every driver's responsibility to keep their road knowledge up to date. A core part of the UK driving test, it's important for drivers of all ages to understand UK road signs to avoid causing an unnecessary accident."

__________________

In another survey, three-quarters of UK drivers are confident that they won’t be detected by the current system of fixed speed cameras. According to a survey by Co-operative Insurance, nearly 75% of UK drivers admit to regularly speeding, coincidentally the same percentage that say they worry about the dangers of others driving too fast.

Although 75% admitted speeding, according to the survey only 25% had been caught speeding.

The survey also revealed:

* 19% of drivers confessed to speeding at least once a day
* 23% said that they speed a couple of times a week
* 27% said they never break the limit
* 43% of drivers said they slow down as they approach cameras and immediately speed-up again once past the detection zone
* 40% said they believe speed cameras encourage reckless driving
* 75% said they worry about the dangers of others driving too fast

David Neave, Director of General Insurance at The Co-operative Insurance, said: “The frenetic pace of life today means that speeding has become endemic in British society. People often don’t think about the dangers of driving a few miles an hour over the limit. But that can mean the difference between having a safe journey or a collision, and whether you survive or not.”

He added: “Like drink driving, speeding reduces a driver’s ability to judge hazards and to react to them. There needs to be a shift in people’s attitudes to speeding, so it becomes as socially unacceptable as drink driving.”

__________________

Car insurance providers Swinton have added to the speed camera debate by polling 2,000 drivers to see whether they thought that a financial incentive to drive safely would work alongside the existing system of fining speeding drivers.

* 48% think a random financial bonus dished out by speed cameras is a good idea
* 44% think a random financial bonus dished out by speed cameras is a bad idea

Swinton believes that technological innovations in the latest wave of speed cameras means that they can be programmed to randomly select or ‘Flash’ good drivers as well as bad ones.

Steve Chelton, Insurer Development Manager at Swinton said; “If just a tiny percentage of the fines from speeding drivers could be redistributed to drivers who stay within the speed limits, especially in accident black spots or outside schools, roadside cameras could become a much more potent weapon in the war against reckless motorists."

He continued, “If drivers knew that speed cameras were calibrated to randomly flash the occasional good driver, motorists would be much more likely to adhere to speed limits rather than take their chance. At a time when the credit crunch is impacting on every UK motorist, we feel that this would be a timely innovation to start rewarding good citizenship.”

“Imagine if you opened a letter from the Police and it said; ‘congratulations, you were caught on camera driving safely within the speed limit, please find a cheque for £30 or voucher with money off your Council Tax. Now that is a good idea.”

Swinton estimated that out of the 41 million drivers in the UK, between 6 to 8 million drivers have points on their licence.

__________________

The Lancashire Road Safety Partnership tested three 30mph roads with a fixed camera, with and without an interactive "feedback" sign that indicates passing motorists’ speed. They took samples of speed during the lunchtime period.

The number of drivers travelling at 35mph or above rose from 0.8 per cent with a camera present to 7.4 per cent when the camera was removed. This then reduced to 5.6 per cent when the feedback sign was in use.

__________________

More than 1200 Cambridgeshire residents were surveyed to find out what they thought of safety cameras:

* 8 out of 10 road users agreed the cameras are meant to encourage drivers to keep to the speed limit and not to punish them
* 77% supported speed cameras as a method to reduce casualties
* 64% felt the primary aim of speed cameras was to save lives
* 65% felt fewer crashes were likely on roads where cameras are installed
* 58% thought that speed cameras meant that dangerous drivers were more likely to be caught

__________________

According to the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) more motorists are accepting safety cameras as part of life on the road.

Of the 500 motorists questioned in the IAM Motoring Trust Survey:

* 78% approved of speed cameras’ (up 9 per cent from 2007, but down on the near 90% approval they received in 1999)
* 36% (1 per cent up on 2007) believed that speed cameras were positioned only at serious crash sites
* 39% (3 per cent down on 2007) believed that raising revenue was not the motive for using speed cameras
* 28% of motorists said they, or a member of their household, had been flashed and fined in 2007
* 20% of motorists said they, or a member of their household, had been flashed and fined in 2008

Kevin Delaney, Head of Road Safety for the IAM Trust says, “This survey confirms a recent downward trend in numbers of drivers being caught by safety cameras. Hopefully, it is because more believe that safety cameras save lives, but it could be to do with motorists becoming more aware of where cameras are sited. Either way, the trends are good news for road safety."
__________________

Findings from a panel of almost 17,500 AA members shows that almost three quarters of respondents believe that UK roads would be safer if money was spent improving accident black spots rather than on more speed cameras. The poll also indicates that six times as many people want an increase in traffic police rather than more speed cameras.

