|Road traffic offences||dangerous?||speed camera effects||traffic police patrol effects||Combined effect of more speed cameras and fewer traffic police patrols|
|exceeding a speed limit||possibly sometimes||catches drivers in large numbers||can catch drivers when beneficial to do so||lots of drivers caught|
|dangerous driving||very dangerous||no effect||better||worse|
|driving too fast for conditions||very dangerous||catches drivers who are exceeding the speed limit. In maybe 60% of cases, no effect. Many cases of dangerous speed take place within the speed limit.||better||worse|
|drunk and drug driving||usually dangerous||no effect||better||worse|
|unlicensed drivers (see below)||sometimes dangerous||worse||better||worse|
|improperly registered vehicles (see below)||sometimes dangerous||worse||better||worse|
|reckless driving||very dangerous||no effect||better||worse|
|thefts of vehicles, joyriding||usually very dangerous||no effect||better||worse|
|incompetent driving||always dangerous||no effect||better||worse|
|driving without due care and attention||always dangerous||worse (upgraded from no effect after a few emails pointing out that speed cameras and the fear of speed cameras cause driver distraction)||better||worse|
|uninsured driving (see below)||often dangerous||worse||better||worse|
|criminals using cars||possibly dangerous||no effect||better||worse|
|disqualified drivers||possibly dangerous||no effect||better||worse|
|vehicle in dangerous condition||dangerous||no effect||better||worse|
|bald tyres||dangerous when wet||no effect||better||worse|
|other bad driving||potentially dangerous||no effect||better||worse|
|social issues||speed camera effects||traffic police patrol effects||Combined effect of more speed cameras and fewer police patrols|
|Police / public relations||worse||unknown||worse|
|Lawless behaviour (see below)||worse||better||worse|
|Job loss and personal hardship||worse||uncertain||worse|
|Respect for law||worse||generally better||worse|
|Speed Cameras promote lawlessness
Make no mistake. The following behaviours are all well known direct and indirect consequences of speed camera proliferation.
|Job loss and personal hardship.
These days it is completely possible for a responsible driver to lose driving licence, job and home as a direct consequence of a single journey at safe speeds. Some will claim "he's only got himself to blame" or "the law is the law". But don't judge too quickly. Surveys have shown that more than 90% of drivers exceed the speed limit on occasion, and the latest government figures show that 65% of cars at sample sites were exceeding the 30 mph speed limit. It's entirely likely that at the next sample site a different grouping of drivers would make the 65%, and so on. In this way it is clear that the 90%+ figure and the 65% figure are both likely to be true.
The reason for this apparent "madness" is crystal clear. Many responsible drivers on many occasions exceed a speed limit which simply is too low for the prevailing conditions. Make no mistake. The vast majority of drivers are responsible members of society behaving with reasonable standards of safety. 90% exceed speed limits, and in literally tens of millions of cases each day it is reasonable, safe and prudent to do so.
In the old days of intelligent Police enforcement of speed limits it was recognized that an officer at the time could make a clear judgement about the safety of someone's driving in the prevailing conditions. Speed cameras make no such judgement and it's completely obvious that there are hundreds of thousands of pointless prosecutions each year of responsible drivers behaving responsibly.
Why do we put up with it?
|Speed Cameras replace Police
It's been widely reported that speed camera are "replacing" Traffic Police Patrols. I feel confident that even the most extreme anti car types will immediately notice the folly in such a move. In some forces Traffic Police numbers have been cut by 66% in the last decade.
Installing speed cameras was stupid enough. Compounding the error with the reduction in Traffic Police patrols is almost unbelievable.
In the latest Home Office figures (from Home office publication: "Motoring Offences and breath test statistics, England and Wales - 2000") All motoring offences except speeding show a fall in offences between 1999 and 2000. Don't let anyone tell you that this is because fewer offences were committed. It's clearly because fewer offences were detected by fewer police patrols. In just this one year, speeding offences are up by 18%, while all other groups of offences were down by between 2 and 19%.
|Respect for the law
There are a couple of big problems here.
Speed cameras are an abomination. Far from the filthy government lies about improved road safety, they have a whole series of clear consequences that are now undoubtedly killing people.
We need to reverse out of this road safety system failure as soon as possible. We need more police patrols and all the speed cameras need to be torn down and scrapped. We need to create better drivers who take pride in their skills.
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