I received a parking ticket recently. ‘No parking’ cones were put on the pavement after I moved off. Naturally I challenged the ticket and I will let you know how I fared. Related to this I came across a newspaper article written by Patrick Hennessy, political editor of the Telegraph. The heading was “Police told to stop milking drivers”. The new “transparency” move launched recently has revealed the vast sums taken from drivers. The Freedom of Information laws now force authorities to show whether cameras are used for saving lives or merely cash raisers. With at least one camera raising over £1,000,000 per year one might suspect that some degree of cheating has been going on. Mike Penning, the road safety minister said “We want to stop motorists being used as cash cows. For too long information about speed cameras has been hidden in the shadows. This new data will end that by clearly showing whether a camera is saving lives or just making money”
I mentioned my doubts about moneybox speed cameras in my blog April 2004. I am surprised that it has taken over seven years for legislation to be introduced so this shady practice to be brought to light.
I am not against speed cameras placed to save life. No thinking person would say otherwise. I am pleased, however, how the new ‘open government’ initiative has permitted us to ensure that motorists will be treated fairly.
From 20 July you will be able to access details on the number of speed traps in your area, the fines they generate and the accident statistics at the sites. See the Department for Transport website. www2.dft.gov.uk/pgr/statistics/
In October 2004 and in earlier blogs I commented on the perceived view that speed cameras save lives. I stated that this was contrary to the evidence which showed an increase in the number of pedestrians injured or killed co-incident with the introduction of cameras. I have been infuriated by officials who seem blind to this fact. Do these people hold driving licenses?
If you scroll down to my blog October 2010 “The End of the War on Motorists” you would see that I confidently predicted a reduction in road deaths when cameras were switched off. I was correct. Figures released this month show a reduction of 14% in road deaths between July and September 2010 bringing the total carnage in the twelve months before September to below 2,000. – the lowest since records began!
This is pretty conclusive evidence that cameras have been installed at inappropriate sites, presumably to generate revenue.
Progress – of a sort
This picture appeared in my Blog August 2010. – the 1934 futuristic looking Tatra with a Cd of 0.20. The shape was dictated to allow a high cruising speed.
VW recently unveiled the concept XL1 with a Cd 0.19. The ultra modern looking shape reduces fuel consumption
70 years later we have reduced the Cd by just 0.01. I am keeping my fingers crossed that when the car makes production the engineers prevail over the designer duckies. Adding drag inducing ‘design features’ would make the car look like a tart at a wrestling match
A number of authorities have reduced or ended their reliance on speed cameras, Proponents of these devices have predicted carnage on the road as motorists push their cars and their abilities to the limit knowing they can do so without putting their driving license in certain jeopardy.
My experience shows that drivers are frightened by cameras. They constantly search above the road for the devices and down again to the dashboard to check their speed. It was no wonder that pedestrian casualties rose when cameras were introduced.
My prediction will be that “Fewer pedestrians will be killed in areas where cameras are known to have been de-activated”.
Also in the news is the temporary abolition of the M4 London bus lanes also used by motor cyclists, taxis and VIP’s. Let us hope that the traffic moves more efficiently. This link leads to the history of the bus lane – http://www.cbrd.co.uk/indepth/m4buslane/