In speed camera land, numbers mean what we like

It’s pretty clear that there are a lot of people who don’t like speed cameras.  I’m one of them.  But my objections are based on what I’ve observed by training drivers and riders.  I think I know what makes people safe and what makes them dangerous.  By and large, compliance with a posted speed limit does not come into either category.  I’ve trained plenty of dangerous drivers who’d never exceed a limit and plenty of fine ones who would – happily.

So a great deal of speed camera policy stands or falls on the stats.  And there lies a rather large problem.  Here’s why… Continue reading


What are speed limits for, Daddy?

What are speed limits for?

Depends who you ask.

Some people would stick up their middle finger and say “for ignoring”.  Others would treat them with the reverence of a holy relic and demand they’re never, ever broken.

A rather fundamentalist view of limits – and their enforcement – has driven road safety policy in the UK since 1992.  “Speed kills so kill your speed” has been the cornerstone of road safety.  And killing your speed has meant adhering, limpetlike and no matter what else, to the speed limit.  No ifs no buts.

It wasn’t always that way. Continue reading


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? Continue reading


It’s the end

Well, apparently, that’s it for speed cameras in Oxfordshire.

Wouldn’t it be lovely if road safety was as simple as some people believe?  Lots of nice ‘facts’.  A clear, easy solution to save lives.  Even better if we could enforce that solution automatically by machine.

Van crashes into speed camera

Speed cameras save lives. Apparently.

Continue reading