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How many speed cameras should we have?
Many more than at present? 3%  3%  [ 3 ]
More than at present? 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
We already have about the right number? 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Fewer than at present? 1%  1%  [ 1 ]
Very few at special sites? 31%  31%  [ 28 ]
None at all? 64%  64%  [ 57 ]
Total votes : 89
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2004 12:55 
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This poll is associated with new Safe Speed page:

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

:arrow: Please read the page before voting.

This poll has no particular time limit.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2004 13:19 
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Absolutely agree with your article - there is absolutely no justification for installing anything but the most effective safety mechanisms if the aim is to improve road safety. Installing something that's only 33% as effective as the better alternative whilst being 300% of the cost clearly shows their true aim is to rake in the money.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2004 17:09 
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Just voted - and you know what I voted! :wink: - from the result so far! But then sane people like us would vote that way! :lol:

Wife found result from Sunday Post's "e-mail jury" which revealed 66% against speed cams! Think she posted this on PH at time!

Agree 100% - there is no justification for proliferation of scams! They claim a "life is saved in a flash" - except there was no hazard whatsoever, apart from the scamera itself! They should really say "Your licence is maimed and/or killed in a flash!" as by all accounts - this is the only casualty! :wink:


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2004 06:08 
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I'm very interested in the 25% or so who have so far voted for "a few cameras at special sites".

Can any of you tell me why a camera would be superior to a vehicle activated sign "at a special site"? I honestly can't find a single logical reason.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2004 07:50 
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They have just put a speed activated sign on a dual carriageway (40 mph speed limit) near my home. I will be observing driver behaviour with interest.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2004 15:12 
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Quote:
I'm very interested in the 25% or so who have so far voted for "a few cameras at special sites".

Can any of you tell me why a camera would be superior to a vehicle activated sign "at a special site"? I honestly can't find a single logical reason.


I just have to accelerate a little to make sure they're working. :oops: At a really dangerous site that might be just too risky, hence my preference for a speed camera there. :twisted:


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2004 15:27 
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Roger wrote:
Quote:
I'm very interested in the 25% or so who have so far voted for "a few cameras at special sites".

Can any of you tell me why a camera would be superior to a vehicle activated sign "at a special site"? I honestly can't find a single logical reason.


I just have to accelerate a little to make sure they're working. :oops: At a really dangerous site that might be just too risky, hence my preference for a speed camera there. :twisted:


I appreciate the personal view - but nevertheless, we must account for the more important average behaviour. This is where TRL548 tells us that they are three times more effective - and that's in spite of any drawbacks.

So I guess for every one like you there are ten who might not have noticed the camera - or something - to make up the balance.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2004 15:34 
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Agreed.

In fact I think there are cases for both vehicle activated signs AND speed cameras, the latter a few tens of car lengths after the former, at certain specific places. however, these places really are few and far between.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2004 20:23 
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SafeSpeed wrote:
I'm very interested in the 25% or so who have so far voted for "a few cameras at special sites".

Can any of you tell me why a camera would be superior to a vehicle activated sign "at a special site"? I honestly can't find a single logical reason.

Yes, there are some locations where a minority of regular road users will be well aware of the vehicle-activated sign and discount it, and take a calculated risk by selecting a speed well above what is safe.

However, all such cameras (and I would envisage no more than a few hundred across the whole country) should be specifically signed well in advance by a form of signing that only appears where there are cameras.

Regards,

Peter

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2004 20:28 
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PeterE wrote:
Yes, there are some locations where a minority of regular road users will be well aware of the vehicle-activated sign and discount it, and take a calculated risk by selecting a speed well above what is safe.


But if they are regular, they will slow down "just for the camera", and then speed up again. So in order for your apparently sensible idea to work, the camera must be in the heart of the special hazard zone.

People tell me they check the speedo at least three times when passing a camera... Is that the sort of behaviour we should be promoting in the heart of a special hazard zone?

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2004 20:46 
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When I suggested a case for both VAS and Camera at the same place (or shortly after one another), I was in fact thinking of collecting crash evidence as opposed to issuing fines. I don't care if it's overt or covert either - the latter is likely better for the speedo reason. Further, as Peter points out, there shouldn't be too many country-wide.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2004 21:13 
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SafeSpeed wrote:
PeterE wrote:
Yes, there are some locations where a minority of regular road users will be well aware of the vehicle-activated sign and discount it, and take a calculated risk by selecting a speed well above what is safe.

But if they are regular, they will slow down "just for the camera", and then speed up again. So in order for your apparently sensible idea to work, the camera must be in the heart of the special hazard zone.

Yes, it would need to be. Perhaps it would be better as a 200-yard SPECS zone rather than a Gatso.

Quote:
People tell me they check the speedo at least three times when passing a camera... Is that the sort of behaviour we should be promoting in the heart of a special hazard zone?

There are some urban locations I have in mind where despite the obvious presence of junctions, shops, schools, houses, pubs, late-night takeaways etc. some [legitimate] drivers still think 50+ is an acceptable speed.

In such circumstances a couple of speedo checks resulting in a reduction in speed to low 30s would overall greatly improve safety. And, if they knew it was there, moderating their speed in that area would become learned behaviour.

