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Speed cameras do NOT save lives [UK research]

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' at netrider.net.au started by nearlyempty, Jun 2, 2005.

  1. From a copy of this week's MCN.
    For those that don't know, MCN is a weekly UK motorcycle newspaper.
    Of course, this may not be applicable to Australia (different rules may apply in the positioning of cameras, etc..), but I thought it was still interesting enough to warrant a posting.

    IT’S official, speed cameras do NOT save lives. Research published last week by the University of Liverpool proves cameras do not cut fatal accidents.
    It’s bad news for the Road Safety Camera Partnerships who maintain cameras are lifesavers and not moneyspinners. To show our disgust at the lies and hypocrisy, we are launching our ‘Thumbs Down to Speed Cameras’ campaign which aims to give British bikers a way of fighting back. The new speed camera study officially proves what MCN revealed a year ago – that speed cameras have not improved safety, and that Government ‘evidence’ suggesting otherwise was rigged.

    Research by Liverpool University’s Dr Linda Mountain has found no significant benefit from speed cameras in terms of reducing deaths or serious injuries – even at camera sites.

    The reason Mountain’s findings are different to those announced by the Department for Transport (DfT) last year – when we were told that accidents had fallen by 40% at camera sites – is that the DfT didn’t take into account the fact that accidents were bound to fall because in preceding years they’d been exceptionally high. It made as much sense as putting a camera where lightning has struck, then crediting it for the fact it didn’t happen again – as MCN pointed out at the time.
    The case for speed cameras has been “exaggerated” according to Mountain, because hundreds of people make their living out of speed cameras, and the police get an easy and cheap traffic conviction every time one flashes. This then ‘frees them up’ to concentrate on other priorities like street crime, while real road hazards go unchecked. It’s why police traffic officer numbers have drastically fallen, why conviction rates are down for virtually every traffic offence except speeding, why drink driving cases are rising, and why we need to unite against cameras now.
    Last year, two million road users were flashed and fined by speed cameras, making the Government £120 million.
    The time to act is now!

    DR LINDA MOUNTAIN is senior lecturer in traffic engineering at
    Liverpool University. She and her team of researchers studied 149 accident blackspots in 30mph zones around the country, and concluded that speed cameras had no significant effect on deaths and serious injuries. Dr Mountain told MCN: “ We looked at the effectiveness of speed cameras compared to other speed-reducing measures.”
    Mountain found that fatal and serious accidents did fall at speed camera sites but, crucially, that “the difference is not actually significant” – casting serious doubt on claims from the Department for Transport (DfT) that cameras cut accidents by 40% .
    Unlike the DfT research, Mountain took into account the fact that accidents at speed camera sites are always likely to fall after a camera is put up – because rules about their positioning require the number of accidents at a site to have previously been exceptionally high. This key factor in interpreting statistics accurately is known as regression to the mean (RTTM).
    “It’s true the DfT did not take account of RTTM in their research,” said Mountain. “They overestimated the effect of speed cameras.”
  2. All speed cameras do is slow the traffic down in that particular area. In Australia its a classic. Cars travelling at between 70-80kmph in a 60kmph zone, everyone sees cars flashing there lights as they come past the camera in the opposite direction, everyone slows down as they pass the camera, when they are a kilometre down the road they go back up to 70-80kmph. Again it's time to face up to the fact that it's driver's attitude that needs to be changed.
  3. There is anecdotal evidence that speed cameras can actually cause accidents, especially fixed ones -

    Basically they are saying that the 'bunching' that occurs when people all try and do the speed limit sees tailgating and subsequent accidents. If people were free to overtake above the speed limit, they would not be put in this situation.
  4. Another interesting little nugget from the same article:

    Since the widespread introduction and reliance on speed cameras, a continuing year-on-year fall in the number of proportional road deaths in Britain came to a halt. For the first time in 50 years, that total number increased in 2003

    In the same period, the number of traffic police across the country was drastically cut

    Drink-driving offences and deaths are on the
    rise again.
  5. Who cares about drink driving when the there is a nice fat revenue column growing exponentially.... :roll:
  6. Yeah, I had a bad experience with a speed camera on the way home the other day.

