BBC BLOGS - Have Your Say
« Previous | Main | Next »

Are the days of speed cameras numbered?

12:15 UK time, Thursday, 22 July 2010


It's a year since Swindon became the first council in the UK to scrap fixed speed cameras. Should they be removed from the rest of the UK?

The local authority made its decision claiming that cameras did not reduce the number of accidents on the roads. During this period the accident rate in Swindon is said to have remained the same.

Since then, the coalition government has cut funding for the road safety grant this year and says it will no longer fund new speed cameras.

Should fixed speed cameras be consigned to history? Do you live in the Swindon area? Has the removal of cameras made a difference to road safety?

This debate is now closed. Thank you for your comments.

Comments

Page 1 of 4

  • Comment number 1.

    Fixed, highly visible cameras are not likely to have a great impact on accidents anyway, as people just slow down for them. They should be hidden to catch those that speed when they think they aren't watched. Before anyone whines that the poor motorist is picked on and this would be underhanded, there is an easy way to avoid being penalised: Dont break the law!! If drivers didn't know where the cameras were then they'd have to behave everywhere.

    The alternative is to have no cameras but more police driving around catching the speeding idiots. But then people moan that the police are picking on poor motorists instead of real criminals like muggers and murderers. This ignores the fact that you are far, far more likely to be hurt or killed on the roads than by a murderer who is, statistically, most likely to be someone you know anyway and whom the police would have no chance of stopping whether they were arresting idiots drivers or not.

  • Comment number 2.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 3.

    There is a place for speed cameras - outside schools, for example, but otherwise I doubt they work at all. This is because people slow down for them, then speed up afterwards, so they may actually be dangerous in some situations. No, what we need are more Police in patrol cars, not some arbitrary machine that cannot judge context and road conditions.

  • Comment number 4.

    No difference whatsoever. Any slight reduction in accidents caused by excessive speed is offset by people jumping on the brakes at the last minute when they spot one! You only have to look at the road to see the skid marks beside the cameras!

  • Comment number 5.

    Lets hope so. Get rid of all the damn SCAMeras. They were just cash machines for greedy labour party expenses. Are the tories any better? Well that remains to be seen - I hope so but not holding my breath.

    They should probably stay in built up areas though. Remove them from all other roads: motorways, A roads and any road outside of towns and villages. The cameras in built up areas should slso have a reasonable and realistic threshold. You are not posing any extra risk to lives just by doing 32mph in a 30mph zone (if you are watching the road). You do pose an extra risk if you are doing 30 in a 30 and staring at the speedo.

  • Comment number 6.

    Road safety? That's a spurious claim. Speed cameras do NOTHING to enhance safety. They are installed by officiall-dumbs for the $ake of revenue.

  • Comment number 7.

    The sooner they are abolished the better. They have very little to do with road safety and a lot to do with raising a form of tax.

    The vast majority of people slow down for them then speed up again immediately after passing. The additional fuel consumption and pollution is cumulatively significant and the safety effect is confined to one hundred yards of road.

    Whilst we're about it get rid of the speed bumps too. Everybody straddles them which frequently leads to motorists approaching each other playing "chicken" in the middle of the road.

  • Comment number 8.

    The local authority made its decision claiming that cameras did not reduce the number of accidents on the roads. During this period the accident rate in Swindon is said to have remained the same.

    Claimed? Just claimed?.
    Hmm, other Authorities have reported differently. Well, the behaviour of my family and friends of our is to take notice of these cameras. They do slow us (and I'll bet a good few others) down.

    If no one broke the speed limits no revenue would come from the cameras and they could be scrapped as loss-making. Truth is, though, that anything that improves road saftey even slightly is worth a shot. We grieve over so many soldiers' deaths in Afghanistan without thinking that about 100 times more deaths occur on our roads, most of them needless.

    So anything that can reduce that toll is worth keeping. Swindon may have got the statistics wrong so far as cause and effect goes.

    = = = = = =

    Since then, the coalition government has cut funding for the road safety grant this year and says it will no longer fund new speed cameras.

    Cutting the funding for the road safety grant? This is one of those sickening aspects of government finance...the Road Fund Tax doesn't go to the roads at all - it's all thrown in the chancellor's cash-cow bucket.

    If there's any cut to road safety or maintenance there should be a corresponding cut in the tax disc.

  • Comment number 9.

    The best way to deal with speeding is to make people feel socially obliged to obey them, for safety reasons, and leave the police to clear up the minority who have no sense of morals.

    However instead they place seemingly arbitary speed limits for other reasons (e.g. 50mph on rural dual carriageway A77) and then wonder why drivers don't respect them. It is invariably the latter catergory of speed limit that gets the cameras (e.g. the aforementioned 50mph on the A77).

  • Comment number 10.

    I personally would rather see more police monitoring traffic than speed cameras. Police can catch someone speeding, as well as being able to pick up on dangerous driving such as people running red lights, swerving accross multiple lanes or even parking in dangerous locations such as on blind corners or too close to junctions.

    Perhaps we could also see a timed setting on the average speed cameras as well. What is the point in having to drive at 40mph on a motorway in roadworks that still has 2 lanes open (when single carriagways can have a 60mph limit on much more dangerous roads) at 3 in the morning, when the reason for lowering the limit (men working) becomes irrelevant.

    Speed cameras have a place, such as on the A9, where they are located just before junctions, requiring motorists who are speeding to slow down for a junction anyway, thereby having a positive effect. Speed alone doesn't kill, it's innapropriate use of speed, such as in poor lighting or a bad location. I am in no way advocating speeding, but what if you have to pull out and overtake a vehicle such as a tractor, surely it is safer to put your foot down and perhaps stray over the limit than drive slowly past the vehicle?

  • Comment number 11.

    Fixed speed cameras will not be consigned to history any time soon in my opinion.
    There are those who say that they are a tool for maintaining road safety. But I am sure there are those who see them as a source of revenue. During these economic times, who would give this relatively free source of money?

  • Comment number 12.

    They're a mono-offence system. You can drive past one unlicensed, uninsured, 4 bald tyres, drunk or high, overloaded, no tax no MoT no insurance, carrying drugs/explosives/guns, unlit at night, on sheet ice, backwards and on the wrong side of the road and run down 40 kids and it will do nothing as "you were only doing 29mph". It encourages young drivers to imagine that speeding is the only motoring offence. Not a replacement for proper traffic policing.

    And I've only had one ticket in 35 years cars and bikes - before you ask!

  • Comment number 13.

    There are a lot of winging softies on here who are so used to cotton wool and nothing being their fault that they have to blame others for their stupidity.

    At one time all roads were either national speed limit or 30mph. Now there is a huge range of speed signs depending where you drive. Not only do you need to watch for these but there are the many other signs which (in a lot of cases) are useless. Add to that the various road markings to make a simple road into a complicated effort of 'which lane should I be in'? The left lane of the roundabout entrance is as trustworthey as the right and some road markings are PLAIN WRONG (I have many examples).

    So when dealing with all this incompetence people still assume the speeding motorist is in the wrong. Yet it is so easy to miss signs that sat navs are practically a must for any serious driver. Even then people cut others off and perform outragious manouvers just because the road is signed wrong or the markings are wrong.

