Nottinghamshire finds alternative way to fund cameras

13.02 | 11 August 2010 | | 9 comments

An article published last week in Local Transport Today (LTT) highlights one authority that has found replacement funding for safety cameras, and says that many more are looking at ways to retain camera enforcement using new funding sources.  

LTT says that most highway authorities appear to be passing on the 27% cut in revenue Road Safety Grant to their road safety partnerships, but Conservative-controlled Nottinghamshire is an  exception. It has just approved plans to use Local Area Agreement funding to  make up for most of the loss of Road Safety Grant.

Richard Jackson,  Nottinghamshire’s cabinet member for transport and highways, said that the  implications of immediately reducing road safety activity were ‘unacceptable’. He said the 20 fixed and 18 mobile safety cameras in the county formed ‘a major and vital part’ of measures funded by Road  Safety Grant.

He said: “They encourage changes in driver behaviour and are proven to make a significant contribution to improving road safety for all road users.

“We have seen, on average, a 77% reduction in killed and  serious injury casualties at our fixed sites and a 53% reduction in KSI  casualties at our mobile sites.”

LTT is a subsciber only publication – subscribers can access the full article, ‘Could localism agenda save speed cameras from the scrapheap?’, by clicking here.



Comment on this story

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Report a reader comment

Order by Latest first | Oldest first | Highest rated | Lowest rated

    Mark of Wiltshire, the above article is about speed cameras and they can’t prosecute people who are “travelling too fast for the conditions” as that is defined as being WITHIN the limit. Therefore, as you appear to have discovered, speed cameras can only attempt to prevent some of the 7.9% of KSI collisions that involve a speeding vehicle. See the facts about speeding as far as they have been published here:

    Before I started investigating speed cameras I probably had opinions such as yours but I have been genuinely shocked by the incompetence of the people who installed them and the spin and deception of the authorities that have “evaluated” them.

    EVERY safety device has positive benefits and negative side effects so the question is do the positive benefits outweigh the negative side effects? In the case of speed cameras, it would appear not but the expert analysis required has not been done.

    Until proper trials have been run, or at least competent analysis of current cameras, the whole issue is uncertain. We would NEVER allow uncertain devices or practices in any other field of engineering so why allow them in road safety?

    Dave Finney – Slough
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    There are lies, damed lies… and statistics and its true. I would argue that one death of a motorcyclist is one death too many and someone will say that it’s statistically only 0.000003% of the population [example only]

    We sometimes get bogged down with using stats to prove or disprove our arguments and they all say that the ‘figures do not lie’. But they do….

    In response to some criticisms, I have never buried my head in the sand. Even the ostrich doesn’t do that. And I have never stated any wrongful speed limit. and I have never disagreed with the fact that speed kills whether unlawful [against the speed limit] or just excessive [ie too fast for those circumstances as may be judged by a police officer] but from a statistical point of view you cannot put them together under the same umbrella.

    Personally I would like more traffic police officers on the road and more walking police officers on the streets and I dont mean plastic bobbies, but real ones.

    Bob Craven – Lancs
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    Interesting to read in one of the contributors comments ‘9% of KSI accidents that involve, or might involve, speeding in the first place.’

    A quick look at table 4b: Contributory factors: Accidents by severity: GB 2007 (fatalities) will show exceeding the speed limit – 342, travelling too fast for the conditions – 417. Therefore in some 29% of fatal collisions; exceeding the speed limit (13%) and travelling too fast for the conditions (16%), were seen as contributory factors. These figures come from the reports of highly trained police officers after they have assessed the scene of a collision.

    I cannot accept the assertion that safety cameras cause collisions. Yes, drivers/riders may brake suddenly or be distracted at the sight of a camera; this is the result of poor driving/riding. You will also see some drivers/riders braking suddenly at the sight of a marked police vehicle, also the result of poor driving/riding skills.

    The same contributor in the same comment also writes ‘Also cameras typically cut speeding by only some 50% or so.’ By any stretch of the imagination, 50% is a very significant figure – a good rationale for keeping safety cameras.

    Mark – Wiltshire
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    We are being deceived, there is no good evidence showing that speed cameras improve road safety.

    Tony of Leicestershire claims “plateau on deaths” in the 90s but this is only 1/2 true.

    The 1st 1/2 of the 90s saw the largest fall in deaths that we have ever had, but this was BEFORE speed cameras. It was as soon as speed cameras started being used that the deaths stopped falling and the 1st 10 years of speed cameras was a disaster. Full details

    Also note that speed cameras have NEVER been subjected to scientific trials and the RTM effect has never been measured or eliminated. In short, the evidence in favour of cameras is weak at best and, whilst the authorities refuse to test or analyse properly, we simply should not continue with speed cameras.

    If any engineer in any other aspect of engineering were to be as incompetent and reckless as those responsible for speed cameras, they would be sacked and probably prosecuted. We wouldn’t allow it anywhere else, why do we allow complete disregard for engineering basics in road safety?

