You'll wait forever for comment from Oxfordshire Police...
Because it doesn't exist. The force is called Thames Valley Police. :-)
Oxfordshire police have turned speed cameras back on as others throughout England switch theirs off, prompting questions as to whether senior police and county council figures are playing politics. Last August, following the withdrawal of central government funds, Oxfordshire made motoring history by being the first county to …
but the number of 'active' camera sites containing an actual camera is being massively reduced. Also, from today(!) all the cams will be operated by the police, not an arm of the council. The camera sites (ie the yellow boxes) are all being kept as this will 'save money'.
It is also interesting to note that no budget is available to replace any vandalised cameras (or empty boxes), so all cameras currently burnt out or burnt out in the future won't be replaced.
For those of you who haven't seen this BBC report, it makes hilarious viewing on a Friday afternoon:
Once upon a time it was on the BBC news website, but they sheepishly pulled it when it was pointed out to them that they were filming a menace to society on the road (said menace being a mobile camera operator). Further, they refused requests to re-upload the video... so some kind soul put it on YouTube, much to their annoyance. Ah, the power of the internet.
Focus on what happens at about 2 minutes in. It's a bloody miracle nobody was killed during the filming of that report.
Tell your "little darlings" to keep off the road! Its for cars and they will smush you first and stop later.
When I was a kid the green cross code man taught road safety.
Cuts prevent this, and no we have "safety" cameras which every one knows are just revenue generators.
Parents shouting otherwise really need to look hard at they way they are parenting and stop the relentless push to have the rest of us bringing up and being responsible for your mistakes.
Just don't trust what an English parent says or does! Plain and Simple!
You've been believing the daily mail too much again. Speed cameras only get money out of people who choose to break speed limits. Choose to. You can opt out by not speeding. It's not a tax on "the innocent motorist" its a tax on those who choose to endanger other road users -usually pedestrians and cyclists. And I for one thing it is justifiable.
That doesn't mean fixed speed cameras work: GPS killed that. Mobile speed cameras though, unmarked (so as not to trigger avoidance actions), that works.
"Mobile speed cameras though, unmarked (so as not to trigger avoidance actions), that works."
Depends what you mean by "works" really, a retrospective fine hasn't prevented anything. Maybe you mean it stops them doing it again, because no one has ever got more than one ticket have they?
Speed in isolation is rarely a factor on its own in an accident, its a combination of factors.
Take people tailgating in fog at 60 mph on the motorway for example, or undertaking on the motorway, or sitting in lane 3 of 4 on the m25 at 60 mph when the inside 2 are empty.
No "dangerous" speeding going on but plenty of dangerous driving which is why most accidents are the result of bad driving.
Please do explain how driving over 70 mph on an empty motorway endangers cyclists and pedestrians whilst your thinking about it.
I am a cyclist and speeding vehicles are not the issue, cabbies doing scratchcards or jumping lights in London are more dangerous, as are bus drivers that just have to get past before they pull in again or pedestrians on mobile phones wandering aimlessly, the list is endless.
What we really need are more traffic police as your cameras wont deal with any of the above.
You're believing the hype. The statistics don't show that speed causes many serious accidents. They show that speed *is a factor* in many serious accidents in the same way that alcohol *is a factor* in many serious accidents.
The way to look at this a paraphrase: Someone was moving at a speed when the accident occured. That speed could have been below the speed limit, but may have exceeded the safe speed for the road conditions.
The person had alcohol in their system. It may have been below the level allowed by law and it may not have been the major contributing factor to the cause of the accident, but someone involved had alcohol in their system.
Got a little off topic. My point is that a "safe speed" depends on the conditions of the road and the car. We have speed limits because drivers can't be trusted / don't know how to make that judgement for themselves.
Oh goody - $cameras getting turned back on.
I wouldn't have an issue with them if they placed them where speeding even by a small amount is dangerous. You know, places where reasonable drivers don't even do 30, like going down residential roads and past school entrances. Accident blackspots where crashes happen at over 70mph would be excellent sites too. They might make the roads safer, along with a sensible policing of driving, like pulling over those idiots who tailgate habitually, can't find their indicators, or shoot out from traffic queues and then try to jam themselves back in where a gap doesn't exist. We've all seen them, we see them every single day getting away with dangerous driving. That's ok though as long as they're staring at their speedo.
