Another council appears to shun the speed camera system. Speed cameras are a common enough sight throughout the UK road network and as a nation I suspect we are all accustomed to their presence in built up areas and rural alike. In the last handful of years with the continuing development and introduction of the ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) technology, and the new generation of fixed speed cameras it was beginning to feel that I spent as much time looking to the side of the road for cameras as I was on the road itself.
Everyone has their share of near miss experiences whether driving or riding on the roads, for me personally more than enough of them have been due to traffic ahead slamming on their brakes as they noticed a speed camera that appeared out of the gloom in front of them.
Whether it is the traffic in front doing the braking or me I have to question the validity of continually checking the clocks and the side of the road rather than focusing on the road ahead and riding at a suitable speed for the conditions.
Swindon Local Authority stated last year that they are terminating their support for speed cameras, that they are ineffective in curbing road accidents and that only 6% of accidents were attributed to excess speed. In the months following the switch off accident rates had “Remained the same.” according to Swindon Council.
Oxford Council has now warned that due to budget cuts from central government they may withdraw support for their speed cameras as well.
Hearing this news I was at first elated. Then I stopped and thought about it, there are lots of places where I believe speed cameras are entirely appropriate, outside and around schools for example, long stretches of road through residential areas etc.
Presumably the police will have to pick up the pieces in speed enforcement with laser guns and other mobile speed detection equipment. I cannot confirm or deny riding at the speed limit at all times, but equally since I have never been given a fixed penalty notice or “flashed” by any camera, even in today’s speed camera rich roads. Pondering this is a mass cull of the cameras what we actually need?