Speed Cameras

A new report from the TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA) and the Drivers’ Alliance (DA), or as I like to call them, the Jeremy Clarkson Reliance Alliance (JCRA) collates for the first time the full figure for fines raised through speed cameras in 2008-09.

According to their press release, ‘The report features full data for local Safety Camera Partnerships and Magistrates’ Courts for all areas of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. With the boom in speed cameras and speeding fines in recent years the issue has become highly controversial, particularly among motorists’.

I bet it has, I bet it has.

‘The report concludes that British policy should follow the good example of Swindon, which scrapped its speed cameras in 2008 with apparently no increase in road casualties as a result’.

I bet it does, I bet it does.

Amongst its key findings are the following:
– A total of £87,368,227 was collected in speeding and red light offences caught on speed cameras in the financial period 2008-09 in the UK. This also includes fines from magistrates’ courts for speeding offences and neglect of traffic directions in 2008. So don’t speed then and pay attention.
– The total includes £65,748,850 from fixed penalties detected by cameras operated by safety camera partnerships in England and Wales. It doesn’t matter who operates the cameras, they were caught speeding.
– It also includes £19,214,594 in fines from magistrates’ courts for speeding offences and neglect of traffic directions in calendar year 2008 in England and Wales. So don’t speed then and pay attention.
– It also includes £1,641,630 collected for speeding offences by the Scottish Courts in 2008-09. So don’t speed then.
– It also includes £763,153 from fixed penalties detected by speed cameras in Northern Ireland. So don’t speed then.
– The road casualty rate has declined at a slower rate since speed cameras were introduced in the early 1990s, compared to the rate prior to their introduction. It can be estimated that 1,555,244 more road casualties occurred between 1991-2007 than would have if the 1978-1990 trend had continued. Complete speculation. If I’d made it to the newsagents and got my lottery ticket on the Saturday before Christmas 2007, I might be a millionaire.

Matthew Elliott, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said:
“Motorists have long suspected that speed cameras are more about raising money than keeping the roads safe. These findings show that the state has been squeezing a fortune out of people using these cameras, but if anything the rate of reduction in casualty numbers has slowed. The whole country should follow the example of Swindon, which has scrapped cameras altogether. People are sick of being fined under the guise of road safety.” If you drive properly, you don’t get fined. It’s that simple.

Peter Roberts, Chief Executive of the Drivers’ Alliance, said:
“Speed cameras have been a false hope in improving safety on British roads. Close statistical analysis of road casualties shows that, since speed cameras have been the main driver of road safety policy, the road casualty rate has not gone down at the trajectory expected. It is time to rethink road safety policy so that it has broadened focus, not solely based on speed. No more speed cameras should be funded by local authorities and existing speed cameras should be removed.” Which basically means “We want to drive like The Stig. Please remove the cameras because when we saw an advert for the Vauxhall Astra on ITV3 during ‘Midsummer Murders’ and it clearly depicted it speeding through city streets and nothing bad happened. Another advert clearly showed all roads being as clear as a Scottish Glen with no pedestrians, cyclists or any other life apart from Hondas”.

This is a bit weak by anyone’s standards. The simple fact is that if you’ve been caught breaking the law, you pay a fine and/or get points on you licence. They are not a cash cow. Casualty rates may not have come down at the ‘trajectory projected’, but they have still come down (they even created a graph depicting this). Cameras are large, usually painted bright yellow and have warning signs alerting you of their presence. If you get caught you really have only yourself to blame as you clearly can’t drive according to the correct speed limit and road conditions (and please remember that they are speed limits, not speed targets). I guess a bad workman always blames his tools. The fact that £87.3m has been collected in fines on Britain’s roads means there are A LOT of bad workmen.

The brilliant Roger Geffen, Director of Campaigns at CTC, issued this excellent statement.

“CTC supports both a substantial increase in traffic policing and the use of speed cameras – it’s not an ‘either-or’ situation.

“Contrary to media mythology, around three quarters of the public supports speed cameras, and for a very good reason: they save lives and make our streets safer, particularly for pedestrians, cyclists, children and older people. These groups are disproportionately the victims of irresponsible driving on our roads and streets.

“Speed is to blame for around a third of all road fatalities. Nobody likes to put a monetary value on a human life, yet the Department for Transport does just that. They say that cost to society of a death on our roads is £1.7M. On that basis, the cost to society of the 740 people killed last year by people driving too fast was a cool £1,200M.

