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Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Speed Camera bombed.

Police were today hunting the person who blew up a yellow roadside camera, leaving parts strewn across a road in Eastleigh, Hampshire.

Read more:

Give the man a medal and an invite to East Sussex.Cameras are just revenue raising devices and have never had anything to do with road safety.The worm has finally turned.

Sussex Scamera Partnership WEBSITE HERE.


  1. So, can we assume that you believe that drivers should be at liberty to drive at whatever speed THEY decide is safe?

    Don't respond by using the 'revenue raising' argument, that is a separate issue. If people don't want to 'contribute' to the revenue collection they have a free choice - don't exceed the speed limit.

  2. The Sussex Safer Roads Partnership website is actually - not the link you posted.

  3. Thanks Anon
    Revenue collection is the ONLY reason that scameras exist.
    If you commit a crime you are deemed innocent until proven guilty.If found guilty you will probably end up with community service or a minor slap on the wrist.If you exceed a purely arbitary limit set by
    a local politician you are immediately assumed guilty and a fine is levied.If you dont pay the fine the case is then referred to a central clearing court who just rubber stamps the decision.
    This is not justice but all to do with revenue generation.The case for speed cameras would be stronger if the money raised didnt go to the people
    who are judge and jury.Even enlightened councils like Swindon have admitted that speed cameras dont work and they are just Revenue Raising devices.
    Come on MR Anon keep up.

  4. Neil Hopkins
    As you have taken the trouble to correct me can I ask why your organisation is running 2 websites-the new one looks very expensive .
    I must ask you about your "partnership"-do you think justice is served by having the court service as one of your partners .I thought everyone was supposed to be equal before the law-how can that be when the organisation deciding your case is in league with the prosecution and would appear to benefit from the revenue raised.

  5. I agree cameras don't work, because everyone knows where they are and slows to pass them.

    They should not be hi-vis but hidden. That way people WOULD be more likely to drive within the limit rather than JUST slow down to pass the cameras. Even average speed cameras would be better than what we have now.

    Speed limits have always been arbitrary in the sense that I think you mean, but no on ever complained much when they knew they could break the limit/law pretty much with impunity.

    I wish every tax and charge was like a camera speeding fine - optional. If you don't want to pay it, don't speed. Simple.

    No speed limit will ever be exactly appropriate for every inch of the road that is covered by that speed limit. It has to be a limit that is generally appropriate (arbitrary) for that (whole) section of road.

    Trying to make limits more appropriate results in limits changing from 50mph to 40mph and 30mph for example, which could be considered even more confusing and more likely to catch a driver out.

    Like the A26 Crowborough - 60 to 40 to 30 to 40 to 50 to 60mph.

    So an overall limit is better - if you see the point I'm making.

    But, although limits are not perfect it's still simple to stay within the limit and avoid joining the revenue stream.

    And if you disagree with a particular speed limit, lobby to have it raised or lowered, like you would if you disagreed with any other law.

    I have never understood why the 'revenue' argument continues to be used - it is totally flawed.

    But I have always understood that nothing must stop a driver driving at the speed he/she wants in the manner he/she chooses and parking where he/she likes. It's called arrogance and car is king - unfortunately.

  6. Captain Swing
    With regards to your first question re the website - we superseded the old site (the first link you posted) some time ago and are waiting for the IT department to take the old one down.

    In regards to your second question, HM Courts' Service is part of the enforcement side of the Partnership and is there to ensure that the law is adhered to. I am sure you are aware that motorists have the right to challenge any ticket that they receive for an alleged speeding offence, and the HM Courts' Service will hear these.
    In addition the Service is there to hear cases against individuals for dangerous driving. You will no doubt have seen a recent piece in the local papers about an individual who attempted to pervert the course of justice, or a motorcyclist prosecuted for extremely dangerous riding. The HM Courts' Service deals with all of these instances in order to make all of our roads safer.
    There is no bias from the HM Courts' Service towards or away from the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership - they exist to ensure that the law is adhered to.

    All monies collected from speeding fines go to the Government, not to the Partnership. The Government then gives each area in the country a grant to carry out road safety work.

    In Sussex, all of our cameras are installed to a set of specific criteria, which can be downloaded from our website under the Downloads / Information Gides area.

    You will see that, in order to have a safety camera installed, a road MUST meet the criteria which include accident levels, number of motorists exceeding the speed limit (judged by the 85th percentile) and other factors.
    We are not able to put a camera 'just anywhere' which, if we were only looking to 'raise revenue' we would.

