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Fatalities rise in speed camera hotspots

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' started by undii, Jul 20, 2005.

  1. he UK government recently suspended the deployment of more speeds cameras pending the outcome of of a University College London probe into whether they actually save lives.

    We have no doubt, then, that the investigators will be taking a close interest in the Motorcycle News revelation that road deaths have risen dramatically in those areas favoured with the most Gatsos.

    According to the MCN figures - joyfully reported in today's Sun - Hertfordshire saw a 24 per cent rise in speed camera numbers between 2003 and 2004. In the same period, road fatalities rose by 34 per cent.

    Likewise in Wiltshire, camera numbers went up 14 per cent, and those killed 22 per cent. In County Durham, meanwhile, a lone Gatso oversaw a 22 per cent drop in fatalities.

    The Sun is also delighted to report that in North Wales, where "Gatso fan Chief Constable Richard Brunstrom has a league table for traffic cops", 56,247 speeding tickets were issued although this had little effect on safety, with an 18 per cent increase in road deaths.

    The reason? Simple, says safety expert Paul Smith: “Crashes are avoided by making a safe plan based on what you see. Cameras move attention away from hazards to speedometers.” ®

    from http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/07/19/gatso_deaths_link/

  2. Yeah I posted a similar link a while ago - several senior police now recognise cameras as major crash causes.

    They'll soon start pulling them out once the hard facts start getting public.
  3. That's because people are so busy looking at their speedo's and not at the road.
  4. Spot on - it also causes a phenomenon dubbed 'bunching' in which large convoys of cars all travelling at the same speed in one lane bunch together at close proximity. They are too afraid to overtake and make safer road position due to the rigid enforcement they face. So that's the option - force people to sit in a convoy in which two things are inevitable - a crash or a traffic snarl (or both), or allow them to freely overtake to safer space without fear of being a few kms over the limit.
  5. MCN ran an article last week regarding speeding police vehicles. Here is an extract:

    "We took one of the handheld laser speed detectors the police use to a 30mph school road in a Cambridgeshire village and caught one police courier van travelling at 38mph and another at 36mph.
    Cambridgeshire Police say the vans are for delivering internal post between stations. The force couldn’t come up with any reason why they
    needed to be speeding.
    All the speeds were measured and recorded at times when school children could have been crossing this busy village road."

    An interesting experiment.
  6. Of course, what I forgot to add was the most interesting bit of all.

    MCN asked every force in the country [UK] to tell them how many of their officers were snapped last year while not apparently showing blue lights. Of the 53 forces, 32 responded.
    Between them, they received 13,648 notices of intended prosecution after police vehicles were photographed speeding. 149 of these resulted in prosecutions or fixed penalties (that's 1%).
  7. Hmmm Dunno about all that being too right.

    If I am travelling within a few ks of the sped limit + or -, what right has any other driver to overtake me? Is it a right to overtake while SPEEDING just because the driver is incapable of watching the speed?

    Did the trials/whatever look at tailgaiting, careless behaviour etc before making those findings?

    I see drivers avoiding being involved in bingles while overtaking (needlessly) everyday by the good graces of other drivers getting out of their way.

    The argument you should be allowed over the limit, by YOUR judgement is a bit thin. If you are allowed to speed, why not me? Then we all speed. To WHAT limit? Make it open day and be done with it.

    I would suggest going to the hospitals and funerals and asking the relatives of those hurt what they think of just over the limit.

    Brian (And yes, I do go over as well, but I am slightly [depending on severity] ashamed of doing it)

    p.s. I just noticed as well, ads at the bottom of the forum about a radar detector. If memory serves me, I think they are illegal in Victoria. Not only to use but to possess.
    Are the ads, if I am right, also illegal. Can tehy be construed to be inciting a wronglful/criminal act? Hmmmm?
  8. Speed in itself isn't a killer. Inappropriate use of speed is what leads to accidents.

    A speed limit is not some magical figure, beyond which more accidents are guaranteed to occur. Maybe they will, maybe they won't. There are times and conditions when driving at the posted speed limit will be dangerous (fog, ice etc..). What then? What use is a camera on that occasion?