    This is the situation for the british motorist. Went to florida and they actually understand signposts and road markings. I am sure other countries have figured out the simple concept of travel too.

    In the end your eyes need to be on the road, not on the speedo in case of hidden cameras. No wonder there are petrol heads. Our road system is aggrovating at the best of times

  • Comment number 14.

    I think speed cameras are dangerous. When in an area with a lot of speed cameras, motorists have to spend so much time checking their speed they ignore the road!

    They are a money making scam, no more no less.

    With the development of GPS surely technology can be put in place that automatically limits the speed of cars dependent on the speed limit of the road? That would seem to make sense to me, but of course it wouldnt make the government lots of money in fines so they wont do it.

  • Comment number 15.

    Just by coincidence Swindon decided to scrap their cameras after the rules were changed to prevent them from keeping all the revenue from speeding fines.

    Speed cameras are a good thing, if each camera can prevent one death or permanent injury, they are worth it. The problem I have is that speed is now seen as the be-all and end-all of road safety. If we get hung up on speed we risk missing all the other dangers and becoming complacent.

  • Comment number 16.

    I've been to Swindon. The reason why speed cameras are unnecessary there is that there isn't a stretch of road between roundabouts to build up any speed.

    I see that the usual posters are rambling on about having more police patrol cars. So they move police from other duties. I suppose then that they'll be complaining about there being no police available when other crimes happen.

    I do not understand why they have such a "down" on the cameras. If they don't want to pay the fines don't speed.

    I'm quite sure that if the cameras did not generate enough income to cover their repair and maintenance they'd be removed.

  • Comment number 17.

    I've never believed that Safety Camera in themselves have saved lives. It has been the increase in traffic density and vast improvements in car designs that have been the real saviours. However I do think they have a use in certain areas at particular times of the day. Speed ALONE is only responsible for a small percetage of accidents, and we seem to be obsest in investing all our resouces into this cause, where all other causes are ignored. Flashing speed signs have a far better effect on drivers, who only need a reminder, whilst the reckless will continue to do as they please until as such time we have more un-marked police cars on the road to catch these selfish individuels. Some hope

  • Comment number 18.

    I suspect that the speeding laws in this country are unique amongst the body of our law, in being so nonsensical. That may be why, in part at least, so many drivers flout them and so often.

    Speed limits are too arbitrary. Where is the evidence that 70mph on motorways, rather than say 60mph or 80mph, is the 'right' limit?

    Speed limits are so rigid as to be ridiculous. With some stretches of motorway, in appropriate conditions, 80mph or more is just as safe as 70mph. With some urban roads, in bad weather conditions and when schools are finishing for the day, 30mph, or even 20mph, is much too fast.

    At least police officers have the opportunity to apply common sense and judgement. I'm not saying they do, but at least they have the opportunity. Cameras make no allowance for circumstances. It's not surprising that they're viewed with such contempt.

  • Comment number 19.

    If they are, will it mean more Traffic Officers spending their day parked in lay-bys armed with speed guns instead of patrolling the highways? I for one will certainly feel reassured my tax contribution is paying for more officers to sit around issuing fixed penalties instead of patrolling and dealing with other motoring offences such as dangerous and drink driving. What happened to officers stopping people using mobile phones while driving?

  • Comment number 20.

    3. At 12:37pm on 22 Jul 2010, Len Day wrote:
    There is a place for speed cameras - outside schools


    I totally agree.

    Now considering the Police have Automatic Number Plate Recognition — ANPR — cameras already available, perhaps they'll clamp down on vehicles without road tax, motor insurance or an MOT instead of waiting "to see them being driven" before they take any action?

  • Comment number 21.

    What is possibly wrong with making revenue from the irresponsible actions of offenders if it saves the law-abiding money?

    I do 25,000 miles per year in connection with my work. I don't have any warning gadgets. I have a clean licence. I don't find it tiresome looking out for speed cameras because I just obey the speed limits so don't need to. It makes for a relaxing journey.

    I think there should be more of them, concealed and with no signs.

  • Comment number 22.

    Speed Cameras should be used in the right place, outside schools and where children are playing, what they should not be used for is doing the job of a trained Police Officer.

    A Police Officer can use their discretion as to whether a speed is a danger to others and to give a warning if it is not.

    A Police Officer can check if the driver is insured, vehicle is taxed, driving too close or wandering all over the road or indeed, causing an obstruction by driving too slowly, or trying to turn right from the left lane of a roundabout or right from the left lane as I have seen many do these days.

    Get the Police back onto the roads to get these drivers off the roads, this will make it safer for others, not those doing 66mph on a dry straight, empty road.

  • Comment number 23.

    @doctor bob:
    "Well, the behaviour of my family and friends of our is to take notice of these cameras. They do slow us (and I'll bet a good few others) down."

    So that is admitting that they speed everywhere else then!?

    If so, then presumably the only way to reduce road deaths in general would be to line every road with speed cameras since each camera only reduced speed along a small 100m stretch.

    It is also no good saying that they put speed cameras at accident black-spots. They don't. They place then where people least expect them. E.g. coming out of a village, they extend the 30mph zone unnecessarily and then put a camera to get motorists that have left the built up area.

  • Comment number 24.

    No, but if they are they should be replaced by quality traffic policing, which is, what should have been introduced in the first place.

    I am sure there are many who will simply say yes simply because it infringes their human rights to drive as they wish, like the many parents who doing well in excess of 30 MPH speed past me in 30 MPH zone every morning.

    I wonder how they would react to the knock on their door by a police officer that tells them their little Johnny has been knocked down and killed by a speeding motorist?

    ‘Oh its ok officer’ they are only exercising their rights.

    If people really thought about it, if they didn’t speed there would be no need for cameras of any sort.

  • Comment number 25.

    There are laws in place for speeding and they should be adhered to. It is simple as that. However money invested in speed cameras should be invested in more efficient projects such a speed bumps near schools/hospitals/retirement homes or invested in proper cycle lanes to project vulnerable cyclists, etc.

  • Comment number 26.

    We all know the introduction of all the speed cameras we have was never about road safety. They allow the motorist to be systamaticaly targeted, by government (who want our money) and the anti car groups that use either safety or environmental concerns to demonise the motorist.

    How often have you heard a 'road safety' campaigner justiufying a speed limit on the basis that it's worth it if one life is saved? Taken to its logical conclusion you would re-introduce the blanket 2.5mph speed limit and the requirement to be preceeded by a runner waving a red flag! In fact lets ban the car, that would reduce the road death rate to zero and after all if one life is saved its worth it...

    Yes I do think we should try and reduce road injuries and deaths but we need to do this in an intelligent way and we need to remember that risk cant be eliminated completely.

    Some of the regulation imposed has a negative effect, the increase in speed cameras and other restrictions mean I must now devote more concentration to road signage and complaince with regualtion. The eniviable concequence is that I devote less to looking out of the window, observing whats going on around me and making subjective decisions about speed, road positining and hazard anticipation. Instead I must pay close attention to strict compliance with regulation, espcially in unfamiliar areas, where I am more likly to fall victim to a revenue camera. Do not argue that I should ba able to do it all, I cannot, nobody can, the human brain does not have infinately expandable processing power.

