HAVE YOUR SAY: Reader Rant - speed cameras good for road safety

Read News Shopper's daily opinion columns and have your say

Read News Shopper's daily opinion columns and have your say

First published in News

In this week's Reader Rant opinion column Amy Aeron-Thomas, executive director of charity RoadPeace, argues the case for speed cameras improving road safety. Have your say by adding your comments below.

WITH the announcement Oxfordshire County Council was to stop funding safety cameras, the BBC has asked if it was the end of the road for speed cameras.

It could have equally asked it this was the end to evidence-based road safety policy, given the wealth of studies showing how cameras reduce speeding and casualties.

After the fourth national safety camera evaluation in 2005 confirmed the findings of the three previous studies, the government stopped documenting the effectiveness of cameras at the national level. Extensive research had proven cameras reduced speeding, crashes and casualties, with 42 per cent fewer people killed and seriously injured at camera sites.

There is no new evidence to suggest cameras are ineffective.

What has ended is the choice of the local councils to choose how they spend their transport grant. Since 2007, local councils have had discretion as to how they spent their money.

The coalition government has now decided for them and is not allowing them to use any of the grant for safety cameras.

If the Conservatives are serious about listening to communities, then speed enforcement will continue to be important.

Speeding vehicles was the leading cause of anti-social behaviour reported by the British Crime Survey.

With cameras’ proven effectiveness at reducing casualties and speeding, and the potential to be a self-financing intervention, this is the time to increase camera enforcement, not discourage it.

This column is produced by an independent writer and in no way reflects the official position of News Shopper or its parent company.

Do you think there are too many speed cameras already or should there be more? Do you believe cameras help to reduce accidents? Have your say and add your comments below.

Meanwhile, check News Shopper's website every lunchtime for a new daily opinion column. Thursday will cover a moral issue. Friday is a sport rant. Monday is back to the Shopper Rant on a topical news story. Tuesday is entertainment day. Be sure to have your say if you agree or disagree with what you read.

We're also looking for articles to be considered for next Wednesday's Reader Rant. It needs to be something interesting, lively, thought-provoking and outspoken which will spark debate among readers.

Send your article to web manager Simon Bull at sbull@london.newsquest.co.uk

Comments (13)

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12:40pm Wed 28 Jul 10

rw4732 says...

The main reason why drivers are so against speed cameras is because they are seen as a way of raising revenue for central government, if the money raised was used to improve the roads then the drivers would not be so unhappy about the fines when caught, drivers are also told that the cameras are there to reduce accidents and are supposed to be in accident "blackspots" but this is not always the case. if millions have been raised in fines then the cameras are not stopping people speeding they are only another way of collecting money.
The main reason why drivers are so against speed cameras is because they are seen as a way of raising revenue for central government, if the money raised was used to improve the roads then the drivers would not be so unhappy about the fines when caught, drivers are also told that the cameras are there to reduce accidents and are supposed to be in accident "blackspots" but this is not always the case. if millions have been raised in fines then the cameras are not stopping people speeding they are only another way of collecting money. rw4732
  • Score: 0

12:50pm Wed 28 Jul 10

Cab Driver Echo Yankee says...

Hi ,
Agree with rwb4732 ,so often when i`m out in my licensed taxi we see cars slowing down the minute they see a speed camera ,then speeding up once they have cleared the dotted lines on the road .I guess it`s more about raking in revenue than really about road safety from various councils who could help the travelling public by filling in their pot holes and helping us get around more easily .Thanks guys .
Hi , Agree with rwb4732 ,so often when i`m out in my licensed taxi we see cars slowing down the minute they see a speed camera ,then speeding up once they have cleared the dotted lines on the road .I guess it`s more about raking in revenue than really about road safety from various councils who could help the travelling public by filling in their pot holes and helping us get around more easily .Thanks guys . Cab Driver Echo Yankee
  • Score: 0

1:02pm Wed 28 Jul 10

MJB says...

Stats can be misleading but sure I read somewhere that speeding only accounts for 5% of accidents on the road. Do we want to devote so much time, money and effort into combating such a small proportion of accidents? Surely better funding for proper traffic police (ie: get them out there) will help, esp. as the #1 cause of accidents is driving error/not looking/poor decision making. More traffic cops can help educate. If they're seen to be out there, it will act as a good deterrent from speeders too.
Stats can be misleading but sure I read somewhere that speeding only accounts for 5% of accidents on the road. Do we want to devote so much time, money and effort into combating such a small proportion of accidents? Surely better funding for proper traffic police (ie: get them out there) will help, esp. as the #1 cause of accidents is driving error/not looking/poor decision making. More traffic cops can help educate. If they're seen to be out there, it will act as a good deterrent from speeders too. MJB
  • Score: 0

2:32pm Wed 28 Jul 10

David Rolfe says...

