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PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2004 18:22 
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http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/ ... ory=510786

Speed cameras 'are not working'
- Campaigner attacks their safety value



By Jonathan McCambridge
jmccambridge@belfasttelegraph.co.uk
12 April 2004

A LEADING road safety campaigner today raised doubts over the extension of Northern Ireland's speed camera programme at a time when many cameras are being removed in other parts of Britain.

The Government has already said that another six to 10 of the controversial fixed road safety devices will be introduced in the province at accident blackspots in the next six months.

However, hundreds of the cameras are due to be removed in England amid calls for a national audit of cameras and public anger that they are being used as a tax on motorists.

Northern Ireland currently has four fixed speeding cameras and a number of hand-held devices. The Belfast Telegraph recently revealed huge disparities in the number of motorists being caught speeding in different parts of the province.

Hardest-hit was Castlereagh with over 5,000 detections while Moyle had only 10.

Paul Smith from the Safespeed campaign recently made a presentation to MPs at Westminster about speed cameras and has visited Northern Ireland to argue that they do not increase road safety.

He said: "In Northern Ireland you are many years behind the rest of Britain; you are just starting to get the cameras when we have had them for 10 years.

"In those 10 years we have seen vehicles getting safer and safer but we have not seen large reductions in the number of road deaths so the cameras are not working.

"The number of accidents which are caused purely by speed is very small. By putting up more of these cameras all you will achieve is making motorists afraid of losing their licence.

"In places where you have these cameras drivers pay more attention to their speedometer than the road ahead and we know that over 75% of accidents are caused by inattention.

"The cameras put so much emphasis on legal speed that they allow drivers to think they will be safe if they drive within a certain limit which may not be the case; the real safe speed may be lower depending on conditions.

"The cameras also lead to horrendous administration problems and they are driving a wedge between the police and the public. People would rather see police patrols on the road who can catch people who drive in a dangerous way.

"Most experienced drivers know instinctively that speed cameras are the wrong general approach to road safety."

Mr Smith added: "When I was in Northern Ireland recently I did a presentation where I said I believed these cameras would not save lives; there is growing support for this point of view in the rest of the UK."

Police have said the cameras are intended to reduce the number of deaths at "clearly identified" hot- spots, and to encourage drivers to change their attitudes and behaviour.

Secretary of State, Paul Murphy, said recently: "The cameras are used to enforce speed restrictions in all areas where there is a history of road traffic collisions resulting in fatalities and serious injuries, or where there is evidence of speeding."

He also revealed that speeding cameras in Northern Ireland, including four fixed cameras on the Antrim, Newtownards, Springfield and Saintfield Roads, had raised £461,753 which is passed to a UK Consolidated Fund.

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The Safe Speed campaign demands a return to intelligent road safety


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2004 19:40 
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Note "LEADING road safety campaigner" - ha! "Fringes" or leading, fringes or leading, fringes or leading? Considering you have had at least a small mention in practically every paper this year, and an article in the media every day this week I know what I think....

Gareth


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2004 23:11 
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Apparently Belfast this afternoon and evening was flooded with posters advertising the paper at newsagents saying:

"Campaign Chief Slams Speed Cameras"

:mrgreen:

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2004 19:38 
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Follow-up Letter, 14th April 2004:

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/ ... ory=511388

Focus on investment in constructive road safety

14 April 2004

WELL done to the Belfast Telegraph for the lead story on April 12 which takes a significant step towards improving road safety in Northern Ireland.

Recognising that the 150 fatalities on our roads each year cannot be reduced by taking a few photographs and sending motorists a bill is the first step on the path to developing a practical and workable road safety policy.

Instead of generating revenue from motorists, the Government needs to be investing in road safety and, as has been well established, travelling in excess of the speed limit is not what causes over 90% of accidents.

With this year being a Leap Year the UK government made - in that extra day - £52m in fuel tax from the motorist. So let's have this money invested back into road safety in Northern Ireland and let's use it to address those things that do cause over 90% of accidents.

Instead of spending this cash on more cameras and more officers hiding behind walls, let's have more police officers out on the roads stopping dangerous, inattentive, drunk or aggressive drivers - the people who actually cause accidents.

Having a quiet word with tailgaters on the M2 foreshore, for example, would be a popular and useful enterprise with a long-term safety benefit.

What would also be of great benefit to us all is the opportunity for drivers to avail of further training and guidance.

I know that the PSNI offer motorcyclists the chance to have a ride observed by an experienced police rider. I have heard that the comments provided as a result of such a ride are useful and informative and they encourage the rider to take responsibility for their own safety without the need for a heavy handed approach.

It would be useful if such a scheme could be extended to the motorist with, perhaps, drivers from the fire and ambulance services assisting the police drivers in organising observed drives.

I would be willing to pay for such a service and believe it would be very beneficial to road safety and to the public image of the police and other emergency service drivers who became involved.

As Paul Smith pointed out in your report each driver photographed and billed doesn't become a safer driver. They just become a driver with a grudge against the police.

Let's address the problem now and invest in constructive road safety.

CLEARLY FOCUSED, Monkstown, Co. Antrim

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Paul Smith
Our scrap speed cameras petition got over 28,000 sigs
The Safe Speed campaign demands a return to intelligent road safety


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2004 22:15 
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Anyone know how I could get myself assessed on my bike? I have ben off the road a couple of years and wouldn't mind a bit of fair assessment.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2004 01:20 
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SafeSpeed wrote:
Apparently Belfast this afternoon and evening was flooded with posters advertising the paper at newsagents saying:

"Campaign Chief Slams Speed Cameras"

:mrgreen:


Did you get a copy of one of these? Probably too late now but they make excellent posters for the wall.

Gareth


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2004 01:25 
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g_attrill wrote:
SafeSpeed wrote:
Apparently Belfast this afternoon and evening was flooded with posters advertising the paper at newsagents saying:

"Campaign Chief Slams Speed Cameras"

:mrgreen:


Did you get a copy of one of these? Probably too late now but they make excellent posters for the wall.

Gareth


I did intend to, but there's so much to do in a day that that one happened to slip off the end of the list. So, no, 'fraid not. It might not be too late to send an email - I'll do it now. Thanks for the reminder.

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Paul Smith
Our scrap speed cameras petition got over 28,000 sigs
The Safe Speed campaign demands a return to intelligent road safety


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