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 Post subject: Dangerous A77 SPECS
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2005 02:57 
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http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/hi/news/5041871.html

Confused drivers warned over A77 safety cameras

DRIVERS endangering other motorists by slowing to a crawl on one of Scotland's most dangerous roads were today urged to know their speed limits.
The call follows the introduction of controversial new average speed safety cameras on the A77, which have prompted confused motorists to cut their speed - by too much.
Hesitant drivers are being urged to study speed limits in the Highway Code and on the A77 safety group website.
The Speed Enforcement Camera System (Specs) - the first of its kind in Scotland - was launched last month on the Glasgow-Ayrshire road.
Forty cameras measure the time vehicles take to travel along various points of a 26-mile stretch of road and calculate their average speed.
The first a motorist will know they have been booked for speeding will be a statutory penalty notice in the post.
Specs is designed to cut deaths on one of Scotland's worst accident blackspots, with 20 deaths between January 2000 and December 2004.
The cameras - dubbed Yellow Vultures - go live this week but initial monitoring has revealed drivers are already slowing when they spot them.
Drivers who realise too late they are in a Specs zone often drastically cut their speed halfway along the route.
Motorists also slow for a number of miles to get their average speed down, causing hazards, delays and frustration.
Blair Wyllie, road safety officer for South Ayrshire Council and member of the A77 safety group, said drivers should be aware of speed limits.
He added: "For many motorists, a smooth and safe journey along the A77 is being interrupted by hesitant drivers who clearly do not know their speed limits.
"Such driving can be hazardous and may cause frustration to drivers following, leading to unsafe overtaking chances being taken.
"We urge people to brush up on the Highway Code."
The RAC Foundation called for improved signage, including advanced warning of a speed limit change.
Sue Nicholson, head of campaigns, said: "We suspected there'd be a problem with people worrying they had exceeded the speed in one area and slowing to compensate in another area.
"We back Specs but there is a lot of confusion and we need to beef up signage."
Neil Macgillivary, of the Strathclyde Safety Camera Partnership, ruled out increased signage, describing it as "complex".
He added: "You've got to know your speed limit."
The speed limit on the A77 varies from 30mph to 70mph.
Mark McArthur Christie, road safety officer with the Association of British Drivers, said all motorists should know their Highway Code.
He said: "Limits on the A77 are up and down, it's a difficult and complicated road.
"Better signage would help - but it shouldn't be needed."
Chief Inspector Paul Fleming, head of road policing specialist services, said: "All drivers must understand the speed limits for their type of vehicle and the type of road.
"If anyone is in doubt, they should read the Highway Code or visit www.highwaycode.gov.uk"
Specs will be assessed after a year and it could be extended to other accident blackspots.
=======================================

Safe Speed issued the following PR at 01:49 today:

PR225: A77 SPECS. Safety cameras are dangerous

News: for immediate release

Reports are flooding in about all sorts of careless and dangerous driver
behaviour caused by the flawed and misguided A77 SPECS speed camera scheme.

Paul Smith, founder of the Safe Speed road safety campaign
(www.safespeed.org.uk) said: "Road safety depends on drivers paying attention
to their surroundings and behaving courteously and predictably. Under the
threat of SPECS enforcement on the A77, drivers are behaving strangely and
unpredictably. Clearly they are concerned about the threat to their driving
licences. Safety takes a back seat. A77 specs must be abandoned immediately.
People are going to die because these cameras are dangerous."

"It should be quite obvious to anyone who has examined the subject that strict
speed limit compliance is a much lower safety priority than paying full
attention to immediate hazards - yet in the distorted world of the speed
camera the opposite is true."

"After 12 years of speed cameras, 12 million motorists fined and £700,000 of
fines the roads have not got safer. In fact there's absolutely no worthy
evidence that speed cameras save lives or serious injuries available anywhere.
And the government hasn't even begun to consider the huge side effects of the
infernal devices yet - although a research contract starts in September -
that's about 15 years too late."

"The DfT called a moratorium on approving further sites because their evidence
is shaky. That moratorium is nowhere near enough. Speed camera enforcement
must cease immediately - it's killing us.