“So there can be no justification whatsoever for these self-appointed representatives of ‘drivers’ and ‘tax-payers’ whingeing about £65M of fines being taken from criminals. If they don’t like the laws of the land, let them argue for higher limits – we think most decent-minded people will strongly disagree. But to argue against the enforcement of society’s rules, designed to protect human life, is simply beneath contempt.”

So drive properly then.

36 thoughts on “Speed Cameras”

  1. Unfortunately, it seems both yourself and Roger Geffen have completely missed the point and show little understanding of the issue.

    Speed cameras have a place in the toolbox of road safety policy but the facts and figures are clear. The single issue of “speed kills” and the preoccupation with lowering speed limits has not reduced the level of casualties on the UK’s roads which we should have seen if the trend from the previous 40 years had continued.

    “Speed Kills” as a road safety slogan and the widespread roll-out of speed cameras began in 1993. Before this casualties on Britain’s roads fell relentlessly for decades at roughly 6% per year.

    From 1993 the decline in deaths and serious injuries stalled and we failed to see any significant improvements until recently when the figures began to fall again.

    All this when vehicles gained ABS, Airbags, Crumple zones, Better handling, better tyres and medical care improved dramatically.

    The unfortunate fact is that speed cameras have distorted the road safety effort because there is a financial incentive to increase their use. Where accidents are happening because of a blind bend and poor road surface, a speed camera is installed. Where potholes cause an accident with a motorcyclist or cyclist, a speed camera is installed but the underlying problems are not being addressed.

    It is also fact that only 4.7% of accidents are the result of drivers exceeding the speed limit whilst the vast majority of accidents are caused by inattention or failing to look properly. Speed cameras can do nothing to prevent these accidents and most probably contribute towards them.

    “Exceeding the speed limit related to just 60 collisions per year out of a total of 1,900 collisions in the Durham area, that’s about 3%.”
    Paul Garvin, Chief Constable , Durham Constabulary

    It is a pity both yourself and Roger Geffen took to criticising both the DA and TPA with such relish before looking at the report and understanding the facts.

    Ignorance indeed does breed contempt and you have both shown contempt of my organisation and the TPA.

    1. Thanks for your response. It beggars belief, but thanks anyway.

      As far as I understand it works like this; A motorist breaks the law by travelling above the prescribed limit and gets caught by a camera. I think that’s how it works. I didn’t realise that there was so much more to the issue of triggering a camera through incompetent driving. If motorists drove within the correct speed limit than this wouldn’t be an issue.

      You say the ‘vast majority’ of accidents are caused by inattention or failing to look properly. But speed may have been a contributing factor on most of those accidents. See? I can massage facts to show the truth too! Maybe the figures didn’t fall as much because of the explosion in car use during the last Conservative Government with it’s Gung Ho approach to road building destroying areas such as Twyford Down (M3). See? It’s easy to frame the facts isn’t it?!

      You also quote the Chief Constable of Durham Constabulary. I have no idea the context in which he gave that quote. We have no idea that ‘just 60 collisions’ were a result of speed cameras reducing figures. We have no idea if speed was a contributing factor to all the other collisions. Even simpler than that is the fact that 60 collisions is 60 collisions too many.

      A list was published recently of ‘Britains most dangerous roads’. So now we’ve taken to blaming strips of tarmac now! The list should be called ‘Roads where Drivers are Particularly Incompetent On’. You mention ABS, Airbags, Crumple zones, Better handling, better tyres and medical care. These are things that push speed up and lead to more reckless driving. Certainly they divorce the motorist from the driving experience and indeed from all the soft squishy things in the outside World like wildlife and people going about their business.

      Basically, organisations like yours are keen to blame speed cameras and road layout etc but won’t actually take a long look in the mirror at where the real problem lies. That is ignorance. If you don’t speed, you don’t get caught. It really is that simple.

  2. An excellent ramble.

    Typical response from the petrol-heads. A long rant that completely misses the point.

    If you don’t want to pay the fine (yes, FINE – NOT tax) then DON’T BREAK THE LAW.

    1. Funny how the ramblers took a different attitude when breaking trespass laws – its ok for them to break and campaign against laws they dont like but not other people. Bunch of hypocrites.

