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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 13:29 
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Speed cameras are coming back
By David Millward, Transport Editor - 6:20AM BST 13 Sep 2012

The number of motorists caught speeding is set to rise as enforcement cameras make a comeback across the country.
New generation of speed cameras on the way

Sophisticated digital devices, funded by motorists attending speed awareness courses, are replacing ageing film cameras which are coming to the end of their useful life.

More than half the safety partnerships are now installing new digital cameras, with the number set to increase by nearly 50 per cent in the next 12 months alone, The Daily Telegraph can disclose.
The surge comes within months of the Government, which pledged to end the “war on the motorist” announcing that it was pushing up speeding fines from £60 to £90, a rise of 50 per cent.

On taking office the Coalition sought to mollify drivers by stopping Whitehall funding for speed cameras. In addition spending cuts led to others being switched off because partnerships could not to operate them
But reports of the death of the camera have proved premature. Of the 33 partnerships who responded to inquiries from The Daily Telegraph, 21 confirmed that they were embarking on a comprehensive renewal programme over the next two to five years, while another six are still considering their next move.

The impact of the new digital cameras could be dramatic. Unlike the older machines, they never run out of film and can take pictures indefinitely.

Their running costs are lower, as police officers are not needed to collect and develop the film.

Instead the information from the camera is sent automatically to a control centre which, once the car has been identified from its number plate, can send out a notice of intended prosecution – the first stage towards fining motorists and putting points on their licence.

Four partnerships – Cheshire, Norfolk and Suffolk, Northants and Nottinghamshire – said they expected the number of prosecutions to increase.
Many cameras were switched off when the Coalition choked off funding after the election, others fell victim to the spending cuts which hit local government hard.

However the camera programme appears to have been rescued by the spread of speed awareness tests, which have been attended by 1.8 million motorists since January 2010.

While speeding fines, which were paid just under by 1 million drivers in England and Wales in 2010 go to the Treasury, fees for speed awareness courses are retained by police forces and safety partnerships.
It is this cash which is paying for the cameras.

The courses, currently made available by 41 forces across the country, cost from £70 to £97 – slightly more than the existing £60 fine.
But motorists who volunteer to take a course avoid three points on their licence.
They are currently offered to drivers who have not gone more than 10 per cent plus 9mph over the speed limit.
Exactly how many motorists are prosecuted will depend on the nature of the cameras being installed.
Fewer motorists tend to be prosecuted in areas with average speed cameras than those where traditional devices, which measure how fast motorists are going in one place.
This is because a higher proportion of drivers stick to the limit where average speed cameras are in place.

The return of the cameras was condemned by Keith Peat, spokesman for the Association of British Drivers and a former traffic police officer.
“This is entirely predictable. The fact of the matter is the road safety industry, which includes the manufacturers of the devices and the partnerships, have a vested interest.
“These cameras can’t see how an accident happened, they can’t see whether you were drunk or if you were careless.
“This Government is continuing the war on the motorist and it is counterproductive.”

However Stephen Hammond, the newly appointed transport minister, distanced the Government from the return of the speed cameras around the country.
“It is for local authorities and police to decide whether or not to use speed cameras and how they wish to operate them.
“However, we do not believe that cameras should be used as the default solution in reducing accidents, nor as a way of raising revenue.”

The updating of the cameras was defended by the country’s top traffic police officer, Dept. Chief Const. Suzette Davenport.
“Speed cameras are put in place to deter drivers from speeding and catch those who do. Drivers who are found breaking the law could be prosecuted and incur a criminal record,” she said.
“Using technology to make the roads safer for all drivers is an excellent example of police moving with the times.”



Also :
MSN Cars wrote:
Speed cameras making a comeback
Updated: 13/09/2012 10:33 | By motoringresearch.com

Thought the inexorable march of the speed camera was on the wane? Think again.

The rising number of motorists avoiding points by attending a speed awareness course is funding more sophisticated new digital cameras, which are set to replace the current generation of ageing film-based cameras.

The Telegraph reports that more than half of the country’s safety camera partnerships are busy installing sophisticated digital cameras – which never run out of film and cost less to maintain – with the number of such devices expected to rise by nearly 50 per cent over the next 12 months.