* 72% thought that road and junction improvements would make the UK's roads safer
* 25% thought more traffic police would make the UK's roads safer
* 4% say that more speed cameras would make the UK's roads safer

The AA believes there are arguments for and against speed cameras.

Edmund King, AA president said: "Cameras are just one weapon to use in the road safety fight. Our problem with them is that quite often they are seen as the first and last resort. Sometimes, a simple junction improvement would be far more effective than the placing of a speed camera, which leaves the dangerous junction still in place."

He continued, "We certainly acknowledge that cameras have slowed motorists down and road safety has benefited. The cameras have sent out a message that it's not OK to speed. But cameras are over-deployed. Some are in the wrong places. There has been one on a slip road to a motorway on which motorists have to speed up to join much-faster moving vehicles on the motorway. Thousands of drivers have been caught there. More traffic police would help. Cameras can show no discretion. They cannot be flexible. Sometimes a word from a police officer about your driving can have a huge impact and can show you the errors of your ways."
__________________

A UK Department for Transport study of 300,000 drivers analysed the age of offenders in two three-year periods, 1997-99 and 2003-05.

The research has indicated that before speed cameras, older offenders may have been let off with a verbal warning by a police officer when caught speeding.

The figures suggest that elderly drivers have not adapted as well as younger drivers to the UK's speed camera driving culture:

* Men aged 60 and over receiving penalty points for speeding increased by 540%
* Women aged 60 and over receiving penalty points for speeding increased by 1,200% (though starting from a very low reported base)
* Drivers under 25 being caught for speeding grew by 18 per cent in the past 10 years
* In 2003-05, there were almost 3 times as many drivers aged 60 plus with speeding convictions as drivers aged under 25
* 24-34 year olds were most likely to have a speeding conviction in 1997-99
* 45-59 year olds were most likely to have a speeding conviction in 2003-05

They concluded that older drivers are 'six times more likely' to be caught by speed cameras.

Jeremy Broughton, author of the Transport Research Laboratory study, said when traffic police carried out enforcement, they were more likely to be lenient to elderly drivers. He said: 'Police would have a mental image of the sort of person they were expecting to stop and if it was an elderly lady they wouldn’t look at her in the same way as a young male.'
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mikealder
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2008 7:35 pm    Post subject: Re: SatNavs and Speed Cameras: Lies, Damn Lies And Statistic Reply with quote

RobBrady wrote:
Allan Burns, Head of Tesco Car Insurance says: "It's every driver's responsibility to keep their road knowledge up to date. A core part of the UK driving test, it's important for drivers of all ages to understand UK road signs to avoid causing an unnecessary accident."
I would like to see the tuition of drivers and the actual test more aligned with actual on road driving, currently pupils are taught to pass a test, true learning about driving starts once a person passes their test.
The fact you can then take a vehicle out on Motorways and drive at high speed for long distance with absolutely no prior training or actual tuition while driving as a learner is ridiculous.

RobBrady wrote:
The survey also revealed:

* 19% of drivers confessed to speeding at least once a day
* 23% said that they speed a couple of times a week
* 27% said they never break the limit
* 43% of drivers said they slow down as they approach cameras and immediately speed-up again once past the detection zone
* 40% said they believe speed cameras encourage reckless driving
* 75% said they worry about the dangers of others driving too fast

No mention of drivers travelling too slowly enticing others who what to progress at the legal limit causing accidents - I had one such encounter only yesterday morning, a 50MPH rated road with someone happily wandering about at 25 to 30 MPH, no reason to drive that slow and others decided to overtake both myself and vehicle I was slowed down by - wet slippery conditions in poor light combined with the knowledge I had only 2,5 miles to the turn off I decided not to overtake for safety reasons - others risked it.

