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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2004 11:26 
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Speedcam rule change revealed

RICHARD BALLS

April 7, 2004 07:00

Speeding no longer needs to be a cause of the fatal and serious injury accidents that are used to justify the location of fixed and mobile speed cameras, it has emerged.

Norfolk's Chief Constable Andy Hayman said yesterday that the failure of the Department for Transport (DfT) to publicise this change in the criteria had not helped to clear up the confusion among the public surrounding the decisions taken on the location of speed cameras.

For a fixed camera to be justified, there must have been four fatalities or serious injury collisions in the last three calendar years and at least eight personal injury collisions in the same period.

The 2002-03 site selection guidelines stated that speed had to be a contributory factor in some or all of the collisions and that collision sites that were clearly not speed-related had been "de-selected".

Under the new guidelines, however, speed has been removed as a "causation factor".

Mr Hayman, who supports the use of speed cameras, highlighted the change at the annual meeting of Norfolk Police Authority yesterday and criticised the Norfolk Casualty Reduction Partnership (NCRP) for failing to justify the locations selected for fixed and mobile cameras.

There was already a great deal of public confusion about the criteria governing the siting of speed cameras and this had been exacerbated by the revelation that it had been changed by the DfT.

"It would have helped if this change of criteria had been revealed earlier," said Mr Hayman.

"The only place it exists in the public domain is in the new DfT handbook in the House of Commons library."

A spokesman for the DfT said that the change in criteria had been introduced last autumn with the aim of giving an "in-built flexibility" to the overall speed camera capacity.

He stressed that the NCRP had been aware of the change from the outset and had it and the chief constable been communicating then he would also have known.

The partnership was set up in 2001 to run the county's speed cameras and has doubled the number of fixed cameras to 18 and brought in mobile patrols along 72 stretches of road.

But in a strongly-worded report to the police authority, Mr Hayman said several speed cameras had failed to meet national rules on siting, crucial accident data had been destroyed, and cameras were not properly monitored.

Stephen Bett, deputy police authority chairman, said Norfolk was conducting an audit into the location of speed cameras around the county, but he said it was being carried out by the NCRP.

He called for it to be carried out "more independently" and for a member of the police authority or elected councillor to oversee it.

"It [the partnership] was set up by the police and county council, but I find it amazing that the police has no control over these cameras as they are responsible for road policing," he said.

"It is officers from the partnership who decide on where the cameras are going to go and why and I think it is extremely dangerous."

Supt Mark Veljovic, partnership board chairman, agreed that elected members should form part of any body that was to oversee the organisation, although whether they were from the police authority or the county council was for them to decide.

"We do recognise the community concerns over the siting of the cameras and have therefore been working closely with the constabulary review team," he said.

"I am sure my board of members will agree that I am supportive of any measure designed to show true openness and transparency with the public. If that means the setting up of a body that sits between the partnership and the public then I don't think we could have any argument against it."

Police in Suffolk have issued a nine-point guide to wearing car seat belts in support of today's World Health Day campaign.

Figures released to coincide with the campaign suggest that up to 90pc of serious injuries to children are prevented by seat belts and car seats.
=====================================

This is the first I have heard about this rule change. Can it be true? Are they really this stupid at the top?

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 Post subject: Rule changes
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2004 12:46 
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Had two meetings with the Norfolk Police in March 2004. Neither Norfolk Constabulary nor NCRP seemed aware of rule changes....

Coincidentaly. See article in 'The Times 05 March 2004'. refers to House of Commons Library.

Have been in correspondence with Norfolk County Council, Norfolk Police, and NCRP for some 11 months now about a specific site and safety generally.

Appears to be unchartered territory and stone walls... happy to discuss. See also posts of 23/03/2003 & 30/03/2003... its all about the same stuff.
'fire lighting'

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2004 13:34 
'jimmy ferrari' raised this a couple of days ago here, over at pepipoo.

Certainly explains why cameras are popping up on new roads which can have little or no accident history yet.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2004 13:45 
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disenchanted wrote:
'jimmy ferrari' raised this a couple of days ago here, over at pepipoo.

