Driving

All’s fair in love, war and PR

Well, there’s a surprise. Since Oxfordshire County Council pulled the plug on speed cameras, speeding has increased. A bit. In a couple of places. Where the limit was too low anyway and the cameras sited on long, straight roads.

The BBC has, predictably, gone semi-hysterical, with the headline “The number of drivers speeding…has increased by up to 88%”.

Chaps, it’s just a WEEK since the cameras went off. Can you not spot a desperate attempt to use PR to keep Partnership jobs when you see it? And did you do no research at all before publishing?

The camera in Woodstock, site of the claimed 110 drivers exceeding the 30mph limit (strangely, we’re not told by how much – wonder why?) is on a clear, straight stretch of A road that is perfectly safe at 40mph. And there were 90 doing it before. Wow.

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The Watlington Road, Cowley, camera is also on a clear, open stretch with good visibility. 66 evil, kitten-eating drivers exceeded the limit there.

Strangely, but perhaps predictably, there has been not a single, solitary increase in crashes. Not even a broken fingernail.

It’s a real shame. The local camera partnership does some exceptional road safety training work with drivers. And I’m sorry to see some of the staff – who really give a damn about road safety – losing their jobs. But this sort of sneaky, weasely PR is just the reason that the partnerships have lost so much credibility.

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