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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 23:50 
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martin* wrote:
Councillors don't set speed limits, engineers in association with the police do. Yes, there is sometimes political pressure to set a speed limit, but any engineer worth their salt will fight this vigorously (although I'm not saying it doesn't happen).

Councillors do, legally, set speed limits. They are supposed to take the advice of professional highway engineers and the police into account, but there are plenty of examples of them overriding it. There are also official government guidelines on speed limit setting that are routinely ignored (always in a downwards direction).

And an engineer may often feel that toeing the political line will help with his career. If he kept opposing the councillors he might find it hard to gain promotion, or even keep his job.

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Last edited by PeterE on Thu Feb 02, 2006 00:00, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 23:59 
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PeterE wrote:
Councillors do, legally, set speed limits. They are supposed to take the advice of professional highway engineers and the police into account, but there are plenty of examples of them overriding it.

And an engineer may often feel that toeing the political line will help with his career. If he kept opposing the councillors he might find it hard to gain promotion, or even keep his job.


Maybe in some Councils the Councillors still make the ultimate decision, but where I am all traffic regulation orders are delegated to officers. Even objections can be over-ruled by officers. Councillors are not as powerful as they used to be. They are not generally involved in the recruitment process either.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2006 00:03 
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martin* wrote:
Maybe in some Councils the Councillors still make the ultimate decision, but where I am all traffic regulation orders are delegated to officers.

Which authority is that, as a matter of interest?

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"Show me someone who says that they have never exceeded a speed limit, and I'll show you a liar, or a menace." (Austin Williams - Director, Transport Research Group)

Any views expressed in this post are personal opinions and may not represent the views of Safe Speed


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2006 00:55 
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martin* wrote:
Sorry, just a quick reply (and I don't know how to embed quotes)


If you're replying to a message, just click on the 'Quote' button at the RH top of the message.

Quote:
Councillors don't set speed limits, engineers in association with the police do. Yes, there is sometimes political pressure to set a speed limit, but any engineer worth their salt will fight this vigorously (although I'm not saying it doesn't happen).


This is happening, more and more. And the professionals are having less and less say in the matter.
The 70mph motorway limit was introduced as a knee-jerk reaction to a spate of accidents in heavy fog, by an act of parliament, and against the advice of police and engineers. As a 'temporary' measure. Decades later, we're still stuck with it.

Quote:
Yes, but conditions vary.


My point exactly.

Quote:
By all means, judge the appropriate speed up to the limit.
Why not COAST up to the limit?


The speed limit is a legal limit, not a safety limit. It's, at best, a rough guide to what's safe, so why is it so vitally important that people take great pains never to exceed it? (other than protecting their licences)

Quote:
Unexpected new changes in speed limit. Isn't a child running into the road an unexpected change?


Two entirely different things. A child running into a road is a real hazard. Speed limits create artificial hazards. Isn't it better for a driver to be thinking about the possibility of a child running out than to be thinking of their numerical speed or, even worse, that just because they happen to be doing 29mph that they're perfectly safe?

Quote:
My last point was "without having to ............... take the responsibility from the driver"


I just used that to make a point - wasn't contradicting you - sorry!

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2006 01:35 
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Why do I feel like we are being Trolled :(

To answer your question;

I joined here because the misguided obsession with speed has diluted all that is "Road Safety", I have lost count of the times that I have heard people excusing their involvement in an accident with the explaination "I wasn't speeding".

For me speed limit obsession above all else is a misguided message which has seriously damaged our safety.

It is interesting that in its latest Government Biker Road safety campaign they have studied the MAIDS report and based a campaign on the Looked but did not see issue that claims a huge majority of powered two wheelers. I wonder how much credit for this Paul Smith should take given his SMIDSY campaign last year to say nothing of his relentless campaign for more appropriate messages.

In my Military Police service I probably investigated 500 or more traffic accidents (Squaddies are terrible drivers), fortunately only a few fatals. Of these a very small percentage were caused by speed of any description. The only one I recall was the death of a driver and passenger who hit a stationary lorry at over 100 mph on the autobahn in fog. Oddly enough they were within the speed limit but clearly well innappropriate for the conditions.

Add to that that my earliest memory was watching my sister die under the wheels of a reversing ice cream van (not the drivers fault by the way - we all ran behind it to get money from my mum) and then having seen far too many friends die at the wheel 3 drunk driving too many to count in SMIDSY accidents on bikes (yes I ride), my interest in "doing something" for road safety was inevitable.

Do I have speeding convictions? Yes a long time ago, am I proud of them No, do I think that my driving was dangerous at the time, well in one event yes, I was desperately late for something and the red mist was down, even with advanced driving and police training I had moved from the side of defensive to agressive driving. Fortunately I was stopped by the dieing breed of Traffic police, they booked me but at the same time they also helped me get back under control.

