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 Post subject: Against Cameras
PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2004 06:40 
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This topic relates to the Safe Speed page: "Against Cameras".

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

The Safe Speed page sets out the main case against speed cameras.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2005 19:07 
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I've received a 6,000 word Word document regarding this page. It's here:
http://www.safespeed.org.uk/heavey.doc


This was the email:

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Road Safety Cameras
Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2005 17:20:35 -0000
From: "Thomas Heavey" <tom@heavey19thhole.fsnet.co.uk>
To: <psmith@safespeed>, "Paul Smith" <psmith@safespeed.org.uk>




Dear Paul

Just thought you'd like to read a report I am currently publishing.

Tom.
--------------------------------------

I note that the document's "Company" field is "Staffordshire Police".

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2005 19:31 
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Have the police got this addicted to doing paperwork?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2005 23:07 
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Well, first impressions are that Mr Heavey appears to have put a lot of consideration into this report. I certainly wouldn't disagree with some of the things he asserts.
However, bearing in mind the bodies he intends to send it to, he'd have been best advised to employ a proof reader to iron out the typos, grammatical howlers and obvious mis-match between the dates posted at the head and foot of the document. Lack of attention to simple detail often diminishes the impact of the body of the report.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2005 23:54 
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Mr Heavey wrote:
Since their inception they have successfully prevented the deaths of over 1200 men women and children, and they have also prevented the serious injury of over 10,000 more. This comes as a saving to the economy of £2.2 billion. In contrast to the £150m they have so far cost to install, the only conclusion anyone can arrive at is that they are nothing less than an overwhelming success.

So every life saved is due to cameras and of course has nothing to do with improved vehicle safety or medical procedures.

Where does he get these figures from and how can he attribute them directly to the introduction of "Safety" Cameras?

Mr Heavey wrote:
With these safety devices having been paid for by our higher risk driver they have not yet cost the tax payer one single penny.

I think the 1,000's of drivers in the 85th percentile who have been booked for minor speeding offences which were in no way unsafe might disagree with this statement.

Mr Heavey wrote:
Excessive or inappropriate speed makes a contribution to all road traffic collisions. In some cases it will certainly be the sole cause of the collision. But in all cases it is the factor that determines the severity of the collision and the damage inflicted.

Which cannot be measured by a camera.

Mr Heavey wrote:
The reasons why we there have been improvements in engineering has been seriously overlooked. Medical care will always improve as new methods, technologies and cures are developed. This should have no bearing what-so-ever on road traffic casualties. Our medical profession have the job of cleaning up the mess that motorists make. If they manage to save a life because of advancement, then great. But the simple fact is that even if more people survive a collision they will have still suffered and may continue to suffer for the rest of their lives.

Other than the first sentence making no sense whatever, what is he trying to say? That medical advancements have no effect on the road toll? That maybe we should let more people die because they might have to suffer?

Sorry, but I gave up reading at this point. I'm sure the rest was about as pointless as the first bit was...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2005 02:22 
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I've read it a couple of times now, and I can safely say he's not found a flaw in my work. The degree of carelessness and prejudice is typified by the following:

"The term ‘Speed Camera’ has been used throughout this report, but only when reference has been made to comments made within ‘Speed Cameras – The Case Against’. Where I have entered my own dialogue I have referred to them by their correct name of ‘Road Safety Cameras’. When reading this report please take both expressions to mean the same thing."

He's wrong, of course. The official excuse for the term "safety camera" is to include both speed and red light cameras. Since red light cameras are outside of the scope of both documents (mine and his), the only reason for replacing the term is to display prejudice.

The following email exchange has taken place:

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: Road Safety Cameras
Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2005 17:33:21 +0000
From: Paul Smith <psmith@safespeed.org.uk>
Organization: Safe Speed
To: Thomas Heavey <tom@heavey19thhole.fsnet.co.uk>
References: <001901c4f801$dd3f85c0$e21f4e51@default>

Hi Tom,

I've had a quick read, and most of your points appear to be misunderstanding.

Why don't you give me a ring, and I'll be absolutely delighted to explain a
few things. I think you'll be amazed.

I'm on 01862 832000.

