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Speeding tickets withdrawn after Cumbrian camera does not have annual check

More than 50 Cumbrian motorists who were told they would be fined for speeding have had their penalty notices withdrawn – because the camera which snapped them didn’t have its annual check.

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my friends and family avoid cumbria for caravan holidays and days out like the plague as the camera vans are too sneakily placed. maybe this is why cumbria has less and less visitors each year.

Posted by rob on 26 September 2012 at 20:51

I think that anything that can 'calm' traffic down and slow it down - especially where people live has to be a good thing. 20's
plenty where people live.

Posted by mark on 15 March 2012 at 16:19

I came across the following earlier today on the Cumbria Safety Cameras website:

'Cumbria Safety Cameras Operational Strategy

In 2003 the project started by monitoring 50 hotspots in the county that were identified by analysis of killed and serious injury clusters that matched corresponding locations where excessive speed had been recorded. The hotspots were monitored by a small fleet of safety camera vans and operated by the technicians on a scheduled basis.

In 2005 the county saw the two year roll-out of 12 static cameras at six sites at Salthouse Road, Barrow, the A591 at Ings, the A590 at Millside, the A595 at Howgate, the A65 at Kirkby Lonsdale and the A69 at Low Row.

With the ending of DfT control in 2007, Cumbria Safety Cameras introduced Random Road Watch, a route-based, operate-anywhere strategy which increased the number of sites monitored by the mobile cameras to more than 200. As a result of this killed or serious injury casualties were substantially reduced and the county came in under the Government's 2010 target three years early and in line with a predicted 35% drop in fatalities. Random Road Watch did away with the publication of site locations and the schedule of where the vans would be operating.'

There is then a link to the 200 odd sites they monitor, and then it continues:

'In 2008 Cumbria recorded its lowest number of fatalities for more than 20 years – 29 deaths – and in 2009 that total was further cut to 24 deaths. In both years the county saw reductions in serious and slight injury casualties.

The theory behind Random Road Watch is that by not notifying drivers of where the vans will be operating and increasing the number of sites there is an uncertainty factor which leads to greater compliance with speed limits, lower speeds and fewer collisions.'

Posted by Dan on 15 March 2012 at 15:24

Ian - some very reasoned, objective points there. Nicely put.

Posted by Creative on 12 March 2012 at 09:51

Eileen, Let's have fewer hysterical insults and more facts please. You're doing yourself and your cause no favours.

Now then:

You say that the vast majority of drivers manage to do so without getting booked for speeding. It may surprise you to learn that I too, am fortunate enough to have a clean licence. That could either mean that I never exceed the speed limit, or it could mean that the camera-based system is pretty ineffective. I'll leave you to make up your own mind as to which it might be.

You then go on to tell us how many people are or 6 or 9 points (mostly for speeding) - a truly staggering number, I must agree with you there! However, despite this, the death and serious injury rate on our roads continues to fall at about the same rate as it has been doing for a great many years. What does that tell you? What it SHOULD tell you is that speeding isn't the problem! We've got a HUGE proportion of the motoring public penalised, and for what? Even the insurance companies (arguably, the ones with the greatest financial incentive to reduce accidents) increasingly just laugh at speeding points! 3 points? No problem. Doesn't make any difference to the likelihood of a claim. Hardly any insurers load the premium for three points! Six points? Well, some insurers will, not all. Above 6 points, most will. (Although, I suppose it could be argued that anyone getting done that many times has poor observation skills (probably a more dangerous thing than exceeding the speed limit)! As you say, how dumb is that?!

As you might imagine, I cnsider myself to be "part of the anti-camera lobby" (though I haven't actually done any lobbying), and I can assure you that i don't "patronise and belittle" motorists who drive within the speed limit. I believe that every motorist has a duty to drive within their (and their vehicle's) limits. If, for some people, in some conditions, that happens to be below the speed limit, we're both happy. If it's above the speed limit, I'm still happy.

You then get to quote some figures (without citing where they came from) and don't waste an opportunity to call me a liar. That's not a nice thing to do on a public forum. Still, as you've promised that what you've posted "isn't the half of it", I except there's more to come? In the meantime, What I said was that the vast majority of accidents occur within the speed limit. I never mentioned 5%, but clearly it's a figure you expected me to come out with? The figures you have posted (so I assume you believe them?) Quote speed as a FACTOR (not a CAUSE) in only 5% of collisions where an inury occurs. You then emphasise that it is recorded as a factor in 14% of fatal accidents. Well, even disregarding your "cherry-picking" of the largest number, I stand by what I said. I'm sorry but by any measure you care to apply, the remaining 86% IS "the vast majority".

Feel free to post "the rest" if you feel it worth continuing the debate, but I'd appreciate it if you could leave out the insults and slander, please.

Finally, I can assure you that I think I am probably more concerned than most about the carnage on our roads. I work in the field of vehicle safety. As an engineer, I try to be objective and dispassionate about how the best improvements in road safety can be made and pursue those. I'm afraid that even using your own figures, speed limit compliance is some way down my list.

Posted by Ian on 12 March 2012 at 01:17

@ Markus: Cashcows? So people are forced to speed are they?

