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PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2004 13:16 
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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jh ... cams05.xml

'No need to move' a single speed camera
By Paul Marston, Transport Correspondent
(Filed: 05/03/2004)


A review of all 5,500 roadside speed cameras has concluded that they are not wrongly sited and should stay where they are, the Government said yesterday.

To the disbelief of motoring groups, David Jamieson, a junior transport minister, announced that an assessment by councils and police forces had established that not a single camera broke Whitehall guidelines.

He also disclosed that official rules allow much more discretion than had been suggested previously.

The dashing of expectations that drivers could look forward to some relief from cameras raised the political temperature of the issue.

Michael Howard, has promised that the Conservatives would take down any cameras found to lack clear safety justification.

Damian Green, his transport spokesman, called for an independent audit of camera locations. "The claim that every single camera is in the right place flies in the face of all the evidence," he said.

"We know the Metropolitan Police are planning a reduction in the number of their sites. It defies belief that the situation is not the same in any other part of the country."

The number of cameras has mushroomed since the launch four years ago of the "netting off" scheme under which the operational costs of local partnerships of police and councils are repaid out of the income from fines.

It is expected that more than three million motorists will receive £60 speeding fines and three licence penalty points this year.

In the financial year 2002/3, more than 1.5 million drivers paid a total of £73 million. Of this, £66 million was returned to the partnerships and the rest went to the Treasury.

The Government's review of camera sites consisted of the Transport Department writing to the 42 partnerships requesting assurances that its guidelines were not being breached.

The rules say that fixed cameras are supposed to be sited where speed-related accidents in the preceding three years have caused serious or fatal injury to at least four people per kilometre, or one person per 400 metres.

Mobile cameras, which account for more than a quarter of the national total, are permitted more latitude.

They can be positioned on stretches of up to five kilometres (3.1 miles) where at least two serious or fatal injuries have occurred over the previous three years.

But DfT officials admitted that councils or police have powers to place cameras virtually anywhere they wish.

"The rules . . . do not preclude cameras being placed at sites that do not meet the guidelines if they contribute to the overall strategy aimed at reducing road accident casualties," said the department.

Mr Jamieson said speed cameras were set up to reduce accidents, not to make money.

"All partnerships have written back to us, and the indications are that the cameras are in the right places," he said.

He also announced that of the four areas yet to join the netting-off scheme, only Durham was likely to remain outside it by the end of this year.

Paul Garvin, Durham's chief constable, has said there is not a single location in the county where cameras would be useful in tackling road safety problems.

The AA Motoring Trust said the public would be "extremely sceptical" about Mr Jamieson's claims.

"No partnerships are going to say cameras need to be taken down because they would risk not being able to cover their costs," said a spokesman.

"In fact the pressure is on them to keep putting up more cameras just to pay for the ever-rising numbers of staff.

"The fact that the guidelines are much more elastic than the Government makes out risks bringing the whole scheme into disrepute."

Paul Smith, of the motoring group Safe Speed, said: "It is outrageous that Mr Jamieson can make such a claim when he has failed to justify the flaws in the placement rules."

[ends]

The quote they used was taken from our press release: PR107.

http://www.safespeed.org.uk/pr107.html

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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: Sun Mar 07, 2004 17:46 
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time to get those new number plates methinks! :wink:


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2004 21:54 
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The scamera teams being told to assess whther their camera's are correctly placed is like telling someone to take out a 44ton artic and assess their own driving ability, when they come back, they can then say they have passed the test.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2004 11:09 
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there's an article in the Star yesterday(not my paper!) which says that they are going to roll out safer driving courses across the country,I won't hold my breath though!


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