Latest Speed Camera News

Way back in the mists of time we warned of big increases in the number of speedtraps on British roads, well the increase that occurred, it appears, is just not enough to satisfy the so called Safety Camera Partnerships.

According to the Daily Telegraph 21 of the 33 so called 'safety camera partnerships' who responded to their survey have said that they will be increasing the number of speed cameras in their designated areas. Overall the numbers could mean up to a 50% increase in cameras on our roads.
In alignment with the newer technology rather than the old type of Gatso camera which had a film that could run out and needed to be changed, the new ones will all have digital speed cameras alongside the radar speed detector. The digital camera serves 2 purposes: it provides visible evidence of a vehicle travelling at a certain speed due to the white lines on the road and it also gives the control centre a means to identify a car via the registration number.
with the new digital camera technology this of course means that an image can instantly be sent to the control centre where it will be processed and the letter of intended prosecution could be sent immediately, making the process far more efficient and of course far more profitable for the scamera partnership.
Some of the camera partnerships have even admitted that they expect to make more money using the new cameras. The increase of upto 50% is due to happen in the next 12 months.
Apparently this increase in cameras is down to the camera partnerships wanting to make more money out of the motorist, as the government have distanced themselves from the increase. Transport Minister Stephen Hammond commented to the Daily Telegraph "It is for local authorities and police to decide whether or not to use speed cameras and how they wish to operate them,"....."However, we do not believe that cameras should be used as the default solution in reducing accidents, nor as a way of raising revenue."

And here's the punchline.........Not only will there be 50% more cameras on the roads but the speeding fine is set to increase from £60 to £90.

Police and local authorities in England are being told by the Government to publish figures about the use and impact of speed cameras. Site by site statistics from 1990 onwards are to be published by 20th July. The statistics will include numbers of people killed or seriously injured as well as all personal injuries. Information about the speeding offences and punishments will also be published. Road safety minister Mike Penning said "If taxpayers' money is being spent on speed cameras, then it is right that information about their effectiveness is available to the public. This will help to show what impact cameras are having on road safety and also how the police are dealing with offenders."

In a recent news release it was reported that Ireland is rolling out a new privatised mobile speed camera system. The new network will monitor 600 problem areas and will cost 65 million Euros. The new vans which are clearly marked will patrol the 600 problem areas including 60 in Dublin. The 5 year 65 million Euro deal is with the GoSafe consortium, so that's 13 million Euros a year, a nice deal for the group at a time when Ireland has suffered economically, .

Denbighshire Free Press informs us that 84 people have been killed on North Wales roads in just 2 years and a further 760 were seriously injured. It also states that the latest Department of Transport figures show that there has been an increase in the number of people killed since last year, that's 41 to 43. There was also in increase in the number of people seriously injured from 348 to 412.
In all there has been an increase in deaths, serious injuries and minor injuries from 2,672 to 2,773. The increase in the figures of deaths, serious and minor injuries seems to be at odds with the strict speed enforcement that has become famous in North Wales. Is it possible that the speed of cars wasn't really the area of road safety that should have been so strongly targetted, maybe it's driver training and education that should have been targetted so heavily.

Britain's former top traffic cop, Meredydd Hughes, has been banned from driving for 42 days after admitting speeding at 90mph in a 60 zone. The chief constable for South Yorkshire was caught by a speed camera in North Wales during his holiday in May. He pleaded guilty through his solicitor at Wrexham Magistrates’ Court this morning and was fined £350. He did not appear in person. The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) said after details of the offence emerged that Hughes was to step down from his role as head of roads policing. He remains in the post according to ACPO’s website.

Richard Brunstrom upsets the family of a motorcyclist

North Wales Chief Constable Richard Brunstrom has yet again upset members of the society that he purports to protect. This time by showing images of a dead motorcyclist at a closed conference with journalists. The images showed the head of a motorcyclist(40-year-old Mark Gibney) still in it's helmet with eyes open following an accident on a bend on the B5105 between Cerrigydrudion and Ruthin in 2003.

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Speeding drivers to be offered courses

These courses are designed to alter attitudes towards speeding. Some drivers who are caught speeding are to be offered a training course rather than receiving points on their licences. They are designed to improve driving skills, attitudes and behaviour, the classroom and practical sessions are being launched by Hertfordshire County Council.

A six-hour course is to be offered, costing £100 and this replaces the £60 fixed penalty fine and three penalty points on the licence.

Hertfordshire Police have commissioned the council's road safety unit to run the training, which is by police invitation only.

Councillor Stuart Pile said: "We are pleased to have been chosen to run this course and are confident that it will impact on driving habits and reduce the number of speeding drivers across the county."

UK: Haywire Speed Camera Flashes the Innocent
In Cumbria a UK speed camera certified as accurate a few months ago has been sending tickets to innocent motorists.

The speed camera situated in the South Lakeland area of Cumbria had been flashing motorists who were driving at or under the 40 MPH speed limit. The camera partnership responsible for operating the device had recognized the problem only after innocent motorists called to protest the unjust charges. The Cumbria Speed Camera Partnership now says it will not prosecute motorists for driving the speed limit and claims none have been wrongly ticketed.

"The flash on this type of camera is allowed to be set at a different speed to the speed of the penalty threshold," Cumbria Partnership Manager Steve Callaghan explained.

On March 1, 2006 the company RedSpeed International, Ltd. had certified that the device located on the A591 at Ings was 100 percent accurate. RedSpeed is not an independent testing laboratory without a financial stake in the results. Rather, according to the company's website, "Our main function is to market the RedSpeed range of traffic related equipment for traffic law enforcement."