One of the main criticisms the anti-camera lobby make of speed cameras is that speeders just slow down for them and then speed up again, and the obvious solution to deter them from doing that is to use mobile cams covertly. If the speeders never know where or when they may get caught, they are much more likely to stay within the limits most of the time. But you just keep saying what you say Markus, even if it is completely nonsensical.

Re the 14% Creative, as you are well aware I added that THAT isn't even half the story. But even if it was only 14% - which it isn't - THAT is some three times more than the anti-camera lobby would have people believe, but you have nothing to say about that of course.

If you had taken the time to read my post properly Creative, then what you would 'understand correctly' is that the 14% is only part of the picture, and that I am going to complete the picture in due course. Oh, and please do elaborate re black boxes!

Posted by Eileen on 12 March 2012 at 00:48

@ Eileen

I really don't understand your repeated crusade against and emphasis on speed as a single entity. Are you really trying to tell us that 80mph on a motorway, under ideal conditions is in itself, mortally dangerous?! And more so, practically speaking than 70mph? If so, there must be millions of us dying every day on UK motorways!

If I understand you correctly, you quote that 14% of fatal accidents have excess speed as a factor, yet I'd say that's pretty low - turn that around and you can say "86% of fatal accidents did not have excess speed as a factor".

All of a sudden you HAVE to address other possibilities which are so often overlooked by people like yourself. You seem to be conveniently overlooking the often apalling driver standards in this country. Few people in the UK take pride in the art of driving, where it is considered cool to be feckless "oh I can't park for toffee", for instance.

Also you openly advocate GPS tracker units, cameras and black boxes? Be careful what you proles wish for....

Posted by Creative on 11 March 2012 at 13:18

I have always said,and always will say, these things are just a cash cow.
Reasoning, If these things are called ..Safety camera vans, acting under the name of Cunbria safety partnership,correct.!!
then why doo they hide round a corner, over a hill, this IS NOT going to stop a speeder, as THEY have already been speeding.

the Vans should be placed in a visable place, at least a mile away, with big lights flashing,very luminous sign works, and then any one who is going to speed,will see them,and so not speed.
those that doo, well fair cop, they had a good warning.

nothing wrong with them, IF, they are put in the right place and not hidden.
and 150 yards in my mind is still hidden, which is what the rules say.

Posted by Markus on 11 March 2012 at 09:29

@Creative: It might come as a big surprise to you, but believe it or not the majority of people who drive manage to do so without getting booked for speeding. The reality is that there is a large minority of motormorons who get done for speeding again and again and again. I mean how dumb is that!

There are more than a million people who have six or nine penalty points (nearly all from speeding), and tens of thousands more who have hit the jackpot and been banned (hundreds of thousands over a period of years!). As for "competent drivers" - one of which you no doubt regard yourself as - there are a whole load of nutters on the road who regard themselves as competent drivers! They are the ones who end up killing and crippling and maiming people in their thousands each and every year.

One of the more odious tactics of the anti-camera lobby is to patronise and belittle people who drive within the limits........ No, Creative, you don't have to be perfect, just someone who is careful and cautious and considerate! Just listen to yourself: "....some of us have lives to live...."! How arrogant and obnoxious! The sooner it is mandatory for all vehicles to be fitted with black boxes and forward facing cameras the better; then we won't have to listen to the lies and illogical - 'speed cameras are just revenue earners' - whinging nonsense of the anti-camera fraternity anymore!

NB I 'penned' the above late last night with the intention of posting it today, but before I do, I must just briefly respond to Ian and another poster. Ian says - in response to my previous post: "Eileen, Do, please dig out the figures and let's have a serious discussion about this!". "A serious discussion"! That's very rich coming from somebody who in effect told a double lie, and a potentially lethal one at that - ie that only a small percentage of collisions are caused by people speeding, and then, to reinforce THAT, says that "they" - the figures - are "publicly available".

The anti-camera lobby often use this tactic, and usually refer to a figure of 5%, and that the figure is from the Government's - or DfT's - own stats. Well it is! But it is totally misleading. Here are the full stats for 'Exceeding speed limit':

Fatal injury collisions - 14%

Serious injury collisions - 7%

Slight injury collisions - 4%

All injury collisions - 5%

There is much more to it than just the above stats, and I will cover that in full in my next post, but as you can see, the 5% is in respect of 'All injury collisions'! And my point is this: If you were even remotely concerned about road safety and the five or six thousand people who are killed and crippled and maimed and permanently braindamaged on our roads each year, which of the above figures would you cite! Would you cite the 5% figure as the ironically-named Safe Speed does over and over and over again (for some reason - which I'm sure she will explain - Claire Armstrong refers to 6% in her post), as does the pompous sounding Association of British Drivers, and not forgetting Pistonheads. Go to any forum or comments page relating to speed cameras and there you will find posters disseminating this lie, because that is what it is in effect (and I haven't explained the half of it yet!).

If you were concerned about road safety and the carnage and the mostly untold suffering and unbearable pain that goes with it, would you endlessly be trying to play down the effects of speeding?

Posted by Eileen on 10 March 2012 at 15:45

Motorways are the safest roads and have less accidents than rural or urban roads. Perhaps Mr Tea should take that into account when thinking of where to place his cameras, after all speed cameras on motorway bridges are doing nothing whatsoever to protect pedestrians or cyclists.

Posted by K Graham on 10 March 2012 at 08:03

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