<ends>

The authorities will no doubt say equivalent to: "People ought to drive
properly". Well, excuse me, but this is the real world and we have to work
with the full range of real driver behaviours. the way they 'should' drive
doesn't come into it. It's the way they DO drive that matters.

New article in Glasgow Evening Times:
"Confused drivers warned over A77 safety cameras"
http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/hi/news/5041871.html

Safe Speed PR on planned DfT research:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SafeSpeedPR/message/41

Safe Speed PR on the DfT's camera moratorium:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SafeSpeedPR/message/62
note: Does not apply in Scotland.

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 Post subject: Re: Dangerous A77 SPECS
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2005 08:29 
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SafeSpeed wrote:
The authorities will no doubt say equivalent to: "People ought to drive
properly". Well, excuse me, but this is the real world and we have to work
with the full range of real driver behaviours. the way they 'should' drive
doesn't come into it. It's the way they DO drive that matters.


Of course it is. Why are some people so stupid they can't see that - like JJ/Steve Callaghan insisting that drivers "should be able to monitor their speedo as often as they monitor their mirrors without adverse effect on driving".

The safety partnership twit makes the same mistake (from the Glasgow Evening Times article): "Tou've got to know your speed limit".

FFS! Have these people no reasoning ability at all?


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 Post subject: Re: Dangerous A77 SPECS
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2005 09:42 
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SafeSpeed wrote:
"Better signage would help - but it shouldn't be needed."
Chief Inspector Paul Fleming, head of road policing specialist services, said: "All drivers must understand the speed limits for their type of vehicle and the type of road.
"If anyone is in doubt, they should read the Highway Code or visit www.highwaycode.gov.uk"


And make sure you've got a tape measure, so you can get out and measure the distance between street lights. That is the only difference between 30 and 70mph.


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 Post subject: Re: Dangerous A77 SPECS
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2005 09:58 
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SafeSpeed wrote:
Safe Speed issued the following PR at 01:49 today:

PR225: A77 SPECS. Safety cameras are dangerous

..."After 12 years of speed cameras, 12 million motorists fined and £700,000 of fines the roads have not got safer.

Erm... Point of order Mr Chairman... That makes the fines work out at about 6p per shot... At that price, no wonder nobody's taking any notice! :)

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 Post subject: Re: Dangerous A77 SPECS
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2005 10:04 
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Quote:
Neil Macgillivary, of the Strathclyde Safety Camera Partnership, ruled out increased signage, describing it as "complex".

What the hell is "complex" about putting speed limit signs up? And if it is complex, there should be clear signage.
Quote:
He added: "You've got to know your speed limit."
The speed limit on the A77 varies from 30mph to 70mph.

Which looks like a very good case for adequate signage.

On the other hand, if most drivers haven't a clue what the speed limit is supposed to be on each stretch of road, it's going to be much more profitable for the partnership.

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 Post subject: Re: Dangerous A77 SPECS
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2005 10:28 
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pogo wrote:
SafeSpeed wrote:
Safe Speed issued the following PR at 01:49 today:

PR225: A77 SPECS. Safety cameras are dangerous

..."After 12 years of speed cameras, 12 million motorists fined and £700,000 of fines the roads have not got safer.

Erm... Point of order Mr Chairman... That makes the fines work out at about 6p per shot... At that price, no wonder nobody's taking any notice! :)


Oh BUM! - that's a typo - should be £700,000,000. No one else seems to have spotted it yet. Since the PR has long since been widely distributed, I'll keep my head down I think!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2005 10:31 
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SafeSpeed wrote:
"It should be quite obvious to anyone who has examined the subject that strict speed limit compliance is a much lower safety priority than paying full attention to immediate hazards - yet in the distorted world of the speed camera the opposite is true."

This is an excellent line, Paul :thumbsup: . Not quite compact enough for me to call it "soundbite" size (a bit like Kit-Kats, available in Regular, Chunky & Snack-size), but definitely a valuable, meaningful, self-contained statement that would be hard to argue against.