Digital cameras can send images of offending cars automatically to a control centre, giving a better ‘hit rate’ than film-based units, which involve a more labour-intensive process before a ticket is issued.

The demise of that yellow peril on a pole, the Gatso, was widely reported when the Coalition government to power and declared an end to war on motorists.

After the flow of central government funding for speed cameras was halted, many local authorities switched off their speed cameras and disbanded their safety camera partnerships altogether.

That trend is reversing now, thanks to the Police and camera partnerships being allowed to bank the fees charged to motorists attending speed awareness courses – which range from £70 to £97.

Speed awareness courses are offered by 41 Police forces across the country to drivers within a tolerance zone of 10 per cent plus 9mph over the posted speed limit.

Swindon, the first town to switch off all of its cameras in 2009, reported a fall in fatalities and serious injuries at its camera sites in the year following the switch off – whilst some speed camera sites have seen a rise in accidents since being installed.

“This is entirely predictable. The fact of the matter is the road safety industry, which includes the manufacturers of the devices and the partnerships, have a vested interest,” Keith Peat, ABD spokesman and former traffic police officer told the Telegraph.

Meanwhile, the Chair of ACPO’s National Roads Policing Forum, Suzette Davenport told the paper:[quote=Chair of ACPO’s National Roads Policing Forum, Suzette Davenport]“Speed cameras are put in place to deter drivers from speeding and catch those who do. Drivers who are found breaking the law could be prosecuted and incur a criminal record,”
“Using technology to make the roads safer for all drivers is an excellent example of police moving with the times.”
[/quote]

Sadly I am not the slightest bit surprised, as many Councils have been converting to the digital sets ups for a while, although some Councils had previously indicated that they could not afford to convert. Now it seems that perhaps they have been shown how they can afford it with course costs being the round route of the cash injection required!
Clearly this shows that it is not about road safety but pure technical offence with no road safety intentions.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 15:12 
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Very interesting that the offence rate on average speed cameras is much lower than conventional single point cameras and the speed compliance is said to be much better.

If, as many people seem to believe, speed is the main cause of accidents and councils claim to be only concerned with safety then you might expect them to transfer all their funds to the average camera systems. I wonder why they don't?

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 15:22 
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The course is about road safety and is designed to make people aware of how to spot and avoid hazards as well as being made aware of how to recognise speed limits.

It encourages the use of the COAST methodology, something promoted here, and encourages the use of safe speeds within the limits allowed. In most certainly does not teach drivers to drive at the speed limit, often a criticism of speed enforcement efforts to reduce casualties.

I have attended 3 courses and have seen attendees come out amazed at what they did not know and realise that they really were presenting a danger because of their lack of knowledge. I am yet to meet someone who has not learned from the course and the experience.

Wile funds are used for the provision of cameras, their running and renewal, funding is also rusted to road safety activities of agencies in road safety partnerships. It alleviates the load on the general tax payer and government. Placing the load onto those who break teh law and increase danger is not a bad thing.

Your challenge of "no road safety intention" is I'll founded and simply wrong; it does you few favours.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 20:58 
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A lot of older posters will remember the SS analysis of SCP audits ,and how a lot of funds were used to fund a lot of local items. It did not surprise some of us when the then Labour Government decided that enough was enough and all money from speeding infringements should go to HMG ,and in return SCP would get a grant. The golden goose had been well and truly cooked and stuffed. At this time, SAC were seen as a method of getting round the accusations of cash grabbing over safety. Strange that as SCP were getting strapped for cash ,the entitlement limits for course attendance have increased.And it's produced a nice little cottage industry ,with a nice little fee to the organisers. In days of old, we would have those gents of the highway, traffic police officers , stopping vehicles at the time and educating the offenders ( possibly with a ticket as well) of their poor standards/speeding ( That is road safety in action at it's best). Now they get a notice days after the event when in all likelihood they have no recollection of what they had done. They might get the chance to go on a course , which probably talks in generalities ,not about the specific event and how to avoid the errors.

