Speed cameras - making roads safer???

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by Thirteen Ball, Apr 21, 2008.

  1. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    If I were Norfolk Constabulary - I'd have thought twice before letting the BBC post this.


    Two potentially horriffic accidents - both of which the correspondent admits were caused by the presence of a camera van!!!

    Yet the drivers who didn't see it drive safely by....

    I know the road they're talking about and yes, it is dangerous. However it's FAR more dangerous when you get nearer norwich and the central reservation dissapears.

    Your opinions please folks?
  2. Masterblaster jnr

    Masterblaster jnr Active Member

    As i'm not a driver i'm not sure, but i've noticed that speed cameras just slow people down for about 30 yards, then they speed up. Surely people suddenly slamming their brakes on and slowing down will cause more accidents than going 4 mph above the limit.
  3. Rambo Chick

    Rambo Chick Member

    Whilst I absolutely HATE speed cameras, the people who nearly crashed WERE speeding/talking on their mobile phones which they shouldnt have been doing in the first place! The people who didnt react were probably travelling at a legal speed/not applying lipstick/not eating cornflakes whilst shaving and reading the map.
    Its the arrogance of drivers who do speed excessively, usually tailgating and scaring other road users that causes accidents and I for one would be glad to see the people who drive with no concern for others caught by these speed cameras.

    On the other side of it, yes I think worrying about speed limits can inhibit other things to look for on the road. Constantly looking at your speedometer means taking your eyes off the road quite a lot! hmmmm...

    Just between you and me however thirteen ball, speeding cars are more dangerous to other cars than speeding bikes...:wink:
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2008
  4. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    I can't possibly think what you mean.... ;)

    Funny, on a police advanced riding course, and one of the first things they said to me was "Speeding tickets will not be issued. If the oficer in charge thinks you are going too fast, he will advise you by radio, and you will slow down."

    I was actually criticised for riding too slowly. (!) All I was doing was sticking to limits - but then speedos on road bikes and cars do read up to 10% high. (One of the boys I used to ride with had an ex-police BMW with a properly calibrated speedo and when mine said 60mph, his said 54mph.)

    Don't get me wrong, our instructor was quite rightly RED hot on 30mph limits or limits in built-up areas and they're generally also red hot on judging your speed based on the view available and the conditions. But when the police instructor was leading our group, I was having a job keeping up!!!

    Don't ever try and run from a bike cop. Whatever you're riding/driving doesn't matter... he's faster than you... MUCH faster.

    But unlike a bean-counter with a camera, he's properly trained. Some of the worst and most dangerous driving I've ever seen has been under the speed limit, and I'd trust any copper to spot it. But a camera, by it's nature, can't do that.

    Give me proper traffic police anyday.
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2008
  5. Bass Man

    Bass Man Active Member

    In my opinion, speed cameras make the roads a more hazardous place because everyone knows where they are!

    Those who make a habit of regularly breaking the speed limit avoid prosecution by slamming the brakes on just before the camera, which merely increases the risk of the driver behind crashing into the back of the speeding vehicle.
  6. andyp

    andyp Active Member

    Speed cameras detect people going over the limit in legal cars

    They do not detect dangerous driving, using a mobile, driving without due care and attention, unlicensed/uninsured cars, stolen cars, cars with illegal number plates, cars breaking the speed limit behind them or more than 200 yds in front of them, cars coming towards them (in the case of fixed ones, mobile ones do), etc, etc.

    We need properly trained traffic police for that. But guess which is cheaper?

    Also guess how many of the govt's "increased number of poilce" are actually out on the streets at any one time.

    Google for blogs by "Inspector Gadget" or "200 weeks", etc, you will be amazed at the lunacy of targets and budgets perpetrated by our politicians in the name of "law and order".

    Speed cameras have their uses (near schools, for example), but they are not a cheapskate substitute for real police. And neither is CCTV.
  7. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    My thoughts exactly Andy. Speed cameras are fine in the right places, but I really feel that "they" (whoever "they" are - might not necessarily be the police) are becoming increasingly reliant on them and money spent on cameras is not being spent on officer training / more police - which would be a bigger benefit to the whole country in many other ways.

    As a slight aside, on my way home from work I pass a camera on a 60 limit dual-carriageway road. Before the camera zone, traffic flows along quite happily at around 60mph, but I've lost count of the number of cars I've followed that have braked to 40mph as they see the camera. So a free-flowing 60mph becomes a braking, bottle-necked 40mph. How can this be sensible or even safe?
  8. timbloke

    timbloke Member

    But the ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) network managed by the NTCC (National Traffic Control Centre) in Birmingham does. (Those little green boxes hanging off the bridges along the motorways). And there are plenty more of them going in.

    Speed cameras can work if they are located well and in combination with other highway design measures to encourage people to abide by the law. Unfortunately I think this isn't always the case.
  9. timbloke

    timbloke Member

    As a continuation of my previous thread....

    I've not yet had the "pleasure" of being involved in a site/project with a speed camera - so don't know a great deal about locating of them (from a highway engineering point of view). I might have a quick look into it at some point and report back.