Paul Smith
--------------------------------------------------

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Invitation
Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2005 21:47:27 -0000
From: "Thomas Heavey" <tom@heavey19thhole.fsnet.co.uk>
To: "Paul Smith" <psmith@safespeed.org.uk>

Paul,
Thanks for the kind invitation, but I feel that I must decline the offer of a phone call.
I have just read the article on 'Lower Speeds Mean Less Time To React' and find that this also just reinforces what I have said in my
report. I shall look forward to reading the rest of the 'Safe Speed' web site.
Regards
Tom..
-------------------------------------------

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: Invitation
Date: Wed, 12 Jan 2005 00:02:35 +0000
From: Paul Smith <psmith@safespeed.org.uk>
Organization: Safe Speed
To: Thomas Heavey <tom@heavey19thhole.fsnet.co.uk>
References: <003801c4f827$3724fb40$551f4e51@default>

Hi Tom,

As you wish.

Your report is full of misunderstandings which weakens it considerably. I was
offering to help because it's important that we dig down to the truth in road
safety. I'd be absolutely delighted if you found anything wrong with my work.
I've read your report and I'm pretty sure you haven't.

At one point you say: "This whole section I will not even attempt at this
stage to comment upon. I don't mind admitting that I do not understand any of
it and I will not pretend that I do so. Much of the earlier claims are based
on this evidence. If it is as inept as the earlier majority of the report then
commenting on it is largely unimportant."

That's very wrong. The information is accurate and important. You NEED to
understand it.

Have you read Professor Stone's response?
http://www.safespeed.org.uk/stone.html

You might also find the audio clips on the Radio 4 web site interesting.
(Linked from that same page)

Paul Smith
-----------------------------

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2005 03:25 
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Some common ground there, but some of it... :roll: Aside from the straw men, assertions, opinions, assumptions, irrelevancies and ignoring anything that doesn't fit in with the camera credo, there're my personal favourites so far:
Quote:
The country is certainly not yet infested with Safety Cameras. They have been placed, as explained earlier in areas of necessity.
<snip>
In conclusion to this section of the report, the infestation of cameras should continue until they take control of the current danger presented to all of our road users by unsafe speeds.
Er, so the country is not infested but the infestation should continue :?. Gotta love it when people attack their own argument. :mrgreen:

Quote:
The reasons why we there have been improvements in engineering has been seriously overlooked. Medical care will always improve as new methods, technologies and cures are developed. This should have no bearing what-so-ever on road traffic casualties.
What? Improved medical care has no bearing on casualties? Of course it does. How can you ignore something that has resulted in improved figures simply because it ain't a camera? If someone claimed that medical care for soldiers should have no bearing on Army casualties in Iraq you'd order them a rubber taxi to the nearest funny farm. Hang on a mo, though, what's this?
Quote:
Regarding our engineers, they to are doing their part to reduce the number of casualties created on our roads. The creation of ABS, side impact bars, air bags, crush zones and pedestrian friendly bonnets and windscreens. Fantastic innovations which have certainly played their part in reducing the numbers of people killed or injured.
Okay, so casualty reduction from improved vehicle design counts, but not improved medical care? Because we got the better design as an indirect result of driving so badly? :wink: Yeah, right.

Quote:
The collisions that they have been involved in few may be attributed to excessive speed. A great many more will certainly have been attributed to inappropriate speed.
The difference between excessive and inappropriate being ...? I can see inappropriate as meaning either too fast or too slow, but AFAIAC an excessive speed is, by definition, inappropriate.

Love the bit about accident frequency data where he works out a 0.78% chance of a driver having an injury in a given year, and from that comes up with a 35% chance over 45 years of driving. Sounds like Mr Heavey has never come across the expression "dice have no memory".

No epiphany here. Mr Heavey's arguments are a lot less convincing than Robert Gifford's.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2005 04:41 
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Another gem or two.
Quote:
It is known that within road safety circles the exact level is not known. Estimates have ranged from 7% - 30%. It would be fair to conclude that the actual figure lies somewhere in between.
That's from the same person who wrote that he believes it's all collisions. Not exactly consistent.

BTW I have a big problem with his belief that inappropriate speed is a contributory factor, or sometimes even the sole cause, of each and every crash. Clearly it's a factor in that stationary vehicles never hit anything, but beyond that it's nonsense. What about mechanical failure? Or unseen debris causing control loss (think of a thin sheet of perspex or a diesel spill on a wet motorway carriageway in the middle of the night)? Both unusual, but they happen. However, Mr Heavey's assertion that it's always speed to blame leaves no room for this. Now, either we redefine "appropriate speed" to take account of such events and trickle along at 10mph everywhere in case the brakes go or something, or we redefine "all RTCs" to exclude them. Speed is always a factor in severity, but Mr Heavey is talking about causes and contributory factors.

