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UK Road Sense, Dorset Way / A3049 50 limit






Swindon - no increase in accidents a year after cameras were switched off

Here are some articles:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1268392/Town-scrapped-speed-cameras-sees-increase-accidents.html

http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/local/8262901.Pressure_group_backs_axeing_speed_cameras/

http://www.thisisleicestershire.co.uk/news/County-drivers-pay-total-163-1m-speed-camera-fines/article-2400403-detail/article.html

Here is the email I sent to Mike Penning, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport, this morning.

I've been reading about what you are doing following the news on the BBC this morning about speed cameras, and the fact that in Swindon, now that they have been switched off, there has been no increase in accidents. This is hardly surprising. In particular, I see that you believe that where they do remain or are used, that there should be a safety justification, and not be obviously positioned to raise cash.

We have a single camera in Poole, which started last November, which is catching about 60 drivers a day (at this rate collecting about £3600 a day, or over a million a year), which will on its own double the income for the Dorset Safety Camera Partnership (DSCP), which the DSCP have admitted is not a “casualty reduction effort” (as there has been only 1 serious injury and 0 deaths in the last 11 years) in the area, on a non-residential dual carriageway with an entirely inappropriate 30 limit, which the council have admitted should be 40, using a new “stealth” speed camera which pretends to be a red-light camera, carrying a proportion of unfamiliar “out of area” traffic. If ever an operation was designed to milk the motorist, this is it! I don’t think it could get any worse than this.

The DSCP have comprehensively failed to give any good reason for this camera. It is the ultimate example of an arrogant money making activity which is causing massive damage to respect of the police, law, speed limits, and the overall road safety message. Their only justification is the normal “if you don’t speed you don’t get a fine”. They fail to understand the reality of what is happening on the roads and that lack of respect for limits is not the dangerous antics of the few who cause accidents, but becoming the inevitable norm due to speed limits that have been set with no consideration for the road type, respect of dft guidelines or common sense, and their own actions which strongly promote the idea that limits are not about safety, only about making money.

Consequently, the dangerous drivers are not being targeted and road safety in this area is seriously compromised by this. Probably, people are being killed and seriously injured who would not be if a proper job was being done.

I have started an action group against this particular camera and have been contacted by a great many very angry people. This protest has been in the recent national press, it has become to be know as “greed on green” camera, if you google this you will find some of the articles, and there is more on my website www.dorsetspeed.org.uk . 

Although it is with great relief that the whole rotten speed camera system is now under question, I have frequently said that I have no problem with realistic speed limits sensibly enforced in balance with enforcements for the multitude of other driving problems, and as a computer vision engineer have occasionally put forward some great ideas how the technology could be taken forward – which almost started a project with Bournemouth Council but was strangely, suddenly abandoned (I wonder why?). 

Please could you look into this urgently. This situation is festering and needs to be properly dealt with.

Regards, Ian Belchamber