However, that's never going to happen. It just makes too much sense, and doesn't let plod abuse the motoring public - put them in their places, get them for something and make a nice fat wadge of cash though fines and license re-applications, and a nice boost for the greedy insurance industry.
Instead, we get:
* Cameras at the bottom of a hill where limits change.
* Average speed cameras on stretches of road where crashes only ever happen at rush hour, when people can't even do 60 let alone 70. Instead they only make money off people doing 75 when the road is empty.
* Plod hiding their cars and mobile vans behind trees on curved, little used A roads where speeding is perfectly safe. In fact the safer the road would be for a higher limit, the more likely they are to stick a camera there. It's not about safety, it's about money and getting to put the little people in their place.
And they wonder why so many people don't like them anymore - this is just one reason. I'm really tired of looking at the speedo more than the road, but it's extremely easy to lose your license for a string of extremely minor transgressions.
The great thing about an idiot biker over-cooking it on a corner is that, by virtue of the fact that it is a very small vehicle with a squishy meatsack on top, it's quite unlikely to take anyone else with them, especially on country lanes. I call that Darwinism in action.
Full disclosure: Ridden bikes since I was 16 (over a decade ago). I have no sympathy for teenagers on pocket rockets who have no idea of how to handle them, and they should be off the road as fast as possible. This reflects well on my earlier comment of "too fast *for the conditions*" being the major factor in accidents, not necessarily faster than the speed limit (which is what cameras catch).
how any one of these means that you could not avoid breaking the speed limit
* Cameras at the bottom of a hill where limits change.
* Average speed cameras on stretches of road where crashes only ever happen at rush hour, when people can't even do 60 let alone 70. Instead they only make money off people doing 75 when the road is empty.
* Plod hiding their cars and mobile vans behind trees on curved, little used A roads where speeding is perfectly safe. In fact the safer the road would be for a higher limit, the more likely they are to stick a camera there.
I await your reply with interest.
when the cameras were switched off. That would be the camera on the A44 headed south out of Woodstock where the road remains at 30 for far longer than needed and far longer than anyone not familiar would expect. Since your actual limit signs are often obscured or missing they get lots of "speeders" on this stretch. You'll know it, it's the background scene used in all of the video coverage talking to the police about how people speed without the cameras, sorry, I meant how they speed and we don't get to dip into their pockets. Without the cameras they still speed, TVP just don't get to dip. Excellent choice for a place to monitor the speed once the cameras were off. Wonder if they are still monitoring there.
I have no problem with average speed cameras enforcing the 40mph through roadworks, especially when those run at night, just the time when some people will be complaining the road is empty so the speed limit is unfair- I bet the roadwork gang disagree with them.
I also approve of occasional, random, rozzer-with-a-speed-gun checks, especially in the "right" places. I of course reserve the right to say what a "right" place is. Now I know the smiley/lightup speed limit signs record the speeds to help the plod with finding when and where to be with the speed guns, I like those signs.
As it's Friday afternoon, there now follows some ranting.
I disapprove of fixed speed cameras enforcing (what I think is) a ridiculously low speed limit, think 40mph on a full-size, well engineered dual carriageway where you can see halfway to forever and there are no non-sliproad junctions or pavements..
I also disapprove of the Talivan mobile speed camera parking up on the bridge over a similar, major trunk road. And the habit of painting the huge speed camera logos on the tailgate of said van, knowing bloody nicely it's invisible except to aircraft when they open up the van to use the camera.
And I thoroughly disapprove, with attendant urine-boiling, in full-on, "Dear Daily Mail" fashion, of calling speed cameras safety cameras. They do not measure safety. They measure speed.
Now to drive home and annoy the crap out of everybody by doing 29mph through the villages. I bet the line of cars behind me gets to be longer than I can see in my mirror.
"Now to drive home and annoy the crap out of everybody by doing 29mph through the villages. I bet the line of cars behind me gets to be longer than I can see in my mirror."
I came across someone worse than that in a black Ford Focus between Bala and Wrexham yesterday The one that seriously believed that he was driving safely by not going faster than 40mph on a road in good condition and in fine weather, and slowed down for every corner and *uphill* section and slowed down without erratically without using brakes in between. The one that tried to cut me off by crossing the white line when I overtook quite safely, at less than the posted limit of 60mph. The one with a queue of eighteen cars behind him that he clearly did not give a fuck about. The one that my wife says pointed at the speed camera sign on the road and suggested that I was crazy. The one that did not pull over to let others go about their business in their own way. The one that, in short, was driving at least without due care and attention, and at times dangerously (deliberately driving into the path of an overtaking car).