Quote:
And finally, the report ?Speed Cameras ? The Case Against? has been extremely selective in the statistical information that it refers to.
So ignoring return to mean effects isn't being selective?

Quote:
The report even calls for the complete cessation of safety camera activity pending a full scientific investigation. Thankfully this will never happen. The authorities will never risk the lives of hundreds of innocents to satisfy the whim of a disgruntled motorist. In face a better method to prove the effectiveness of road safety cameras is to promote a massive increase in their numbers. This would then give a clear indication as to their effectiveness without any cost in human suffering..
Actually he's quite right about that. Sticking loads more cameras up would test both arguments as effectively as tearing them down. If it happens I intend to see what happens from a suitably safe distance. Some of those little islands west of New Zealand should do. :wink:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2005 20:42 
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I take it this guy doesn't have any sort of official position. The 'report' reads like some GCSE English homework, and is so full of blatant bias, inaccuracy and contradiction I don't think there's any point even responding to specific points.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2005 03:39 
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The author being "user" and the company being "Staffordshire Police" is interesting by no means certain evidence of where it came from.

In the file is the embedded filename:

C:\My Documents\Toms\Road Safety\A response to Speed Cameras - The Case Against.doc

This looks like a Windows 95/98/Me machine - the vast majority of police computers would be NT/2000/XP and documents would be stored on a network drive or "C:\Documents and Settings\[user]\".

My guess is it's a student's essay and Staff. Police is a red herring.

Gareth


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2005 13:47 
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The only question to ask him is if Speed cams save lives why was there a huge increase in fatalities on Staffordshire's roads in 2003? There are more people dying here than ever before even though the county is infested with speed cams, mobile cameras and other traffic harming measures.

Perhaps he ought to consider the effect of removing traffic police in the giant increase in uninsured, drugged, drunk and criminal driving which is the real cause of the increase in fatalities.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2005 21:19 
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g_attrill wrote:
This looks like a Windows 95/98/Me machine - the vast majority of police computers would be NT/2000/XP and documents would be stored on a network drive or "C:\Documents and Settings\[user]".

My guess is it's a student's essay and Staff. Police is a red herring.

I think you've jumped to conclusions there. Every PC out of the several I use is XP or 2K and attached to a network. By default, every application will first prompt to save to the My Docs directory, there's nothing you can assume from that path, IMO.

Indeed, 99% of our office PCs will contain some docs in that directory, despite being XP Pro and on the network - and all laptops will obviously have to save locally whilst out and about.

Having said that, the report certainly smacks of a school report or similar, so I'm not saying you're wrong, just that you can't assume what you've stated from a simple filepath.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2005 14:05 
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CarlP wrote:
I think you've jumped to conclusions there. Every PC out of the several I use is XP or 2K and attached to a network. By default, every application will first prompt to save to the My Docs directory, there's nothing you can assume from that path, IMO.


You're right about being prompted to save stuff in My Docs on 2K/XP systems, but note where the My Docs folder is on those systems - it isn't in the root of C:\... I'm with Gareth here, it does look more as if this file was generated on a Win 9x based system. I'm not so sure I agree with his conclusion that working on a 9x system rules out it being a police system, however.


Quote:
Indeed, 99% of our office PCs will contain some docs in that directory, despite being XP Pro and on the network


Are you actually saying that your XP systems have a C:\My Documents folder? None of the 2000/XP systems I've used have one.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2005 17:13 
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Twister wrote:
Are you actually saying that your XP systems have a C:\My Documents folder? None of the 2000/XP systems I've used have one.

Yeah, you're right of course, 2k onwards has always created its My Docs directory under Documents & Settings. :oops:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2005 18:29 
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Tom Heavey wrote:
My report is based on twenty years of experience, my own research, common sense, 15 years experience as a practising advanced driver and 5 years observing driver behaviour and skills as a Driving Instructor.


It is unlikely that the "Staffordshire Police" property of the file is fabricated. The author doesn't claim to be police or ex-police so my guess is he's a police civilian worker (ex-driving instructor) and started drafting this 'in the office'.

It is, unfortunately, extremely poorly reasoned and some of his assertions are simply astonishing - for example:

Quote:
If the average driver maintained the standard they had on passing the driving test then we would have casualty levels of 90-95% less than they are today.


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