Now, where is that thread with all the other great nuggets in it, such as the classic about "speed limits being a useful slave but a hopeless master"? :typing:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2005 11:59 
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Apparently the A77 Safety Group have a web site with a Forum. Should we all go on there and 'put a bit if stick about'?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2005 12:34 
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I joined, but there doesn't appear to be any 'official' input at all, so it's a bit pointless really.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2005 12:43 
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supertramp wrote:
Now, where is that thread with all the other great nuggets in it, such as the classic about "speed limits being a useful slave but a hopeless master"? :typing:


It's a sticky here:
http://www.safespeed.org.uk/forum/viewforum.php?f=11

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2005 14:12 
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Cooperman wrote:
Apparently the A77 Safety Group have a web site with a Forum. Should we all go on there and 'put a bit if stick about'?


On Pistonheads they are saying that all the messages have been deleted.

What was there? Anyone know? CSCP forum all over again, but quicker to die?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2005 15:28 
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I've just noticed one of my pals from school is the Road Safety Officer, South Ayrshire Council, a very nice sensible chap but a member of the A77 safety group who talk a lot of rubbish. :oops:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2005 15:34 
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Actually here is a quote from him so maybe he's one of the good guys.

“The top four primary causes of accidents on the A77 include; failing to maintain a safe distance, overtaking improperly, misjudging distance and losing control, all of which could ultimately be attributed to driver frustration.

“The volume of traffic on the A77 is going to increase as we approach the summer months and we must urge motorists to drive with care and take into account when planning their journey that the road may be busier.

“We need to work together to bring down the number of accidents on the A77, most of which could be avoided. Engineering plans are underway to improve separate locations on the route but motorists driving must improve if we really want to see a difference.”


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2005 17:05 
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SafeSpeed wrote:
On Pistonheads they are saying that all the messages have been deleted.

What was there? Anyone know? CSCP forum all over again, but quicker to die?

Basically yes. When I visited the messages were all pointing out that speeding doesn't kill but bad driving does, and that these cameras were just going to make the driving on the road worse. What a surprise that the reports today appear to confirm that view.

There were also requests for information regarding accident numbers, causes etc but no sign of any official reply. Quite a lot of "Hello, is there anyone out there from the Safety Group to debate with?" posts which also went unanswered AFAIK.

I think, but can't be 100% sure, that the wording on the first page of the forum has changed too. IIRC, it used to say something along the lines of "use this forum to share ideas, ask questions etc" the gist of it now is "talk amongst yourselves, but don't ask any difficult questions here, email us instead where we can insult your intelligence in private" :roll:

From the forum home page:
Quote:
Please use this forum to discuss your ideas and ways you can contribute to a safer A77. Should you have any questions to ask the A77 Safety Group, or indeed any concerns, please do not post them on the forum, but email us: info@a77safetygroup.com


What a total waste of time.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2005 00:45 
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The thing that worries me most about what the Council is saying is that they appear to be reinforcing the view that a speed limit is a target to aim for rather than a speed limit. I see this as a very damaging view to promote for two reasons:

1. It encourages people to drive at a speed that might be too fast for their ability and conditions.

2. It encourages the setting of inappropriately low speed limits, due to the expectation that people will normally drive at the limit, rather than choosing an appropriate speed below that limit.


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 Post subject: Re: Dangerous A77 SPECS
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 16:16 
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Observer wrote:
Of course it is. Why are some people so stupid they can't see that - like JJ/Steve Callaghan insisting that drivers "should be able to monitor their speedo as often as they monitor their mirrors without adverse effect on driving".

And another point of order, they said nothing of the sort.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 16:25 
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JJ,

Out of interest, how often would you recommend that the average competant motorist checks his speedometer?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2005 11:33 
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Not too often, or it might reduce the amount of cash they collect and put their jobs at risk. Oh, their jobs are at risk already.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2005 12:04 
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He previously stated that anyone who needed to check their speedo more than once a minute shouldn't be on the road.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2005 12:15 
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civil engineer wrote:
He previously stated that anyone who needed to check their speedo more than once a minute shouldn't be on the road.

Well that would certainly keep the cash rolling in! :roll:

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