GS goes on to mention speed limits .What he fails to mention is the total lack of recognition by the current road safety policy that if one stays ( even 0.5mph) below the limit, then one is totally safe . He also says that ( by implication) , speeding increases danger .Correction,my friend ,IT'S ONLY INCORRECT USE OF SPEED THAT INCREASES DANGER. Would you drive past a school at kicking out time at same speed that you would at two o'clock in morning. The only people who are guilty of increasing danger are those misguided fools who are so blinkered that they see only speed as the root cause of accidents.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 22:50 
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botach wrote:
A lot of older posters will remember the SS analysis of SCP audits ,and how a lot of funds were used to fund a lot of local items. It did not surprise some of us when the then Labour Government decided that enough was enough and all money from speeding infringements should go to HMG ,and in return SCP would get a grant. The golden goose had been well and truly cooked and stuffed. At this time, SAC were seen as a method of getting round the accusations of cash grabbing over safety. Strange that as SCP were getting strapped for cash ,the entitlement limits for course attendance have increased.And it's produced a nice little cottage industry ,with a nice little fee to the organisers. In days of old, we would have those gents of the highway, traffic police officers , stopping vehicles at the time and educating the offenders ( possibly with a ticket as well) of their poor standards/speeding ( That is road safety in action at it's best). Now they get a notice days after the event when in all likelihood they have no recollection of what they had done. They might get the chance to go on a course , which probably talks in generalities ,not about the specific event and how to avoid the errors.

...so you too don't know anything about the course but are prepared to speculate on its purpose. The truth is that you simply do not know anything about the course.
botach wrote:
GS goes on to mention speed limits .What he fails to mention is the total lack of recognition by the current road safety policy that if one stays ( even 0.5mph) below the limit, then one is totally safe ...

There is no such policy, there is no evidence of one and there never has been one.

botach wrote:
He also says that ( by implication) , speeding increases danger .Correction,my friend ,IT'S ONLY INCORRECT USE OF SPEED THAT INCREASES DANGER. Would you drive past a school at kicking out time at same speed that you would at two o'clock in morning. The only people who are guilty of increasing danger are those misguided fools who are so blinkered that they see only speed as the root cause of accidents.

It does; there is no evidence to say it does not but there is much evidence to say that it does.
You can't just continue to make this stuff up and hope nobody finds out you are doing so.
The site is no longer relevant in any way...not that it was in the first place, and you typify why it isn't.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 23:38 
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GS SAID

...so you too don't know anything about the course but are prepared to speculate on its purpose. The truth is that you simply do not know anything about the course.

You are too often too willing to jump in and tell us that the "course " is based on COAST principles. Some secret that is only given out to those on SAC .No- it's something that is available to most drivers. And it's a skill that teaches us that for every safe overtaking place, there will be some scamera van looking to make a killing. I was taught these skills by an old uncle. Possibly the mention of making money has brought our submariner to the surface. Where on these courses are individual drivers shown the error of their ways -- GS- PERHAPS YOU MIGHT LIKE TO PUT UP OR SHUT UP. Lets have some cases to discuss- But ,no- her submariner will once again slip below the waves.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 08:44 
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There have been varying reports of these courses - some have followed COAST principles, while others have just been anti-speed indoctrination. However, in either case it's invidious if those responsible for speed enforcement stand to profit from the courses.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 10:06 
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GreenShed wrote:
The course is about road safety and is designed to make people aware of how to spot and avoid hazards as well as being made aware of how to recognise speed limits.

It encourages the use of the COAST methodology, something promoted here, and encourages the use of safe speeds within the limits allowed.

The quote above (using the definite article) implies that there is just one approved course curriculum for the whole country. The only course notes I have seen (I was not on the course!) mention COAST practices.

However, as police forces are substantially independent then it is possible that there are different versions. Has anyone got notes from an "indoctrination" type?

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 10:44 
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malcolmw wrote:
GreenShed wrote:
The course is about road safety and is designed to make people aware of how to spot and avoid hazards as well as being made aware of how to recognise speed limits.

It encourages the use of the COAST methodology, something promoted here, and encourages the use of safe speeds within the limits allowed.