RobBrady wrote:
Edmund King, AA president said: "Cameras are just one weapon to use in the road safety fight. Our problem with them is that quite often they are seen as the first and last resort. Sometimes, a simple junction improvement would be far more effective than the placing of a speed camera, which leaves the dangerous junction still in place."

A very sensible suggestion but not one I can see being undertaken due to cost, its far cheaper to deploy a camera than deal with the true root cause of an accident black spot, even the routing of local transport can improve safety for other local road users and would cost nothing to implement.

RobBrady wrote:
Steve Chelton, Insurer Development Manager at Swinton said; “If just a tiny percentage of the fines from speeding drivers could be redistributed to drivers who stay within the speed limits, especially in accident black spots or outside schools, roadside cameras could become a much more potent weapon in the war against reckless motorists."
Speed Cameras outside schools, are there any such installations within the UK? - I doubt many drivers would be against such use and I would even expand such a suggestion to include the following:
Make them variable speed limit lowering the speed limit to 20MPH for 30 minutes either side of school opening/ closing times.
Use Monitron types and employ the video capability to fine drivers who stop outside schools where they shouldn't (often dropping off or picking up kids) but compromising the safety of other kids and road users - Mike
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peterc10
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2008 8:09 pm    Post subject: Re: SatNavs and Speed Cameras: Lies, Damn Lies And Statistic Reply with quote

RobBrady wrote:


According to Tesco Car Insurance:

* 26% of UK drivers believe that the sign representing that no motor vehicles are allowed means the exact opposite
* 56% thought that the road narrows sign actually meant dual carriageway ends
* 28% wrongly identified the uneven road sign as the sign for a humpback bridge



Hmmmm .......

Don't know who is responsible for the image at the top of this post, but they appear not to know their signs either. The signs are correct for the "no motor vehicles" and "uneven road", but the sign shown IS actually for "end of dual carriageway" and NOT for "road narrows"
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RobBrady
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2008 8:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That'd be me Smile I suppose a road narrows sign would be more appropriate to make up the set. I'll change it when I get a minute.
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navver
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2008 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting to see older drivers are caught many more times on cameras than young drivers, yet young drivers have many more accidents as evidenced by the insurance premiums.

Seems that catching older drivers on cameras isn't the solution to the major cause of accidents, young inexperienced drivers.
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Darren
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2008 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cameras never have been the solution to the cause of accidents as speed is rarely the causal factor.
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keefieh
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2008 2:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi mikealder

Regarding your question:

"Speed Cameras outside schools, are there any such installations within the UK?"

I don't know of any, but I do live near a school in Ealing. Ealing council have a well advertised policy of CCTV enforcement of parking violations outside schools. Good I say, unless the CCTV enforcement vehicle parks illegally causing a danger to both motorists and pedestrians, as regularly happens. I contacted Ealing council regarding a CCTV enforcement van parked on double yellow lines, within a few feet of a junction with a main road, opposite a school within the restricted parking times for the 'zig-zag' zone. This is their reply...

"Hello,

Thank you for your email.
The CCTV vans are permitted to park on yellow lines when carrying out
statutory enforcement duties as long as they are not causing any
obstructions or danger to motorists/pedestrians. "

I replied

"Hello,

Parking near a corner of a junction of a side road with a main road is dangerous as it obscures visibility both turning into and out of the side road.

You state 'yellow lines' and the van was parked on double yellow lines.

Please explain why the van was allowed to park in a manner which was causing danger and obstruction to both motorists and pedestrians outside a school."

Guess what? No reply.

I can't help but think that Ealing want the money from fines more than they want to prevent children from danger.

On another topic..
Regarding camera enforcement versus a Police Officer:

I got caught speeding at 54 in a 40 probably 25 years ago now! I was in a line of traffic on a straight dual carriageway early (about 9 am) on a Sunday morning. I was speeding, and have no defence for being caught. But, yes there is always a 'but', the police stopped (from memory) probably 15 cars, they did this by putting a line of Police motorcyclists across the road to stop everyone. Being a Sunday morning all the other drivers were older men in flat caps, I was a twenty something with my girlfriend. I got a ticket, all the others got sent on thier way. Coppers can be unfair, we all committed the same crime, and I'm not suggesting I should have been let off, but let's have consistency.