I would envisage such locations as being probably entirely in 30 and 40 zones, not on NSLs.

But we shouldn't underestimate the problem of grossly inappropriate speeds in urban areas where [legitimate] drivers feel there is little chance of being caught.

Regards,

Peter

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2004 21:34 
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Quote:
There are some urban locations I have in mind where despite the obvious presence of junctions, shops, schools, houses, pubs, late-night takeaways etc. some [legitimate] drivers still think 50+ is an acceptable speed.

In such circumstances a couple of speedo checks resulting in a reduction in speed to low 30s would overall greatly improve safety. And, if they knew it was there, moderating their speed in that area would become learned behaviour.

I would envisage such locations as being probably entirely in 30 and 40 zones, not on NSLs.

Regards,

Peter


Hmm... I actually disagree virtually ever with the need for *experienced* drivers to have to check speedo. The only reason I do at the moment is if I see a scamera ahead. In most cases where I am in an area such as you describe, I am there or there abouts. In most cases on the open road .. I am by the time I get to it :twisted:

Safe speed in all conditions is instinctive to experienced drivers. I've thought more about this and almost want to change my vote to None


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2004 21:52 
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Roger wrote:
Safe speed in all conditions is instinctive to experienced drivers. I've thought more about this and almost want to change my vote to None

You are being unrealistically charitable there. There are large numbers of "experienced" drivers who choose to drive at highly unsafe speeds in urban areas where the road layout says one thing but the hazard density says another. Try driving in Manchester for a few days and you'll see what I mean. I would say only a small minority of drivers (<10%) have both the experience and the sense of responsibility to genuinely be able to select safe speeds in urban areas.

However it should be said that I would see the main weapon against such people as increased police enforcement, and I would envisage the relatively small number of remaining speedcams being used in areas that for some reason are genuinely deceptive.

Regards,

Peter

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2004 01:32 
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PeterE wrote:
Roger wrote:
Safe speed in all conditions is instinctive to experienced drivers.

You are being unrealistically charitable there. There are large numbers of "experienced" drivers who choose to drive at highly unsafe speeds in urban areas where the road layout says one thing but the hazard density says another. Try driving in Manchester for a few days and you'll see what I mean. I would say only a small minority of drivers (<10%) have both the experience and the sense of responsibility to genuinely be able to select safe speeds in urban areas.


I don't think this makes sense at all (or maybe I'm not understanding your precise point).

I see anyone who's exceeding the safe speed for the circumstances as an accident waiting to happen. Our 3 million or so crashes each year is a very tiny number compared with the number of vehicle movements, so we know that the road safety system is "error tolerant". This error tolerance surely comes from safe speed behaviour - when something goes wrong we can usually stop in good time.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2004 01:34 
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I have no problem with drivers letting rip in NSLs. But a problem that used to exist in the pre-camera era is a small but significant minority of experienced, capable drivers really letting rip in built-up areas. This is not 40 in a 30, this is 60+ in a (proper) 30.

Although it does not show up in the casualty stats, I believe the widespread introduction of cameras has made this group modify their behaviour.

It is naive to assume that all experienced drivers will behave responsibly. Some will not, therefore we need some form of enforcement.

In some locations, that should be clearly-marked cameras.

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


Last edited by PeterE on Thu Nov 04, 2004 16:56, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2004 20:52 
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SafeSpeed wrote:
PeterE wrote:
Roger wrote:
Safe speed in all conditions is instinctive to experienced drivers.

You are being unrealistically charitable there. There are large numbers of "experienced" drivers who choose to drive at highly unsafe speeds in urban areas where the road layout says one thing but the hazard density says another. Try driving in Manchester for a few days and you'll see what I mean. I would say only a small minority of drivers (<10%) have both the experience and the sense of responsibility to genuinely be able to select safe speeds in urban areas.

I don't think this makes sense at all (or maybe I'm not understanding your precise point).

It's a characteristic of the urban road environment that the safe speed is determined much more by the hazard density than by the actual configuration of the road. There are plenty of wide, straight roads that in a rural location would undoubtedly be safe for 60 or more, but in town clearly are not - although that is not to say that exceeding 30 is inherently unsafe.

Most drivers are saved in urban environments by their natural tendency to amble along at a comfortable 35 or so in 4th gear, but it is noticeable that many are slow to react to hazards where a lower speed may be appropriate. It is often said that the more skilled drivers will show a greater speed range, making brisker progress where safely possible, but driving more slowly where there are genuine hazards. The figure of 10% is a rough figure for the proportion who are good at doing this in urban environments, as opposed to those who creep about everywhere, or those who plough on regardless of hazards.

Quote:
I see anyone who's exceeding the safe speed for the circumstances as an accident waiting to happen. Our 3 million or so crashes each year is a very tiny number compared with the number of vehicle movements, so we know that the road safety system is "error tolerant". This error tolerance surely comes from safe speed behaviour - when something goes wrong we can usually stop in good time.

