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Speed Cameras Blamed for 28,000 UK Road Accidents

 
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RobBrady
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 11:34 am    Post subject: Speed Cameras Blamed for 28,000 UK Road Accidents Reply with quote

pocketgpsworld.comAccording to new research commissioned by motor insurance company LV, many drivers admit to "behaving erratically in front of speed cameras with thousands confessing to slamming on the brakes or looking at their speedometer as soon as a camera comes into view."

The research suggests that this behaviour could be responsible for 28,000 road accidents since speed cameras were rolled out nationally in 2001. According to LV's pollsters, ICM Research, the 1,532 drivers surveyed reported that in 1% of accidents, speed cameras were a contributory factor.

The Department for Transport's latest accident estimates reports that there have been 2.7 million vehicle accidents since 2001. ICM concluded (though we're not altogether sure how scientific this conclusion is!), that of these accidents, it is therefore likely that approximately 1% (27,900) accidents have been caused as a result of speed cameras.

The responses of the drivers polled were interesting:

* 81% said they instantly look at their speedometers instead of the road when a speed camera comes into view

* 5% admitted to braking suddenly when seeing a speed camera

* 31% said they had witnessed an accident or near miss as a result of other drivers’ erratic behaviour when faced with a speed camera

* 46% believe speed cameras divert attention away from other areas of their driving

* 11% believe that speed cameras increase their risk of an accident

* 46% believe speed cameras exist only to raise revenue for the Government

* 91% admit to exceeding the speed limit

* 15% speed on a regular basis

* 9% of drivers said they never speed

* 69% of motorists travel at an average speed of 81 miles per hour on motorways


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Border_Collie
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
* 46% believe speed cameras exist only to raise revenue for the Government


Only 46%?

Medway Council have two Smart Camera Cars patrolling Medway, evidently to keep traffic flowing. However, the following is from MEDWAY COUNCIL, CABINET, 29 JANUARY 2008, TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT ACT 2004. I'd draw your attention to the part I've made 'bold'.

Quote:
4.7 A mobile CCTV smart car will cost £1,525 per month on a three year lease agreement, this cost would be off set against the income generated from the PCN issue and it is anticipated that in addition to this the Mobile CCTV unit will also generate surplus income for the Council. Estimated calculations show this to be approximately £50,000.


So like speed cameras, they DON'T work and DON'T help safety or traffic flow.
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M8TJT
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

But they are not there to make money!!The £50,000 income is just an unfortunate byproduct of the Road Safety aspect; or is it just that they're all bare faced liars?
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Wannabyourhero
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As I mostly drive at or close to the speed limits I don't have to make massive adjustments at speed cameras and regard red light cameras as the really dangerous ones. 90% of my attention is on that light which doesn't leave much for anything else happening, and if it changes then I'm on those brakes, the 90% attention is now on the rear view mirror as I adjust my braking to give the car behind enough space not to plough into me.
Motorway variable speed limits are almost as bad when they drop 20mph in one go. That lorry behind me blaring it's horn might just avoid demolishing my rear but who knows what chaos is occurring a mile back.
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Guivre46
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

True I do see some extraordinary driving when drivers come across a speed camera they are not expecting. But I have difficulty with this number. Most fatalities car to car are head on, crashes whilst heading in the same direction seem to have a lower level of lethal outcome, which is what you'd expect in this situation.

Edit: Sorry, craft moment there, thought it was referring to fatalities. I'm stuck in the rut of thinking that is what cameras are supposed to reduce. How that equates with cameras on high speed roads where no pedestrian would dream of crossing - I have to assume it is income generation.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 12:18 am    Post subject: Re: Speed Cameras Blamed for 28,000 UK Road Accidents Reply with quote

News Team wrote:
* 81% said they instantly look at their speedometers instead of the road when a speed camera comes into view


I hit a dog one day, I was doing exactly 30 MPH. I know this because there was a camera there and although I wasn't exceeding the limit I was checking my speedo so I didn't even see the dog coming. I might have had a chance of avoiding it if it hadn't been for the camera...