Cheers

Keefieh
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mikealder
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2008 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you carry a camera? even the type fitted to most mobile phones will suffice for this.

Locate an illegally parked camera van or even one that is compromising the safety of pedestrians/ other road users then grab a picture of it, send it to the local authorities demanding a full explanation. Then send whatever drivel they reply with and another copy of the picture to your local newspaper.

If enough people did the above I am sure the authorities would have to look into the positioning of the vehicles, if you have any such pictures please include them on This Page - Mike
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DennisN
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2008 9:51 am    Post subject: Re: SatNavs and Speed Cameras: Lies, Damn Lies And Statistic Reply with quote

mikealder wrote:
I would like to see the tuition of drivers and the actual test more aligned with actual on road driving, currently pupils are taught to pass a test, true learning about driving starts once a person passes their test.
I was taught by BSM 45 years ago. The one most important item I have always tried to observe was "Never do anything which causes another road user (vehicle, motor bike, cyclist, pedestrian, whatever) to do something they would not have done but for your actions". The amount of ducking and diving I have to do suggests such advice is not offered these days. A great shame. And these people who overtake dangerously in order to advance one car length over the following five twisting miles?
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Darren
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2008 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

keefieh wrote:
Thank you for your email.
The CCTV vans are permitted to park on yellow lines when carrying out
statutory enforcement duties as long as they are not causing any
obstructions or danger to motorists/pedestrians.

And unless the law has changed, they have no authority to choose which laws they can enforce and which they can themselves flout!
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Gl3n
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2008 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I find the use of speed cameras really frustrating. If they were genuinely used for saftey reasons drivers would accept them but as they are not there is a resentment against them. If they were outside schools or prior to genuine accident blackspots where speed was a direct cause then fine. However, in many cases the road is at fault because of porr lighting, worn road markings, no cats eyes and so on. Near Edinburgh there are cameras under motorway bridges that have been there since they were built so no way can they be because of the number of accidents.

On a recent trip to Germany we saw only one police car on the motorway and no cameras on the motorway either. However, on the motorways, when the speed was reduced people stuck to it. The same in towns, people respected the speed limits. There were speed cameras in towns but these were near schools or crossings - surely what they should be used for.

In the US, even in towns speeds can be higher than over here but again they seem to be generally approriate for the road - though the near blanket 50mph in Oregon must be a cause for accidents as it numbs you as you pass through yet another 20 miles of forrest along a nearly straight road.

Using the speed camera warnings on a GPS device means that you can check your speed at a reasonable distance without the sudden reaction you see in other at the sight of a camera (panic, break and wonder why someone is now filling their rear-view mirror).

Rant over!

Glen
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robertn
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 10:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

According to the surveys - 70%-80% people appear to support speed cameras.

An interesting observation is that whenever the topic is discussed, nearly 100% of the participants do not support speed cameras.

Why is this?
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Kar98
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 11:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suggest lowering the national speed limit to 12 mph, quadrupling the amount of safety cameras installed, and to make everybody wear helmets and diapers.
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BrianA
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 9:14 am    Post subject: Re: SatNavs and Speed Cameras: Lies, Damn Lies And Statistic Reply with quote

mikealder wrote:

A very sensible suggestion but not one I can see being undertaken due to cost, its far cheaper to deploy a camera than deal with the true root cause of an accident black spot,


Is it?

Are there any published figures as to how much different cameras cost to purchase, install and maintain?
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RobBrady
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

robertn wrote:
According to the surveys - 70%-80% people appear to support speed cameras.

An interesting observation is that whenever the topic is discussed, nearly 100% of the participants do not support speed cameras.

Why is this?

I believe that it is usually only those with a strong opinion against something that are vociferous. Those who agree with the status quo usually cannot see the point in voicing a strong opinion on something that is already in place and they are happy with.

Being asked anonymously by a researcher for an answer to a contentious question is one thing, but for someone to proactively post that opinion on a public forum where they might be attacked for their views is another.

That said, anyone brave enough to give their argument for the use of cameras here?
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