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PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 15:26 
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Radio Netherlands here
Radio Netherlands - Lia van Bekhoven wrote:
Speed cameras as state enemy No. 1
Published on : 30 July 2010 - 3:03pm - By Lia van Bekhoven
(Photo: Flickr/Ronny Robinson)
Britain is fed up with speed cameras, that forest of traffic enforcement devices that saddles British speeders with excessive fines. In Oxfordshire the cameras have already been taken away; the rest of the country is considering to do the same.

They’re cheap, labour saving and effective. Since their introduction in Britain in 1992, speed cameras have contributed to a substantial decrease in the number of traffic accidents. But they are also controversial. In certain circles the yellow boxes are much despised and even hated.

Motorists and the right-wing press have renamed them ‘state enemy No. 1’. Speed cameras are not considered a tried and tested method to enforce the speed limit, but rather as a means to make money out of drivers. They’re said to be an illegal driving tax.

Gold mine
The 6,000 speed cameras are a decent source of revenue. Thanks to them, the British National Treasury has received an extra 120 million euros. The most infamous camera is situated near the A350 motorway in Dorset County. It brings in one-and-a-half million yearly, even when, according to its opponents, “there haven’t been any serious accidents on that road for a decade”.

An equally notorious speed camera is near Victoria Station in the centre of London. This camera catches nearly 5,000 motorists a month. Some of them are indeed speeding, but many others are being fined for drifting into the adjoining bus lane due to the confusing traffic signs.

Whatever the case may be, both cameras sparked off national indignation. There’s no proof whatsoever that speed cameras are bringing down the number of traffic accidents, is the argument. However, it is clear that the fines fill up the government’s treasury and that drivers are not always rightly fined.

War against motorists
The anti-speed camera campaign was supported by the Tories. In its election programme the Conservative Party promised, “to end the war against the motorists”. The ‘safe driving subsidy’ for municipalities was reduced by 40 percent.

The Oxfordshire region was the first to draw its conclusions. It decided to switch off all of its 72 cameras. Oxfordshire will not be the only region to do so. Buckinghamshire County has already announced that it will be the next to unplug the speed cameras.

Other regional and local administrators “are considering the options”. Possibly traffic police will be sent out again with portable speedometers to see if drivers are sticking to the rules. Or maybe civilians will be asked for voluntary contributions to keep the speed cameras in their residential area (the yearly costs are 7,000 euro per camera). Or perhaps nothing will come instead of the cameras.

Big mistake
To former Traffic Minister Alan Johnson – during his term of office the speed camera explosion came about – the disappearance of the cameras is “irresponsible” and “a big mistake”. “Everyone who analysed this says that speed cameras have contributed to the dramatic improvement of our traffic situation.” The number of road casualties in Britain is 75 percent less than in the 1960s.

But Claire Armstrong of lobby group Safe Speed is “delighted” about the government plans. The sooner the speed cameras disappear, the better. “They are squeezing money out of people for nothing. What’s more, speed cameras are counterproductive. If you’re constantly looking out for speed cameras, you pay less attention to other things. The cameras cause drivers to ignore other traffic problems.”

Speed cameras in Britain are on their way out. However, they won’t literally disappear. Most of them will stay where they are, but will no longer be in use.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 16:35 
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Radio Netherlands wrote:
They’re cheap, labour saving and effective.


If they were cheap the funding cut would be irrelevant.

If they were effective the funding wouldn't be cut.

Radio Netherlands wrote:
The most infamous camera is situated near the A350 motorway in Dorset County


:lol:


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 16:54 
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Joined: Wed Jul 14, 2010 15:33
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Johnnytheboy wrote:
Radio Netherlands wrote:
They’re cheap, labour saving and effective.


If they were cheap the funding cut would be irrelevant.

If they were effective the funding wouldn't be cut.

Radio Netherlands wrote:
The most infamous camera is situated near the A350 motorway in Dorset County


:lol:


There is an assumption here of rationality.

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