      Cant you grasp that if you drive properly and pay proper attention to the road, its inevitable that you will break a badly set speed limit. So by saying “dont speed and you wont be caught” you are in effect saying “mow down the children at the speed limit and you cant be blamed”

      1. Ah, another knee-jerk reactor. If you look my blog, you will see that I’m not a rambler, nor have any affilliation with the Ramblers Association. And if you then look in the mirror, you will notice a very sad person in need of a good cycle ride or walk to relieve that stress.
        I’m just saying take it on the chin if you get caught speeding and drive carefully to the laws proscribed (if you can). I’m in no way saying ‘obeying the law means you can knock children down with impunity’. That is ludicrous and insulting to everyones intelligence.

  3. “Where accidents are happening because of a blind bend and poor road surface, a speed camera is installed. ”

    Yes, why not? Encourage people to slow down around a blind bend and there’s less chance of them hitting whatever might be on the other side of it. Encourage people to slow down on a poor road surface, and there’s less chance of them coming a cropper on it. If you go round a blind bend on a poor road surface at 20mph in a 30 limit you won’t trigger the camera, and you’ll probably be fine. Go round the same bend on the same surface at 45mph and you will trigger the camera – because you were breaking the law.

    Break the law, accept the consequences.

  4. Are the Ramblers Association capable of framing an anti-car argument without resorting to insults, exaggeration and Scargill-esque rabble rousing? Evidently not – very poor effort from a once credible organisation

    1. Michael

      If you could be bothered to read my other rambles, or indeed the ‘About’ page you will see that I have no affiliation with the Ramblers Association. You will also see that I’m the owner of a family saloon car so I’m not anti-car either. If the Drivers Alliance releasing a 19 page document against speed cameras can’t be construed as rabble rousing, or exaggerating, than I don’t know what can. Please check your facts beforehand and enjoy the rest of the blog.

      I hate what motoring has become and indeed what I become when I’m a motorist. Government policy has been so stacked in the motorists favour for the last few decades that we are now a nation that can’t get to grips with something as simple as riding a bike, or going for a walk to the shops or school. And it is to this nations detriment in every way.

      PS I do quite like rambling in terms of walking.

      1. You seem to be saying that any attempt to criticize speed cameras is by definition, exaggerated and wrong?

        I’m simply making the point that you don’t seem to be able to put together a cogent argument against the report other then to resort to exaggeration, straw man arguments and name calling

        You are clearly anti car (or deluded) if you believe that Government policy is stacked in favour of the car users. We live in a democracy and 90% + of journeys are made by car and the car is one of the few modes of transport that is a net contributor to the treasury. While I have no particular axe to grind with special interest minority groups making their case, every mode of transport has its place.

      2. For the final time, if people drove correctly, you wouldn’t need to pay speeding fines. However, as you are going to continue deluding yourself so I shall make this final point.

        Ask yourself how we got to this situation of 90% journeys being made by car.
        Out of town developments, upgrades of trunk roads making them pretty much motorways in all but name and cessating footpaths and bridleways that would have linked communities, new motorway links (in one case dessimating thousands of years of archaeology just so someone can can drive between Winchester and Southampton a bit quicker), the grinding down (and then part-priviatisation) of public transport, poorly designed and dangerous cycle infrastructure, shall I go on?

        I’m certainly not anti-car (nor deluded? Pot. Kettle. Black). I certainly believe that every mode of transport has it’s place too. However i’m actually part of the majority when I get out of my car because I become a pedestrian or a cyclist. We’re the soft sqidgy things you speed past on your way to something obviously very important. Really, it’s incredible what doing a bit more strolling or cycling could do. The nations health would improve dramatically giving massive savings, there would be less accidents to clear up and investigate giving massive savings, the road maintenance bill would plummet, the air would be cleaner, our children could play in the streets again and speed cameras would be ornaments. All massive savings and benefits. You don’t need to raise the revenue if you don’t need to spend it. It really is that simple.

        And please stop occusing me of exaggerating. At least I haven’t produced an official 19 page document doing just that. Just slow down and then you don’t need to pay the fines. And for goodness sake, go for a stroll.

  5. Having a car is great for enjoying the countryside.

    There have been misguided attempts to reduce rural speed limits, rather than encourage drivers to drive intelligently at the speed of the road, adapted to weather and other conditions as specified by the Highway Code.