I want to see a return to Traf Pol an disbandment of Camera Partnership quangos and a road safety policy that saves lives and I am sorry what ever the camera partnerships or government claim or what ever excuse is offered that just not the case at the moment.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2006 08:44 
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pogo wrote:
In Gear wrote:
... all they appear to have done is shift the accident blackspots around...

Can I ask you, are there actually very many "permanent" blackspots on your patch? I know that you don't use fixed cameras and I'm only guessing, but it seems to me that most so-called "blackspots" are just statistical glitches caused by the inevitable clustering that comes from essentially random occurrences... Hence the dramatic RTTM effect at camera sites - and why the system-wide totals are not effected - so not so much "moving the blackspots around" as "accidents continuing as before - at random".


The 20 or so sites we listed on the Durham :bib: web site - where we tell people where to expect the cam van's presence - and we have one very dodgy patch in Consett - and thebn there is the bikers' idea of heaven - where some, allas, do manage to make it to the pearly gates ... :roll: at speeds I would not even want to attempt on track....even ... :roll:

But yes - we all have roads whereby a spot of re-engineering - some thing as simple - even - as a traffic light or roundabout or can help dramatically - and, of course, roads can become a "problem area" due to sudden "density" - and this seems to be phenomena arising from choice of route to avoid a speed trap :wink:

Hence why we decided to continue in our own sweet quaint and twee way....despite a certain cam pratnership manager offering to come across the A66 and teach me how to do my job properly .... :wink:

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2006 10:47 
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Patch wrote:
Why do I feel like we are being Trolled :(

Unfortunately, that won’t matter in the eyes of those who are open-minded or new to these sites; these being the people we are trying to educate. Attempts to tarnish anyone who (politely) disagrees or questions our overall philosophy will be interpreted very poorly by those who matter, even if our intentions are good. All we can really do is demonstrate that our arguments stand up to scrutiny (it may also dissuade some real trolls from continuing).


martin* wrote:
I acknowledge that you promote 'safe speed' which may be above or below a limit, but I still feel there is an obsession with excess speed - why is it such a big issues?

You tell us! We (Safespeed and its members) didn’t make speed the issue; we only responded to those who did, those who also so obviously neglect to proportionally address other sources of danger.

martin* wrote:
Why can't you drive within the limit (and observe COAST)? Then you don't have to worry about cameras or fines, they are no longer an issue.

http://forums.pepipoo.com/index.php?showtopic=9405&hl=

http://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topi ... 239116&p=1
(you may need to register)

Not forgetting the Shutter Effect and Notsoaccurate!

martin* wrote:
Yes, you will say that some limits are not appropriate - then question them with the authorities.

Which is what Safespeed is doing, but we have to fight the will of those against, those with interests and the means of keeping it that way.

martin* wrote:
I understand if there is a feeling that 'innocent' people are being penalised and restricted in some way. Isn't that the case in many walks of life - paying taxes where others evade, or subsidising uninsured drivers? The difference is though, that speeding motorists are not technically innocent whereas tax payers and insured drivers are.

No, the difference is whether the offender is posing danger, being negligent or depriving others. This is supposedly why we have rules.

martin* wrote:
Most of you have clean licenses, excellent! And no doubt you are all good drivers and are capable of making the right judgement of an appropriate speed. But what about those people who can't? Don't we need limits for those?

Unfortunately, speed limits are sometimes set higher than safe/appropriate for sections of a road (neglecting conditions and other factors). Those who can’t judge appropriate speed will continue to be a danger. Do we really need to over regulate our country by accounting for the lowest possible denominator?

martin* wrote:
I agree that this site is raising the profile of road safety, but is it really all in a positive way? Again, with many 'road safety professionals' (the exact people you should perhaps be positively engaging with?), I am afraid that there is a danger of you coming across as purely extreme anti-camera lobbyists, and therefore barriers are immediately raised. The bigger picture of a common interest in road safety is lost.

Who says Safespeed isn’t ‘engaging with road safety professionals’? IIRC, memos were sent out to such professionals advising them to ignore Paul’s correspondence.
I believe preparations for an independent peer review are also ongoing.

The Safespeed front page reads:
Safe Speed does not campaign against speed limits, but instead calls for proportionate and intelligent enforcement of all motoring laws. Speed cameras have proved to be far from intelligent and far from proportionate.
which doesn’t sound particularly ‘extreme anti-camera’ to me.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2006 17:58 
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smeggy wrote:
.... A great deal of sense.


