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#1 17-02-13 21:52:49

Lady-Hynarc
Verified Member
Registered: 09-04-12
Posts: 649

Speed Cameras

Taken from a Speeding leaflet published by the Kent & Medway Safety Camera Partnership:


Our Cameras are not there to generate money...

We carry out educational campaigns to make drivers aware of the speed limits and to try to help you avoid getting a speeding ticket.  The cameras are placed where people have been killed or seriously injured(KSI) and are there to reduce further tragedy on our roads.

We do not want to catch you out:

we put signs up
we paint the cameras yellow
the vans are highly visible
the locations are on our website
we allow you a 10% plus 2mph tolerance level before prosecution

None of these things are legal requirements - we do them to give you a chance to slow down.

These leaflets are given to 17/18 year olds as part of a road safety presentation.

I have to question whether this particular section is going to have any positive effect.  My instinct is that most drivers, of any age, will look at that para and think "Oh goodie, I can do 35mph and not get caught, even if there is a camera.  Oh, and I can look up where the cameras are."

Isn't the idea of speed cameras that they are a deterrent?  Such a good idea then telling people that we really don't want to catch you and we're going to everything we can to avoid it!  It's like having an alsatian as a guard dog and putting a sign up saying "Don't worry about the dog, it's completely harmless!"

I do not understand the logic of this kind of approach.  I know that they will claim that the KSI statistics are lower where cameras are installed but I remain unconvinced that they are really as effective as they make them out to be.  There is a fatal accident.  They put up the camera.  No more fatal accidents.  That may just be luck and nothing to do with the camera.  There was a fatal accident last year just round the corner from where I live.  Cause:  Someone travelling too fast.  There is a camera just where the accident occurred - and it's been there for years.  So that camera didn't work then.  It is so easy to put up a camera and justify its existence by saying that there have been no more KSI at that point.  Unfortunately there is no way to know whether any KSI would have occurred if the camera was not there.

My advice to the organisation putting out these leaflets?  Hide the cameras.  Take down the signs.  Say speed limits are absolute.  If you are caught breaking the speed limit you will be prosecuted and you will get points on your licence and a deterrent sized fine.  There will be no excuses and no mitigation.  If drivers don't know when they are likely to get caught, they won't take the risk at all.  Anyone who does take the risk will do so now, slowing down simply to pass the camera.  Produce a leaflet showing the carnage that results from excessive speed and listing those people whose lives have been taken through excessive speed.

Stop pussy-footing around.  Tell it how it is and don't sugarcoat it for drivers.

End of rant?

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17-02-13 21:52:49

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Re: Speed Cameras



#2 17-02-13 23:25:04

ralge
Verified Member
From: Sheffield
Registered: 10-01-07
Posts: 320

Re: Speed Cameras

Big topic!

I understand your point but their words are directed at challenging attitudes, misinformation and half-truths around the placement and use of cameras.
That they have to do this after all the years of camera use is lamentable and symptomatic of a lack of engagement with Jo Public all this time by the Camera Partnerships.
The more in-depth understanding of the different outcomes that speed choices, good and bad, guarantee is something that speed courses try to engender but is ignored in this notice.  Personally, I was an ADI for some 3-4 years before I was exposed to the material destined for speed course attendees (and none of this material uses the HC stopping distances!)
If my experience is anything to go by, there are ADI'S who, themselves, don't have that knowledge at their finger-tips so how can they be expected to pass on the logic for good speed choices in a way that isn't finger-wagging or sanctimonious?


DSA Fleet Trainer, RoSPA Dip, PTLLS, Safed for Vans, NDAC/Speed Awareness on-road trainer, RoSPA RoAD Test Examiner.

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#3 18-02-13 07:35:08

robcooling
Verified Member
From: Nottingham
Registered: 02-04-09
Posts: 1,451
Website

Re: Speed Cameras

I understand your point but their words are directed at challenging attitudes, misinformation and half-truths around the placement and use of cameras.

My thoughts exactly, I quite like the leaflet text. It basically says the primary purpose of a speed camera is to reduce accidents, NOT to make money. Too right.