    Our very countryside-loving Labour government proposed reducing speed limits from 60 to 40, which if anything would result in longer journey times and more driver fatigue. Speed isn’t the killer – tiredness often is.

    Labour basically missed the point. Where there are poor road surfaces and visibility hazards, these should be engineered out (e.g. resurfaced or at least fitted with mirrors). This would benefit all road users, including many cyclists.

  6. The message here would appear to be that speed limits are a law and therefore they – and however they are enforced – deserve unqualified respect and compliance, irrespective of whether one agrees with them.

    I wonder if any committed ramblers would see a parallel – in terms of how one should interact with a law one disagrees with – with the long campaign for the right to roam?

    1. Again, I have no allegiance to the Ramblers Association. I am a Cyclist, pedestrian and motorist (and I suppose sometimes a Rambler).

      However Right to Roam isn’t as potentially lethal as the idiots who drive on country lanes as though their cars will detonate if their speed drops below 50mph is it? And then everyone scratches their heads trying to work out what went wrong when the motorist loses control. Everyone looks at the engineering of the road and not at the poor fool being loaded into the ambulance.

      1. Make up your mind – its either a legal argument or a safety argument. Stop jumping between the two. If you say “the law is the law” then fair enough, but then its the same as the right to roam, isnt it? It also shows that you dont have any confidence in your safety arguments – ie you know damn well that we are right. The authorities dont use this line because they know that people simply wont be criminalised for no purpose whatsoever and arguing that they should be is undemocratic and counterproductive to both safety and the law.

        If its about saving lives then lets have a discussion about how best to do that and not run away and hide behind petty legalism!

      2. I’m still a little mystified why you seem to think I’m concerned about the Right to Roam. As I stated before, I’m not a rambler, not have any affilliation with the Ramblers Association. Just read the ‘About’ Page or read a bit more of this blog. However, I don’t think that you will because you just seem to spend your life engaging in increasingly petty squabbles. Or you just copy and paste selected arguments and soundbites from a Word Document that don’t quite fit.
        I’m also a little mystified why you think that obeying a speed limit is ‘petty legalism’, and why you can’t accept the very basic fact that if you get caught by a speed camera, you have broken the law and just pay the fine.
        There certainly should be a broader look at safety measures, particularly as British drivers are so incompetent that they can’t pick out large yellow cameras (God help the more vulnerable road users!) – I can manage it when I’m driving, but as I’m predominently a cyclist so I’m a bit more careful and aware of my surroundings. However, putting the broad road safety debate in the hands of the Drivers Alliance or Safespeed is a bit like asking McDonalds to look after your cow.
        And calm down dear, it’s only a blog post!

  7. What a very sad and ill informed perception of road safety you people have. The fact that roads HAVEN’T got safer in real terms since the introduction of speed cameras, lower speed limits and very little else to improve driving on Britains’ roads, has obviously gone way over your heads or are you all like ostriches and prefer to bury your heads in the sand, to deny reality?

    1. I’m sorry but who are ‘you people’?! Yes, damnation to those people wanting safer streets! Let’s ALL drive around like The Stig on prozac! If motorists (of which I am one) didn’t drive like Ostriches with our heads buried in the sand (or mobile phones, or looking at the radio wondering where Terry Wogan has got to these days) then you might see the cameras and not have to pay the fines. I certainly DO NOT advocate putting speed cameras up everywhere, it must be said, because they’re a bloody eyesore for starters.

  8. A lot of rambling going on here! The question asked was: “has the focus on speed and the use of speed cameras to enforce (often lowered) speed limits and fining millions of drivers for exceeding a number on a pole maintained or increased the rate of casualty reduction achieved prior to the introduction of speed cameras?” The answer is NO!

    1. My, their certainly is a lot of rambling, and a lot of well honed (and not quite so well honed) clap trap from the well drilled Drivers Alliance and [I assume] Safespeed. Actually the answer is DON’T KNOW! When a lobby group (particularly one acting in the interests of motoring) produces a report, you have to be a little bit sceptical and so it proves. The projected casualty rates are meaningless and are completely shooting in the breeze. It might not take into account the explosion in car use, aided by years of Government policy against public transport and more sustainable means of gettng about. We simply don’t know.
      It’s a bit like BP producing a report stating that the Gulf of Mexico spill isn’t a disaster because the fittest marine life will survice so BP will produce a more efficient, stronger Gulf of Mexico.
      And really, chaps! Welcome to my humble blog by all means but you might want to reflect on the fact that you as the motorist (and me as an occasional motorist) have the power to stop speed cameras from working. We have the power to turn them from ‘Cash Cows’ to just ‘Cows’. It’s called Not Treating Britains Roads Like Your Own Personal Hazard County!