Anyone noticed that the grubbiest areas seem to have the worst drivers in them? for example, no indicating, no giving way, driving with a headlight not working, running red lights, driving down center of roads, double parked, triple parked, drivng very fast, music blasting out, i think we should do what they do in the states - employ tens of thousands of more police to deal with law breakers!
Anyone noticed that the grubbiest areas seem to have the worst drivers in them? for example, no indicating, no giving way, driving with a headlight not working, running red lights, driving down center of roads, double parked, triple parked, drivng very fast, music blasting out, i think we should do what they do in the states - employ tens of thousands of more police to deal with law breakers! David Rolfe
  • Score: 0

4:46pm Wed 28 Jul 10

Stuart Bellinger says...

The whole system is a joke. Speed doesn't kill, bad driving does.
The whole system is a joke. Speed doesn't kill, bad driving does. Stuart Bellinger
  • Score: 0

5:14pm Wed 28 Jul 10

porkpie says...

Stuart Bellinger wrote:
The whole system is a joke. Speed doesn't kill, bad driving does.
Half wrong ! Speed doesn't kill, suddenly stopping does ! FACT
[quote][p][bold]Stuart Bellinger[/bold] wrote: The whole system is a joke. Speed doesn't kill, bad driving does.[/p][/quote]Half wrong ! Speed doesn't kill, suddenly stopping does ! FACT porkpie
  • Score: 0

1:12pm Fri 30 Jul 10

GnT says...

Unfortunately more poorly researched and sensationalised reporting from the Newsshopper - the 2005 Dft sutrvey has been widely rubbished by statisticians and the Dft have admitted that it was statistically flawed. Proper analysis of the findings showed that whilst there was a small decrease in fatal accidents at camera sites the decrease was not statistically signifcant so it is not possible to conclude that speed cameras save lives.

Stuart us right - speed does not kill, bad driving does.
Unfortunately more poorly researched and sensationalised reporting from the Newsshopper - the 2005 Dft sutrvey has been widely rubbished by statisticians and the Dft have admitted that it was statistically flawed. Proper analysis of the findings showed that whilst there was a small decrease in fatal accidents at camera sites the decrease was not statistically signifcant so it is not possible to conclude that speed cameras save lives. Stuart us right - speed does not kill, bad driving does. GnT
  • Score: 0

12:09pm Tue 3 Aug 10

MB says...

David Rolfe wrote:
Anyone noticed that the grubbiest areas seem to have the worst drivers in them? for example, no indicating, no giving way, driving with a headlight not working, running red lights, driving down center of roads, double parked, triple parked, drivng very fast, music blasting out, i think we should do what they do in the states - employ tens of thousands of more police to deal with law breakers!
This is definitely true. I used to live in a more upmarket part of North London and I was stunned by the difference in people's driving when I first moved to SE London. I also agree on the solution - income from speed cameras should be exclusively used to hire more front line police.
[quote][p][bold]David Rolfe[/bold] wrote: Anyone noticed that the grubbiest areas seem to have the worst drivers in them? for example, no indicating, no giving way, driving with a headlight not working, running red lights, driving down center of roads, double parked, triple parked, drivng very fast, music blasting out, i think we should do what they do in the states - employ tens of thousands of more police to deal with law breakers![/p][/quote]This is definitely true. I used to live in a more upmarket part of North London and I was stunned by the difference in people's driving when I first moved to SE London. I also agree on the solution - income from speed cameras should be exclusively used to hire more front line police. MB
  • Score: 0

10:05pm Tue 3 Aug 10

GODUPERE2 says...

Stuart Bellinger wrote:
The whole system is a joke. Speed doesn't kill, bad driving does.
Sorry, Speed does kill, after giving my dog almost two ounces of it his heart gave out!
[quote][p][bold]Stuart Bellinger[/bold] wrote: The whole system is a joke. Speed doesn't kill, bad driving does.[/p][/quote]Sorry, Speed does kill, after giving my dog almost two ounces of it his heart gave out! GODUPERE2
  • Score: 0

8:44am Thu 5 Aug 10

handymanchris says...

People should get stuck on for driving without due care not indicating on roundabouts and being a general pain when driving, the media highlight how much revenue the cameras get, recent one of a camera raking in over £1.1Million!!!

If you was to look at countrys who dont have speed cameras such as Turkey, Cyprus and places where speed is not top of the agenda there are far less accidents then here with cameras.

This country is obsessed with making it all safe it doesn't work, don't let your kids eat food without washing their hands, don't let them climb tree's all and so on.

I think the cameras should be scrapped, i can't see where the money they earn go in to? State of the roads don't say alot.
People should get stuck on for driving without due care not indicating on roundabouts and being a general pain when driving, the media highlight how much revenue the cameras get, recent one of a camera raking in over £1.1Million!!! If you was to look at countrys who dont have speed cameras such as Turkey, Cyprus and places where speed is not top of the agenda there are far less accidents then here with cameras. This country is obsessed with making it all safe it doesn't work, don't let your kids eat food without washing their hands, don't let them climb tree's all and so on. I think the cameras should be scrapped, i can't see where the money they earn go in to? State of the roads don't say alot. handymanchris
  • Score: 0

2:46pm Sun 8 Aug 10

Slonik says...