Rob

http://www.appledriving.co.uk - Driving Lessons in Nottingham

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#4 18-02-13 08:18:11

Coasting Mart
Verified Member
Registered: 11-06-09
Posts: 967

Re: Speed Cameras

I think the leaflet is ok apart from the 10% business, which seems to then condone speeding.  I think the point is that people complain that speed cameras are sneaky ways of making money.  Underhand and hidden to catch people just over the posted limit.  The unloved camera folk are trying to point out the opposite, and if you get done you were both unobservant and well over the limit, thus illegal and dangerously incompetent!

At least boy racers are usually paying attention!   tongue

"the logic for good speed choices" - interesting comment.  Of course, in theory there isn't a choice over the limit and sometimes it is clearly safe to exceed the limit, sometimes the limit is clearly wrong, sometimes the time of day, conditions, traffic etc will mean it is clearly dangerous to go at the legal speed, etc.  One of the reasons people react against limits and cameras is because they aren't allowed to make a choice based on their experience and skill (however bad!).  Also one of the reasons the "speed kills" mantra is too simplistic a message and doesn't always change attitudes and behaviour.  It is, indeed, a complicated subject!  cool


"I swear I found the key to the universe in the engine of an old parked car"

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#5 18-02-13 08:40:20

ralge
Verified Member
From: Sheffield
Registered: 10-01-07
Posts: 320

Re: Speed Cameras

Coasting Mart wrote:

I think the leaflet is ok apart from the 10% business, which seems to then condone speeding.  I think the point is that people complain that speed cameras are sneaky ways of making money.  Underhand and hidden to catch people just over the posted limit.  The unloved camera folk are trying to point out the opposite, and if you get done you were both unobservant and well over the limit, thus illegal and dangerously incompetent!

At least boy racers are usually paying attention!   tongue

"the logic for good speed choices" - interesting comment.  Of course, in theory there isn't a choice over the limit and sometimes it is clearly safe to exceed the limit, sometimes the limit is clearly wrong, sometimes the time of day, conditions, traffic etc will mean it is clearly dangerous to go at the legal speed, etc.  One of the reasons people react against limits and cameras is because they aren't allowed to make a choice based on their experience and skill (however bad!).  Also one of the reasons the "speed kills" mantra is too simplistic a message and doesn't always change attitudes and behaviour.  It is, indeed, a complicated subject!  cool

"Speed kills" is indeed wrong, not just simplistic.
It is impact speed that kills or maims.
Impact speed that need not have been if a better, more informed speed choice had been made.

"Hit me at 30 and I survive 4 out of 5 times" is also wrong, in my mind. Impact at 30 sends body into orbit is more true.
"Choose 30, spot me, brake and you have a chance of not hitting me at all.  For every mph over this nominal, arbitrary speed (there's nothing innately safe about 30) you guarantee hitting me a lot harder than you think" is not as punchy a sound-bite.  But it's the truth.


DSA Fleet Trainer, RoSPA Dip, PTLLS, Safed for Vans, NDAC/Speed Awareness on-road trainer, RoSPA RoAD Test Examiner.

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#6 18-02-13 08:52:52

Coasting Mart
Verified Member
Registered: 11-06-09
Posts: 967

Re: Speed Cameras

Agree with all that, and it is a difficult 'message' to get across cos it involves people thinking and understanding, then making judgements etc etc.  Strangely, some of our lovely fellow citizens aren't as good at doing this thinking business as others!   roll

I think people are happy to speed cos they don't perceive much risk of hitting anyone, at whatever speed, and generally, it's true we're not constantly dodging small children leaping out in front of our car.  The trouble of course comes when the 'unexpected' happens!

The thing with the speed message for me, is that it takes the emphasis away from other things.  Maybe it's time to move on to inattention, impatience, and competitive tendencies, which would appear to be more important in causing crashes than actual speed, most of the time.

Anyway, better go do some work!  smile


"I swear I found the key to the universe in the engine of an old parked car"

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#7 18-02-13 08:59:39

Lady-Hynarc
Verified Member
Registered: 09-04-12
Posts: 649

Re: Speed Cameras

robcooling wrote:

It basically says the primary purpose of a speed camera is to reduce accidents, NOT to make money. Too right.

I'm not sure I agree.  The text mentions accidents and money once.