  9. The Tory Payers Alliance report is drivel and attempts to capitalise on the recent government declaration of relieving the war on the law-breaking and ignorant motorists.
    The report is full of errors and clap-trap that can be found on many sites on the Internet. It’s author has no understanding of the speed enforcement and casualty reduction system as it is operated in the UK and shows this clearly in the report.
    References to Swindon keep popping up and have done in the report yet it is rarely acknowledged that Wiltshire police regularly carry out speed enforcement in Swindon with overt and covert mobile units so the town is getting the benefit without contributing. You should also ask what measures Swindon councillors have promised have been put in place since they withdrew from the partnership. I will save you the bother of asking, none is the answer!
    The Internet is full of cranky one-man-band websites who slap each other on the back and attempt credibility when in reality they are fronted by idiots who assume expertise and even start criticising others such as this blog for being one-man-bands when views opposing theirs appears.
    The Tory Payers Alliance are little more than a self interest group with party political links who have fed crap to bottom-sucking journalists who have taken the bait and fed this to a gullible public. Hopefully this and the rest of the heavy-footed goons will be seen for what they are and encouragement will be given to them to keep the roads safe from their folly; if encouragement means fines so be it; ramp them up, give more points and get them off the road sooner; most of all ignore these cranks.

    1. Yup, You summed it most eloquently, sir!

      It’s no coincidence is it that now the Tories are back in power, organisations like this see it as their moment to produce reports that makes Alice in Wonderland look a bit lacking in imagination.

  10. So, you’re saying that we don’t know what the casualty reduction rates were/are before and after the focus on speed and speed cameras?

    1. Oh, you again! Hello!

      What I’m saying is that the figures after are based on conjecture and slightly ropey conjecture at that because the‘Fast and The Furious Fan Club carefully selected the external factors to suit their own aims. Why not as they’re a lobbying group after all? The ‘Report’ panders to our new Conservative Transport Secretary by stating that trends falling since 1978 ‘can be explained by successful road safety policies and technological change’. Nice touch, and coincidentally starts just before Margaret Thatcher came to power with her aggressive road building policy (that just produced more traffic). What it fails to factor in is at what cost this technological change came to every one else outside the car. All technological changes were geared to the motorist and not the soft squishy things outside like humans. To blame these trends on a failure of speed cameras is insane.

      Above all, the ‘Report’ fails to clarify the one key point – that the £87.3 million was collected from people breaking the law. All they had to do was drive within the designated speed limit and it wouldn’t even be an issue. It’s a very simple fact so please learn to accept it and take it on the chin. Maybe go out for a bike ride and relieve some of that stress. David and Boris do it! It’s a far more civilised way of getting about and meeting these so called poor, beleaguered, responsible drivers you and your ilk keep banging on about.

  11. Casualty rates aren’t conjecture – the point is that if the speed focus/speed cameras were a magic answer to road safety – then we would rightly expect at least to continue the same falling trend, or better it – but that hasn’t happended. It’s slowed.

    The problem here is that road safety has been hijacked for the purposes of revenue raising and the anti-car/anti-driver lobby – so more people have been killed and injured than would have been the case if we’d had a broadly focused road safety policy – shame on you!

    The fact is that speed cameras are very effective at catching drivers exceeding a number on a pole, regardless how that number on a pole is related to the prevailing road conditions or road layout, that arrive home safely, recieve a ticket and then pay it.

    Speed cameras are very poor at tackling genuinely dangerous/illegal road users and the multitude of accident causation factors. They’ve also replaced the much more useful traffic police.

    Safer cars can take most of the credit for safer roads.

    1. I’m sorry Paul but they are conjecture based on a particulalar set of externalities of their [Drivers Alliance] choosing.

      It would be interesting to see what the figures had been had cameras not been around in the same way that it would be interesting to see what the cycling and walking rates would have been if the last Conservative Goverment hadn’t pushed for car ownership so aggressively at the cost of everything else.

      I never said that speed cameras are the panacea for road safety, but my Ramble was purely about the report which for all of its 19 pages focused purely on speed cameras and nothing else. At no point does it outline proactive broader measures to promote road safety. It is focused purely on the removal of speed cameras and on that alone, it is flawed.