Certainly explains why cameras are popping up on new roads which can have little or no accident history yet.


Nope. That's a different rule change and refers to the 15% of "complaint sites". I've known about that for over a year.

This new change is supposed to be: "Speeding no longer needs to be a cause of the fatal and serious injury accidents that are used to justify the location of fixed and mobile speed cameras, it has emerged."

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2004 13:58 
Ah, apologies, I was linking the two as both refered to the 'hidden' DfT handbook in the House of Commons library; I didn't appreciate the distinction you were making on the causation factor.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2004 08:31 
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Link to edp

http://www.edp24.co.uk/Content/News/story.asp?datetime=08+Apr+2004+06%3A30&tbrand=EDPOnline&tCategory=NEWS&category=News&brand=EDPOnline&itemid=NOED07+Apr+2004+22%3A53%3A13%3A420


Infamous speed camera scrapped
HELEN ASHWORTH, EDP CHIEF REPORTER

April 8, 2004 06:30

Norfolk's most notorious speed camera has been scrapped because its position cannot be justified.

Today, the controversial Grapes Hill camera stands redundant as an investigation continues into the positioning of all 18 fixed speed cameras across Norfolk.

The decision came after growing public unease about the use of cameras, with some motorists accusing the partnership of choosing sites to raise cash rather than prevent accidents.

And the review could mean that the Grapes Hill camera is not the only one to fall foul of justification regulations.

It has been discovered that the data on which the decision to site the camera at Grapes Hill was based takes account of collisions and junctions which would not be picked up by the machine.

The Norfolk Casualty Reduction Partnership, the organisation which runs speed cameras in the county, last night admitted the camera position could not be justified.

Chairman of the partnership, Mark Veljovic, said: "We are fully aware that the siting of this camera in particular has provoked strong public concern, so we have looked at the original justification again.

"It is clear that there are enough concerns for us to decommission it now, pending the outcome of more detailed reviews."

The film has been removed from the camera while the review takes place.

The Norfolk Casualty Reduction Partnership, set up to run the county's speed cameras in 2001 and made up of representatives from the police, Norfolk County Council, the University of East Anglia, local NHS bodies, the Highways Agency, and magistrates, is itself also under review, by senior offices from the bodies which make up the partnership.

Both reviews place a question mark over the siting of all other cameras around the county.

But there will be no escape for motorists who have been clocked speeding by the camera.

Solicitor Simon Nicholls, of Belmores in Norwich, said: "Motorists caught speeding by the Grapes Hill camera have still committed an offence, whether the camera should have been there or not. They were caught speeding, which is breaking the law."

Norfolk Police Authority has called for greater transparency and accountability around where cameras are located, the criteria used in their siting, and the evidence on which decisions are based.

An earlier investigation by Norfolk police found that the data used to justify the siting of some cameras was questionable, while on other occasions it was simply unavailable – because it had been shredded.

Norfolk Chief Constable Andy Hayman said: "Whilst the decision of the Norfolk Casualty Reduction Partnership to temporarily decommission the Grapes Hill camera is welcome I would remind the community that this should not be seen as an opportunity to break the law. Inappropriate speed does contribute to accidents and therefore I urge adherence to the speed limit by all who use the roads of Norfolk."

The Norfolk Casualty Reduction Partnership has doubled the number of fixed cameras to 18 and brought in mobile patrols along 72 stretches of road since it was set up.

Police authority chairman Jim Wilson said: "I welcome the strategic review and similarly, the decision to temporarily decommission the Grapes Hill camera is also welcome."

Police will still monitor Grapes Hill for drivers exceeding the limit.




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PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2004 12:21 
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"Speeding no longer needs to be a cause of the fatal and serious injury accidents that are used to justify the location of fixed and mobile speed "cameras, it has emerged."

What does it mean by 'no longer'? When has this EVER been the case in reality?

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2004 19:42 
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One might wonder if the ficus of the NCRP is on cameras or some other outcome... doesnt appear to be safer roads

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