News Team wrote:
* 5% admitted to braking suddenly when seeing a speed camera


Is that all? I think most people brake for speed cameras, often when they aren't even speeding. Rolling Eyes
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M8TJT
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This 'sudden braking causing accidents' argument is wearing a bit thin now. If someone brakes in front of you, whatever the reason, and you run into the back of him, you were following too close and could arguably be driving without due care and attention. So the accidents 'caused' by speed cams have nothing to do with the cams, but are caused, in most instances' by people following too close. So perhaps we shold have a blitz on close followers.
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Guivre46
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 9:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well that is true. But on the A40 at Northolt airfield, I've had people who were following too closely swerve into my lane to avoid hitting the vehicle in front of them. Also on single lane roads I've had people who were speeding in a 50mph zone, who obviously have no idea of the speed limit, slow to less than 30mph very quickly. As I've said I'm prepared these days for weird responses to speed cams, but some are still surprising.
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djc1610
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's the most distorted piece of evidence I have ever heard.

Speed cameras do NOT cause these accidents.

They are caused by dangerous drivers who drive at excessive speeds all the time and then suddenly find that that are close to a camera - so they brake suddenly. The problem is also compounded by the modern trend of tail gating.

The cause of any accident is 100% the fault of the driver NOT the camera.

There is a simple, obvious and cheap solution to this sudden braking - hide all speed cameras. This would probably have a much greater effect on dangerous driving.

What's wrong with people breaking the law getting caught?

Why should law breaking motorists be protected from the law?
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Guivre46
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm far from anti-camera. I just think their use could be clearer, eg a sign saying "Accident blackspot Speed Limit 50mph - enforcement camera 400 yards". Or better still use average speed cams to protect a longer stretch of road, or link them to traffic lights. Just suddenly coming across lines in the road is not road safety.
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MaFt
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

djchapple wrote:
The problem is also compounded by the modern trend of tail gating.
I wouldn't say it was THAT modern...!

Quote:
There is a simple, obvious and cheap solution to this sudden braking - hide all speed cameras. This would probably have a much greater effect on dangerous driving.
but what would happen is people would find them and highlight them either with satnav pois or a great big spray-painted arrow! hiding them wouldn't make a blind bit of difference.

Quote:
What's wrong with people breaking the law getting caught?

Why should law breaking motorists be protected from the law?

the issue i, and many others here, have with speed cameras is that they are completely automated. if you are speeding then yes, it is illegal but if you were stopped by a real copper then your punishment would be in proportion to the crime - eg a few mph over the limit in the dead of night with no pedestrians for miles would not generally result in a £60 fine but would be spoken to and cautioned. a speed camera however is unable to think and so would issue a fine regardless or circumstances. the equivalent would be if all thieves were sent straight to prison. should someone stealing a mars bar be sent to prison the same as someone stealing thousands of pounds from a bank? that is essentially what speed cameras do - dish out the same punishment regardless of severity.

i don't purposefully speed but road conditions and other users can easily have that effect. for example, on a motorway most people do 80mph. it is far safer, in my opinion, to 'go with the flow' of traffic than to be constantly watching your speedo and not the road.

there are roads that seem to have the wrong speed limit too. thornton road, bradford, near where i live (street view link) is a wide road mostly surrounded by fields and, where there ARE houses, they are a good 30+ feet away from the road with large gardens and long driveways and also have large, wide grass verges. i.e. it is very unlikely that pedestrians will be near the road itself. you can see in the street view link above how wide the road is and, if you move east you will see the distance the houses are from the road. this road has, perhaps surprisingly, a 30mph limit! a lot of people drive faster on here because it FEELS like a faster road. in fact is used to be a 40 until about 8 or 9 years ago when there were a few fatalities - not from people driving 40mph i hasten to add, but from a spree of joy riders that was happening a lot at that time - kids doing 90+ mph and crashing into traffic islands... sorry but a 30mph limit and some speed cameras would not have changed the out come. it was only in the last few years that they have tried to make the road feel like a 30 by adding the lines at the side of the road (which aren't actually official cycle lanes - no idea why not though) and the cross-hatches in the middle. but even with that it actually FEELS like a 40 and so is easy to speed there.

conversely, and another area with speed cameras, is highgate road (street view link). this is actually a 40mph limit!! however, i always find myself driving at under 30 along here as that's what it FEELS like... houses close to the road, no grass verges etc etc.

road design has a large affect on the speed that people drive. when we learn to drive we are taught to observe observe observe. however, in these 2 examples, the chances are you would end up at the wrong speed (either higher or lower) as your observations of the area don;t match the speed limit that has been set for the road.

