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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2007 01:16 
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Clearly we're quoted, but the Telegraph web site does not have the article yet.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2007 08:31 
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Daily Telegraph

Quote:
Anger as fines from speed cameras soar
By James Kirkup and David Millward
Last Updated: 7:00am GMT 04/12/2007

Almost two million speeding tickets are being issued to motorists each year following Labour's vast expansion of the speed camera network, official figures disclosed last night.

Read the statistics for your area online
Your view: Do Britain's speeding laws need reform?
Since the party came to power, the number of fixed penalty notices for speeding has almost trebled from 700,000 a year to more than 1.9 million, the Government statistics showed.

Coupled with an increase in the basic speeding fine, this means speeding tickets are now raising almost £120 million a year - most of which is simply ploughed back into operating the cameras.

But despite the significant increase in speeding penalties in the past 10 years, road deaths have fallen only marginally, while the number of deaths from drink-driving has remained stable.

The figures triggered criticism from motoring groups and opposition politicians, who last night accused the Government of using motoring as a "cash cow". Drivers are already paying more than £1 a litre for petrol as prices soar.

There were only a handful of speed cameras when Labour took office in 1997. Since 2000, when the Government created 38 "road safety partnerships," that total has soared. There are now about 6,000 cameras in England and Wales.

The latest figures, released by the Home Office in response to a parliamentary question, showed the full extent of the increase in fines and gave a regional breakdown, highlighting how - in some parts of the country - speeding fines have increased more than tenfold.

In 1997, motorists incurred 712,000 fines at £40 each, making them liable to pay out an estimated £28.5 million.

In 2000, Labour increased the level of fixed-penalty notices for speeding to £60.

In 2005, the most recent year for which the figures are available, 1.92 million fines were issued at £60 each, costing motorists an estimated £115.2 million.

The increase in speeding fines imposed varies greatly between individual policing areas. In Nottinghamshire, 4,625 fines were issued in 1997 compared to 53,696 fines in 2005 while in the City of London, the number rose by almost 20 times, from 520 fines in 1997 to 10,275 in 2005.

Theresa Villiers, the Conservative transport spokesman, accused Labour of bleeding motorists dry.

She said: "These figures will lead many to wonder whether the Government is using fixed penalty notices just to raise revenue rather than making our roads safer.

"Enforcing the law should be the overriding motivation behind speed cameras and penalties. They should not be used just as a cash cow.

"The Government needs to rethink ways of improving road safety, including cracking down on uninsured drivers."

Road deaths have fallen only fractionally over the period during which speeding tickets have increased and cameras proliferated. Some 3,172 people were killed on the roads in 2006, a fall of only seven per cent from 1998.

The growing use of speed cameras also appears to have made no significant difference to drink-driving. There were 540 motoring deaths related to drink-driving in 1997. In 2004, the figure was 580. Last year, it had returned to 540.

Paul Smith, of Safespeed, which campaigns against the use of speed cameras, accused ministers of "fining millions of motorists without making the roads any safer".

He said: "They have a significant negative impact on road safety - they are actually making matters worse."

Transport experts say police forces are now backing away from plans to increase the use of speed cameras still further.

More than 28,000 people have signed a Downing Street petition calling for speed cameras to be scrapped and Mr Smith said that public anger had forced the Department for Transport "into retreat" on the issue.

Neil Greig of the IAM Motoring Trust, the independent road safety organisation, said: "I don't think enough has been done to convince people of the need for these cameras. When you look at the huge number of people being caught like this, the message isn't getting through."

However, Jools Townsend, the head of education at Brake, a road safety charity, defended the cameras and fines.

She said: "Research shows that speed cameras reduce casualties on the roads where they are placed. If you break the speed limit you are endangering lives and breaking the law and therefore it is entirely right that people who speed should be fined."

The Department for Transport insisted that speed cameras do not raise additional revenue for central government. The money is collected by the court service and passes through the DfT to the safety camera partnerships.

A spokesman said: "Safety cameras are there to save lives, not make money. The best safety camera is the one which takes no fines at all, but succeeds in making everyone slow down.

"Independent research shows a 42 per cent reduction in the number of people killed or seriously injured at camera sites - that means more than 100 fewer deaths each year."

The Government has tried to defuse the controversy by capping the amount of money partnerships can keep from the fines they raised. Read


Nice one Paul!

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2007 08:44 
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Neil Greig of the IAM Motoring Trust, the independent road safety organisation, said: "I don't think enough has been done to convince people of the need for these cameras. When you look at the huge number of people being caught like this, the message isn't getting through."


I’m surprised at this statement, what does he think needs to be done to convince people and what message would he send out, more cameras I suspect, is this another enemy who’s joined the bandwagon?

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2007 09:53 
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Dixie wrote:
However, Jools Townsend, the head of education at Brake, a road safety charity, defended the cameras and fines.

