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Speed Cameras and Speed Limits

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      03.09.2012 23:48
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      Speed is just a number.

      Speed cameras and speeding - the largest argument since drink driving. So to jump straight in, here's my problem - speed by itself doesn't kill. Inappropriate speed for the road or conditions, does. If I'm going past a school at letting out time, even the 20MPH isn't always safe - because often children have very little road sense, plus they're excited just after school. Somebody could be legally doing 18 and still injure or even kill a child. Likewise on most of the country lanes in Cornwall, doing the theoretical 60MPH speed limit would really just be a dangerous suicide attempt. So that's where the point of speed limits being a limit, not a target, come in. Currently the way you're taught to drive is you should be going as fast as is reasonably able to be considered safe for the road - ie you should be able to stop in the distance you can see to be safe. If you go at 20 in a 60 when it's safe to be doing 60, you may well fail your test for impeding or annoying or whatever the phrase is, other road users - ie by going too slow you could cause an accident with somebody getting annoyed. Technically their fault, but you're expected to not impede the progress of other road users. For villages and such, I think the speed limits are fine. For country roads and other places that are a default NSL, I think that's where people really need to be taught the ability to understand a safe speed - and for a single track lane, remember if both you and the person the other way are working to stop in the space you see clear, you'll be crashing as you only have in theory half that space to stop. But then, we go to the other end - motorways, duel carriageways and some other A roads. Countries with higher speeds limits (admittedly not many) don't have any worse accident statistics. If you crash at 70 you're not going to be much better off than crashing at 90. The fact is, plenty of studies have shown that a lot of people do and still would drive at 80 on a motorway - the police don't want to stop it generally, some forces you have to be doing in excess of 90MPH for them to bother you (which, for the record, follows the 10% + 2 on 80MPH)... But, back to speed cameras instead of speeding. And at this point I apologise for my hap hazard presentation. There's now multiple previously safe places where speed cameras were installed, that have become accident hotspots. It doesn't take a genius to know why - we've all seen the people breaking down to the limit for the camera, then speeding happily back up. This is especially on non built up roads - the roads that are 50s for reasons nobody quite knows, or dual carriageways. There's also simply no evidence that speed cameras significantly improve the safety of blackspots. So what use are they in these areas, asides from a few nice £60s going to the local police station to be sorted between whoever it is? According to ROSPA, Britain now has some of the safest roads in Europe. 40% of road accidents are people "failing to look properly". There's no statistics on how many of those are because they were on phones/playing with sat navs/adjusting their CD player/reading a newspaper. Each year there's 430 deaths from excessive OR inappropriate speed - in my opinion only the latter is relevant. Sometimes 5MPH may be perfectly safe, other times 15MPH under is needed to be safe. It's just a number. Around the same number die due to careless or aggressive driving, 250 due to drunk driving and around 300 a year who would have survived accidents had they been wearing their seatbelt (I assume some of these overlap with others). Ultimately, nearly all accidents are the result of preventable driver error - and for me, this means rather than worry if somebody is 5MPH over a limit, we need to look at if they were driving safely. Speed cameras are just a way governments pretend to be doing something, when in reality, that money would be better spent on police officers who can see if some idiot thinks a game of monopoly is a good idea than a machine that can just give a number. I think that concludes my thoughts. I'm now wondering if Dave has argumental on because they're way better at arguing their cases than me, sometimes anyway. Have fun people and drive safely!

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        10.07.2010 18:55
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        Another MoneyMaking Scam

        Yes! Speed limits are essential to guide us and stop crazy drivers going way to fast. However there are many places where the speeds are incorrect, slow speed limits when there's no reason to be and high speed limits when there should be a lower limit. There is nothing beneficiary about speed cameras. I strongly believe they are a money making scheme. alot of people who speed will speed up to the camera then slow down in sight of camera then speed of again, the camera only catching honest people unwariness and costing them yet more money. A few weeks back I was driving in Manchester, I'd never been there before and so didnt know the area. I follow my TomTom every step of the way. Coming off the motorway was a two lane carriage way, not much traffic. I assumed it was a 50 zone. I was caught by a speed camera doing 43 and it was apparently a 30! I have since been made aware by several people who have also been done in the same area that they also assumed the same. When asked about it I was told, there are street lamps at a certain distance! Despite having had so many complaints there are still no signs. Leaving me only to conclude that the only benefit that can be had of no signs would be the money incurred as a result of the speeding fines! So if you see a blue old Audi driving painstakingly slow, a female driver who doesn't look like she knows where she's going, and swerving left to right, that will be me, mentally measuring the distance between the street lighting to determine the speed limit of the area

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          15.05.2010 19:33
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          If they weren't there then the roads wouldn't be a safe place.