He is the one that should be in for driver retraining, not the ones doing a bit more than the speed limit.
@Chad H. Indeed, driving is not a right. But travelling is (See Acts of Union 1706 and 1707 Article 4). There is a very important difference between the two. To drive means to travel in commerce (Taxi/bus driver, etc). As a private individual, I do not drive; I travel, as is my right to do so.
"have nothing to fear from speed cameras. Only the ones who can't pay attention to their speed."
You try driving into the setting/rising sun and be able to even see the speedo without taking your eyes off the road long enough to adjust. Now try this on the M8 (which runs east/west) during rush hour. I'm damn sure I'd rather use my situational awareness on the surroundings, but maybe you can use the force?
"Drivers don't even know to stop when the light turns red."
You hit the centre pedal until the screeching stops. (sorry mum)
"They seem to think no laws apply to them."
Laws apply to everyone (even cyclists) it doesn't necessarily stop them being bloody stupid though.
Before = 1171
After = 1179
These are randome events which obey a Poisson distribution. Mean=1175, variance=1175, standard deviation = sqrt(1175) = 34.3.
The difference is a tiny part of one standard deviation. The overwhelming probability is that the fluctuation is due to chance, and the (temporary) removal of speed cameras made no difference whatsoever.
G*d almighty, when will the authorities listen to real science?
Begging your pardon squire...
"These are randome events which obey a Poisson distribution"
Statistical techniques to help our minds cope with random events doth not real science make (necessarily).
Real science deals with repeatable tangible events in an orderly universe. Events do not "obey" some statistical measure in the way that bodies with mass "obey" the law of gravity.
So mind your language, please...
The one with Newton's Principia, please.
The levels of KSI are so low that any decrease or increase is due to minor random variations. So it can't be said that cameras cut down the number of accidents, nor that removing them increases them. Especially after only 6 months.
With numbers so low it would take more than 6 months to see any trend. The underlying trend is already down and has been going down from well before camera were introduced. If camera were the cutting down on accidents then there would be a dip. There isn't. So cameras don't save lives.
My preferred method of transport is a motorbike, and yes sometimes I break the speed limit. Only I know that if I speed on my bike I'd better be damn sure it's safe because in any accident I'm likely to be the biggest casualty.
The problem with cameras, and in fact any form of summary 'justice', is that they take no account of the circumstances. You are 'blackmailed' into accepting any penalty by the high cost of opposing it.
Can Supt Povey confirm that the Thames Valley Safety Camera Partnership has had no maintenance schedule for the power supply units within GATSO cabinets and that, as a consequence, their GATSO facilities cannot be deemed to be within Home Office specification? Can he also confrim what arrangements have been made with UK courts to inform wongly convicted drivers and to return fines levied on evidence known to be flawed?
I wouldn't mind the cameras if they actually did punish bad drivers, unfortunately they are letter of the law devices, not spirit of the law. They don't know when it is raining, snowing, or there are kids walking on the pavement, they only know that the car with the bald tyres which drove through did so at 29mph, so is obviously safe. It doesn't matter if the driver is drunk, on the phone or shouting abuse at his/her kids in the back, as long as he/she was doing 29mph, they're safe.
Another car on a nice dry summer night at 3am goes through at 35mph and *bang* fine.
If that's not bad enough, these yellow boxes seem to have replaced police patrols, you hardly see them about these days. I can't remember the last police car I saw that didn't have the flashing lights going already.
Now if someone could come up with a camera which would punish people who don't indicate at junctions (usually taxis and private hire in my experience), and those that insist on doing 10 mph under the limit when ever they are in a 40 or 50 zone, then yes, those I would welcome. Hell I'd help them install them!
There is so much whining from anti-speed camera folk about how the "poor motorist" is "being fleeced for money", or how the "evil police" are just "making money from innocent drivers", what complete and utter tosh!
Speed camera never catch people for doing 30 in a 30 zone, or 50 in a 50 zone. The easy way to avoid a ticket is to abide by the speed limit, simple as that! Anyone still getting caught for speeding these date when there are signs warning you and cameras painted stupidly bright yellow and orange are either genetically stupid or have left the guide dog at home!
