Which? cameras are not operating?

13.40 | 27 January 2011 | | 3 comments

Which? magazine has reported that fewer than half of fixed safety cameras are operational at any one time (BBC News).

The consumer watchdog has calculated that 47% of cameras worked at any given moment in all 43 police authorities in England and Wales.

The Which? study also highlighted big regional differences, with all 60 cameras in Sussex working compared to just 10% of Lancashire’s 287 sites.

Which? said that most areas rotated the working part of their cameras at random or in response to speed levels or accident statistics.

Martyn Hocking, Which? editor, said: "Safety cameras in some areas are always operational, whereas in others there could be a one in 10 chance the camera you’ve passed isn’t working. It really is a tale of two counties."

Police authorities were asked how many safety camera housings they had and how many were operational under a Freedom of Information Act request.

A Which? survey of 1,920 members showed that they were divided over whether safety cameras made the roads safer, with 47% saying they did and 45% disagreeing.

Almost a quarter of those surveyed had received a penalty notice for speeding. Of these people, 48% paid more attention to driving within the speed limit following the fine, 39% were more cautious about their speed when near a camera and 18% did not change their driving.

Click here to read the full BBC News report.


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    Unfortunately, the Which? report has mis-reported the figures for Sussex.

    While we have 60 housings, we do not have 60 cameras.
    The sites are operational in the sense that they can be used, but not in the sense that they all have active cameras in them.

    You can read more on our website:

    Neil Hopkins
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    It always appalls me to read how many are focussed on speed as being the major culprit in accident statistics and accident causation. It is not. As a prime causal factor of any accident it is less than 7%, some would argue 5%. By far the main cause of collision is lack of attention and failure to judge the position, trajectory as well as speed – as in ANY speed, even within a posted limit – ‘THAT’ needs education and attention. Cameras cause distraction, distraction – in concentrating on one element alone when attention to many are required. The constant emphasis on speed is counter productive to road safety as a whole.

    Derek Reynolds, St Albans.
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    If 80% or so surveyed have given their driving speed more consideration that’s a start. They do work, but more mobile cameras need to pop up, to keep drivers THINKING about their driving!

    Mrs S Keetch, New Milton, Hampshire
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

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