          I personally am not a driver so some may think that I have no right to this review but i am going to express my opinion anyway. I do spend a lot of time in the car with my partner so lately am very aware of what speeds he is doing and a lot of the time find myself saying to him that he is going too fast, even if he is only 1mph over the speed limit because I think that if someone were to do say 31mph in a 30mph zone then when they get to 32mph they will think well its ok, it is only 1mph over what i was originally doing when infact it is 2mph over the limit, this may not seem like a big deal but them couple of extra mph could have stopped someone getting seriously hurt when it comes to an accident, maybe it would have been a bit lighter on them if it had been at the speed limit. I hate it when drivers moan about being caught on a speed camera, when they say "didn't know that was there"...well isn't that the point, personally I think that speed cameras should be hidden, maybe then some - not all drivers would be more cautious and it would force them to obey the speed limit and then maybe reduce the nuber of accdents on the roads, not that all of them are caused by speed but may reduce the ones that are? Asit seems that all people do when they see a speed camera is slow down until it has passed and then pick up speed again and I just do nt see the point in this! People might say that I would think differently if I were a driver but I know that I wouldn't, I am hopefully going to start driving myself soon and I know for a fact that I will be constantly watching the speedometer, thats what will end up making me crash!! Not concentrating.....on second thoughts maybe I will just let my partner be my chauffer!!!!!

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            06.06.2009 11:35
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            Some serious thought needs to go into their positioning

            I think that speed cameras and speed limits are essential. However, I think they are often in the wrong places. There's a steep hill where I live and the number of people who get caught for doing 35 in a 30 zone just because it's on a very steep hill and breaking doesnt actually really help much is rather unfair. Also, the speed limit on the road before the school is 20. School road is a 30 zone, though. Another incorrect speed in my opinion. There's a park entrace with a 30mph sign right outside the gate, yet before the gate it's 20mph. It changes about 10 metres before the gate. Where's the sense in that? And what about when speed cameras go crazy? My mum got a speeding ticket for going 38mph in a 40mph zone. They hadnt even put the signs in yet to say it was going down to 30mph, yet the camera caught her and they said that the zone was 30mph now. Several of her friends had the same problem. None of them ever speed unnecessarily. Although the concept of speed cameras and speed limits is a very good idea, some serious thought needs to go into the positioning of these things.

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            14.03.2009 17:58
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            A new design for a speed camera

            Speed cameras are a necessary evil but I don't believe they are effective in catching bad drivers. I have 6 points on my licence and about to get another 3 but that's not the reason I'm against them. I'm against them because they are not flexible enough. They do not adapt to the ever changing road conditions. Driving at 50mph in a 40mph limit in good weather with clear visibility is not as dangerous in my opinion as driving at 40mph in a 40mph limit in a snow blizzard yet a speed camera would penalise a driver doing 50 in good weather and not do a thing about a nutter driving at speed in the snow. Excessive speed on it's own is not a problem. Excessive speed that is inconsistent with the road conditions at the time is the combination that causes accidents. I have an alternative design for a speed camera and the technology to build these exists now. All you need is the following: 1x speed camera 1x computer memory 1x some clever software 1x Bright LED Screen at the back to display a 2 digit number Such a speed camera would not only check how fast each car is moving but it would store its speed and store the speed of every other car that goes past it. Internally the software would at any given time know the average speed of all the cars that have gone past it in say the last 30 minutes. The camera would still take pictures of cars that are speeding but the definition of speeding would be subtly different. The camera would not simply go off when a car goes past at a certain speed above the limit for the road. Instead it would go off at a certain speed above the AVERAGE speed of all cars that have gone past it in the last 30 minutes. This average speed would be displayed on the LED screen at the back. So at any given time a road will have an average speed limit instead of a fixed speed limit. My theory is this: In good weather with clear visibility with perhaps few cars on the road, people will naturally drive a little faster than they would at other times because it is safe to do so. This would bring the average speed held internally in the camera to a value higher than normal. Hence only people speeding substantially more than every other person on the road would be caught. (say 60 in a 40 limit) In bad weather, the safe drivers will naturally slow down and with their slowing down the average speed on that road will drop. Any person driving past at a speed much higher than the new average speed would be caught. So taking my example earlier on a road with a 40mph speed limit: In good weather, the camera might not activate until a car goes past it at say 60mph In bad weather the camera might activate much sooner e.g. 35mph. In both cases the AVERAGE speed would be displayed at the back of the camera. Anyone doing more than say 7 or 8 mph more than that average would be photographed. On the same road with say road works on it, the same thing would happen. Most careful motorists would slow down and as a result the average speed on that road would be reduced. Therefore anyone going past the camera at a speed substantially greater than the other drivers would be caught. Exactly the same principle would apply at night. I would suggest that driving at 40mph on some 40mph roads at night is as dangerous as driving on the same road at 60mph during the day. I think speed cameras designed on these principles would be much easier to sell to the public who see current cameras as simply cash cows for the authorities. Cameras such as these would automatically adapt to the changing road conditions because they would follow the adaptations that motorists make themselves to the conditions that they encounter on the road. Cameras such as these would be much fairer in those it targets for speeding. If cameras designed along these principles were deployed then they would not be catching motorists who speed but motorists who speed irrespective of the road conditions. I'd be genuinely interested in any opinions out there. Am I completely barking mad ? Have I not thought this through? or should I head off to Dragons Den looking for an investment !! Thanks Soundsexciting