Regardless of the rights and wrongs of what speed limit is applied to a stretch of road, or whether it is applied for "safety grounds", speeding is breaking the law and there is no argument that changes that fact. Speed cameras should be there to enforce a law IMHO not under the pretence of safety. They should also be unmarked and preferably not obvious, then I suspect people would drive a little more carefully.
Ans then you get the other whining motoring groups trying to support the motorist, or at least the speeding ones. They would do a better job if they actually came out and urged people to uphold the speed limit rather than trying to slag off the system as some evil beast with 666 on its head.
Next thing you know we will have the "guild of shoplifters" complaining how unfair it is on their members that security cameras in stores are catching them stealing!
If it's against the law you simply should not be doing it. What gives the speeding motorist the right to decide that in their opinion 30 is too slow down this residential street and actually 50 is more appropriate! I think you will find that that is the opinion of most thieves, that what they are doing is fine by them and to hell with the rest of society. I suspect most motorists that speed habitually would be up in arms if their car got nicked by a joy rider who hold the law in the same contempt that they do. "Oh but that's different" I suspect would be their argument., "speedings not really breaking the law".
I am a "Whining anti-camera supporter", and can I just say right from the outset that I have a completely clean licence, and have never been caught by a Gatso. I know where they are, I can see them, and as a back up my GPS warns me...
My problem with them is they are used to replace real policing on our roads with their letter of the law instant judgement. The quality of driving I see on the roads these days is definitely on the way down. Only this morning I saw someone in a car nigh on flying over the speed humps round the corner from my house. Well over 40mph, but with no cameras about to judge his stupidity (had trade plates on, so he didn't care about the suspension) and no cops to tell him off. However if a kid had run out in the road he wouldn't have been able to stop, his wheels were barely on the ground!
Speed does not kill. Inappropriate speed may contribute. There are so many other factors, road conditions (rain, snow, oil, ice), tyre condition, driver alertness, skill, experience etc. Unfortunately none of these can be judged instantly by a remote box on a pole. As I said before, which is safer, 29mph in the rain, 3:30pm with kids on the pavement joking about or 35 mph at 3am on a dry summer night with nobody about?
The magic box will judge 35mph at 3am to be more dangerous and worthy of a photograph, when anyone with any sense will know the 29mph driver in the rain is the more likely to squash someone.
You make a very good point with regard speed cameras not stopping dangerous driving (rather than speeding if for now we separate those two categories). I too was passed this morning by an idiot who was both speeding and driving dangerously, i.e. overtaking in a completely inappropriate place given conditions and general visibility.
However unless we are all prepared to pay a considerable amount more in taxes to fund police to monitor these lunatics then sadly they will keep getting away with it.
You argument that speed does not kill, inappropriate speed may contribute is a glib glossing over of the problem. Acceleration / deceleration is what actually kills, whether that be deceleration of the driver in the car when they hit something or acceleration of the person hit by the car. Both of which will cause damage to delicate internal organs within the body. However from a physics stance, acceleration / deceleration is related to force which is related to speed and mass (weight). The mass of a car is constant, so the speed is the variable which matters as to how much damage is inflicted in an accident.
You may well consider 3am to be safer than 3.30pm and therefore give you the right to go 6mph faster, however your reaction time is the same, whether it be 3am or 3.30pm, and infact possibly slower at night. However your speed is the same, so if someone, child or not, appears in the road in front of you you have less time to react, therefore less time to break, therefore you hit them with a higher speed and inflict greater damage. There is no argument that mitigates this.
There are also many other factors as you say, so why increase the risk by speeding. The only way therefore to reduce the likelihood of an accident is to reduce the speed so if the unexpected happens, a dog runs across the road, you hit a patch of ice, etc. there is more time to take action.
Clearly the problem is the use of motorised transport that permits man to travel at a speed higher than nature ever intended. Let's face, if evolution actually existed then man would adapt to crashing at those sorts of speeds. Internal combustion engines and electric motors - clearly the work of the devil since Inteligent Design hasn't provided us with the protection.
Let's all move back to riding horses. Then let's see how the fatalities increase when we fall off. (and you can't argue that it's Gods will that we ride horses - they still only travel at a "natural" speed.