    Noticed all those overhead signs on the motorway that now flash differing messages at us, you now traffic jams somewhere we arnt going anyway, this road will be closed a week on Wednesday or the most usefull those messages that tell you about the teaffic jam you are sat in! Does anybody know what these signs are for, other that is than to waste our money and distract us?

  • Comment number 27.

    There is a place for speed cameras - outside schools, for example, but otherwise I doubt they work at all. This is because people slow down for them, then speed up afterwards, so they may actually be dangerous in some situations. No, what we need are more Police in patrol cars, not some arbitrary machine that cannot judge context and road conditions
    -----------

    So they slow down from breaking the law and then speed up again to break the law?
    How does that make it more dangerous,if they were not exceeding the speed limit in the first place they wouldn't be engaged in pointless accelerations and decelerations.

    I am an ex Met Police Officer and the chances of getting more Police Officers in or out of cars over the next 5 Years is as we both know 0%

  • Comment number 28.

    I've never understood the problem with speed cameras. If you drive within the legal speed limit, you won't even notice they are there; if, on the other hand, you break the speed limit, then you only have yourself to blame.

  • Comment number 29.

    Lets hope so. Get rid of all the damn SCAMeras. They were just cash machines for greedy labour party expenses. Are the tories any better? Well that remains to be seen - I hope so but not holding my breath.
    --------
    If Cameras were such a revenue source do you honestly believe that this cash strapped government would get rid of them?

    They are designed to discourage people from breaking the law and killing people while driving too fast, in the same way that a lock on your front door is designed to discourage burglars stealing your property.

    Would you advocate removing locks because it makes thieves job harder?

  • Comment number 30.

    Let's hope so. But we still need to get tough on bad drivers.

  • Comment number 31.

    I agree to a certain extent that cameras have a part to play to cut injury/fatalities on the road, but feel that they have been misused.

    Cameras have also diverted attention away from the real goal which is to cut those injuries/fatalities. These have been coming down over the years but I feel Governments are incorrectly claiming credit for this where the main credit lies with the car companies increasing passenger & pedestrian safety through the designs of their cars.

  • Comment number 32.

    i would rather see cameras outside built up ares like schools, colleges and even in the town centres ( not a lot in my area i can tell you )
    The cameras are a waste of money and just a cash cow regardless of who says it - Example - you see people drive down the motorway/carriageway a above the speed limit then hit 70mph for the camera then speed up again - so they work!!!!

  • Comment number 33.

    Speed cameras are not necessary, severe fines for accidents are. We all recognise the idiots, we see them everyday and we all break the rules at some time, but some are just unbeleiveable what they do.

    As an example, someone causes an accident resulting in severe injury or death through speeding and proven to be their fault, they get a severe fine, maxinmum points for 3 years and their car crushed in front of them, irrespective of value. A jail term will do no good at this point.

  • Comment number 34.

    The standard of driving on UK roads has deteriorated significantly since the police service abdicated all responsibility for road policing in favour of cameras.

    Speed policing is essential in certain circumstances, but unmanned boxes mounted next to the road cannot identify the non-speed related bad behaviours which are responsible for the bulk of road traffic accidents.

    As has been pointed out by other commenters, the presence of the boxes leads many to assume that they are free to break limits once outside their range in any case as the police will simply not bother to be present in areas served by cameras.

  • Comment number 35.

    For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong.

  • Comment number 36.

    18. At 12:59pm on 22 Jul 2010, Chris mather wrote:

    I suspect that the speeding laws in this country are unique amongst the body of our law, in being so nonsensical. That may be why, in part at least, so many drivers flout them and so often.

    Speed limits are too arbitrary. Where is the evidence that 70mph on motorways, rather than say 60mph or 80mph, is the 'right' limit?



    Absolutely correct, and motorways are the safest roads by far in terms fatalities/injuries per passenger mile, yet they're the fastest moving roads. Excess speed on its own is not the major contributor (percentage-wise it is a fairly minor factor). Bad driving is.

    The current 70mph limit on motorways was set in the late 60's as it was the maximum speed that a typical family car (e.g a Ford Cortina of the time) could travel at. If you came off the road in a car like that then, you'd almost certainly die. Cars have advanced by a huge factor since then in terms of stopping power & safety/crash survivability.

  • Comment number 37.

    Where speed cameras don't improve road safety, get rid of them. We also have to be careful about how we interpret the stats: speed cameras are often put up on roads where there has been an recent increase in accidents, then when accidents go down it is claimed the speed cameras have worked. But that's not necessarily true because there would usually be a regression to mean anyway on a stretch of road with an unusually high accident rate.

    Pure breaking of the speed limit (as opposed to driving too fast for the circumstances, whether over or under the speed limit) is the cause of very few accidents, although it's a contributory cause to many. Unless one is stationary one could always be going slower after all.

    I think the best way to improved overall road safely is through training. The driving test should be much harder (I'd suggest to ROSPA level) and I think there should be a retest for drivers every 10 years.

    We need to make people think about their driving. Many's the time I've seen some idiot driving at 30MPH on a busy, pedestrian-infested road during the rain or fog with no lights on. Sure they're within the speed limit but they're going too fast for the circumstances and nobody can see them. Yet there are times when 95MPH on an empty motorway is perfectly safe. If drivers are taught to think about these things we'd have much safer roads than those controlled only by speed limits.

    Having said that, I'm not totally against all speed cameras. I think they have their uses outside schools and in heavily populated areas where it is more often than not dangerous to exceed certain speeds. On other roads I think we're better off teaching people to think about all aspects of their driving so that we can trust them to choose the correct speed to drive at themselves.

  • Comment number 38.

    Two-thirds of German autobahns have only advisory limits (Richtgeschwindigkeit). The length of speed-unrestricted autobahns slowly expanded after the opening of the East German borders in November 1989. Prior to German reunification in 1990, accident reduction programs in eastern German states were primarily focused on restrictive traffic regulation including speed limits. Within two years after the opening, motorized traffic increased by 54% and annual traffic deaths doubled.

    Cars driving too fast kill people!

    Fact
    The Department of Transport figurs for the UK indicate that excessive speed was reported in 15% of all accidents and 26% of fatal crashes.

    Fact!

  • Comment number 39.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 40.

    This old tired argument again - I've got a couple of questions for all on this HYS and we'll see who can answer it clearly and honestly:

    Does anyone admit to having been caught speeding either by a fixed camera or traffic officer?

    Do you admit that you knew what the speed limit was on the road you were travelling on and that you decided to go above that limit anyway??

    Did you know that by doing so you were breaking law and that you would be fined and points added to your licence if caught???

    If you have answered 'YES' to all 3 of the above questions then I close my case...you are guilty as charged and i'm not interested in hearing your excuses. You are just bitter because you got caught.