A man has been acquitted of speeding on the grounds that the form/document used by the police couldn't be guaranteed to have been issued by the police. This is a technicality that could affect a huge number of speeding cases.

Judge Bowers acquitted Dr William Dehany on appeal against a speeding conviction, this week at Teeside Crown Court. Critical defects in the prosecutions case was that the 'section 172' request form (notice to owner requiring him to identify the driver at the time of the alleged offence) could not be determined to have been issued on behalf of the Chief Constable of the local police force. This is a fatal defect on behalf of the police which renders prosecution impossible.

Evidence was also presented at the hearing stating the same form has been used since 2000.

Commentators on the matter have said defects in speeding prosecution cases are far too commonplace. Anyone convicted in Cleveland since 2000 on the basis of the above faulty procedure should now apply to have their fines refunded, any licence points removed and in many cases compensated for consequential losses.

Costs for these kinds of mistakes by the Police force could run into millions of pounds. As authorities are enforcing technical regulations against the motorist, motorists are fighting back and enforcing technical regulations against the authorities. In this insane situation of technical regulations, road safety has seemingly been forgotten.

An expert witness in the case, Richard Bentley said: "This is one part of a symphony of errors present in Cleveland enforcement. The Judge has ruled correctly on a critical defect that has implications running into tens of millions of pounds."

Dr William Dehany said: "I did it for the common man and for justice for motorists everywhere."

A speed camera on the M62 at Ferrybridge, West Yorkshire is reported to have raised over £1 million and caught 18,000 drivers speeding over a period of 18 months. Located in on the M62 motorway, the speed limit was temporarily lowered from 70mph to 50mph whilst road works where undertaken. Motorists caught by the Gatso device where charged £1,088,000 in fines.

A spokesman for the Association of Chief Police Officers, Ian Bell, is reported to have said that "Britain's roads need some 1,000 more cameras".
That's another 16 per cent increase over the increases over the past couple of years which have seen speedtraps triple in some areas.

Local authorities are targeting the M4 from Wednesday 13th April 2005 with mobile speed cameras.

"One day soon we'll all get a speed ban."
In an article by Jonathan Leake in the Daily Telegraph he reports on a study carried out by Rose Baker who is a professor of statistics at Salford University, the research paper was published in Mathematics Today. The study shows that due to the increase in speed cameras around the country the average driver will face a ban every 15 years. In a drivers lifetime that could be 3 or 4 times. It also shows that the average driver will get a speeding ticket every 2 years.

This was the headline on the front page of the Manchester Evening News in an article by Brian Lashley of the M.E.N., the story was also featured in BBCs regional news, reporting that coroner John Pollard had said that "The Gatso can distract the driver. The driver could momentarily be distracted and concentrate on their speed instead of the road."
The camera on High lane in Stockport could have been one factor which contributed to the tragic death of Myra Nevett a retired school bursar on 16th December 2003. Part of the evidence to support this came from PC Michael Jeffrey who said that "they do tend to draw a driver's attention away from other areas and they concentrate on their speed, making sure they are not exceeding the speed limit."
The speed camera it must be said was only one factor that could have contributed to the unfortunate incident, poor street lighting was another.

According to recent news reports cats eye speedtraps are now with us on test on the M8.

It has been reported that in Somerset 12 out of the county's 50 speed cameras have been targeted by vandalism. The latest being the first ever speed camera to be vandalised using dynamite. This was near Emborrow.

On the Tonight programme hosted by Trevor MacDonald the speedtrap detector subject was hotly debated by various people including Ernie Harbon who was jailed for refusing to pay a speeding fine, his offence was 38 in a 30 zone. Because of the open road layout and lack of serious hazards poor Ernie wrongly assumed that it was a 40 zone, so it would seem that at 38mph he thought that he was being a law abiding citizen. That stretch of road has no 30 mph speed limit signs. When Richard Bentley (an independent expert) was consulted, he agreed that that type of road would normally be a 40 zone. Ernie was given the prisoner number JH7915 and locked up with murderers and drug addicts for his crime against society.

Other comments came from Steve Walsh a former traffic cop who supplied evidence that some speed traps have monthly revenue targets that they have to attain. He also said that there is an imbalance between the way that a bad motorist is treated for dangerous driving who may kill or injure somebody and a normally conscienscous driver who strays over the speed limit in seemingly safe conditions. He did say that he supports speed cameras in the right areas. He also went on to say that some speeding convictions are based on spurious radar readings and that this is very common, especially when Rover 2000s, high sided vehicles or Transit vans with roller shutter doors are involved at the time a Gatso camera is activated. One speeding offence seemed to be over 400mph.

One individual interviewed had the title Captain Gatso and is a self styled Gatso vigilante, if he spots a Gatso camera in an area where he doesn't believe it is necessarry and is there purely to collect revenue he may damage it in some way, and there are plenty of supporters in his efforts.

Quentin Wilson also spoke out against the innappropriate sighting of speedtraps and commented that we haven't seen this sort of civil defiance since the Poll Tax.

On the Radio 2 Jeremy Vine show, Peter Wilby editor of the New Statesman, said that speeding motorists are committing an offence the same as somebody who kills their wife, commits a rape or is a paedophile.

The government is contemplating adding a surcharge to any offence including motoring offences such as speeding. The surcharge will be put towards support for victims of crime.