    As an aside, I know a number of poeple who are unclear about the speed limit on dual carriageways (generally 70mph), who think that 70 is only on motorways and that dual carriageways are 60mph. One was even told this by their instructor. How can we have safe roads when there is this much confusion amongst drivers on a simple point such as speed?
  10. Rapier

    Rapier Supporting Member

    I think WoodenFlugel has hit the nail on the head. Most drivers just follow the traffic flow and as soon as they see a camera they brake, because they are not sure what the speed limit is. Do they make the roads safer? No, I'd say not, they do however make lots of money. If the money raised was actually spent on proper policing of the roads it would help, but it isn't.
  11. JesTperfect!

    JesTperfect! Member

    I'm doing it already, and I've not passed my test yet!


    I know people will HATE me for saying this, but the point of speed cameras is to catch someone speeding, right? So we shouldn't know they're there. I know far more people would get caught, but then eventually, that would lead to far LESS people speeding. Surely?
  12. on_castors

    on_castors Member

    Just how do they do that?

    If the vehicle isn't currently registered, and no keeper can be chased up, then all you are left with is a picture of an illegally operating vehicle on a road, and perhaps a picture of someone who could be one of millions! More significantly, the driver with the current must-have accessory: a cloned or otherwise dodgy number plate is also free to go on it's way, whereas a stop by Police would be also interested in other aspects, such as the identity of the driver, and be much more likely to picked up as illicit.

    A stop by Police has the added advangtage of being able to have the vehicle impounded in many of these situations, thereby taking dodgy vehicles and thier dodgy drivers off the road, but is a much less effective fund-raiser than the now well tried and tested camera methods :-(
  13. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    Perhaps the instructor was airing on the safe-side

    "While most drivers are clear about what a motorway is, some are confused about the definition of a dual carriageway. For a road to be classed as a dual carriageway, the two directions of traffic flow must be physically separated by a central reservation. A road where the two directions of flow are separated only by lines painted on the road surface is a single carriageway, regardless of the number of traffic lanes that may be available to the traffic in each direction. So a road with three or four lanes is still a single carriageway if there is no central reservation"

    I seem to remember that at one time all dual carriageways were national speed limit applies and that was 60mph - presummably the 70 limit has come in as more dual c/ways have central reservations added.
  14. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    Important point there on_castors makes.

    Fact: Speed cameras encourage evasion. (False plates, failure to register etc.)
    Fact: Routine traffic stops reduce crime.

    It was a regular copper on a routine traffic stop that caught the yorkshire ripper.

    I have no objection to being pulled over by the police. Ride through Derbyshire with me on a weekend afternoon, and I guarantee we'll be stopped once by good coppers operating a road safety scheme and promoting advanced training for bikers. This sort of policing works as it encourages people to think about HOW THEY DRIVE, not just about where they have to brake because there's a camera.

    I still think it's daft that in the UK if you're on a motorway that doesn't have those neon variable limit signs, a copper will find it hard to make a ticket stick if you're going at or below 70mph - even if there's so much fog visibilty's down to 30 yards.

    He can pull you over, no question of that (A copper can stop anyone for any reason) but he'll have a job enforcing any penalty as you weren't technically breaking the law - even if the CONDITIONS suggest you should be driving much slower.

    Whilever people are taught to drive/ride to the limits of the signs by the road, rather than actually reading the road and the conditions and using those as their limits, then the accident rate is only ever going to go up.

    In two thirds of accidents, speed is NOT a contributing factor. Almost all of these come down to poor observation, inadequate training or failure to observe the conditions.

    All things a policeman will spot - all things a camera will not.
  15. MRSH

    MRSH Supporting Member

    Those little green boxes hanging off bridges are part of the Traffic Master Vehicle Information System used to detect traffic flow for in car Sat-Nav systems. Or so we are led to believe..................:rolleyes:

    Interesting reading here
  16. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    No, the Traffic Master cameras are blue. Although I've never noticed the green boxes, will have to look out for them now.
  17. Rapier

    Rapier Supporting Member

    The ANPR cameras are also now in most traffic cars too, which is nice as it reads EVERY number plate it sees (even those going the opposite way) and flags a warning if NO Tax, Insurance, MOT pops up, and a few other things that are not for a public forum.
    They help no end in 'Proper policing', unlike fixed cameras which are just to produce revenue.
  18. andyp

    andyp Active Member

    There's one on every major road/motorway into Liverpool, haven't noticed them anywhere else (but there are big signs up telling you they're there in Liverpool!)

    Most police traffic cars have ANPR, but there's only so many of those, and as has been said they only work on cars the plate actually belongs to.....
  19. MRSH

    MRSH Supporting Member

    Ah yes - sorry :oops:.

    Must admit I have never seen the blue ones. Unless they've been there so long they're going off colour!! I've only noticed the green ones thinking they were Traffic Master cameras.

    Although, ahem, it could be my eyesight I suppose ;)
  20. timbloke

    timbloke Member

    Quite right you are, blue are TrafficMaster. There are not a great deal of green ones up yet (but I think there may be some at J36 or 35 of the M1), but we're working on a major contract where they are scoping a significant number more.

    All dual carriageways have central reservations by definition - that's what a dual carriageway is, a road split in two (where the directions of flow are physically separated). If there is no central reserve, it is not a dual carriageway. Parhaps this definition is where the confusion comes from.

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