    Look, I'm a motorist and I have a round trip to work of about 30 miles every day. On my way I travel on roads of varying speed limits, some of them with fixed cameras. You know what? I've never been caught by one of them, why? BECAUSE I KNOW WHAT THE SPEED LIMIT IS AND I CHOOSE TO STAY WITHIN IT. It really isn't at all difficult to do so. I'm always on time for work because I leave plenty of time for my journey, so I don't have a need to speed. I would suggest that your need to speed comes from your own disorganisation and making yourself late. So here's a few tips for you:

    * Plan your journey and work out how long it should take you to get from A to B.
    * Allow for at least an extra 20-30 minutes for bad traffic.
    * Leave at the planned time.
    * Stick to the speed limits and arrived safely at your destination with no fines or penalty points.

    It REALLY is that easy.

  • Comment number 41.

    Eddy from Waring
    I don't find it tiresome looking out for speed cameras because I just obey the speed limits so don't need to. It makes for a relaxing journey.

    I don't because I find some roads have the limit set to low (e.g. 40mph when it's not at all built up). If you stick rigidly to the limit at all times you invariably find yourself being tail-gated, flashed at or other drivers carrying out dangerous overtaking manoeuvres which I find anything but relaxing.

  • Comment number 42.

    Complex subject this one.
    Most cameras should be scrapped as they are there only to raise cash. But some cameras (very rarely) provide a genuine safety case. One is on the A43 near Silverstone where a well-signed and brightly painted camera makes you slow down just before a hidden pub entrance. But these are very rare.
    It is amazing how the public authorities justify them. In Windsor they are claiming that cameras reduced accidents by 44% yet the Dept of Transport's own figures show that excess speeding causes only about 5% of accidents.
    You know in Monopoly if you throw three doubles you have to go to jail. It's a fluke but that's how speed cameras are introduced and justified. You have three accidents in the same place (maybe due to a danger but also sometimes a fluke) so then you introduce a camera and hey presto - no more accidents. In statistics it is called regression to the mean I believe - nothing to do with the camera, just the statistics rebalancing themselves.

    Also I would like to know HOW they decide on the speed limits in the first place. Often they are ridiculously low - I remember a brand new section of the A50 - double carriageway, crash barriers, had a 50mph limit and a speed camera. Why? And allied to this is inconsistency. A clear rural road has a 40mph limit and a camera and no objective danger. A few miles along is another stretch of road with a 60mph limit and a sharp bend - drivers drive on the whole according to what is in front of them - which is better than staring at the speedo all the time. And this relates to Cav's comments at no.1. Most 'speeding idiots' are doing just a few miles over the limit in a momentary lapse but quite safe and creating no objective risk at all. And murderers are allowed in court to plead mitigation and their sentences can be anything from a few years to whole-of-life. Speeding motorists are usually given no leeway.
    In the public sector roads and transport departments I have good grounds to believe there is an absolute hatred of the private car user and under the guise of 'safety' many policies are introduced to make it as horrible an experience as possible to drive a car. Speed cameras, road bumps, double yellow lines everywhere etc etc. The idea is to make you use public transport.

    More worrying and serious. If you look at the Dept of Transport stats (compiled from Police reports) you will see that more pedestrians are injured in accidents BECAUSE THEY DID NOT LOOK BEFORE CROSSING THE ROAD than are injured due to excess speed. Yet where we live school children long ago had their pedestrian safety talks cancelled. If safety were the real issue there would be a big campaign to teach children to cross the road safely. Oh I forgot. You cant raise revenue from school children.

  • Comment number 43.

    I saw the smug Tory Swindon councillor earlier using statistic-speak to justify this, rather than just saying it is simply to cut costs.

    Cameras are about influencing behaviour and they do make drivers slow down. When installed in accident black-spots they are effective and save lives. Conversely, if they are removed from these places, lives will be lost.

    Perhaps our friend in Swindon could have just left the cameras in place, inactive and without their "not-in-use" covers. Behaviour would have continued to be influenced, particularly for through traffic, and the investment would not have been wasted. Just paint them every couple of years.

  • Comment number 44.

    As a driving enthusiast I should be completely against speed cameras. However I'd much prefer the removal of speed bumps which are often over the legal height and end up damaging vehicles. My car is quite low and I end up having to drive over them at an angle which means I'm often close to the opposing lane. Hows this safer? Not to mention the obvious increase of carbon emissions.

    Chicanes and bias junctions to control traffic flow are far cleaner and safer and make for sensible driving.

    Speed cameras, whilst annoying to some, do control speed. Get caught and you get points and a fine. Which I did do once - on an open dual carriage way early on a Sunday morning. There were no other cars on the road. Who was I endangering - I was 7mph over the limit. My choice though and lesson learned.

    I think only the placing of cameras should be questioned, not the complete removal of them.

  • Comment number 45.

    The aim of the speed cameras is to have them where accidents use to occures. And it is a good thing people reduce their speed at such places.
    There are other places also where free speed would not increase the accident rate.

  • Comment number 46.

    I notice that many people believe that Speed Cameras are 'cash cows' and raise revenue for the Council or Police. I may be wrong, but IF they were so good at raising revenue why are Councils cutting them to save money?
    AS for the future, cameras were only ever going to be an interim measure whilst proper high tech systems are developed.
    With every new vehicle having an ECU it is relatively simple to add on GPS/Road position speed control to make it impossible for the motorist to speed. Look up the work of Leeds University for the future.
    With the current government speed cameras are the least of the motorists worries, look forward to road tolling and serious restrictions on drivers freedoms.

  • Comment number 47.

    38. At 1:42pm on 22 Jul 2010, steve wrote:

    Two-thirds of German autobahns have only advisory limits (Richtgeschwindigkeit). The length of speed-unrestricted autobahns slowly expanded after the opening of the East German borders in November 1989. Prior to German reunification in 1990, accident reduction programs in eastern German states were primarily focused on restrictive traffic regulation including speed limits. Within two years after the opening, motorized traffic increased by 54% and annual traffic deaths doubled.

    Cars driving too fast kill people!

    Fact
    The Department of Transport figurs for the UK indicate that excessive speed was reported in 15% of all accidents and 26% of fatal crashes.

    Fact!

    -----------------------------

    Obviously the actions to reduce speed should be proportionate to the problem. So 15% of resources should be given to speed and the other 85% resources need to be on the other 85% of problems surely.

    Yet the good driver is penalised by a stupid system which saves very few lives (if any) and yet makes billions in revenue, often because the road systems are so poor.

    Improve the roads and you will probably have a better road safety

  • Comment number 48.

    Cameras should ONLY be there to improve safety!

    Far better would be police patrols on blackspots, the number of times a day I see (and I don't want to generalise but it's mainly young inexperienced drivers) texting or emailing whilst driving is shocking.

  • Comment number 49.

    So are fixed speed cameras about to be consigned to history?

    Dont be fooled!!!

    With police numbers likely to fall, less money to pay for police patrol cars and running costs in the short term speed cameras will decline. I can ultimately maybe see legislation to change use into growth of mobile versions of which will be protected from radio stations or other media advertising their whereabouts.

    Stationary cameras in many places have little value or benefit, because of awareness of them, hence the decline of their validity of use.

    Many still speed excessively and I have personally noticed an increase of numbers speeding, I have done it myself, theres not much chance of coming across a police car for much of the time on many motorways or other main roads, in fact I have gone months without seeing one and with austerity measures this will get worse.