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              10.03.2009 14:41
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              I feel their should be more averga speed checks as they keep cars slower for a longer period

              I do not think speed cameras work but i do like speed limits! I am a 21 year old male and been driving for four year. I havent been caught speeding as generally i dont speed but if i was and i saw a camera i would slow down go through it at the correct speed then pick my speed up again. What does that do? It does nothing to bring the speed of drivers down for more than about 10 seconds. I like speed limits as i hate people who drive really fast and as they are the sort of people that cause accidents an usually the ones that keep their lives in the crash, so speed limits are good ideas but surely there is a better way than just one speed camera to slow you down for a few seconds. I can stand traffic police who hide in bins and what ever crazy thing they can think of to catch you and get their comission for the month. I feel there should be more average speed checks on the road. They have these on main motorways and i think they work well. They usually only have them when they are doing road maintenance or something like that but i think they should be more consistent in putting these up. They keep everyone at a certain speed by taking your speed at the first camera and then maybe a mile down the road they take your speed again and average it out for that distance. This means that if you speed through the average speed check then your an idiot and deserve to be fined, normal people slow down and do the correct speed to avoid a fine and it keeps the traffic moving at a sensible speed for a longer period of time than a speed camera or a traffic cop that when you first see them you slam your brakes on to get to the correct speed causing a tail back of braking behind you.

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                09.03.2009 19:02
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                two words: f off

                I've never had a problem with speed limits and speed cameras generally. In fact I don't think I've ever been caught speeding. But I heard on the news that they are going to be introducing a new speed limit of 50 mph on rural roads! I frequently drive across open moorland roads with long straight sections and not a sole on the road. If I'm suppose to start trundling along at 50 miles a hour then Im sorry I just wont. I'd go to prison over it. Its ridiculous. The ones who crash on these empty rural roads are reckless inexperienced young drivers with cars full of passengers. These kids are doing way over 70 and go round the corners on two wheels, at least the ones that overtake me are. The speed these kids do and the overtaking on bends they do astonishes me, its like they're in a rally car. As they overtake, you just know they are going to end up causing a head on collision or wrapping themselves around a tree. They are the ones who crash on the rural roads, who will continue to speed on the rural roads and its the responsible drivers who will be punished. Ok nuff said!

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                  08.01.2009 14:49
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                  Keep or remove them? I am unsure.