    Dave Finney – Slough
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    A few quick points based on 1000s of hours study:

    There may have been 77% reductions in KSI at fixed sites and 53% at mobile sites, but these figures are massively greater than the Stats19 figure of 9% of KSI accidents that involve, or might involve, speeding in the first place. Also cameras typically cut speeding by only some 50% or so. Accordingly these falls CANNOT have been due to the presence of cameras per se, but must be due to other factors such as regression to the mean after the cameras were installed after a-typically high accident rates, long term downward trend and drivers diverting to avoid cameras.

    My study of 4.2m casualty accidents from 1991 to 2007 shows that in Notts there were 3,386 examples of 1km square sites that met the typical 4 KSI in 3 years camera threshold and that they showed on average K reductions of 33%, SI of 27% and KSI of 27% without a camera in sight at the great majority of them.

    Nationally outside London the figures are 44%, 35% and 36% respectively, showing that claims for cameras are very much overstated.

    In any case as supposed camera benefit is limited to a km or so around the camera – you would look in vain for any serious claims that the benefit extends beyond sites, so whatever the reductions overall in Nottinghamshire cameras can not, reapeat can not, be responsible even for 1% of it.

    Meanwhile there are more than 40 adverse effects including sudden braking etc that together cause accidents across almost the whole country and judging by results cause more than cameras ever prevent at the 3% or roads they cover.

    Arguably more importantly holds a letter that I forced Stephen Ladyman to write to Transcom admitting that far from being 12% more cost effective than vehicle activated signs, cameras are NINE TIMES LESS cost effective. Even that figure, based only on 1st year costs and excluding massive enforcement costs, is seriously misleading – over 10 years life the ratio is 50 to 1 (see for full details)

    The message is therefore very simple – to cut accidents and casualties, scrap cameras and replace them with signs

    Idris Francis – Petersfield
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    Well done Bob Craven of Lancashire! You have fallen into the Jeremy Clarkson ‘head in the sand’ trap. Whilst it is true that safety cameras are not the ‘B all and end all’ of road safety, they have, as Mark – Wiltshire comments, a fundamental effect on driver behaviour. I for one find this attitude of denial unacceptable, it’s okay to drive at 36, 37, 38 – I’m a good driver. Driver education is the way forward, and, as the majority of road users pass their test and are not inclined to participate in any other form of driver training, the only way we can reach these people is via Speed Awareness Courses – and they attend these as a result of being caught on camera. Unless the Government funds similar courses and the driving public start looking at their own behaviour we will plateau on deaths and KSIs as we had in the 90s.

    Tony – Leicestershire
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    Bob makes a valid point regarding the contribution of other professionals with an interest in road safety. A number of factors have led to the reduction of fatalities on our roads in recent years. Examples of these are :-

    * improvements in vehicle technology – ABS, TCS, air bags, crumple zones, side impact reinforcement etc
    * Speed of emergency response (most people now have mobile phones, no need to find a telephone box or knock on a door)
    * air ambulance
    * medical technology – look in the back of a modern ambulance, the life saving and life enhancing technology is amazing – compare it with what you would have found in a cream coloured ambulance of yesteryear.
    * skills and knowledge developed by modern medical practice passed on to first class paramedics
    * emergency calls are filtered and where appropriate an A&E doctor will go out with the first responder
    * seat belt leglislation
    * safety cameras
    * intelligence led roads policing
    * a first class fire and rescue service staffed by dedicated professionals with modern technology at their disposal
    * modern road safety profession with dedicated professionals caring passionately about what they do, developing appropriate evidence led interventions.

    All these factors and dedicated first rate professionals working in teams have contributed to the reduction in fatalities that we have seen over the years.

    Now that the purse strings are being tightened, we should be looking even more closely at camera technology so that this can free up highly trained road policing officers to continue with the first class work that they already do. It can also make more time available to other road safety professionals, to enable them to innovate and deliver further interventions and projects that will save lives and enhance the quality of life for all road users in a given environment.

    Mark – Wiltshire
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    There are a number of other reasons why accident numbers have reduced throughout the country and Nottingham must not be alone in that respect.

    It’s not difficult to mislead with erronious stastistics. I am sure that whilst KSI have been reduced where there are cameras, what about the county in general? The road safety officers and police and other local authority pesonnel have had some input and put into place other initiatives that have no doubt helped reduce KSI and or accidents in general…. NOT JUST CAMERAS….. otherwise are they admitting that they have done nothing else except rely on such devices.

    Come on Nottingham, come clean and lets have all the facts and figures and not just a select few aimed at supporting your argument.

    The public isn’t as stupid as you may think.

    Bob Craven – Lancs
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    Other authorities need to look at this very carefully. It would be brilliant if they could find alternative funding sources before it’s too late.

    Camera technology can be fundamental in changing road user behaviour for the better. Remember the previous government and the current one have both commented that they strongly support driver and rider education. If we lose the fixed and mobile cameras together with the supporting infrastructure, a major feed in route for driver education referrals will be lost.

    This is all about saving lives; it transcends political ideology and the scoring of political brownie points. The saving of lives and the prevention of maiming and life wrecking injuries, when all is said and done is what it’s all about.

    Mark – Wiltshire
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.