      You state that speed cameras are very poor at tackling genuinely dangerous/illegal road users and the multitude of accident causation factors. I agree to a point, but if you get caught by a speed camera, you are a dangerous road user. Also speed is a factor in other types of accident not mentioned such as tailgating.

      You also state that safer cars make safer roads but I would definately argue that the reverse is true. I say return to the golden age of motoring before power steering, ABS, airbags and reinforced bodies etc as it would lead to greater visibilty (bigger windows without all that reinforcing) for a start. Motorists will have to pay attention to the road more and above all enjoy the driving experience again, instead of racing about everywhere because the advert they saw cast the illusion that they could and that they are far better than everybody else.

      I think we are all agreed that we would love to see more traffic coppers about, but I can’t see it happening during this Parliamentary period and I don’t think you can either.

      I’m afraid as far as that report goes, we shall have to agree to disagree.

  12. Mighty Jim – First of all – point out what aspects of the report are exaggerated?

    We got to this point because cars are the most efficient, usually the quickest, cost effective and reliable form of transport. People don’t spend £1000’s on a car because they make nice ornaments.

    All that really pails into insignificance beside your utter failure to understand the macro-economic finances involved in driving. I’ve had this argument many times with disparate anti – car types and not one has known the amount contributed to the treasury vs spent on all transport (not just ‘our’ roads).

    Most have read some ludicrous uttering by Monbiot or Porrit about drivers not paying the full cost yet seem unable to name what these vague extra costs are let alone quantify them. So go ahead prove yourself a cut above the usual anti – car moron and lets see if you know your stuff!

    1. Michael

      The exaggeration comes from the projected casulaty rates. They are conjecture, pure and simple and I would expect no less from a lobby group masquerading as experts.

      Cars became more effective because infrastructure was pointed solely towards motoring. This has been at massive cost the nation. Had this country launched an aggressive high speed rail policy, than rail would be more efficient and so on.

      I’m not an anti-car type (although your bigoted, presumptous stance may push me that way!) I am a motorist with a family saloon no less, with VED (which doesn’t pay for the roads) and insurance (because if I’m in control of a ton of metal and actually appreciate the harm it could do to others), but I’m also a cyclist (and again with third party insurance as a member of CTC) and a pedestrian. Unlike you, or indeed Monbiot, or Porritt, I know how and when to strike the right balance, for example, electing to cycle the 12 miles to work because it’s stress free and just as quick door to door during rush hour.

      You really cannot get your head around the fact that I’m different types of road user (sometimes all three in one day) as you desperately try to compartmentalise me to make it easier for your lazy accusations.

      I think the unseen costs to which environmentalists refer are everywhere from the air that we breathe to children not being able to cycle to school because it’s deemed ‘unsafe’ (usually by the headmaster/mistress that drove there). Stuff you can’t put a price on until it’s too late. What is easy to quantity (and going back on topic) is the £87.3 million that drivers pay because they can’t keep their foot off the accelerator.

      Finally, even if I was anti-car, why should that make me a moron? Really, you should go on a cycle ride (I’ll take you). Who knows, you might learn to appreciate the life you speed around in your sense of self importance!

  13. The casualty rates are not conjecture they are derived from statistical analysis which is a well respected science used by Governments as long as Governments have existed. The real problem is that the figures don’t fit you preconceived notion of speed cameras resulting in your personal attacks on the reports authors.

    The point is that where as I have respect for all road users your attempts to stereotype all drivers as Clarksonesque speed freaks prove that you have nothing but contempt for drivers.

    To clarify being anti car only makes you a moron if the best you can do to justify that point of view is to trot out the usual urban myths, cleches, exaggerations and down right lies that the likes of the CTC use.

    Rubbishing statistical analysis simply because you don’t agree with the outcome does suggest that you are though.

    1. I might have sat up and taken notice if the report was written by the Department for Transport, or Professor Stephen Hawking. However, it is conjecture pure and simple intended to put together a hypothesis put forward by a lobby group committed to the removal of speed cameras. They did this without putting any proactive suggestions in its place for road safety which kind of gave their game away and is a real shame. I personally don’t want to see speed cameras everywhere either but you can’t deny that if get caught, you broke the law and you should take it on the chin.