Yes, there is a large error tolerance built into the system. Therefore, if you do something that is 10 or 20 times more risky than the norm, you will still almost always be OK. But it is the combination of this kind of behaviour with unexpected events such as cars emerging from side roads without looking, or turning right across your path, or children running into the road, that leads to accidents. This has got a little off the point, but it is undoubtedly true that a significant minority of drivers do routinely push the envelope in this way in urban areas.

Regards,

Peter

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2004 21:13 
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Roger wrote:
In fact I think there are cases for both vehicle activated signs AND speed cameras, the latter a few tens of car lengths after the former, at certain specific places. however, these places really are few and far between.

Here's an example of where a clearly-marked camera (or indeed SPECS installation) might be appropriate. This is a hypothetical location, but very similar to some real-world ones I can think of.

There's a 40-limit village on a fast rural NSL A-road. It's in a dip, with a steepish climb out at one end, but the road is ruler-straight, so when entering the village you can see the NSL signs at the other end about half a mile away. There's a pub, church, shop, petrol station and about sixty houses, some of which are in a close turning off the main road. There's also a T-junction with a minor road near the village centre.

The highway authority have done all the things in their toolkit - erected prominent gateways saying "Little Snoring - Please Drive Carefully" under the 40 mph signs, put up speed-activated display signs that trigger at around 43, painted central hatching throughout the length of the village to make the road seem narrower, and built central refuges to prevent overtaking within the village limits.

The result is that average speed is about 35 mph, 85th percentile speed 43, which on the face of it seems like a good outcome. However, it is noticeable that about 2% of vehicles still pass through at over 60 mph, which, since there are 5,000 a day in each direction, is 100 a day. There have been a few crashes at the junction with the minor road which the police feel were at least partly due to excessive speed on the main road. Also, in one direction, a number of HGVs go through "on the limiter" as they wish to maintain momentum for the hill on the other side.

Every couple of months, the police have a blitz and pull over a number of offenders, but as this is done between the hours of 9 am and 5 pm on weekdays it fails to catch either the regular commuters or weekend leisure drivers/riders, so there is little effect on the level of offending.

Clearly the highway authority could kill the problem stone-dead by building a roundabout with a wide deflection in place of the T-junction, but the villagers might not appreciate the sound of HGVs grinding up and down the gearbox all day long. Might a camera be a better solution?

Regards,

Peter

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2004 00:20 
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PeterE wrote:
Also, in one direction, a number of HGVs go through "on the limiter" as they wish to maintain momentum for the hill on the other side.

.......

Clearly the highway authority could kill the problem stone-dead by building a roundabout with a wide deflection in place of the T-junction, but the villagers might not appreciate the sound of HGVs grinding up and down the gearbox all day long. Might a camera be a better solution?


Whichever way you cut it, if the HGVs have to slow down they will have to grind up and down the gearbox.

Quote:
erected prominent gateways saying "Little Snoring - Please Drive Carefully"

These always make me chuckle, ho wdo I drive carefully while reading all these extra signs?

I passed one such "prominent gateway" the other day. So many coundown signs and please drive both slowly and carefully signs that I had a hard time spotting where the actual limit started. A single set of 40 signs would have done the job perfectly well.

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central refuges to prevent overtaking within the village limits.

Prevent?

The small minority who are likely to overtake are not going to be put off by a central refuge. Believe me, I was a white van driver.

I have a very simple solution to your problem. Move the road away from the village.

Hold on you say, that won't bring in any money. :roll: And the same people complaining about the noise and the traffic will start complaining that the coutryside is being concreted over. :roll:


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2004 09:59 
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Homer wrote:
Whichever way you cut it, if the HGVs have to slow down they will have to grind up and down the gearbox.

But slowing from 56 to 40 on the edges of the village will create far less noise and disruption than slowing to and accelerating from 5 mph in the centre of the village.

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Quote:
erected prominent gateways saying "Little Snoring - Please Drive Carefully"

These always make me chuckle, how do I drive carefully while reading all these extra signs?

If we wish to encourage voluntary speed reductions where appropriate rather than enforcing it with cameras I would have thought putting the name of the village on the speed limit sign would be a good way of doing this, as it gives drivers a reason to slow down - provided that they can actually see a village at that point, of course.

And remember that in France, the sign with the village name is also the speed limit sign.

Quote:
Quote:
central refuges to prevent overtaking within the village limits.

Prevent?

The small minority who are likely to overtake are not going to be put off by a central refuge. Believe me, I was a white van driver.

A straight, 30-foot wide road with a single white line will see vastly more overtaking than one with a four-foot hatched strip down the centre and a central refuge every hundred yards.

Quote:
I have a very simple solution to your problem. Move the road away from the village.

Hold on you say, that won't bring in any money. And the same people complaining about the noise and the traffic will start complaining that the coutryside is being concreted over.

Even if desirable, in practical terms that is pie in the sky.

And a policy of bypassing every settlement on a classified road with over 50 people would (rightly) have 99.5% of the population complaining that the countryside was being concreted over.

I have to say that it does the campaign against the current "speed kills" policy no favours to have people apparently arguing that excessive speed over the posted limit is never actually a safety problem.

Regards,

Peter

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