                  Speed Cameras. Two words that spark an emotional response in any driver on the road. Should we have more, should we have less? Unfortunately, no matter what we do to our roads there will still be accidents. There are just too many variables to consider, too many types of vehicles on the road, too much unpredictability from pedestrians and animals. One thing to help reduce accidents is the speed limit. Of course the limits do save lives. Think of how many school children would be killed if we all were permitted to travel at 80mph past school gates at kicking out time. I for one, don't fully agree with speed cameras. They are too precise and clinical, not taking into account the situation. They may catch Mr Smith doing 61mph up a country lane but they do not catch the lorry driver doing 59mph up the same stretch of road where the speed limit is only 40mph for HGVs. A penalty notice may drop through Mrs Greens door, but the drug and drink driver doing 22mph up an A road the wrong way, fiddling with his radio instead of looking where he is going doesn't get caught by the speed camera. To make matters worse, he has no road tax, no insurance and no MOT. But he gets away with it. And that is my issue with speed cameras: They are a one trick pony. A police officer would pull over the drink driver and charge him, leaving those edging over the speed limit by a small amount to go on by. This leaves me with another issue. Speed limits. Who sets them and why? Not far from where I live, there is a very odd stretch of road. An A road with a hard shoulder, two lanes in each direction and a crash barrier in the middle. There are slip roads on and off the road. Want to guess the speed limit? You are probably wrong. It's fifty miles per hour along that road. It is possible to turn off this road onto a 60mph country lane. Trees and bushes on your left and the protection of a painted white line to protect you from the oncoming traffic. Which one of these two roads has all the speed cameras? Of course it's the 50mph road. So many people speed along this stretch at ridiculously high speeds because the limit makes no sense. Some of these high speeds must be at least 55mph. It is about time that speed limits were reviewed around the country. If they seem to make no sense, people won't obey them. One thing speed cameras has done is slow people down but they do seem to have almost created another problem. When I was younger and I wanted to drive quickly, I would overtake the car in front. Indicate, make sure there is a gap and put your foot down. This doesn't seem to happen now. Overtaking seems to now have a bad reputation. Instead, people drive inches from your rear bumper creating another danger. The driver in front begins to lose concentration, the driver behind begins to get frustrated. The speed cameras are not capturing these drivers, but they are creating a major hazard, particularly when there is a big line of traffic wanting to speed but unwilling to overtake sensibly. The only solution I can think of would be to have more police on the road to catch the real danger drivers. Cutting down on their police paperwork may help a little but probably not enough. We need more police officers and more police cars. But all of these cost money, which means more tax. And who wants to pay more tax? However speed cameras are not all bad. I would rather see cameras at the side of the road than these speed bumps that wreck your suspension.

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                    04.12.2008 08:49
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                    Maintain the limits in built up areas and enforce them. Increase the limits on larger roads

