Friday, 26 June 2015

Average speed cameras to blight the life of many Londoners

One of my early pieces on this blog was about the new cameras appearing on the A406 that I thought could become average speed cameras. They didn't but anyone travelling along some of London's main roads will have noticed new gantries and cameras appearing. These are for a new average speed camera system that will soon infest four trial sites and then no doubt spread their revenue raising way across the capital.

The first four road sections to be blighted are the A406 (North Circular Road) from the Hanger Lane Gyratory to Bounds Green Road; the A40 from the Polish War Memorial to the Paddington slip road, the A2 from Black Prince to Tunnel Avenue and the A316 from the M3 to the Hogarth roundabout.

The claim from Transport for London (TfL) is that these are to eradicate accidents at gaps between existing, but obsolete spot speed cameras. But the reality is that they are to a) raise revenue and b) victimise drivers who realise that the 40mph speed limit on most of these roads is set far too low for the quality of the roads.

A report to TfL’s finance policy committee, which approved the spending on the trial, said members had “concerns about the public acceptability” of the new cameras.I bet they have.

In France there would be riots, I'm not suggesting that we go down that route but the motorist needs to fight back somehow. Any suggestions?

I favour a drive slow when 20 motorists in each direction on each section on the same day all drive at 4mph preceded by a man with a red flag, for that is what  the anti-car zealots would like us to return to, after all it would reduce traffic accidents for as well know, 'Speed Kills'. Except it doesn't...

This is of course rubbish as I pointed out over seven years ago
"A DfT strategy paper claimed speed was "a major contributory factor in about a third of all road accidents". The "excessive and inappropriate speed" that helped "to kill about 1,200 people" each year was "far more than any other single contributor to casualties on our roads". The source given for this claim, to be repeated as a mantra by ministers and officials for years to come, was a report from the government's Transport Research Laboratory, TRL Report 323: "A new system for recording contributory factors in road accidents". Not many people would have looked at this report, since it was only available for £45. But some who did were amazed. The evidence the report had cited to support its claim that speed was "a major contributory factor in about a third of all road accidents" simply wasn't there. Many other factors were named as contributing to road accidents, from driving without due care and attention to the influence of drink; from poor overtaking to nodding off at the wheel. But the figure given for accidents in which the main causative factor was "excessive speed" was way down the list, at only 7.3 per cent."
Do read the whole of that piece but this extract might also prove interesting:
"The statistics for Durham showed that, of 1,900 collisions each year, only three per cent involved cars that were exceeding the speed limit, just 60 accidents a year. Look more closely at the causes of these 60 accidents, the "actual cause of the accident invariably is drink-driving or drug-driving". Drug-taking was now involved in 40 per cent of Durham's fatal road accidents. Many accidents, he said, were caused by fatigue, although one of the most common causes was the failure of drivers to watch out for oncoming vehicles when turning right. To none of these could speed cameras offer any remedy. "The cause of accidents," Garvin (chief constable of Durham) concluded, "is clearly something different from exceeding the speed limit"."

"In September 2006, the DfT finally conceded one of the central points that Safe Speed's Paul Smith had been arguing for five years: that only five per cent of road accidents were caused by drivers who were breaking the speed limit. In The Daily Telegraph, Smith was quoted as saying "the government's case for continuing to install cameras has been destroyed"."
So the truth is that speed cameras do not make the roads safer, are not needed and are being used to raise revenue - who would have thought it?

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