The quote above (using the definite article) implies that there is just one approved course curriculum for the whole country. The only course notes I have seen (I was not on the course!) mention COAST practices.

However, as police forces are substantially independent then it is possible that there are different versions. Has anyone got notes from an "indoctrination" type?

There is one curriculum, there may be a number of interpretations of it but it is a standard nationally regulated course.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 17:54 
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Quote:
There is one curriculum, there may be a number of interpretations of it but it is a standard nationally regulated course.



And there we have it from the horses mouth folks. Road safety in this country is being preached by a load of amatuers, who can't even follow a curriculum...but then when we have a supposed road safety "professional" stating obvious lies like.......
Quote:
It's well established that generally fewer collisions occur as speed decrease......
...what can you expect. They can't even get people who know what they are talking about to come on a public forum without embarrasing himself and his bosses, so what chance of getting real professionals to run courses on road safety?????

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 19:40 
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graball wrote:
Quote:
There is one curriculum, there may be a number of interpretations of it but it is a standard nationally regulated course.



And there we have it from the horses mouth folks. Road safety in this country is being preached by a load of amatuers, who can't even follow a curriculum...but then when we have a supposed road safety "professional" stating obvious lies like.......
Quote:
It's well established that generally fewer collisions occur as speed decrease......
...what can you expect. They can't even get people who know what they are talking about to come on a public forum without embarrasing himself and his bosses, so what chance of getting real professionals to run courses on road safety?????


Oh-we do have professionals running these courses -we've seen the quality of how well co ordinated they are from one fine example .(And it's also well known that he trawls/trolls the net looking for evidence /hearsay to bring up ). But should I give my opinion on what their profession is ,I suspect Claire would get yet another letter on official headed paper.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 23:52 
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I thought he was an experienced, "jack of all trades"....master of none!

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My views do not represent Safespeed but those of a driver who has driven for 39 yrs, in all conditions, at all times of the day & night on every type of road and covered well over a million miles, so knows a bit about what makes for safety on the road,what is really dangerous and needs to be observed when driving and quite frankly, the speedo is way down on my list of things to observe to negotiate Britain's roads safely, but I don't expect some fool who sits behind a desk all day to appreciate that.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 19:10 
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graball wrote:
I thought he was an experienced, "jack of all trades"....master of none!


I'd miss out "of all trades" and substitute tar.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 20:56 
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Getting back to the courses and whether they are useful. I know of two people who have been on them (strangely enough, one guy is a driver who never exceeds 40MPH anywhere he goes, so not exactly a tearaway). Both said they found them informative but my concern is the cost. As far as I'm aware you have to pay more to go on the course than the £60 fine would be......WHY?....surely if the course is aimed at educating drivers to drive better and safer then they should have an incentive to take the course but to pay more than the fine and lose a days pay is no incentive. To me the fact that you don't get three points but have to pay extra and give up a day of my time wouldn't be worth it, unless I had in excess of 6 points on my license but they don't offer you a course if you have 6 points do they?

If it was really about road safety, surely they should drop the price to £30 to encourage drivers to take the course and become safer drivers. I'm sure a course with say 20 people on it at £30 a time, grossing £600 is more than enough to pay for a room and pay some teacher for a day.....maybe it's not about road safety but making money....now where have I heard that before?

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My views do not represent Safespeed but those of a driver who has driven for 39 yrs, in all conditions, at all times of the day & night on every type of road and covered well over a million miles, so knows a bit about what makes for safety on the road,what is really dangerous and needs to be observed when driving and quite frankly, the speedo is way down on my list of things to observe to negotiate Britain's roads safely, but I don't expect some fool who sits behind a desk all day to appreciate that.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 22:15 
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You're spot on, as ever Grabs. :)

I don't think anything is going to change tbh. It will inevitability run its course and....

I think there's aways a lag between telling it as it is, (truth & common sense), and the day that a politician suddenly, one day, makes a statement, (stating the bleeding obvious), and the silent majority thinks "yes! So It's not just me".

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You will be branded a threat to society by going over a speed limit where it is safe to do so, and suffer the consequences of your actions in a way criminals do not, more so than someone who is a real threat to our society.


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