                    "I feel the need....The need for speed". The iconic phrase said by Maverick (Played by Tom Cruise) to Goose, his co-pilot in the 1980s legendary film, Top Gun. However, is this bravado required in everyday life? Speed is the largest contributor to road incidents, injuries and deaths. Fact. Increased speed requires increased awareness, faster reactions, the ability to read the road and conditions, the ability to second guess what other road users are going to do and a lot of luck (to ensure that you are not in the wrong place at the wrong time and another road number statistic). ****Speeding**** Speeding is getting more and more socially unacceptable and with the popularity of sites like Youtube, whereby individuals can film themselves doing ridiculous speeds (I hate to say it but it is mainly motorcyclists reaching speeds well in excess of 100 mph on the public highway) it is easy to see how this attitude has arisen. Driving at three figure speeds takes a lot of talent and skill, and most drivers and riders do not posses the skills required. Speed is nothing without control and whilst anyone can put their right foot down (or twist their right wrist on a motorcycle) it takes a real driver/rider to have the ability to have both the physical and mental control to do it safely, and this is on a race circuit and not the public highway. The public roads are getting busier and drivers do not take the care and consideration to drive at speed. There are too many distractions the mobile phone, the sat nav system, ensuring that the right tunes are playing on the radio or MP3 player, the pretty girl walking down the street etc. All these could lead to that one second lapse in concentration and.......bang. I would guess that 99.9% (myself included) of motorists speed at certain times, and whilst many do not do the ridiculous speeds of some of the Youtube offenders, we are all technically breaking the law in doing so. The current speed limits were set back in the 1960s when stopping distances were established using a Ford Anglia. Time and technology has moved on. Brakes evolved to disc brakes and modern day vehicles can stop in a controlled manner in an instant. In addition, modern day cars offer much better protection through airbags, crumple zones to absorb any impact, SIPS (as developed by Volvo) and the like. These advancements make driving so much safer. Despite the above I totally agree with the 20 mph and the 30 mph in built up areas and think that cyclists and pedestrians should be protected by these. I fully agree with the enforcement of these limits, whether it be a police officer with a speed gun or a fixed speed camera. There is no excuse for speeding in these areas, especially around schools and other such areas where there is likely to be an abundance of children. I do not agree with the neighbourhood speed watch schemes in the built up areas though. In order to get an accurate speed of a vehicle the gun needs to be level and stationary (the police have had training in the correct operation of these or use tripods) whereas the neighbourhood speed watch team in my local area haphazardly point and shoot at any point on the vehicles. This could potentially lead to a very high figure, which if enforced may lose to a driver being convicted of speeding when they were well within the speed limit. Luckily, any speeds recorded by the neighbourhood speed watch team can not be used for a prosecution. Whilst 40mph and 50mph speed limit areas are restricted for a specific reason I sometimes struggle to see why. There must be elements of these roads that make them too risky to drive at the speed limit. These are the grey areas and those that are generally policed or have the dreaded fixed position speed cameras. When dealing with larger roads like dual carriageways and motorways I think that there should be more flexibility with speed. If the weather is good, there is good visibility and the roads are quiet then I think that the 70 mph speed limit is too low. Personally I think that the speed limits on these roads should be increased and we should consider adopting the German autobahn approach whereby there is no speed limit and the public drives according to the conditions. If drivers are going too fast for the conditions then the police should be able to prosecute for dangerous or reckless driving, both of which carry higher penalties than speeding alone. ****Speed cameras**** Fixed position speed cameras have been accused as being a way of generating additional revenue by putting them on large roads and in concealing places to catch motorists out, hence resulting in a lot of controversy. This type of law enforcement is very rigid and there is no room for negotiation. You are either speeding and suffer the consequences or you are not speeding and you are OK. Speed cameras do not take in to consideration the time of day, volume of traffic, visibility, road conditions or weather conditions. They do not assess each case on its own merit like a police officer would. On a hot, sunny day where there is little traffic on the roads and there is good visibility I would drive faster than if it was a wet, overcast, surface water, spray and poor visibility. If you get pulled for speeding in the ideal conditions, then providing you are not going a ridiculous speed, driving erratically or dangerously and do not back chat then you will probably get let off with a verbal warning. If you get caught on camera then you're going to get points and a fine. Speed camera location has been a very contentious issue. Whilst the Government will stress that fixed cameras will be put in places where they can easily be seen this has not always been the case. There are several cameras that have been put up near trees that are now almost covered by the vegetation. These cameras cannot be seen until you almost drive past them. There are cameras on tight corners that cannot be seen until you drive past them. The location of the fixed speed cameras have been blamed for actually increasing the number of accidents. I can remember reading an article in the Motorcycle News a few months back where a rider had spotted a speed camera reached for the brakes to scrub off the speed and ended up crashing his bike and getting run over by a lorry and getting critically injured. The rider was clearly speeding but it is not known to what extent. Maybe this could have been avoided? With regards to mobile speed cameras and vans, such as the Norfolk Safety Partnership Initiative, the public were told where the vans were going to be, there would be signs in the road and the camera van was clearly visible. This initiative started off as a warning to slow the traffic down and it was not intentionally designed to generate revenue through speeders. However, in recent months there has been a horse box containing a speed camera that has been parked in a lay-by on the A47 Acle straight and a speed camera in an old blue Ford transit designed to look like a workman's van. Personally, I think that this now constitutes entrapment and goes beyond the original ethos of the Norfolk Safety Partnership Initiative in that it is now being used as a way of raising additional revenue. ****Conclusion**** Speeding, to some extent, is a part of everyday life and I challenge anyone who states that they never break the speed limit. I cannot condone three figure speeds but I think that in the right conditions, the national speed limit is too low and should be increased. In order to make this work we will need the police to use their judgement and prosecute for dangerous driving as they deem appropriate, like in Germany. All fixed position speed cameras on such roads will need to be de-commissioned to make this work. I fully support the speed limits in urban and built up areas and think that cyclists and pedestrians have the right to be protected from vehicles, which in the wrong hands can be dangerous weapons. I fully support both fixed speed camera and police officers using hand held speed guns to enforce limits in these areas. The grey areas are the 40 mph and 50 mph speed limits found on larger roads in rural areas. Personally I think that the fixed position speed cameras in these areas should be de-commissioned. Police officers should monitor these and if people are driving safely and the conditions permit then they should be allowed to exceed the speed limits by a small amount. If, on the other hand, conditions are not right then the police should be well within their rights to prevent speeding and start looking at reckless and dangerous driving penalties. I think that fixed position speed cameras are now just another way of generating income and something needs to be done. I read an article in the Motorcycle News (they love speeding stories and anything to do with speed cameras) about a solicitor who did some research and found out that every single speed camera, be it hand held or fixed, needs to be separately rubber stamped by the Houses of Parliament as well as being calibrated on at least a daily basis. I had heard the calibration rule before and I think that it is common knowledge but getting the Houses of Parliament approval was a new one on me. How it would stand if you got caught by a camera and asked to see the Parliaments approval of the camera I would not like to say.

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                      24.11.2008 21:44
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                      Speed cameras are a valuable tool reducing driver's speed but don't abuse their use.