      Then you resort to personal attack when someone criticizes it. Ho hum, as I keep saying, I’m a motorist (I used my car last weekend to take my son to see his grandparents. All that without breaking any speed limit for the 80 mile round trip. It is quite easy, honest), cyclist and pedestrian (and once in 1984, a horse rider). Then you arbitrarily dismiss what everyone else says because you don’t like their alternate perspective.

      I suppose now that you’ve called me a moron, I take it that you don’t want to go on that cycle ride with me then. Shame because the CTC can recommend some nice routes (unless they’re lying about that too). I wonder what ‘urban myth’s they make. It all sounds very exciting!

      Please scuttle back from whence you came and tell your chums to come up with some more credible, non-framed accurate research to prove that speed cameras can cause impotence or famine in Basingstoke or something.

      And to think you thought I represented the Ramblers! I guess I am occasionally so I’ll give you that.

  14. I stopped and talked to a couple of community speed camera operators this morning. I was riding my bike downhill on the Trull road into Taunton and they clocked me at 25mph 🙂 The limit there was 30

    I told them that further down the road in the 20mph zone I was often overtaken by cars when I was doing 20mph

    They said that out of 300 vehicles they had recorded 20 speeding that morning and this was pretty normal. Several had been doing over 40

    They were standing in a usual spot for them in hiviz vests so any motorist actually paying attention could slow up. They said that many cars just didn’t bother slowing down.

    1. That’s exactly it. I’m no great advocate of speed cameras in any guise but they are pretty obvious. They have warning signs and are yellow. Maybe if fireworks were triggered into the air just as a motorist drove into the camera zone might snap them out of it.

  15. I cycle and enjoy it. I drive. I motorcycle. Walk whenever I can. I resent people who drive dangerously and put others at unecessary risk. I resent those fellow motorcyclists who ride aggressively and intimidate other road users and get us all a bad name.I also hate the hypocrisy in “Safety Camera Partnerships” which put cameras in non critical areas to raise revenue and fine people just over the limit, who are using their judgement to drive safely and harming no-one. I detest these non-representative cycling organisations who don’t speak for me or most of the people I know who cycle. I know that the highest proportion of road users that I see blatantly breaking the law are cyclists. Riding the wrong way down one way streets, ignoring traffic lights at red and riding dangerously on pavements are things I see on most days. Until these self-righteous, narrow minded “cycling organisations” demonstrate that they have suficient influence on anyone to deal with these blatant transgressions of the law and basic safety rules, I suggest that they stop lecturing everyone else. My only regret is that by bothering to write this I’m probably paying them more attention than they deserve, but at least I’m being honest. In truth the proportion of people who cycle in this country and who are members of these organisations is so small that they can hardly claim to really represent anyone except themselves.

    1. My only regret is that I wasted my time reading your comment, approved it and am writing a response to it.

      If a camera is put in a ‘non-critical’ area and it’s generating money, it means that people are consistently speeding there and/or not paying attention so that to me makes it critical.

      I cycle to work and back 24 miles a day. I often see transgressions form cyclists too. It used to make my blood boil as it puts the work of cycle campaigners back by decades as people won’t remember what they do, but they will remember the pillock that broke a red light. But that’s the thing. Although I’d love to see more tickets issued, it’s nowhere near as lethal as a ton of metal moving at speed being operated by someone fishing around for the radio station they want to listen to. Or pushing through on red (far more motorists do this). Or speaking on a mobile. Or intimidating other road users. Or speeding and coming up with bullshit answers to justify this. You never really see cyclists on ‘Road Wars’ or Police, Camera, Action’. Basically you’re saying it’s OK for people to speed and like a petulant child then try and point the blame on a few cyclists.

      These ‘narrow minded’ cycling organisations actually represent the interests of everyone from the child cycling to school to the cycle commuter to Sir Chris Hoy winning gold for GBR. You have a Sky email account and they are currently sponsoring a team in the Tour de France. These organisations offer route advice for members and charities. Free technical advice. They have large memberships too. They aren’t single issue organisations like some motoring groups I could mention with all their bitterness, bile and hatred. Above all they offer free third party insurance to all members and legal advice. Which cyclists clearly need with experts like you about.

      Glad you like the cycling though.

    1. The truth hurts so you resort to personal insult. Very nice.

      Sweet dreams. Enjoy your cycling. You won’t trigger speed cameras that way.

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