    I think gradually the actual single speed cameras will be replaced by multi use average speed cameras on main artery roads, this will be the single most efficient and economical way of enforcing compliance of speeds and these cameras will also read number plates of every vehicle that passes and relay/record information of movement of vehicles and people as well as traffic conditions.

    As far as I can recollect from previous read information, this is what is actually happening.

    Single speed cameras are basically past their benefit use by date and are being replaced with multi use/function systems whereby a much decreased number of employees/operatives can monitor much greater areas and information, and be automatically informed of relevent information/situation as and when arises. Hence do not be taken in that you will actually be less monitored because this is FACTUALLY NOT the case.

  • Comment number 50.

    When speed cameras went up on the A-road near where I live, the average speed of the traffic DEFINITELY went down and nearly all cars now drive at 30mph or under.

    I feel that, because of this, it's safer for people to cross the road.

    I DEFINITELY approve of these speed cameras. It's a shame that we need measures like this: if people voluntarily obeyed the law, speed cameras wouldn't exist.

  • Comment number 51.

    I have not driven for 10 years but have just recently got a car again and i am very aware of my speed; and i hope that will stay with me, but i am amazed at where some of the cameras are! Near where i live there is a sign for 50 miles per hour and then 38 feet later, (yes i measured it), there is one for 30 miles per hour and a camera right by it! It is obviously designed to catch people out and is not about preventing accidents. If there is an accident black spot then it is right to change the road system and put cameras there to identify the problem.
    Maybe if we put less emphasis on fast cars, fast trains and fast flights etc then we would not have this problem. When you watch television or see adverts you are bombarded with "fast gear" and other such shows; formula one racing and the sexy glamour that goes with it. You are also told that you can "get to London etc., faster than before", due to fast track rail and that you can "fast track" your career! It is all faster, faster, faster and cheaper, cheaper, cheaper; so why are we so surprised that some people speed!!!???

  • Comment number 52.

    3. At 12:37pm on 22 Jul 2010, Len Day wrote:
    There is a place for speed cameras - outside schools, for example, but otherwise I doubt they work at all. This is because people slow down for them, then speed up afterwards, so they may actually be dangerous in some situations. No, what we need are more Police in patrol cars, not some arbitrary machine that cannot judge context and road conditions.

    Can i just point out to those, like Len Day, that 'speed' cameras are not there simply to catch you speeding, otherwise why spray them bright yellow and make them stick out like a sore thumb? like you say, drivers would (and do) just slow down while going past then speed up again after they have passed them.

    Cameras are there to reduce accidents, they do this by forcing drivers to slow down in areas where there are accident black spots. This is how speed cameras are meant to be used by autorities. And in this way, they have proved to be very succesful at lowering accident numbers at black spots, and therefore are a very useful tool in reducing road casualties. However, i accept that some authorities have gone over the top and used far too many cameras in different scenarios, and have therefore blackened the reputation and credibility of cameras.

  • Comment number 53.

    If the idea behind speed camaras is to slow drivers down then they should NOT be hidden, they should be as visible as possible. If not then they are not doing their job & are just a cash cow.

  • Comment number 54.

    Of course, if all cars just had a GPS unit installed on manufacture, this would cut motoring offenses, allow police and security agencies to collect valuable intelligence about other crimes with cars involved, AND help collect road tax fairly and effectively. Three birds with one stone.

    Failing that, any money saved on speed cameras should be used to pay for more ANPR cameras, that way police can still collect valuable intelligence, and speeding can be detected by calculating average speeds of vehicles between two points.

    To forestall the usual "civil liberties" gibberish, I will add this question: a freedom is the unobstructed ability to do/be something, so if this is curtailing your freedom, WHAT is it preventing you from doing/being?

  • Comment number 55.

    Road laws are the to ensure safety. Speed cameras were put in place to enforce the law. So logically it would seem the cameras help ensure public safety.

    But I don't think it's so straight forward as that.

    I think that dangerous maneuvers are what predominantly causes accidents rather than speed. Though speed affects reaction time.

    If you could invent cameras that stopped people tailgating or overtaking a series of cars at a time then that would help considerably more.

    Anyone who is driving abnormally to the normal flow is a danger, whether to slow or too fast, constantly changing their mind and hesitating, bullying other vehicles or hogging lanes.

    I don't think there should be no cameras as some drivers take liberties with speed and should be punished accordingly. The should probably be fewer as some can actually disrupt the natural flow and cause traffic jams.

  • Comment number 56.

    The fixed, highly visible speed cameras as currently used, are a waste of time. In fact, they are counter-productive.

    People often slow down when they see them, creating a traffic hazard.

    Most importantly, the police have been over-reliant on them. We don't see patrol cars any more, just cameras. Obviously, it's easy for the police that way - they can nick people for speeding, so they get the money in from the fines, and create the impression they are doing something.

    Meanwhile, the various other forms of dangerous driving, such as unsecured loads, loose shrink wrap falling off commercial vehicles, tailgating, erratic driving etc, go unnoticed, because the police just isn't there.

    So I'm against speed cameras, not because they are some sort of infringement of the driver's right to drive as he or she pleases, but because they are ineffective, and a substitute for the police doing their job.

  • Comment number 57.

    Swindon has proven that speed cameras are only there to generate money for the Treasury.
    If a place has a proven accident record, then the highway experts should find ways to make it safer.

  • Comment number 58.

    2. At 12:36pm on 22 Jul 2010, steve wrote:
    I am sure there will be plenty of petrol heads delighted that they will now be able to break the law with impunity. A great victory for self centred dipsticks.

    3. At 12:37pm on 22 Jul 2010, Len Day wrote:
    There is a place for speed cameras - outside schools, for example

    5. At 12:40pm on 22 Jul 2010, LabourBrokeBritain wrote:
    Lets hope so. Get rid of all the damn SCAMeras. They were just cash machines for greedy labour party expenses.

    >>>

    I just love this polarisation.

    I wonder if the Number 2 poster's opinion would change if he were to receive three points for doing 33 in a 30 zone which resulted in him losing his licence and maybe his job? Similarly I wonder if number 5 would reconsider if someone he knew was injured by a speeder on a crossing?

    I'm broadly with LenDay. I would happily see a speed camera AND humps AND a 20mph zone outside every school in England, but then I'm a parent. However, I think the national speed limit is nonsense. I feel more nervous at the thought of a clapped out old banger doing 70 than I do a new high powered saloon doing 85. Also, is the driver experienced? Is the driver tired? Is the driver concentrating?

    The single carriageway and country road limit of 60 is nonsense as well. Round where I live there are beautiful little country roads that have variable road widths, blind bends, concealed entrances etc, yet some buffoon has decided that I am legally allowed to drive them at 60.

    Completely stupid and of course I don't do 60. I use my judgement and settle for a safe speed for the road I am on, the car I am in, how I feel, the road conditions and the weather. Yet I am not allowed to make that judgement on a motorway?

    So yes please, I'll take more Police cars over speed cameras as long as they are allowed to consider context and not a blind adhesion to the letter of the law. Few things annoy the English more than their Police being petty little jobsworths, devoid of common sense and humanity. Under Labour, this was a requirement of the job.