Candidate for "post of the week" I say. :clap: :bow: :yesyes:


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2006 19:12 
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Sorry if some people think I'm a troll, I'm certainly not (and thanks for your words on that smeggy). I am a traffic engineering professional, with a genuine interest in improving road safety. I have come here to discuss and debate which may or may not mean that I agree. I'd still rather not say where I'm from though.

To my knowledge (15 years in local government), we have never received any memos regarding ignoring Paul's correspondence. Indeed I'm not aware that we have ever had any correspondence, hence my comments about engagement and formally requesting speed limit reviews etc. It may interest you to know that we carry out numerous reviews following 'complaints' from members of the public, yes mostly requesting the lowering of a limit. I'd say that 99% of these result in no change, and we vigorously defend this position.

Forgive me, I've still not had the chance to read much of the info on this site, but is that where we do have some common ground - the acknowledgement that some speed limits need reviewing? In reality though, this could result in less than 10% being changed, I'm not sure?

I presume you know that part of the new safety camera rules will include a review of A and B road limits? That would seem to be a good start then?. We await further details on new guidance - should be interesting.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2006 20:16 
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martin* wrote:
Sorry if some people think I'm a troll,


Never said that you were a Troll just that it "felt like it". We regularly see people come on here asking us to justify our "obsession with speeding" under the guise of debate.

Welcome to the site, enjoy your research into its contents and please do question anything that you feel needs further clarification/justification.

If we all start on the same page that we all want to see a sensible and effective road safety strategy that actually leads to lives saved ultimately we should arrive at one, its just a case of then convincing the Government to listen to that rather than the "anti-car lobby" who currently form their opinion for them

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2006 20:26 
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why do i post here - i spend more time talking about work in here than i do in work :roll:

i found this site one evening when the wife was at work, after working within various camera departments within the police CCTV, ANPR LTI i thought i would put my point of view across and my point of view does not toe the line as to say.

i quickly came to the opinion that the main posters in here come from a varied and experienced background and class themselves as safe drivers, but every day at work and whilst off i see some horrendous driving

after working for several years as a part time fireman i came across many accidents (speed related some), so am fully aware of the end result.

speed cameras are not the complete answer, i prefer safety cameras at a site the traffic speed slows, the seat beltsget fastened the phones are dropped (yes i know at this present time i cannot do anything about it but this might change)

i believe in a high visibilty role, but i know others do not

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2006 22:37 
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martin* wrote:
Sorry if some people think I'm a troll, I'm certainly not (and thanks for your words on that smeggy).


We've had some bother with the troll from hell who uses "martin" as one of his many, many many, many names... :roll: Long story mate... you could not make it up...but one yu end up pinching yourself to check "for real"

Quote:
I am a traffic engineering professional, with a genuine interest in improving road safety. I have come here to discuss and debate which may or may not mean that I agree. I'd still rather not say where I'm from though.


I can understand that... Tis indeed a forum where we discuss safety and naturally the illogic of camera policy does feature at times. :wink:


Quote:
To my knowledge (15 years in local government), we have never received any memos regarding ignoring Paul's correspondence. Indeed I'm not aware that we have ever had any correspondence, hence my comments about engagement and formally requesting speed limit reviews etc. It may interest you to know that we carry out numerous reviews following 'complaints' from members of the public, yes mostly requesting the lowering of a limit. I'd say that 99% of these result in no change, and we vigorously defend this position.


In Lancs to the south of us - we see urban duals reduced from 50 mph to 30 mph and enforced by a camera. These are not necessailry "built up" but do link city centres to the out of town business parks and manufacturing /logistics plants and some form part of the city centre bye-passes to the motorways. Easy to see why these are regarded as "revenue raisers"

We have one here in the South Lakes.. been topic of many a discussion. Ern is the expert on this one as he lives nearer to it than Wildy and self.... INGS... NSL either side of it - and accidents were reported as down to sudden driver illness ....

40 mph limit though the every short stretch through the village ,. by seven men over a pie and a pint.. :roll: Trouble is ... digital cams and they cop just overs as they slow into the 40 mph from 60 mph - and yu are soon into the zap zone - indeed an area which means COAST to observe the digital cams... :roll: and tighter braking if at 60 mph legally before... :roll: Seems to cop more tourists who slow late-ish or begin to accelerate on seeing the NSL just after passing the cam.. :roll:

Quote:
Forgive me, I've still not had the chance to read much of the info on this site, but is that where we do have some common ground - the acknowledgement that some speed limits need reviewing? In reality though, this could result in less than 10% being changed, I'm not sure?

I presume you know that part of the new safety camera rules will include a review of A and B road limits? That would seem to be a good start then?. We await further details on new guidance - should be interesting.