                      Let me start by saying I don't have a problem with speed cameras. I think in certain circumstances they serve a purpose but I do think that purpose may have been overtaken by financial income. Where I live there are hoardes of them. My father can't get over it when he comes to visit and he lives just outside London but doesn't have that many in his area. Not all of them are in areas that have had accidents and some of them seem to be placed to catch you just where the speed limit goes down, certainly some of the mobile ones. I have 6 points on my licence, once for doing 34 in a 30mph limit going downhill on an empty road and I didn't brake hard enough and the other was from a mobile camera placed just where the limit went from 40 to 30 and I was doing 36mph. At the end of the day whilst I don't think it's necessarily fair that I get the same fine as someone doing 50 or 60 down the same road the fact is I was speeding. I have learned my lesson. The thing that annoys me about the speed cameras is that they are not always put in accident black spots, don't always work and can serve to create a challenge to some people. How are they reducing accidents when someone drives down the road like a bat out of hell, overtakes all the cars behind you and goes roaring past you only to then slam their brakes on to avoid the speed camera? I've seen that happen on many occasion particularly with cameras at roadworks - everyone's going along at a steady pace getting into one lane and some idiot comes roaring down in the outside lane passing everyone then pulls into the one lane and slams their brakes on cos we're about to reach a speed camera. They then roar off again until they come to the next speed camera and it happens again. I've seen this happen on urban roads too and everyone behind has to stop quickly. These idiots seem to think it's fun to drive in this manner and they don't seem to get done for speeding. As for the punishment, I think that needs to be standardised nationally. When I was speeding I got 3 points each time on my licence and a £60 fine each time. That's fine, I deserve the punishment. I have a friend, however, who has recently been done for speeding and has no points on his licence as he was offered a hazard awareness course instead, although he still has to pay the fine. The letter said this is not offered to everyone so the question is - who decides who it's offered to? If that's going to be offered it should be offered nationally. I fully agree that there should be speed cameras in place but I do think their positioning should be for the benefit of public safety and not for the benefit of the government's coffers and I think the punishment should be re-evaluated and not the same for someone doing 4mph over the limit as someone doing 30mph over. Making roads safer doesn't just mean reducing speed, it means safer driving.

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                        17.11.2008 17:54
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                        Get more, make them hidden, get the idiots off the road.

                        Ok, im going to be controversial here and state that i dont have a problem with speed cameras, infact i think there should be more of them. Ask yourself, what is a speed camera doing? It is checking if you are breaking the law. The arguement against speed cameras is the same as saying i think there should be less police officers on the street because i like stealing things and beating people up. The problem in my opinion is the speed limits, which are sometimes not necessary on the road, which is why people speed. We know that anywhere where there is a congestion of people and likelyhood they may come onto the road, it has to be a 30 or even a 20, thats fine, but on a straight road which there is little congestion, no people walking about and quite wide lanes, why should it be 50? Obviusly not all of them are wrong, and even some are put down because there are so many idiots having accidents on it. Road safety is unquestionably important, so in my opinion, there should be more speed cameras, not only that but they should be hidden (thus not causing accidents from quick braking). However, to go with this, there has to be more sensible speed limits (80 on the motorway for example), harder driving tests, and harsher punishments for dangrous driving. Even if the are there to generate revenue, then that is great, get the people who break the law to fund the police, i think thats a great idea.

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                          21.10.2008 20:10
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                          we need more police and patrol cars on the road.

                          Are speed cameras really there to reduce speed therefore reducing the number of accidents? NO. Speed camera's are there to make them some more dosh. There are so many more people being caught "speeding" by a few miles an hour over the speed limit than muggers are caught. Did you know that? Well, the government claim speed is a killer on the roads. But of all the crashes i have heard of - it hasnt been speed (though they may have been speeding at the time) it has been debris on the motorway, ice, badgers, other cars, lack of sleep, too much alcohol the night before. THESE are the things they should be looking out for. Something which a machine simply cannot do. My answer to the problem of road traffic accidends are more police cars, motorway people things like that on our roads. That way people are not slamming on the brakes because they have realised there is a speed camera on the bridge, causing 20 cars behind them to shunt the car infront. More police and patrol cars also means there we will be less uninsured drivers on the road, probably less stolen cars on the road, and the list could go on. I think yes in 30mph areas there should ALWAYS be speed cameras, because it means its either has a dense population meaning schools, hospitals; places of vulnerability. Here we need to be doing the speed which is applicable. However, being caught doing 80 on the motorway is just a waste of time. Yes, there should be a limit on motorways, and people shouldnt take the mick and do 100 etc. But speed cameras on motorways only causes mayhem! People spend more time looking at their speedo as they are passing a camera, than they are looking at the braking car infront of them and BANG a crash occurs. It's silly.

