Road Safety News
 

Tories to cease government funding for fixed safety cameras

Tuesday 6th October 2009

The Conservative Party has announced that there will be no government funding for new fixed safety cameras if they win the next election.

Theresa Villiers, shadow transport secretary, said at the party conference that councils would have to raise the money to install them, and prove they cut crashes and casualties.

Ms Villiers said: "Labour's army of speed cameras is not the best way to make our roads safer. Labour's dependence on fixed speed cameras has blinded them to the effectiveness of the alternatives. It is time to say enough is enough on fixed speed cameras - we have reached the high water mark."

The party says councils will have to publish an annual report accounting for the use of each camera and consider alternatives such as vehicle-activated signs.

Click here to read the full BBC News report.

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Speed cameras only make money from speeding drivers, it is the drivers who determine the amount of money they make. Keep to the limit, abide by the law then maybe we won't need cameras. But until that time we need to keep our speed cameras switched on.
Clare Brixey - Somerset

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Speed cameras are just money making boxes. The only reason deaths on the roads have decreased is cars are getting safer.

People just see the camera, slam the brakes causing congestion and more emissions and a potential rear end shunt and then speed up after they have gone round the corner.

Average speed cameras on motorways in 50mph zones just cause ridiculous congestion because all the motorists get packed together and can't speed up once the proper speed limit is back.

We need better driving training so people know how to drive.
robert white, wiltshire

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Fixed cameras are not "pointless" at all. Evidence overwhelmingly shows that they certainly achieve their aim of making drivers slow down at known collision hotspots.
To us the best site is one where people notice the camera, slow down and very few penalties are issued. For cameras to work as a deterrent, enforcement needs to be visible.
Adrian Creek, Surrey Safety Camera Partnership

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I was particularly disappointed by the news that the party would not support urban average speed enforcement schemes if they were to come in to power. I would have thought that such schemes would have great potential. Speed seems to factor highly in contributory factors in such areas and is often top of the list of road safety concerns with local residents.
Mark Bunting, London Borough of Bexley

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In response to Adrian's comments, I agree it does not have to be a choice between a camera or a police officer, there is a role for both, but politicians use this dichotomy to justify policy. An adequate force of police officers for roads policing is a reality, it is the will to make it happen that is absent. Regarding police officers standing by the road all day, I agree that would be very boring but may I refer to the strategy of California Highway Patrol which appears to work.
Roy Buchanan, Principal Road Safety Officer, Sutton

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Fixed cameras are pointless because everybody knows where they are and just slow down to avoid a penalty. A better deterant would be mobile cameras in unmarked vehicles and a lot more unmarked police cars in general.

In the long term, the only viable solution is every car having a satellite tracking device which monitors speed and hence emissions and a progressive and fair fines system (with all profits to charity!!).

This way there will be less accidents, less polution and maybe fewer vehicles on the road.
Peter, Newbury

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Theresa Villiers announcement has opened a fresh debate about the merits of fixed site cameras. Of course at this stage the proposals are hypothetical. Rest assured Road Safety GB will comment on future developments as appropriate, as and when they happen.

Road Safety GB is here to support road safety teams across the country and the ultimate aim for everyone is to impact on casualties. Selecting the best way to reduce casualties is a matter for all involved in road safety and sometimes direction will be given by a range of decision makers either nationally or locally. Road Safety GB will encourage the Government of the day to set a comprehensive casualty reduction policy which considers a whole range of road safety activity that is based on the best information available - decisions need to be based on facts.
James Gibson, Press & PR Officer Road Safety GB

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The so called "alternatives" should be in place already with cameras being used as a contributor only, albeit a very effective and important one. The idea that cameras are being used as a nationwide panacea is a myth.

Our profession has a track record of busting myths with facts. Integence led use of cameras is a highly effective way of reducing site specific casualties, the evidence speaks for itself. When promoted properly the sucess of our partnerships can lead to more not less deployment of dedicated police officers.

How do we (Road Safety BG) aim to respond to this speach and address the consequences if these proposals are adopted?
Ian Procter, Kent.

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There is also a plethora of evidence, independetly verified, of the effectiveness of safety cameras in reducing collisions, deaths and serious injuries at known collision hot spots.
Of course we would all like more police officers out on the roads, but the financial reality is that is not likely to happen very soon...if at all - under any Government.
I think I would rather have a fixed camera at a known collision hotspot than a police officer standing by the road all day!
Not sure why people think it has to be a choice between the two.
Adrian Creek, Surrey Safety Camera Partnership

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How lovely to feel a breath of fresh air on this issue. Speed cameras have their place, but their over-use has been counter-productive particularly in their contribution to the justification for reducing real roads policing. I attended the TISPOL Conference last week and heard the usual grand statements from Paul Clark, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport,that demonstrated, once again, how remote some politicians can be from reality. It was a great pity he rushed away without taking questions from the floor and hearing the excellent presentations that followed during this first-class conference. There is a plethora of evidence, worldwide, that shows roads policing carried out by well selected, highly trained, dedictated police officers make a major contribution to road safety in a way that technological devices never will. I have repeated this countless times, I wonder if anyone hears me? PACTS please come to my assistance, this is your raison d'etre.
Roy Buchanan, Principal Road Safety Officer, Sutton

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So what are the alternatives, other than the VAS mentioned? Could we possibly see an expansion of traffic police, er sorry, roads policing departments with fully qualified Trafpols patrolling all roads?
Vince Morley RSO Milton Keynes

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