Many of those who whinge about speed cameras seem to think they're good drivers. So good, evidently, that they either don't know what speed they're doing and what the prevailiing limits are or they just don't care but whine loudly about it all when they get caught. Odd that isn't it??? There's no doubt that, whilst excessive speed isn't the only factor which constitutes bad driving, the effects of a serious error of judgement, freak event, moment of inattention or whatever are likely to be far more serious according to the speed involved. Good drivers should be aware of and make proper allowances for the needs, possible limitations and indeed, mistakes of the other road users around them! Sadly too many people are far to busy treating public roads like their own personal racetracks to contemplate that aspect of driving or just how much their own reckless behaviour behind the wheel may contribute to the seriousness of an incident whether it's caused directly by them or not.
Many of those who whinge about speed cameras seem to think they're good drivers. So good, evidently, that they either don't know what speed they're doing and what the prevailiing limits are or they just don't care but whine loudly about it all when they get caught. Odd that isn't it??? There's no doubt that, whilst excessive speed isn't the only factor which constitutes bad driving, the effects of a serious error of judgement, freak event, moment of inattention or whatever are likely to be far more serious according to the speed involved. Good drivers should be aware of and make proper allowances for the needs, possible limitations and indeed, mistakes of the other road users around them! Sadly too many people are far to busy treating public roads like their own personal racetracks to contemplate that aspect of driving or just how much their own reckless behaviour behind the wheel may contribute to the seriousness of an incident whether it's caused directly by them or not. Slonik
  • Score: 0

10:44am Wed 11 Aug 10

Roman says...

porkpie wrote:
Stuart Bellinger wrote:
The whole system is a joke. Speed doesn't kill, bad driving does.
Half wrong ! Speed doesn't kill, suddenly stopping does ! FACT
im afraid your both wrong. stuart, if your driving at 120 mph and your tyre blows out at the front, you will lose control of your vehicle and crash and proberly end up dead, no matter who the driver and how good they was, so your statement is totally wrong.

pork pie, same thing your driving at 120 your front tyre explodes, you hit the central reservation and your car flips and lands on the roof crushing the car and killing you instantly before continuing its out of control spin down the carrige way....wasnt stopping suddenly that killed you, it was the high speed impact to your vehicle crushing it and caving your head in........NOW THAT IS FACT ! SPEED KILLS END OF STORY. if you hit a a pedestrian at 20 mph 99 % will survive, at 30 mph 80% will survive at 40 mph 80% will die....so you keep trying to kid yourselfs that your wreckless endangerment of our lives by speeding round our highways is ok, cos you THINK your a good driver so it is ok. lets just pray you dont kill someone or yourself eh !
[quote][p][bold]porkpie[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Stuart Bellinger[/bold] wrote: The whole system is a joke. Speed doesn't kill, bad driving does.[/p][/quote]Half wrong ! Speed doesn't kill, suddenly stopping does ! FACT[/p][/quote]im afraid your both wrong. stuart, if your driving at 120 mph and your tyre blows out at the front, you will lose control of your vehicle and crash and proberly end up dead, no matter who the driver and how good they was, so your statement is totally wrong. pork pie, same thing your driving at 120 your front tyre explodes, you hit the central reservation and your car flips and lands on the roof crushing the car and killing you instantly before continuing its out of control spin down the carrige way....wasnt stopping suddenly that killed you, it was the high speed impact to your vehicle crushing it and caving your head in........NOW THAT IS FACT ! SPEED KILLS END OF STORY. if you hit a a pedestrian at 20 mph 99 % will survive, at 30 mph 80% will survive at 40 mph 80% will die....so you keep trying to kid yourselfs that your wreckless endangerment of our lives by speeding round our highways is ok, cos you THINK your a good driver so it is ok. lets just pray you dont kill someone or yourself eh ! Roman
  • Score: 0

8:35pm Thu 12 Aug 10

DM1928 says...

Offending drivers raise funds for government, not speed cameras. Drivers have been spoiled by getting away wih dozens of offences & they resent being caught in the act, hence similar complaints about traffic wardens. Incidentally I just heard an interesting remark about a cyclist during 'Police Camera Action'. "Its not only motorists who jump red lights".
Offending drivers raise funds for government, not speed cameras. Drivers have been spoiled by getting away wih dozens of offences & they resent being caught in the act, hence similar complaints about traffic wardens. Incidentally I just heard an interesting remark about a cyclist during 'Police Camera Action'. "Its not only motorists who jump red lights". DM1928
  • Score: 0

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