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                            28.09.2008 19:58
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                            I think this is the way forward

                            I'm gonna add my opinions to this debate I think that all speed cameras should be taken out of service. Why? Because I don't think they have anything to do with road safety at all as all drivers will check their speedometer regardless of whether they're over the speed limit to make sure they're not exceeding it - taking their eyes off the road ahead and making them less able to respond to potential hazards/danger. Speed cameras can not detect if someones driving under the influence, on the phone, eating, drinking, tailgating, if the drivers got a licence, insurance, road tax, even driving aggressively/recklessly (you don't have to drive quickly to drive in a manner of these 2), whether the cars roadworthy. To help improve road safety police forces should follow North Yorkshire constabulary's lead - more patrol cars on the roads - I reckon the standard of driving would soon improve Yet the government and safety camera partnerships still like to fiddle the facts that speeding is THE big killer - never mentioning what the driver was doing whilst speeding when an accident/incident happened. So come on police forces, start tackling the problem of bad poor drivers and death trap cars head on - LESS CAMERAS, MORE PATROLS PLEASE!!! I believe Wiltshire constabulary are either thinking of, or have done this already. Do they know something the government dont?

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                              07.05.2008 11:23
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                              Fine those who can pay?

                              In Northamptonshire we have 42 cameras, but five have been secretly turned off this week after the government cut the funding for the camera partnership by one million pounds, more than Oxfordshire county council's forced £750,000 cut which resulted in all of theirs turned off. Northamptonshire refused to say which five are no longer working. If they do then motorists will no doubt speed through them. The council say they no longer need to be turned on as the accident rate has dropped in those locations, which begs the question why they were still turned on up until this week. What five would you turn off if you just lost a million bucks? I would turn off the least profitable ones. We pressume those are the five under-performers. ONE in three drivers are caught each year by a parking warden or speed camera. In comparison only 3 in one 100 muggers are convicted by using CCTV images. One is clearly more important than the other when surveillance is used to crack crime. It's all about revenue over crime prevention these days me thinks....league tables not justice. This is the sad state of my countries law enforcement of today. The news that the Tories are too radically cut back on speed cameras is good news, although no doubt a contingency to increase road pricing cameras. The total rises to more than four in ten drivers when the number of motorist's trapped by police are included. Only last week did we see a picture in the tabloids of a mobile police speed camera facility disguised as a builders van. One snapped speeder on a country lane is one cleared up crime on the league table and £60 in the police benevolent fund. The collective fines are nudging one billion pounds a year for the treasury and local councils now and set to rise again as new parking and speed cameras law's are bought in, some say to try and DOUBLE that revenue as local council pension black holes get deeper. But dangerous or drink driving convictions have slumpt, meaning deaths on the roads have actually risen, proof enough that cameras are about hard cash and not saving lives. Between the police and the cops last year they trapped 10 million drivers, the equivalent of one-in-three drivers, and the majority of those offences logged by traffic wardens. The police handed out 3 million speeding tickets in 2006. Since Blair and Brown came to power speeding convictions have risen by 615% in ten years. Driving deaths have remained static. It's encouraging to note that of that total the cops have started to clamp down on drivers brazenly using mobile phones at the wheel, 364,900 fixed penalties last year. But while they are looking for revenue producing cell-phone fines they are missing dangerous drivers, convictions down from 8500 to 7100 in just two years, alarming to say the least. We know the 1.2 million Poles like a drink and responsible for 10% of all drink driving cases in the UK, yet still the stats fall for drink driving. How can that be? These guys are dangerous but under-policed as cameras become king. The cameras cover just 4% of our tarmac were... speed does indeed fall between the Gatsos. But the other 96%? The camera is king now and if car has to swing in to a bus lane that camera doesn't care whether that was the correct driver action or not and will flash for cash. In the old days the cops would pull over bad drivers and often find the people had previous or were up to no good. The speed camera can't do that. A recent report found that most police forces said our extensive CCTV coverage doesn't help much to prevent criminality or convict criminals. The headline three percent conviction rates for robbers using CCTV suggest the cameras are trained elsewhere. In my hometown of Northampton we have the most sophisticated system in Europe (for some unknown reason) and the operators can see everything. But grainy images are easily discarded by prosecution lawyers and so the cameras not as useful as they could be. What the council does mange to do is prosecute 45,000 drivers a year for parking offences, the fifth highest total outside of London. I am in the know enough to know they are more likely to use the cameras to record the time a car spends in a parking bay than chasing shoplifters. The paradox of fining shoplifters to spare custodial sentences makes no sense, clearly likely to rob again to find the money to pay the fine. But again the cameras are all about producing revenues for councils and the treasury. The least likely area to be pulled over by the cops for bad driving was Sussex, just a 20.05 % chance of being hauled off to court for an array of offences although, rather ironically, the second highest likely chance of getting a parking ticket, Brighton the king of that particular statistic. West Midlands rossers, on the other hand, really go after drivers, 56% successfully prosecuted when facing a court case. Warwickshire handed out the most written warnings. Foreign trucks, responsible for 40% of all motorway accidents, received the least prosecutions in British courts. But I'm sure you are fed up of hearing about me going on about bloody foreigners. With the European directive soon to come in that will deregulate our transport industry and allow an increase of foreign wagons on our roads so they can do domestic runs, say between supermarkets, I'm sure that stat will soon be rising. Will they be paying their speeding fines? Err no. New draconian speeding laws in the UK could see the worse speeders banned after only two offences. 45+ in a 30+, 57 in a 40 and 94+ in a 70mph will see an automatic six point penalty and a £100 fine. I think we all agree that those speeds are deliberate and dangerous, if the signage is clear on what speed we should be doing. The new regime will be backed up by a massive expansion of digital cameras. With one million drivers on the brink of ban that's a lot of people who will lose their livelihood next year, let alone people that will soon be not paying tax to the treasury in fuel and road tax, a huge earner for Brown right now with oil at $123 per barrel. Rather interestingly there was an increase in child deaths on the roads in 2006, 141 up to 169 in 2006. But it was, rather paradoxically, due to more kids on cycles, fatalities on bikes up from 20 to 55 nationally. In fact most road and car deaths happen on A and B roads where the rescue services cant get their in time or no one reports the accident in time. Why would you put a camera out there with no cars to flash? I'm sure some women on ciao (and men that behave like women here) will be thumping their keyboards and saying if you don't speed you wont be fined. Whilst the real men with hair on their nipples will be saying you can't drive from A-B safely without speeding and breaking a traffic rule or two. Life is all about the gray area and costed to that, your employers expecting the job done in a set time, whether it's legal or not. If you don't then you get fired. The fact that 80% of speeders get tickets for doing the minimum 11-15% over the limit would suggest the cameras are really about getting money from honest road users going about their business than that 10% of drivers that are least likely to pay and have no tax or insurance. Who exactly knowingly speeds through speed cameras??? No one. That's rather silly. The people who get caught are the ones driving to work to pay their taxes, trying to hold it all together and make their timetable that keeps that job and family together. It's a battle by the police and councils to catch them out, cameras hidden in vans or at the bottom of hills, or the one that really earns, the sneaky mobile hidden in motorway roadwork's, sure to earn a million quid a month if left alone. If you still believe cameras are about cutting speed then you are a fool. Bet you didn't know that 80% more pedestrians are killed in 20mph zones than 30mph zones. Speed doesn't kill, driver error does, the governments own website saying speed is only directly responsible for just 7% of accidents on our roads. But driver error doesn't earn one billion pounds a year. Blairs mantra was always target and fine those who can and will pay. Thst you and me and not the scum doing the killing and maiming.

