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Greed on Green – DRS (Dorset Road Safe, previously the DSCP) still completely unable to provide any evidence of “community concern”

DorsetSpeed has now received a response to a second request asking for evidence of “community concern”. The second request was made because of the inadequate response to the first, which completely failed to provide a count for complaints concerning the 30 limit at the junction where the camera has been placed.

The second response has also failed. Although there may be general complaints about the road (which are likely to relate to the higher speed section), there is NO evidence whatsoever of a single complaint to which the speed on green was the right response.

So all we have to go on is the original confused statements which suggest that DRS are not really sure if it’s about safety or not, and what appears to be nothing but pure and simple misinformation suggesting that the community wanted this camera. There is no scientific argument or evidence why this was a good choice for positioning a camera on safety grounds, over other more dangerous road locations.

In the meantime, new complaints are still coming in, so the fines are continuing, despite the disgust of the public at this ludicrous enforcement. I suspect DRS has done very nicely out of the holiday traffic, while making no additional effort whatsoever to indicate that reduced speeds are necessary at this point, which most would expect would be done if DRS wanted lower speeds. No, they want your money!

The glimmer of hope is that DorsetSpeed is now in constructive communication with the Dorset Police about this, and road safety more widely, and there will hopefully be some positive news for a change, before too long.

Full FOI response below:

Serial Number: 0011/07/10 (Please quote this reference in future correspondence regarding this submission).

Thank you for your email of 29 July 2010 concerning the A350 Holes Bay, Poole. 

I think there is some confusion over the terminology being used.  Speed Complaint & Community Concern sites are the same thing.  Drivers travelling along a route do not have to live in the local community to make a complaint regarding speed or inappropriate driving at that site. 

Dorset Police & the DSCP receive telephone calls & emails regarding speeding or inappropriate driving across Dorset on a regular basis.  As an example I have just viewed Dorset Police logs and in the space of two hours there are complaints titled “Dangerous Driver, Dangerous Driving, Informant behind a Vehicle (that is driving dangerously), Observations for Vehicle (which is driving dangerously) and Suspicious Vehicle (which is driving inappropriately).  All of logs are from members of the public calling in with concerns over speeding or inappropriate driving on roads across the county (not Holes Bay in these cases).  Looking at the complainant’s address none of them actually live on the road of which they are logging complaints – the first one I looked at gave her address as “passing motorist” and complained about the A352 near Forston.

These messages do not generally give precise locations, as with the Holes Bay, they just state Holes Bay not a specific area of Holes Bay.  The DSCP are not required to keep record of all such complaints – I found the four examples I sent you because they happened to be held by one member of staff – to search for all titles that may refer to Holes Bay would be too time/cost prohibitive.   

However – the standard process once ONE complaint is received for an area where there has been no record of previous complaints or enforcement is to carry out a visit as soon as is practicable (or series of visits) to ascertain the level of the problem.  If there is a complaint received and enforcement has already taken place at that site further visit may be made, this may include requests for Traffic Officers to deploy with hand held lasers if impractical for a safety camera van to deploy or for county road safety engineers to review a site.  

Mobile safety cameras were first deployed to Holes Bay to tackle speeding vehicles at various positions along the length of Holes Bay – in addition to the Red Light Cameras at the Sterte Junction (which went live August 2002).  (If you look at the DSCP website (www.dorsetsafetycameras.org.uk) - FOI area – Publication Scheme page 2 – Mobile & Laser Camera Sites - you will see the number of Notices issued by the mobile van during the short periods they were on Holes Bay).

With the development & type approval of the Speed on Green camera it was deemed best use of assets to place an approved camera that could both process Red Light & Speed offences at the Sterte junction allowing for continued enforcement rather than intermittent mobile safety camera van enforcement (as there are several hundred speed complaint/community concern sites and a limited number of safety camera vans).

The placement of the Speed on Green Camera at Holes Bay is not considered disproportionate.  The speed limit set at the Sterte Road Junction on Holes Bay is 30 mph – 7,373 vehicles exceeded that signed limit in just over 4 months.  The placement of the camera as previous stated is Proactive – rather than Reactive.