    In which case, can the balance be redressed a bit?
    To my mind, someone who is driving badly, or not driving at the speed limit when the road is clear and safe, should be pulled over and breathtested. If clear, then perhaps the Police should do their job. Drivnig too slowly can be an offence. It is called driving without consideration to other road users.

    So to all you folk who pootle along at thirty five miles an hour in a sixty area, or hog the middle lane (IT'S NOT THE FLIPPING 'CRUISING' LANE) you are potentially in worse trouble than the speeder, risking anything from 3 points to a disqualification and hefty fine.

    Come on traffic cops, some balance please.

  • Comment number 59.

    Are you kidding, in this financial climate what possibly makes you think the government will drop a source of revenue, Expect fines to be increased.

  • Comment number 60.

    Speed doesn't kill people. Fact. Inappropriate speed kills people. Inappropriate speed could be 20mph or 120mph. Its time the police concentrated on bad driving instead of the easy target. We shouldn't need a sign with an arbitrary number on to tell us how fast to drive. Don't just get rid of SCAMeras, get rid of limits and make them advisory. If you can't make a judgement call on what is safe for certain conditions then you should give up driving. If you see a sign telling you the limit is 60mph do you just drive at 60 irrespective of corners, junctions etc? Britain has been dumbed down to the point of being ridiculous so I guess most of you probably do need to be told when to speed up, when to slow down, when to turn, when to brake. Would you like nanny state to hold your hand?

  • Comment number 61.

    I have to agree with post #1. Cameras should be hidden if people are to change their mindset about speeding.

    For those who claim cameras are simply for generating revenue, they simply want to be free to speed when they like. Being caught breaking the speed limit is no different from getting a parking fine - whether it's done by a camera or a patrol car is irrelevant - and patrol cars can be much more usefully employed elsewhere.

    The myriad of speed limits is often not helpful, and it would help if the system was simplified somewhat - 20mph in residential areas, 30mph is through-roads in towns and villages, and 90mph on motorways perhaps.

  • Comment number 62.

    Speed cameras are there for a reason, even if the reason does seem to be for money-making purposes and drivers just speed up once they've passed a safe enough distance from the camera. To get people to seriously slow down, we need more traffic-calming measures put in the roads, like they have in, say, the Netherlands. (If in doubt, just nick an existing idea from the Dutch.)

  • Comment number 63.

    How about introducing speed limits based on the speeds that experienced, accident free, responsible motorists actually drive at rather than some arbitrary guesstimate plucked out of thin air by a car hating administration?

    Then the cameras wouldn't be seen as revenue collecting devices but actual safety devices.

  • Comment number 64.

    Speed cameras contribute to more accidents, let us have research on that eg. drivers brake suddenly when they notice Speed cameras & speed on thereafter.

  • Comment number 65.

    If anyone would like an answer to the question of whether speed cameras reduce accident rates, you'll be delighted to know that it has been the subject of a rigorously conducted academic systematic review.

    Or, you could just believe what the petrolheads tell you, based on that well known source of evidence used all over HYS, "I reckon that...".

    Your choice.

  • Comment number 66.

    Get rid of the useless things, like many have said they are useless labour cash cows. You can't pick my car up with one of these useless things anyway !!! ;)

  • Comment number 67.

    Speed cameras have certainly gained a 'bad reputation' in certain areas and certain locations of the country?

    Plus, if a local authority is funding installation, etc., and gaining revenue fair enough. However, if this revenue 'goes elsewhere' then that is flagrant misuse of fines (income) received from those cameras?

    Local people are the best decision makers as to where speed cameras should be located or re-located, or increased?

    BTW. There is an increasing and dangerous misconception, by a body of drivers; cars and HGVs, that just because a speed limit indicates 30/60/70 etc., is legal - that doesn't make it right to drive at the top end of that limit under difficult weather and other road circumstances?

    Finally, it would be really helpful if the Government brought forward the Bill into law, to deal with 'illegal and highway robbery' of 'clamping bandits'?

  • Comment number 68.

    1. At 12:35pm on 22 Jul 2010, Cav wrote:
    Fixed, highly visible cameras are not likely to have a great impact on accidents anyway, as people just slow down for them. They should be hidden to catch those that speed when they think they aren't watched. Before anyone whines that the poor motorist is picked on and this would be underhanded, there is an easy way to avoid being penalised: Dont break the law!! If drivers didn't know where the cameras were then they'd have to behave everywhere.

    The alternative is to have no cameras but more police driving around catching the speeding idiots. But then people moan that the police are picking on poor motorists instead of real criminals like muggers and murderers. This ignores the fact that you are far, far more likely to be hurt or killed on the roads than by a murderer who is, statistically, most likely to be someone you know anyway and whom the police would have no chance of stopping whether they were arresting idiots drivers or not.
    =============================
    If they are hidden, people will continue to speed and the cameras will raise money but not cut accidents.We're told they are visible to slow people down at accident black spots.

    But we know that most of them aren't about accident prevention - they're about revenue raising. I was caught by one at the end of the M11 which is one of the biggest revenue producers in the country. The limit is 50mph. The only need for a limit there is that during rush hour a tail back develops. At other time (I was caught at 1.00 am) the road functions like any other stretch of motorway. It would be simple enough to impose a speed limit that operates during certain times of the day - but earn much less money.

  • Comment number 69.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 70.

    I could not bear it if i killed an animal or a person so i watch my speed and i watch where i am. On a residential area road, where there are lots of parked cars, i will reduce my speed, well below the 30 mph, because you never know what could step out from between cars! However i do believe that speed cameras are for making money and not to stop accidents because of where they are placed!

    I would also like to say to parents that they should not let their children out, unattended, because this, i believe is the major cause of road deaths in cities etc and not reckless driving! I often see very young children, out alone, on bikes and roller skates playing in the road. I have seen, many times, young children playing in the street and running accross the road without looking and this saddens me that they are left on their own. I am a responsible driver and try to judge where children etc could be at risk from my car but i expect parents to judge where their child is at risk too!! Children cannot always see the danger and as a parent you are responsible for their safety as well!!! I also see people walking way in front of their little children and have seen a child turn and run into the road and the parent was not even aware of it!! So Cameras where there is danger and more sense from adults with children and less prestige placed on fast cars as well as more responsible driving.

  • Comment number 71.

    28. At 1:28pm on 22 Jul 2010, GeorgieGuy wrote:
    "I've never understood the problem with speed cameras. If you drive within the legal speed limit, you won't even notice they are there; if, on the other hand, you break the speed limit, then you only have yourself to blame."

    GeorgieGuy, have you been on HYS before? Don't expect the anti-speed camera mob on HYS to provide a balanced and compelling argument to your comment. They'll just simply rant on about 'speed cameras grrrrr, they're just cash-cows grrrrr!'. Your point is valid and similar to the one I made...let's just hope someone can provide a decent answer other than the usual pap.

  • Comment number 72.

    8. At 12:45pm on 22 Jul 2010, doctor bob wrote:
    If no one broke the speed limits no revenue would come from the cameras and they could be scrapped as loss-making. Truth is, though, that anything that improves road saftey even slightly is worth a shot. We grieve over so many soldiers' deaths in Afghanistan without thinking that about 100 times more deaths occur on our roads, most of them needless.