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                                02.07.2007 23:14
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                                Learn the way to road freedom

                                Right I've being doing some research into speed cameras. More specifically into how they work. Apparently its simple, they photograph u twice if u get to the second photo point too fast then it can work out you're speeding. I'm sure most of you knew that already though. What you'll probably be more interested in is how to beat them. Here I've compiled a few ways of doing this: 1. If you reach a speed of over 141mph the camera is too slow to detect you. This means it can't catch you. But for most this isn't much good is it. 2. Drive as close to the camera as you can. Little known fact, if you get the numberplate of your car within 1m of the camera it can't get you. This does often mean getting onto the curb though so beware. 3. Put a mirror just above your number plate, not so it obstructs it, maybe 20cm above (sorry for those who can't do cm I can't do inches). This isn't illegal and can confuse the camera. This doesn't tend to work on the newer cameras though so beware. 4. This is in no way legal. This is the most fool proof way though. Simply get a can of oil, some matches and a balaclava. Make sure its dark and there is no-one around. Actually I don't think I need to explain any more than that. I think you get the Idea. Although I'm sure there are other ways to beat the camera I'm afraid thats all I've got. And I would like to say I in no way condone this sort of unscrupulous behaviour. I hope you find this useful. If I find anymore I'll be sure to tell you all. So good lucky and happy cheating!

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