law breakers should not be protected from the law, instead they should be treated according to their crime. a few mph over the limit should not be dealt the same as someone doing 60 in a 30 zone at school closing time - but that is what speed cameras do.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2010 11:02 am    Post subject: Safety Cameras ? Reply with quote

Some years ago I was driving along The Kingsway in Hove, a nice wide road complete with 30MPH camera. As I got near the camera position a car overtook me at speed, and then the driver noticed the camera. What he did next, was to brake very hard and his car began to spin, as the rear of the car came round it missed me by inches and caused me to brake,but with no harm done this time . The speeding vehicle passed through the camera sideways without triping it. Safety camera, I don't think so!
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2010 7:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It concerns me that the minute cameras were deactivated in Oxfordshire, the following news item appeared on the BBC News South web page a few days ago:-

The number of drivers speeding past Oxfordshire's deactivated speed cameras has increased by up to 88%, a road safety partnership claim.
Thames Valley's Safer Road Partnership monitored drivers on two roads in the county for five days.
The cameras were axed at the end of July after the county council withdrew £600,000 in funding due to budget cuts.
Road safety charity Brake said it was "extremely concerned".
The council said it was too early to draw conclusions.
The tests were carried out in Watlington Road, Cowley, and the A44 in Woodstock from Thursday till Monday.
In Cowley, 62 people were clocked speeding, representing a rise of 88%, the partnership revealed.
In Woodstock 110 drivers were caught doing more than the 30mph limit, which is 18% more than the average for 2010.

Keith Mitchell, leader of Oxfordshire County Council, said the test had only been completed at two sites out of 72 over five days.He told BBC Radio 4's PM programme: "You need a much longer look at the statistics before we can decide whether there is an increase in danger or not.

Those caught speeding during the trial will not receive fines or points.

Insp Paul Winks, from Thames Valley Police, called the results "disappointing". He said: "It clearly means switching off the camera has given a green light to a small number of people to break the law. "The consequence is more death and more death is unacceptable."

Ellen Booth, campaign officer for Brake, said: "This is people's lives we are talking about.


I've said it before as a result of being ex Emergency Services and having had to attend serious accidents, that everything we do on the roads is down to us personally and not the means of enforcement. The need for enforcement comes about by our own actions surely?

These days as a coach driver I am responsible for the lives of up to 48 other people at any one time. I therefore have to ensure that I retain a safety margin in my driving in order to compensate for and to contend with, those who consider themselves exempt from all levels of responsibility either for themselves or for others.

Travel the motorways and where are the majority of the cars to be found? Lane 3 of course - bumper to bumper and pushing to go nowhere, until that is, they realise that they are at the junction they need to exit and make a last minute diagonal dash to get off, no matter the consequences of their actions.

Come on admit it, it's us as drivers that are the source of all accidents and not inanimate objects that stand and can't believe what they see.

If we were to all slow down and drive properly, the need for cameras in many instances would be negated!
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guivre46 wrote:
Well that is true. "" Snip" who obviously have no idea of the speed limit, slow to less than 30mph very quickly..


The major part of the problem is (probably echoed later down the thread) is that if you are a stranger in "these ere parts" You have the feeling you maybe at the wrong speed and hit the bakes for the lowest common denominator speed -- 30 MPH.

In Sussex you are warned well in advance there is a camera and what the speed limit is, on road side signs and on the road. Drivers slow to a "sensible" speed, rather than jam on the brakes;

People still manager to get tickets ???!!! , but at least the driver has warning of the speed expected.

In other parts of the country you get no warning AT ALL (God Bless the speed cam database) so it is not unexpected for a driver to hit the brakes to 30 MPH if unsure of the speed limit.

This is compounded by the fact that speed limits and a piece of rural road, go up and down like whores drawers, So after a couple of miles the speed limit for a SIMILAR looking road could be anything from 40 to 60 MPH. If you are stranger in the "those there parts" the chances are speed limits are not the highest prioity in your driving sights whilst watching out for all the other visual signs of peril. (Crossing ducks/ children / continental drivers having a wrong side day etc !)

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JaTe wrote:
If we were to all slow down and drive properly, the need for cameras in many instances would be negated!


We don't need to slow down, just to drive properly. Wink

Like many people, I would prefer to drive along freely at a safe and comfortable speed for the conditions than drive along clock watching to make sure I stuck to some arbitrary speed limit set to the lowest common denominator.
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