Road Safety?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by JessopSmythe, Dec 2, 2004.

  1. JessopSmythe

    JessopSmythe Active Member

    A few things to consider:-

    1 We're always being told that speed cameras increase road safety.
    2 Using a mobile phone whilst driving is bad for road safety.
    3 The amount of money being spent on cameras (which, whilst penalising someone for being a few mph over the limit but in full control of the car, cannot catch drivers driving badly within the limit) means that real (possibly) human police oficers are being take off traffic patrols.

    OK, bearing all of the above in mind, I really wished I had a camera, or better yet a video camera with me today when I spotted a uniformed police officer, driving a speed camera van through cardiff whilst talking on a handheld mobile phone.

    What a fantastic display of police arrogance!

    I was really tempted to flag him down so I could get his name and service number and make an official complaint.
  2. bigmamabadger

    bigmamabadger Active Member

    Did you get the registration number?
    P.S. You still owe me money...
  3. andyp

    andyp Active Member

    Speed cameras also cannot catch drunk drivers, drugged-up drivers (which there are more of), drivers without insurance, MOT failures, untaxed cars, banned drivers, stolen cars/twoccers, ringed cars/cut-n-shuts, or peole who's eyesight is inadequate for driving.
    But a traffic policeman can......................

    The problem is politicians (at all levels) think they can replace highly trained (and hence expensive) policemen with cheaper cameras, and this will make the roads safer and save money at the same time. Wrong!!!
    Cameras are OK in their place, i.e. outside schools in 30mph limits, and genuine accident blackspots. By genuine I mean a place where several accidents have been caused by excessive speed. Incidentally, the figures that the Government use for accidents caused by speeding are artificially inflated, because they count every accident where there is excessive speed as soley a "speeding" accident, even if the real cause is that the driver was drunk/on the phone/drugged/fleeing the police/etc.
    They are not a substitute for good policing, merely an addition.
  4. Fergus

    Fergus Member

    As rule for them and one rule for us !!!!!
  5. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Well-Known Member

    How many of you, when in an area known for speed cameras, find yourselves concentrating on your speed rather than the rest of the road and other traffic users?
    I know that when I see those boxes I keep a much closer eye on the dashboard than usual.

    It is the same when you see a police car nearby, you start watching your speed, rather than what is happening on the road.
  6. sparkling_quavers

    sparkling_quavers Active Member

    The main road at the top of our road has recently been changed to a 30 from a 40 road. It's a massive open road with wide lanes and a cycle-track which is part of the pavement. The reason for them changing it was that unfortunately a child got killed by a motorbike which was going 120mph- somehow if the road had been 30 at the end I dont think it would have made him slow down. The result is much income from the speed cameras.
  7. Will the Sec

    Will the Sec Active Member

    I'm afraid I have no sympathy with people who get caught by speed cameras.

    It's quite simple - if there's a speed limit, stick to it.

    Of all the people I know who've been caught by them, only one had a genuinely good reason for wanting to get somewhere asap, (their daughter had been taken seriously ill) but to be honest, she was so upset she was in no fit state to drive. (The judge fined her anyway.)

    The speed limits are there for a reason - and anyone who's seen stopping distance tests will know that the average person, for all the bravado or confidence they might posess, has very little idea about how long it takes to stop.

    It irks me intently that people think it is right that a speed camera has to be heralded by a sign, thereby giving one moron (and no doubt many others) the belief (stated in court no less) that if there is no sign for speed cameras, then it is OK to speed. If there's a sign saying 30, why should anyone be annoyed for being caught by a camera if they're doing 50? Or 40, come to that.

    This country has let the culture of driving slip away from the sensible, which in my opinion is mostly reflected in the laws of the land, and plays into the hands of careless and/or irresponsible drivers.

    Why am I so twisted about this?

    Because if a moron hadn't been driving southbound down the M11 at an estimated 135mph, he wouldn't have lost control, hit the central reservation, flown into the air to about twenty feet, crossed the barrier, landed on my good friend Nick's car, killing his three year old son instantly and ultimately killing him. And what did he get from the courts? £250 fine and 300 hour community service.

    Similarly the person who was fined £70 and given 200 hours community service for almost killing a 13 year old girl whilst uninsured, surely deserved the maximum of 10 years in prison?

    There is of course a huge problem with the sense of proportion relating to the consequences of being caught - the £70 mentioned above compared £80 for a congestion charge or speeding violation is totally unfair. Mobile phones are different – using one without the prescribed kit, and frankly even with the prescribed kit is incredibly dangerous.

    Will the (unusually sanctimonious even for him) motorist

    PS No, I ain't a perfect driver, yes I occasionally find I'm over the speed limit, and if I do, I immediately ease off. If I get caught, though, I'll take my medicine and pay the fine. I won't whinge about it.
  8. Bryan_sop

    Bryan_sop Active Member

    In our local evening news one day a couple of weeks ago there was an article about this. In one of the busiest roads in the center of cambridge, right near the bus station, a lady saw a police car park up on a double yellow line, holding up what is already a very busy road. The police officers then went into a sandwich bar to get their lunch. The lady then took a photo on her mobile and sent it, with a letter, to the newspaper.

    As a twist to the story, last week, we had the supervisor from the council refuse collection in at work for a meeting. He was telling me how these new traffic wardens (mentioned in the link) had put a parking ticket on one of his refuse trucks whilst it the driver was loading up rubbish at the rear of the truck outside the Cambridge corn exchange. The over-eager traffic warden then proceeded to slap a ticket on a police car round the corner.
  9. DublinBass

    DublinBass Supporting Member

    I disagree. I think sometimes, on the motorway, speed limits are there for no reason other than to catch people speeding and make income. Last night (this morning), we were driving home on the M25 at about 12:30 am. Hardly a car to be seen and the variable speed limit signs were flashing 40 mph. WTF. I have often seen signs on the M25 changed to 40 or 50 mph thus hampering traffic and in my opinion making it more dangerous as people slam on their breaks to adjust to the new speed limit (as to not get caught by the cameras)!!