    Basically it was a 70 zone and I was doing 70 in the middle lane, peak hour traffic so it was already pretty bunched up but moving at 70ish. As I come around a corner I check my mirrors (as ya do every now and again) which took my eyes off the road for a split second. I had already looked over the cars and saw that traffic was flowing smoothy up the hill a bit in the distance. Looked back in front, said OHHHH sheeet and dropped the anchors. Had to do an emergeny brake because the traffic was doing about 20km/h all of a sudden for no reason! :shock: At that point I heard skidding behind me and thought, oooohh *damn, this is it*. I braceed myself for the car behind me to slam into me. It just missed me. NOW, I look to the side of the road and what do I see? A commdoor wagon with a speed camera in front of it. Just passed that one of these "school sometimes 40 zones". This is pathetic. :evil: I was nearly knocked off my bike because people are so paranoid about getting caught because of this zero tolerance crap that they slam on the brakes if they see a speed camera. Added to that the confussion about what the real speed limit is and it's a recipie for disaster (I nearly got mangled). The funny thing is that after that I checked the time and the speed limit was 70 (out of those school times).

    So the traffic slammed on the brakes to slow down to 30kmh in a 70 zone because they saw a speed camera and nobody really knew what the speed limit was. :shock: :?

    Pathetic :roll:
  7. A spokesperson for the Victorian Transport department said that this does in fact happen in Victoria, more so since the increase in speeding penalties, but it is an acceptable outcome as the "rear-end" type of accident is not as serious as a T-bone.
    For car drivers. Rear enders are lethal for motorcyclists and cyclists. But as Peter Bachelor telling described us (in relation to WRBs), we are "statistically insignificant".
    Says it all really.
  8. Rear enders can be a serious accident in the car, although much less serious than if you were hit from behind on a bike.
    Three times I've been hit in the back by some idiot not paying attention. All three times I was stationery and had been for some time (at least 30secs). The last time the car was written off (a two y.o car with less than 40000km on the clock that I'd bought brand new) by some moron running into me at 75kmph, she didn't even brake just hit me at 75kmph.
    Admittedly, if I'd been on the bike two of the three times I would have definitely been killed, no ifs or buts about it.
  9. and hence one of the main reasons lane splitting should be legal, and encouraged.

  10. :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil:
    *blood starting to boil*
    *jaw muscles starting to clench*
    *aggression building*

    :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil:

    If i become a parapleagic in another incident like the one I had a few days ago, I need a favour from you.
    I need you to sever a nerve in Peter Bachelor's spine. Then tell him that "one little pissant is insignificant"
  11. 'Statistically insignificant' describes a good many things. The chance of being killed in a terrorist attack is 'statistically insignificant' but it would be political suicide to declare this publically. The chance of being in an aeroplane accident is 'statistically insignificant' yet no-one would argue that as a reason to relax airline safety regulations.

    Oh, to be in an ivory tower where you could declare peoples lives as 'not worth saving'
  12. Ahhhhh Crap, not only am I from Geelong, but I am now Statistically Insignificent... :( :LOL: :LOL: :LOL: :LOL: :LOL:
  13. :LOL: :LOL:
    It needed saying!

  14. Is there a quoteable article somewhere around with this in it? What a gem of discrimination against motorcyclists.
  15. Dan, I keep meaning to ask - is that Heavy D in your avatar? And why?
  16. On a serious note, the Speed Cameras do help by raising funds for:
    - Tunnel Rear facing cameras'
    - Research for etag for bikes
    - Removal of aluminium crash barriers and replacing with Cabled versions

    See, they do help, NOT :(
  17. No it's Kim Jong Il from Team America: World Police

    http://www.oxygen.ie/cine/pics/kim jong il.jpg


    "Hans Brix, you breakin my barrs here Hans, you breakin my barrs!"
  18. er, now you've caught me out. He said it about six months ago when there was heated discussion about wire rope barriers and their impact on riders, quoted in The Age if I recall. It stuck in my brain for obvious reasons. I know I have taken that comment out of context of the current discussion, but my point being that the department spokesperson's policy statement (that rear-enders are acceptable) betrays a similar bias as Bachelors comments, namely that if a measure benefits a majority, but impacts negatively on a minority, this administration sees that as a net gain and will pursue it without even attempting modification.
    I see that as pursuing statistical (and political) gains at the expense of the minority.
  19. I'm sure if we asked for comment from them, they'd probably state pretty much the same thing!
  20. If any politicians or police are reading this; you get a big UP YOURS from me. Not so much the police, but definately the politicians. Cops are just doin their jobs. They like to think they'll reduce speeding but really haven't done bugger all. Purely revenue raising.