    So anything that can reduce that toll is worth keeping. Swindon may have got the statistics wrong so far as cause and effect goes.
    =======================
    What a ridiculous argument. Follow it to its logical conclusion and you could reduce road casualties to zero but putting speed limiters on all vehicles and set them to 20mph. Or simply by banning road vehicles. Theere is no such thing as a risk free society and trying to create one would have us all back in the stone age.


  • Comment number 73.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 74.

    In 2010 I have no problem with drivers who push on a bit providing they do so safely. My issue is drivers who drive unecessarily slowly (itself an offence) and so generate frustration and resentment within the snake of following drivers. This frustration leads to someone having a go at overtaking unsafely, often the immediate cause of an accident but the root cause are those drivers who set themselves up as "speed marshalls" at the head of a slow moving convoy of angry drivers. Whilst they might mourn the loss of speed cameras, I'm with the vast majority of drivers who wont.

  • Comment number 75.

    Cameras at accident blackspots I can understand but the majority dont seem to be placed with that in mind. Not far from where I live there is a camera on a 40mph dual carriageway, in the 20 or so years I've lived here there has never been an accident there - even before the camera was installed. It's there for one reason only, it's a good straight road, quite wide, it's very easy to drift over 40 at off-peak times so it generates a lot of income, thats it's only reason for existing.

  • Comment number 76.

    Furthermore - there is too much 'street furniture' everywhere in urban, semi-urban, rural and semi-rural areas and on motorways/dual carriageways.

    All this achieves is confusion for the most competent motorist and millions lost to the Public Purse by metal thieves?

    This discussion and instigation is not new across Europe - it doesn't need new and expensive consultations in the UK either. The information is readily available 'off the shelf' for all agencies in the UK, and us, to benefit from?

  • Comment number 77.

    41. At 1:48pm on 22 Jul 2010, Jon Combe wrote:
    "Eddy from Waring
    I don't find it tiresome looking out for speed cameras because I just obey the speed limits so don't need to. It makes for a relaxing journey.
    I don't because I find some roads have the limit set to low (e.g. 40mph when it's not at all built up). If you stick rigidly to the limit at all times you invariably find yourself being tail-gated, flashed at or other drivers carrying out dangerous overtaking manoeuvres which I find anything but relaxing."

    So you're saying it's other road users that make you speed? You're also saying that you're easily pressured into knowingly breaking the law, but I fail to see how your own weakness means the laws should be changed.

  • Comment number 78.

    "60. At 2:07pm on 22 Jul 2010, LabourBrokeBritain wrote:
    Britain has been dumbed down to the point of being ridiculous so I guess most of you probably do need to be told when to speed up, when to slow down, when to turn, when to brake. Would you like nanny state to hold your hand?"

    No, I'd like people with this callous, misanthropic attitude to attend the scene of a fatal Road Traffic Collision, and then have to give the bad news to the parents of those involved. See how the old Daily Wail cliches go down then.

  • Comment number 79.

    Far too much is made of the fact that it is the motorist who should be totally responsible for road safety and nothing is made of other people’s responsibilities for safety on the road, while every motorist knows that driving like an idiot is a disaster waiting to happen others shirk all responsibility.

    In the last 7 days while driving the following incidents have happened to me.

    1/ In a large supermarket car park 2 young children ran out directly in front of me from between 2 parked cars while their moronic mothers (complete with shopping and pushchairs) stood on the pavement presumably discussing their next coffee morning taking no notice of their offspring whatsoever until I leaned on my horn.

    2/ The idiot that stepped directly out into the road texting without looking (missed him by about 4 inches.)

    3/ The Lycra clad morons from a cycle club who at 07.00 last Sunday deemed it was OK to be all over the road on a blind bend on a secluded country lane when they should all have been riding in single file.

    4/ The cycle courier who thought it was OK to go straight through a red light when the 32 ton lorry in front of me was crossing it.

    We all know that most road safety lies with the motorist but the complete lack of knowledge, laziness and general arrogance of the rest of the road using public beggar’s belief.

    The Highway Code covers all aspects of road use for everyone not just for motorists.

    The police need to target cyclists and cycle clubs in particular as because of the green agenda this lot think they own every inch of tarmac in the country and can do what they want well guess what? It’s not the motorist who is going to get hurt or killed when a collision occurs.




  • Comment number 80.

    Lets hope we can now see the back of these revenue earning devices. The way they have been abused in the UK leads to them serving no useful purpose except for criminalising people who are driving perfectly safely but slightly faster than an arbitrary number on a stick says they should. They should have been placed outside schools, around areas where the elderly need to cross roads, etc. Not on every straight bit of road that's more than 100 yards long - that's just a cynical money making exercise.
    The makers of these cameras point out that accidents drop where cameras are placed - of course they do. The accidents in a particular location would drop after a peak even if nothing was done - lightning rarely strikes constantly in the same spot. Proponents of speed cameras rely on ignorance of statistical analysis amongst the general population to prove their misleading points.

  • Comment number 81.

    58. At 2:05pm on 22 Jul 2010, David Horton wrote:

    "I just love this polarisation.

    I wonder if the Number 2 poster's opinion would change if he were to receive three points for doing 33 in a 30 zone which resulted in him losing his licence and maybe his job? Similarly I wonder if number 5 would reconsider if someone he knew was injured by a speeder on a crossing?"

    Ah, I see popular urban myths are alive and well on HYS as usual.

    David, I think you'll find that the law allows for a certain amount of leaway in the speed limit due to the innaccuracy of most speedometers, which is more than your quoted 33 miles an hour. Also, I think you'll find that very very very few people are fined with penalty points on their licence for a relatively small infraction of the speed limit. the vaste majority of motorists caught speed and dealt with the full force of the law will have been doing up to or in excess of 10 miles an hour over the limit. I guarantee you this is the case.

  • Comment number 82.

    "They are a great way of making extra money, for the poor cash straped Councils. Like the New parking enforcers' why get rid of a easy way to make money? Unless its cheaper to use C.C.C.T.V. The private car owner is only a cash cow for the tax-man and the councils today.

  • Comment number 83.

    LabourBrokeBritain wrote:
    "Lets hope so. Get rid of all the damn SCAMeras. They were just cash machines for greedy labour party expenses. Are the tories any better? Well that remains to be seen - I hope so but not holding my breath."

    You think that money from speed cameras went to the Labour Party? FYI money from speed cameras can only be used by local authorities for road safety measures. That's it. Not MPs expenses. Oh, and here's a tip: stick to the speed limit, and you won't get fined. Try it sometime.

  • Comment number 84.

    I sincerely hope so, they are tax collectors, nothing else!

  • Comment number 85.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 86.

    They're just installing a new one down the road so I guess "no".

  • Comment number 87.

    The most common argument from the anti speed camera brigade is -

    'it's difficult to stay within the speed limit with all the distractions of signs and speed cameras around you.'

    Why do you suppose many motorists, including myself, manage to stay within the speed limit just fine and avoid fines and penalty points?? I would suggest that if this is too difficult for you then you really should not be driving in the first place as you don't posses the necessary skills.