    P.S. I just taught the stoppin distance lesson to my 5th formers about three weeks ago, so its still quite fresh in my head ;)
  10. andyp

    andyp Active Member

    What it boils down to, as with a lot of things at the moment, is that there is a sizeable proportion of drivers who are selfish, lazy, and arrogant. They do tend to drive the more expensive brands of car, though not always. They think that the rules of the road don't apply to them, particularly the ones regarding consideration for other road users (including pedestrians - did you know that the Highway Code says you should give way to pedestrians "At All Times"?).
    There are many examples, the Chelsea tractor drivers, the white van men, etc,etc, but the one that annoys me more than any other is the inconsiderate parker, Mr (or Mrs) "I'm just nipping in" - i.e. I'm just nipping in so I can't be bothered to walk the length of myself, I'll just abandon my car as near as I can to the shop even if it causes an obstruction. These people should be taken away and re-educated, preferably with something baseball-bat shaped, until they learn to show a little consideration.
    No cameras will ever stop the inconsiderate. They do stop people speeding in specific places, but that is all.
  11. cornetgirl

    cornetgirl Active Member

    I agree - I've often found myself doing exactly that.

    Humberside Police now have a website so you can find out exactly where speed vans are going to be on certain days. Doesn't that rather defeat the object?? Speed where you want anywhere else cos the cameras will be at x, y and z? :-?

    Rach x
  12. Farmer Giles

    Farmer Giles Member

    hi rach

    that sounds like a ploy to get more hits on the website to generate greater advertizing revenue, or am i just being paranoid !

  13. Will the Sec

    Will the Sec Active Member

    Feel free to disagree Pat, but show me any Motorway in the South East that has speed cameras as well as the road markings. (Don't know about the rest of the country) The variable speed limits on the M25 are often set up to half way round the M25 from an actual problem to prevent build up of traffic near the problem. Necessary preventative measures - necessary even at 12.30am - if the QEII bridge or any bore of the Dartford Tunnel (for example) is shut for any reason.

    From my experience, problems arise in the variable speed limit areas when people ignore the instrcution not to change lanes.

    Will (who hates sitting in traffic jams as much as anyone else.)
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2004
  14. Will the Sec

    Will the Sec Active Member

    Yeah, but when your 5th formers are old enough to actually (legally) get behind the wheel of a car, how many will remember your lesson?

    Will (The Head and primary school teachers' son)
  15. lynchie

    lynchie Active Member

    I'm not a great sympathiser with speed cameras really. They're far too often in places where they're not needed. I don't think your example of people having accidents at 135mph compare to an old lady being treated like a criminal for doing 45 in a 40 zone on a rural A road, on which I have never seen a pedestrian, and I've drove down it and back twice a week for nearly a year.

    The fact is that people should be arrested for dangerous driving, which, as actual police officers have said to me, is not solely about speed. Speed is simply the easiest factor to measure without spending money that could be better spent improving the seat coverings in the house of commons.

    What is needed is more police where they're needed with the powers they need. In my opinion, the police should put more resources into HUMAN police officers observing the roads in actual danger spots (roads near schools and hospitals, roads with a history of accidents due to dangerous driving etc)

    Anyway... the police getting away with not following their own rules isn't something that surprises me. I've seen it too often now!
  16. DublinBass

    DublinBass Supporting Member

    FYI...I supose this is quite ironic given my posts in this thread recently, but I just got a letter in the mail from the Essex Police for going 58 in what was at the time a 40 mph zone apparently (on the motorway BTW)!! I remeber the flash going off then seeing the variable speed limit. I knew the speed limit must have been posted earlier, but I guess I missed it. Anyways, I was hoping was hoping I wouldn't get nailed as it was two weeks ago!! (No traffic at the time either :mad: )
  17. Naomi McFadyen

    Naomi McFadyen New Member

    thats everyones excuse when they are bombing it down the motorways at 2am with no1 to be seen but a copper... :lol:

    I'm glad to say i have a clean license :)
  18. DublinBass

    DublinBass Supporting Member

    I don't know that I'd call 58 mph "bombing it down the motorways"!!

    (but you're probably right about the excuse part ;) )
  19. lynchie

    lynchie Active Member

    never mind... i finally got through my 2 years "probation" as a new driver in October... apparently new drivers speeding is actually a worse offence than experienced ones doing it...
  20. mad_female

    mad_female Member

    Hi All

    West Mercia Police in their wisdom have decided to set up a speed camera outside work (Royal Shrewsbury Hospital) within a speed limit of 40 mph. The majority of people they catch are ambulances on 999 calls in or out of the hospital. They claim it is an accident blackspot as there ave been several accidents just outside the hospital entrance in the past few years. To be honest the biggest problem is sheer volume of traffic trying to turn out on to the main road from the single entrance/exit to the hospital and from the lesser used south site. Pedestrians take their lives in their hands every time they try to cross the road as there is allways a driver prepared to take a risk to get out of the hospital that few seconds sooner. One soulution which has been put forwards is to install a roundabout, but with the south site set to close within 2-3 years and the ground to be sold off for executive housing I can't see them doing anything about it in the short term.

    Oh well of to work and to take my life in my hands crossing the road again