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Do Drivers Still Not Understand Average Speed Cameras?
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RobBrady
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2010 7:56 pm    Post subject: Do Drivers Still Not Understand Average Speed Cameras? Reply with quote

pocketgpsworld.comLast week saw the controversy over the installation of average speed cameras hotting up with the announcement that more than 6,500 drivers have been caught speeding since the roll-out of cameras on the M4 in south east Wales.

BBC News Wales has reported that the segment of the M4 in question is currently undergoing a major reconstruction project, and the safety of the construction workers was the reason used to install the average speed cameras in the specific areas where roadworks are taking place.

The cameras in question are programmed to detect when motorists exceed the 50mph speed limit and aim to not only protect the road construction workers, but to help control the flow of traffic, especially during rush hour, by keeping it moving at a slow and steady pace.

Elizabeth Box, a representative from the RAC foundation, stated that with 43 million vehicles having traversed that stretch of roadway since the cameras were installed in September of 2009 (a number that translates to approximately 110,000 vehicles a day), it's a wonder that only 6,500 drivers have been caught speeding given the amount of traffic in that particular area. She claims that these numbers prove that the cameras are doing their intended job and slowing down speeding drivers on the targeted stretches.

Opponents of the installation of average speed cameras state that the cameras consistently create bottlenecks in which vehicles are encouraged to travel at dangerously close distances to each other and state that while the slower speeds may indeed help with the flow of traffic during peak rush hours, that 50mph during the slower times of the day is an unnecessary precaution. They also claim that the insistence on using the speed cameras is related more directly to a desire for increased revenues from speeding penalties than from a desire for the safety of the workers or the motorists.

For those still unfamiliar with average speed cameras (and it seems there are still quite a few), unlike regular speed cameras which can be tricked by a motorist slowing down briefly when passing them, these new cameras can be positioned any distance apart and there is no flash to warn when they have been caught, so the first knowledge of what has happened is receiving the penalty in the post.

While the average speed cameras were installed in order to ensure the safety of the road construction crews, the current plan is for the average speed cameras to be replaced by a variable speed limit, similar to that on the M25, once the construction is complete. Since the cameras have been installed, average speeds have dropped to 49.4mph, though there have been intermittently higher speeds recorded, some as high as 95mph.

It's worth noting that the PocketGPSWorld.com speed camera database is accurate within a week of any cameras being moved around the UK motorway network. Databases for camera positions from even the best known companies can be out by at least 12 months!
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JimmyTheHand
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 9:23 am    Post subject: Or Maybe Reply with quote

People don't understand the mathematical term "average" ;)
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spook51
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So 6,500 out of 43 million - 2010 must be a slow news year in Wales.
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Craig8944
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Reckon this will be an excuse to put these things up whenever there is roadworks about! Crying or Very sad
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Andy_P
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 4:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Or Maybe Reply with quote

JimmyTheHand wrote:
People don't understand the mathematical term "average" ;)


Which one!? Laughing

There were at least three different 'averages' around when I was at school - the mean, the mode and the median.

With all the politicians' lies, damned lies and statistics, there's probably even more now!
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JimmyTheHand
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 4:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Or Maybe Reply with quote

Andy_P wrote:
JimmyTheHand wrote:
People don't understand the mathematical term "average" ;)


Which one!? Laughing

There were at least three different 'averages' around when I was at school - the mean, the mode and the median.

I doubt it has changed since then - I suspect half the problem understanding is the three different "averages" the other half them being in mathematics Wink

However it is usually safe to assume, unless talking to mathematician, that average = mean
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SQUARE2024
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Time and time again when I am on the M25 cruise control locked in @ 50mph going through the roadworks I am overtaken as if I am going backwards,People just cannot understand the concept of what an average speed camera is,or they think does not apply to them
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Andy_P
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 6:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe it doesn't! Twisted Evil

Once there is the ability to differentiate between number plates, it's a simple matter to screen out all "official" or "special" plates.
Remember the soviet VIP lanes?

Not that I'm paranoid or anything..... Laughing
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spook51
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SQUARE2024 wrote:
Time and time again when I am on the M25 cruise control locked in @ 50mph going through the roadworks I am overtaken as if I am going backwards,People just cannot understand the concept of what an average speed camera is,or they think does not apply to them


Could that be because your cruise control at 50mph is relative to your car's speedo and the passing motorists are checking their speed against their SatNavs (as I do through Specs zones)? Just a thought.
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BigPerk
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Indeed so - I use Cruise Control 'geared' to my satnav, and my speedo shows about 56/57mph. Saves a good few minutes on a long stretch.

so I bet I was one of those people who passed you, SQUARE2024, like a bat out of hell! Razz
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DennisN
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 11:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
BBC News Wales has reported that the segment of the M4 in question is currently undergoing a major reconstruction project, and the safety of the construction workers was the reason used to install the average speed cameras in the specific areas where roadworks are taking place.

Interesting is that last time (last several times) I drove through that area, the roadworks were almost non-existent and completed - I guess they are simply leaving the average cameras there to generate revenue until such time as they get the variable speed cameras operating.
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Guivre46
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 11:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those 6,500 drivers must have paid huge fines to fund that lot?
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253
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2010 1:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DennisN wrote:
Quote:
BBC News Wales has reported that the segment of the M4 in question is currently undergoing a major reconstruction project, and the safety of the construction workers was the reason used to install the average speed cameras in the specific areas where roadworks are taking place.

Interesting is that last time (last several times) I drove through that area, the roadworks were almost non-existent and completed - I guess they are simply leaving the average cameras there to generate revenue until such time as they get the variable speed cameras operating.


As you say Dennis, no road works along the stretch for months now. Although they do have to repair the barriers every month or so after a serious accident - which seems to be very common and must say something about the drivers.

Also I've noticed that gantries have gone up which look permanent and it appears (to me anyway) that they may well be looking to put cameras in them, whether specs/average speed I don't know.
But it's all looking more and more permanent.

Even on the bike I go through at about 50, and there are loads of cars and HGVs going past at well over 60.
They must have the speed set quite high if they've only issued that amount of fines.
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SQUARE2024
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2010 1:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

spook51 wrote:
SQUARE2024 wrote:
Time and time again when I am on the M25 cruise control locked in @ 50mph going through the roadworks I am overtaken as if I am going backwards,People just cannot understand the concept of what an average speed camera is,or they think does not apply to them


Could that be because your cruise control at 50mph is relative to your car's speedo and the passing motorists are checking their speed against their SatNavs (as I do through Specs zones)? Just a thought.


I always use the TomTom digital speed more acurate than your cars anologue one.
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DennisN
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2010 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

253 wrote:
Also I've noticed that gantries have gone up which look permanent and it appears (to me anyway) that they may well be looking to put cameras in them, whether specs/average speed I don't know.
But it's all looking more and more permanent.

I reckon it's permanent all right - the 50 limit was in force long before the roadworks even started and has permanent signs, not temporary roadworks type signs. I find it very alarming sticking under the limit (satnav speed, not speedo) only to find juggernauts thundering all over the back of my van.

This article is quite confusing, talking about permanent and variable speed and mobile average speed cameras. I guess the only fairly definite thing we can assume is that the M4 at Newport is never again going to be national speed limit! Nearly ten miles of boring crawling along when there are no vehicles round. And the laugh is the 50mph limit ends when you turn off the M4 onto the M48 into Cardiff - westbound the newly widened three lane 50mph motorway changes to 70mph two lanes. Doh!!
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