Monday, 28 December 2009

More speed camera media froth

It is over a year since Swindon became the first town in the UK to scrap 'cash cow' speed cameras after claims that they are a 'blatant tax on the motorist.'

[In the same way that prosecuting shoplifters is a tax on shopping.]

It took the unprecedented decision to ditch fixed-point speed traps and end a constant flow of £60 speeding fines going to the Government.

And now it has emerged that since they were removed the number of motorists caught speeding in the Wiltshire borough has dropped by over 50 per cent.

Excitedly reports the Daily Mail. But when you think about, if there are no speed cameras, then you’d expect less drivers to be caught speeding.

The ones who are still caught are those nabbed by mobile cameras. Comparing the results of these two types of enforcement is meaningless, since no statistics are available for how much time is devoted to mobile enforcement.

The Mail’s insinuation that drivers are speeding less once speed cameras are removed is inherently absurd.

It also reports

Swindon’s Tory council scrapped all fixed speed cameras in October 2008

According to Swindon Borough Council, from August 1 2008 to 31 October 2008 there was one fatal and four 'slight injury' accidents on roads covered by the cameras.

From 1 August 2009 until 31 October 2009 there were six accidents - two described as 'serious' and four as 'slight'.

In other words, the crash rate increased - from five to six.