    A speed limit is a compromise, nothing more, nothing less.

    Here's a radical thought. The ideal would be for there to be no speed limits at all, with each driver adjusting their speed based on their ability to react to a situation and the prevailing conditions.

    Don't get me wrong, I agree that we need speed limits and that they need to be enforced, but the focus is all wrong.

    [edit last line - just to tidy it up a little :)]
  9. Interesting the indoctrinated perception that 'over the speed limit' causes so many road accidents...

    from www.roadsense.com.au

    "So what are the real above and below the speed limit road crash figures? And what is really the danger on our roads? Information is hard to come by but RoadSense.com.au research shows that less than 2% of road deaths are caused through travel above the speed limit. Importantly this 2% also includes police chases, criminal activity, suicides and more (http://www.roadsense.com.au/misleading_data.html)."

    I suspect most of the people in hospital would not be there as a result of going over the posted speed limit, just careless driving in the situation by whoever caused it.
  10. If just over the limit , or as we are wrongly told that speed kills then hundreds upon thousands would be dying ever year as a result .
  11. Personally I'll put on some speed to open up a gap so I've got a safety zone between other vehicles and myself. Most major roads have limits which are pathetically low for the nature of the road.

    Co-incidentally I was re-reading a 2004 copy of Two Wheels last night and noticed two letters. One from a paramedic who attends a lot of motorcycle accidents (and who also rides) who was questioning the "speed kills" mantra. The other - and even more interesting - was from a Traffic Cop who worded in East Gippsland (and who had just attended a fatal bike crash) He was also particularly unconvinced that speed was a primary cause of motorcycle crashes. Inappropriate speed yes - the particular crash he's attended was when someone lost it on a 35kph corner. The rider was going too fast for the corner - but not exceeding the speed limit.

    As for the ads at the bottom, they are a nature of the software & I don't believe that Netrider has control over those particular ads...

  12. The problem is that police investigations into a crash will often put down speed as a "contributing factor" to a crash if the vehicle was considered to be travelling too fast for the conditions (even if they are well below the posted limit). So for example a motorist is temporarily distracted from watching the road whilst travelling at less than the limit, when they look back up they see a stationary vehicle in front of them but are unable to stop in time and hit them. Had the vehicle been travelling slower they may have been able to stop so Police may attribute speed as a "contributing factor" to the crash despite the fact that it was not speed that actually caused it.
  13. Speed is always a contributing factor in any accident. That can't be avoided.
  14. Depends how you look at it. I suppose you could describe angular momentum as a contributing factor if you topple sideways at the lights.

    :D :D :D
  15. 99.99% of incidents (notice I don't call them accidents) are caused by mechanical failure.

    It's usually a failure of the nut behind the steering wheel/handlebars that causes the collision or off.
  16. Exactly. :)

    However you look at it, an accident wouldn't occur if there was no motion...

    I suppose that what jd meant was, "excessive speed". I was just being a pedantic bugger.
  17. What I was getting at is that the police will put down "travelling at an unsafe speed" or something similar on most crashes (Hard to justify that their speed was safe if they've just crashed). This allows Governments to increase the number of speed cameras based on the flawed logic that since speed contributes to so many accidents then eliminating speeding = eliminating accidents. Of course I'm sure the fact that they receive big fat wads of cash every year from fines plays no part in their decisions.
  18. actually nearly, to be truly pedantic, the speed isn't the cause of the accident, its the rapid decelleration that does the damage :LOL: i mean if cars were built to just pass through other objects, you wouldn't have an accident no matter how fast you go.

    just like jumping off a plane without a parachute. its not the fall that kills you, its the sudden stop at the end thats the problem :wink:
  19. [/Resume thread]

    Ah, but to pedanticise(?) in return, I have never said that speed caused accidents.

    Sounds great for the car, but what of the occupants? Suppose you'd need some kind of enveloping field .... yes, that would do it, an enveloping field. Just watch for the harmonics when the fields collide, could be tricky to overcome.

    I've been distracted, sorry.

    [Resume thread]