The vast majority of the leaflet text, along with most of the rest which I haven't reproduced, seems to be a PR exercise designed to make it sound as though speed cameras are not evil and are actually here for our good.  Whilst I can see that the general public opinion of them is of an evil, money-making inconvenience, surely a leaflet given to young people should aim to be a deterrent, first and foremost.  I don't think any part of this text is deterring.

When you read the text, do you see "reducing further tragedy..." or "10%..."?  Most people will see the latter and take the former as being a woolly introduction to what follows, if they even notice it. 

Compare this to the current anti-smoking campaign.  We have had all sorts of incentive-based campaigns in the past all about how much it costs etc. and the effect on others but the most recent one looks horrible (tumours growing out of cigarettes) because it is trying to be a deterrent!  Is that because the other methods have proved ineffectual?

When I joined the police there was a car, post-(fatal) accident, which had only 6 inches between the two front doors.  Want a deterrent?  Put that on show in a public place so that people understand the consequences of excessive speed!

Maybe I'm too draconian - a change of name perhaps...Lady Whiplash?

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#8 19-02-13 09:56:43

Saint_Albans_ADI
Member
From: Saint Albans Hertfordshire
Registered: 19-02-13
Posts: 30
Website

Re: Speed Cameras

Unfortunately you are always going to hear of terrible crashes from young inexperienced drivers and all we can do is try our best to educate them the best that we can.

Speed does not kill it is the Stopping/ Hitting things that causes the problems and that is what the youngsters think but as Wessex says they think it will never happen to them.


Driving Lessons in and around Saint Albans Hertfordshire
www.i-passed.co.uk

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#9 19-02-13 20:28:22

MGM
Verified Member
From: Surrey
Registered: 24-10-11
Posts: 861

Re: Speed Cameras

The leaflet says "we allow you a 10% plus 2mph tolerance level before prosecution"

This is almost certainly not true, unless they're different from most other areas. 10% plus 2 is usually the lower limit for action (and in any case it's usually the offer of an SAC or a COFP, not prosecution).

In other words, the tolerance level is 10% plus 1. In a 30 mph limit, 34 will escape but 35 won't.

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#10 24-03-13 18:06:38

dth-adi
Verified Member
Registered: 19-09-04
Posts: 1,402

Re: Speed Cameras

"Personally, I was an ADI for some 3-4 years before I was exposed to the material destined for speed course attendees (and none of this material uses the HC stopping distances!)"

I accept that pre-information to NSAC clients will not normally include course content information except in the broadest terms. The speed courses with which I'm involved or know of, however, do use stopping distance information related to the Highway Code and also to the real world. I also agree with clients that as the distances have been around for more than 70 years, they are not realistic in themselves without explanation. The explanation is the key to understanding them and how they are still important to know. 

MGM wrote:

The leaflet says "we allow you a 10% plus 2mph tolerance level before prosecution"

This is almost certainly not true, unless they're different from most other areas. 10% plus 2 is usually the lower limit for action (and in any case it's usually the offer of an SAC or a COFP, not prosecution).

In other words, the tolerance level is 10% plus 1. In a 30 mph limit, 34 will escape but 35 won't.

The ACPO recommendation is 10% + 2. Forces use this as a guide either adhering to it exactly or adjusting it depending on their own decision. It is not a margin that is allowed or given - it's a tipping point for prosecution and nothing else. The 'threshold' applies equally to the offer of a course or for prosecution.

On this topic, perhaps the advice to drivers who feel that the 'allowance' guidance gives them a 'get out' should include one other element. If the driver is proven to be travelling at 31/32/33/34mph in a 30 limit etc, and they kill someone in whatever circumstances, they will face the prospect of a prosecution for Death by Careless or Dangerous Driving depending on what evidence can be brought to the situation. That's the way it is and how it always has been! :-)

Last edited by dth-adi (24-03-13 18:08:24)

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#11 15-06-13 19:02:50

ExAdiNigel
Member
From: Plymouth, Devon
Registered: 13-12-04
Posts: 4,739

Re: Speed Cameras

Lady-Hynarc wrote:

When I joined the police there was a car, post-(fatal) accident, which had only 6 inches between the two front doors.  Want a deterrent?  Put that on show in a public place so that people understand the consequences of excessive speed!

But I suspect the cause of that accident was NOT excessive speed!  More liely a lack of observation on one or more parties!


National Standards Cycling Instructor, Ex Adi

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