</sarcasm mode off>
Can the dozen or so posters suggesting the turning on of speed cameras is because it's a "nice little earner" for the police please explain why the cameras were turned off when budgets were cut? Wouldn't the police want to INCREASE the number of "nice little earners" during budget cuts?
Or would thinking about that too hard shatter your self-delusion that your speeding is fully justified and you are really just sticking it "to the man"?
20% of road fatalities involve bikers, 2% of motorists are bikers.
The bikers will tell you (with a straight face!) that they never break the speed limit and all those fatalities are down to car drivers. If I ever see a biker in the rear view when I'm travelling at GPS measured (more accurate) speed limit then I can be absolutely certain the idiot will be about to overtake. I drive down stretch of road with yellow signs like "10 bikers killed on this stretch in the last 18 months". It's all very well to blame the car drivers but the simple fact is if we really cared about reducing road fatalities we'd have a much stronger focus on bikers. Speed cameras can't "see" side-on number plates so they get away with it. What about a legal requirement for tachographs on bikes? Using GPS technology it could be done in a tiny package for a couple of hundred quid.
On the subject of fatalities - UK figures (about 3000 p.a.) are low compared even with EU and even better compared globally. But if we are thinking about fatalities in the overall population I've seen estimates as high as 80,000 p.a. for the combined effects of fatalities in a medical environment - i.e. MRSA, C.diff, surgical accidents, inappropriate medication, misdiagnosis of a serious complaint as minor. (I wonder how many of the "road fatalities" are actually a cover-up for a medical error.) We could cut that figure significantly if basic hygiene procedures were observed.
Now what about those that keep saying "the law's the law and that's an end to it" - I guess they'd be saying the same if they lived in one of those places where adultery is punished by stoning to death, theft by amputation and women must keep their faces covered and not be allowed education. Some speed cameras are confusingly positioned and things like at the bottom of a hill where the limit changes down disregard the fact that harsh braking may be necessary, that's dangerous, and unlike some who choose to post here, I spend more time looking out of the window and checking the mirrors than obsessively staring at the speedo, there are moments when I exceed the limit. Then my SatNav beeps and I respond (even on an empty dual carriageway at 3am). Trouble is the local authorities change limits without always telling the satnav suppliers. A simple bit of legislation to the effect that every authority responsible for any stretch or road must publish speed limit data in an agreed digital format and provide 6 months notice of changes then none of us would have any excuse for not complying (... why should I be forced to buy a satnav?? You're not, stick to the limits yourself or pay the fines).
Mobile cameras make thousands of pounds an hour because the cops know where to place them - so the correct action, if their objective was to enforce the speed limit (sorry, I'm supposed to say "improve road safety" whether that's evidence based or not), would be to place electronic "Your speed is..." signs, rumble strips or other solutions that would work 24x365 rather than when the cops want an easy day out sat on their bums to make a few grand.
Another concern is Oxfordshire's reversal of policy on the basis of evidence so weak no credible scientist would rely on it, 0.7% increase over 6 months is not "proof". I hope their standards of proof in other areas of the law are higher or we're all screwed.
If you don't want to get a speeding ticket, don't drive faster than the speed limit.
I got zapped by a camera a few years ago. I took it on the chin, and accepted that I shouldn't have been going faster than the limit. I didn't whine like a spoiled child that I was being victimised.
I'm probably considered an annoying motorist as I go the speed limit, so cameras dont bother me.
What bothers me is someone coming up to a camera overtaking me then stamping on their brakes before the camera coming into my lane and causing me to have to slow down and start shouting yob out the window, cameras dont work for people like that, get more police on the road cut the red tape and get idiots off the road.
Not one person yet has come up with a single reason why they were not at fault for being caught by a camera.
Let me spell it out for some of you :
THE FASTER YOU ARE GOING WHEN AN INCIDENT/IMPACT OCCURS THE GREATER THE DAMAGE OR INJURY TO ANYONE ELSE INVOLVED. YOU'VE EVEN HAD IT PUT IN BLACK AND WHITE IN ADVERTS, HIT A CHILD AT 40, THEY WILL PROBABLY DIE, HIT ONE AT 30, THEY WILL PROBABLY LIVE. WAKE UP AND STOP BEING SELFISH F**KTARDS WHO ONLY GIVE A CRAP ABOUT YOUR OWN COMFORT!
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