    Before you ask, I have a 30 mile round trip to work 5 days a week travelling along roads of varying speed limits with speed cameras on a number of them. It really is not difficult.

  • Comment number 88.

    I suspect the real reason that speed cameras are being phased out is that they require routine maintenance and or replacement. Someone's big idea a few years ago, novelty's worn off, etc etc..Britain 2010. Money would be better spent on 'bicycle calming' the city centre pavements now. It's getting ridiculous ,lycra clad (why?) and helmeted mountain bikers(how many gears??) on the (horizontal) pavements, standing up on the pedals..so unfit obviously.(even when roads are empty!) It's pedestrians that need protective clothing now! Go on local councils ,fine a few 'kid-ults' who should be cycling on the road anyway , £500 to £1000 a go! Bring some revenue in..

  • Comment number 89.

    Fixed speed cameras don't really work, as anybody who lives near one knows exactly where they are. Indeed if you drive regularly you know exactly where the cameras are on roads many miles away from home. For example on the A43 between the M1 and M40 there are two speed cameras. All that happens is that traffic slows down just before them and speeds up again immediately afterwards. They don't improve safety as drivers are concentrating on the location of the camera rather than the road.

  • Comment number 90.

    Cameras are a deterrent, if the council decided to remove them then they should provide the most recent technologically advanced cameras as replacement. I think it keeps people honest and helps in evidence gathering with required. It is a bad idea to get rid of them.

  • Comment number 91.

    78. At 2:28pm on 22 Jul 2010, Terry-Yaki wrote:
    "60. At 2:07pm on 22 Jul 2010, LabourBrokeBritain wrote:
    Britain has been dumbed down to the point of being ridiculous so I guess most of you probably do need to be told when to speed up, when to slow down, when to turn, when to brake. Would you like nanny state to hold your hand?"

    No, I'd like people with this callous, misanthropic attitude to attend the scene of a fatal Road Traffic Collision, and then have to give the bad news to the parents of those involved. See how the old Daily Wail cliches go down then.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Roads are dangerous places not playgrounds. Thats why we should be spending more time and money teaching kids road sense. But a namby pamby like you wouldn't understand that. You would rather everyone crawled around at 5 mph. Improve road safety by all means but people need to get around.

  • Comment number 92.

    64. At 2:11pm on 22 Jul 2010, ian cheese wrote:
    Speed cameras contribute to more accidents, let us have research on that eg. drivers brake suddenly when they notice Speed cameras & speed on thereafter.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    How exactly would the cameras be the cause of drivers braking suddenly ?
    They are static after all. If the driver isn't going too fast to begin with, he won't have to brake suddenly.

  • Comment number 93.

    We do not need speed cameras, we do not even need more police on the roads. What we need is police working for us when an accident happens, at the moment they are not required to investigate accidents, when nobody is injured, even when they attend them. As the cars get safer we see less injuries in the accidents hence less dangerous drivers are prosecuted and they stay on the roads to cause more accidents. Insurance premiums increase as the result of that and government get more money from various taxes. People loose again.

  • Comment number 94.

    A much more urgent road safety gripe I have at the moment is CYCLISTS who think they're above the law (possibly eco-righteousness?) and in London at least routinely commit the following offences:

    - riding on the pavement
    - riding without lights at night
    - cutting up other road users in heavy traffic
    - not showing courtesy by giving way to overtaking vehicles
    - riding through red lights (!)
    - using threatening and abusive language to motorists and pedestrians

    and that's when they're not deliberately creating chaos and misery in planned law-breaking events like "critical mass".

    I'd like to see the police, traffic wardens, etc come down like a tonne of bricks on these wasters, hand out hefty fines and penalties, and teach them that not producing CO2 does NOT make you special. Can you imagine if a car drove on the pavement through a crowded bus-stop, or sailed through a red light without even slowing down?

    Rant over (for now).

  • Comment number 95.

    Speed cameras are overused.

    Local councils like to reduce limits & bring in cameras at the same time, probably on the strength of one accident by a boy racer who would probably drive faster for the camera.

    Get rid of the cash cow and start putting sensible limits in place.

  • Comment number 96.

    88. PAUL WILLIAMS wrote:
    I suspect the real reason that speed cameras are being phased out is that they require routine maintenance and or replacement. Someone's big idea a few years ago, novelty's worn off, etc etc..Britain 2010.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    Agree completely.

    My area was chosen as one of the pilot areas when mobile speed cameras were being introduced 10 years ago.

    I was caught twice within 2 weeks at the same spot. I received the paperwork for the first AFTER I had committed the second. (what really got me angry was a senior police officer caught at the same spot shortley after me got off on a technicality)

    After that we saw these camera's everywhere if not weekly then fortnightly. The conviction rate went up from 850 / year to 8500 in six months. Everyone who was not caught knew a couple of people who had. Drivers with 40 years clean driving were being penalised.

    Then the whole project went nationwide and the cameras dissappeared. Mainly due to everyone following the speed limit. It is an obvious fact that if these cameras are successful they will no longer bring in fines. So who is going to pay for them?

    The result is that we see these camera's about once every 6 - 9 months. Most people now keep to the speed limit, mainly due to traffic calming measures like speed bumps.

    Speed cameras have had their day. Everyone knows where the static cameras are so unless you are careless no one gets caught.

    It's about time we concentrated on other dangerous road users, how about a crack down on lorry drivers? They are some of the most dangerous users of the road as far as I can see.

  • Comment number 97.

    The fixed point speed cameras only catch those who don't know the area. What we need are more average speed cameras - there are a couple of roads near here that are used as a race-track, and with few junctions a camera at each end would easily pick up those who exceed the speed limit.

  • Comment number 98.

    Average speed cameras - they work. Use them instead.

  • Comment number 99.

    12. At 12:50pm on 22 Jul 2010, ClaudeBalls wrote:
    They're a mono-offence system. You can drive past one unlicensed, uninsured, 4 bald tyres, drunk or high, overloaded, no tax no MoT no insurance, carrying drugs/explosives/guns, unlit at night, on sheet ice, backwards and on the wrong side of the road and run down 40 kids and it will do nothing as "you were only doing 29mph". It encourages young drivers to imagine that speeding is the only motoring offence. Not a replacement for proper traffic policing.

    And I've only had one ticket in 35 years cars and bikes - before you ask!


    You my friend, are a genius. Made me lol.. :D

    I'm currently learning to drive, and I find myself constantly staring at the speedo making sure I am only doing 28 past speed cameras. I would rather be doing ~30 and be concentrating on the road.

  • Comment number 100.

    Absolutely correct, and motorways are the safest roads by far in terms fatalities/injuries per passenger mile, yet they're the fastest moving roads.
    ----------
    Motorways are safer than other roads not because of the higher speed limit but because of the blindingly obvious fact that all people on a carriageway are travelling in the same direction and those entering and leaving the carriageway do so via a slip road on the nearside.

    If this was the case on other roads they would be as safe.

    The fact is if you have an accident at 80 miles an hour you are 20 times more likely to die than if you have an accident at 20 miles an hour.

 

Page 1 of 4

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.