She said: "Research shows that speed cameras reduce casualties on the roads where they are placed..."

RTTM, yet again.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2007 10:10 
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Telegraph wrote:
The Department for Transport insisted that speed cameras do not raise additional revenue for central government. The money is collected by the court service and passes through the DfT to the safety camera partnerships.


So they are self sustaining cash flow for a company that offers no safety benefit to road users. Useful.

Telegraph wrote:
A spokesman said: "Safety cameras are there to save lives, not make money. The best safety camera is the one which takes no fines at all, but succeeds in making everyone slow down.


I could just about accept this for clearly visible fixed cameras in a potentially dangerous spot with, for instance, a preceding VAS that lit up with the speed limit and a camera sign. Scamera vans hidden around corners and on good overtaking straights can only generate fines though so are, by the statement above, very poor.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2007 12:08 
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Telegraph wrote:
A spokesman said: "Safety cameras are there to save lives, not make money. The best safety camera is the one which takes no fines at all, but succeeds in making everyone slow down.


My bold - yet another indicator of failure, if the sole purpose of a camera is to slow people down (regardless of the net benefit to road safety as a result) it seems they can't even do that adequately otherwise we would not have the level of fines imposed that we do.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2007 12:20 
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Safe Speed issued the following PR at 04:00 this morning:

PR570: Fatal error: DfT defrauds again as speed camera tension mounts

news: for immediate release

The Telegraph today reports of "Anger as fines from speed cameras soar" [1].

Astonishingly a Department for Transport spokesperson is quoted as saying:
"Independent research shows a 42 per cent reduction in the number of people
killed or seriously injured at camera sites - that means more than 100 fewer
deaths each year." But the implied claim - that cameras are responsible for the
observed reduction - is wholly falsified by the VERY SAME 'independent
research'[2].

Safe Speed pointed out this FRAUD within hours of the report being published in
our PR268 [3], yet astonishingly it is still being repeated 2 years later. The
research isn't even independent. It was paid for by Department for Transport.

Paul Smith, founder of SafeSpeed.org.uk, said: "Speed cameras have been a road
safety disaster. Despite millions of fines each year we have not even seen the
road safety improvements that we expected. Safer vehicles, improvements to road
engineering, improvements to post crash medical care and rescue are major
factors that are expected to lead to around a 5% reduction in road deaths each
year, even after allowing for the growth in traffic. But we have only seen a 7%
improvement in the last 8 years. This is absolutely terrible performance and it
is perfectly clear to me that 'bad road safety policy' is responsible."

"The problem with speed cameras is that they come with side effects. The cure
has proved to be far worse than the disease. Our 'side effects' report [4]
lists 40 different negative side effects caused by the speed camera programme.
But Department for Transport cancelled their research into speed camera side
effects [5]. I can only imagine that the initial results were far too scary."

"Road deaths are 1,200 per annum above levels that anyone standing in 1993
would have confidently projected. National road deaths should be down to about
2,000 per year by now - but there's been no significant fall for a decade."

"Department for Transport quite clearly know that speed cameras are a failed
road safety policy. They are extremely busy trying to disown them.[6]"

"I could not be more disgusted with Department for Transport. Not only are they
deliberately using misleading figures to defend the failed speed camera
programme, but also they quite clearly know that the programme has failed.
Instead of owning up to their mistake they are trying to shift responsibility
to local authorities. This picture of utter incompetence and the complete
failure to take responsibility is a characteristic of this government."

"Department for Transport is not fit for purpose. They would rather save face
than save lives. Their road safety policies have failed in spades but they
don't have the decency to admit it."

"We will not get British road safety policy back on track until Department for
Transport admits their fatal error and scraps every last speed camera."

<ends>

Notes for editors
=================


[1] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jh ... eed104.xml

[2] Current url for '4th year report'
http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/roadsafety/sp ... aprogr4598

[3] http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SafeSpeedPR/message/117

[4] http://www.safespeed.org.uk/sideeffects.pdf

[5] http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SafeSpeedPR/message/314

[6] http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/roadsafety/sp ... lyasked461

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2007 15:53 
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Telegraph wrote:
However, Jools Townsend, the head of education at Brake, a road safety charity, defended the cameras and fines.

She said: "Research shows that speed cameras reduce casualties on the roads where they are placed."


As we all here know, research has shown that in many areas where cameras have been introduced casualties have reduced from previously higher rates. We also know that there is no causal link between casualty reductions and the cameras' existence, and almost all changes are down to RTTM. The DfT report said so.

Therefore the above statement is false.

Whatever the reasons or their motivations (mostly ignorance, sadly) I really am now getting sick of BRAKE sticking their noses into the issue, spouting what are provably false statements. They should be taken to task for their misinformation.


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