We'd all pretty much agree (I think.. :wink: ) the motorway could be brought into line with rest of Europe with no great impact on safety and we all can list roads which are 30 mph and should be 40 mph and higher and we can all name roads whcih are 30 mph and could be 20 mph and 40 mph roads which ought to be 30 mph...

A full audit is required ....in reality..I think we will be in for a long wait... :roll: .

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2006 00:09 
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Hi Martin, I have worked as a roadworks planner for a utillity co. I recieved plans for road alterations and costed and planned and shifted the utillities plant for highway alterations.

I have seen spine roads and by passes planned and then ruined by far too many junctions. The crux of the problem was that the developer was paying for the roadworks and he wanted his junction in exchage for contributing for a bit of the ring road.

The problem is that there is no holistic plan. it is a load of little bits.

I joined the anti camera campaign as a result of a speeding ticket as I drove through 14 cameras a day and made a mistake. The more I read the more I fund them unsafe. The more I drove to avoid another ticket. The more I made silly mistakes. My concentration levels fell driving to the speedo. I drive a Toyota yaris, I have never had an injury accident. I am 40+.

I find the camera siteing rules force them on the wrong roads, the accidents that justify them often are related to drink drive or freak accidents. The camera partnerships are properganda machines pumping out drivel. The police have given up policing. Educating road users is now 100% about cars and speed. The pedestrian and cyclist are never to blame for thier own accidents even when drunk. The mobile phone is not even blamed. Every accident on a traffic light is used to justify a red light camera.

Deaths in my county are reported to be up almost 50% this year. The camera partnership claimed a success with a reduction on camera routes.
If they all claim the credit and pat themselves on the back how many more will die? No doubt they are nominating each other for an MBE as we speak!

I don't know when they are going to smell the coffee :(

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“It has never been the rule in this country – I hope it never will be - that suspected criminal offences must automatically be the subject of prosecution” He added that there should be a prosecution: “wherever it appears that the offence or the circumstances of its commission is or are of such a character that a prosecution in respect thereof is required in the public interest”
This approach has been endorsed by Attorney General ever since 1951. CPS Code


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2006 02:36 
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martin* my interest is from a few directions, Lost my fiance 9 years ago to a drunk driver, he had his sentance reduced as he wasn't speeding, the judge failed to note the two deaths he had caused.

Am ex RAF search and rescue, we also did air ambulance duties mostley to RTA's.

I live in Essex and despite huge numbers of cameras deaths are going up (if anything more than pre camera)

Am now working in health and safety, and have had several rucks with Essex Camera Partnership over dangerous siting of camera vehicles. As I pointed out to them, have yet to see any legislation, ACoPs, technical articles that state the way to control a hazard is to create another one. When a 'Safety' camera partnership starts putting people in danger as part of thier operations I worry a great deal.

Given the arrogance that some other partnerships display I wonder how many other partnerships put the public in danger.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 21:42 
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Dont feed the Troll


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2006 01:29 
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Julesm wrote:
Dont feed the Troll


I think that's uncalled for.

Troll <> someone who disagrees


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2006 09:00 
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Zamzara wrote:
Troll <> someone who disagrees


I prefer: (Troll != someone who disagrees)

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2006 18:54 
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Pete317 wrote:
Zamzara wrote:
Troll <> someone who disagrees


I prefer: (Troll != someone who disagrees)


That's certainly the accepted version on most of the internet.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2006 19:49 
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Thanks for the extremely useful and constructive comments regarding trolls :roll:.

Are we all agreed that speed limits are a necessary evil? Yes, they should be appropriate, but presumably we do need them?

Assuming we need them, don't they need enforcing or they will be meaningless?

So how do we enforce them? Traffic cops, technology, traffic calming measures or road user responsibility!; or a mixture of all? Is that not where we are at anyway?

I'm still looking for some common ground. Maybe the above mix isn't quite right (and each has it's own problems), but is playing around with the mix really going to significantly change things?


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2006 20:41 
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My opinion is that speed limits are a useful guide, and the less experience (both of driving and the road) you have the more they should guide you.

I'm not sure about the enforcement of them, I don't think they are so important that any transgression should mean automatic punishment, it needs to be appropriate and perhaps used where a better conviction may not stick (DWDC, DD etc).

My feelings on this are based on the idea that in terms of what is important with regards road use and safety speed alone is not that important and should be enforced as such.

I've just re-read that and before anyone has a go about inappropriate speed what I mean is that if people looked after the important things like, consideration, observation, attention, etc etc then their speed will be appropriate for the conditions regardless of the posted limit.

Cheers

Paul


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