    Further to the 'revenue' issue, should we want to raise the number of people caught for speeding, we would make the cameras much less visible - we do not have to put up warning signs, for example. We would also operate covert enforcement on the roads. However, if you have ever seen any of the mobile camera enforcement teams, you will have noted their hi-vis vehicles and clothing, unless on a Special Operation as directed by Sussex Police.
    Additionally we would not offer the Speed Awareness Course, which diverts individuals from the three points/fine into an educational programme.

  7. [PART 2 of response - total number of characters apparently too long to be in one post]

    Furthermore, it is interesting to note that individuals and communities see the benefit of the installation of a safety camera. For example, the community in Nutley campaigned for the installation of a safety camera as they were so concerned about the safety record along that road. Similarly, Worth Road residents (Crawley) organised a substantial campaign to have enforcement along that road due to a number of serious and speed related collisions.
    We have also publicised individuals who have supported cameras in high-speed locations after losing much loved sons to speeders.
    Individuals and communities are concerned about their safety when out and about, and see the positive effects of safety cameras within their area. I am sure that these individuals and communities, who see the positive benefits of camera enforcement, would rebut any notion of ‘revenue raising’.

    Cameras are not about 'catching' the motorist, but rather making the roads safer. We can also demonstrate a reduced accident rate across all of our fixed camera sites.
    The sites, for your information, are usually up to a kilometre in length, with the camera normally roughly in the middle. Therefore the sites that I refer to aren't just in the immediate vicinity of the camera itself but over a longer stretch.

    Finally on the use of safety cameras, it must be remembered that speed limits are not arbitrary, they are set for a reason and they are the law. The cameras are there to ensure that the law is adhered to. As Anonymous states, “if you don’t want to pay it [the fine], don’t speed”.

    Road Safety is wider than the use of camera enforcement, as I'm sure that you are aware. The Partnership runs a number of educational programmes throughout Sussex for all ages and all road user types, as well as engineering programmes to improve the physical road environment where necessary with significant engineering schemes.

    I sincerely hope that I have answered the points that you have raised.

  8. Thanks Anon
    I do understand what your saying.

    I am not advocating people driving irresponsibly but am arguing that speeding is not the real problem.Speed limits other than national speed limits are set by local councils and can be changed at will.
    The definition of speeding really needs to be changed because it always brings out the usual emotive rubbish like "speed kills".If driving over the speed limit is intrinsically dangerous and unacceptable then the Police should not be exempt from the speed limits.Either its dangerous or its not.If we use the argument that the Police are trained to drive fast so thats ok are we also saying that Jenson Button should be exempt from the speed limits.
    My point is that people whose only crime is to be driving over an arbitary speed limit (if a speed limit has been reduced why was it safe to drive at the old limit then but not now)are treated totally out of proportion.Mug someone and in all likelyhood you will get off with a nothing more than a mild rebuke,break an arbitary speed limit and
    you are assumed guilty and fined straight away.Yes you can take it to court but you then start raking up costs to defend yourself.Most people dont want to face legal bills for defending themselves when they can pay a fine and its forgotten about.We are all supposed to be equal in front of the law but
    this is not the case with motorists.
    I would like to ask you whether you think a motorist
    exceeding a speed limit should be punished more or less than someone who smashes up a shop and assaults the owner.You may know that someone smashed up the tanning salon in Crowborough and assaulted the owner.The person was caught and given a caution!!!.So obviously there is some flexibility in dealing with people who commit grimes against the person or property.Where is this flexibility when it comes to driving above the posted limit.No one has been hurt no damage has been caused but the motorist will be punished for something that might have happened.Before speed cameras coppers had that flexibility but these days local authority employees have the right to find you guilty and fine you without recourse to the law(contrary to common law)

  9. Neil Hopkins

    Thank you for your comments.

    Just a couple of points I would like to make.

    1)It is not the Courts job to "make roads safer" it their job to apply the law fairly.If we accept that the courts should be independent and apply the "law" fairly then why are they even a member of the partnership.There must be some advantage to your organisation by having the courts on board otherwise you wouldnt have them as members.Are you saying that without the courts being on board you wouldnt be able to put cases before them if so you are surely admitting the system is biased toward the partnership and against the motorist.

    2)I dont accept your claim that cameras and mobile units are always fully visible so therefore the "revenue argument" is invalid.I have seen many cameras hidden behind bushes/road furniture and the mobile operators dont always wear hi vis vests.Even when they do they have the van rear tailgate raised and stand in the shadow which has the double effect of hiding the operator in the shade and also hiding the hi vis stripes on the back of the van.Is this not the reason why you opted for vans with lift up rear door rather than the barn doors that come as standard on the Vivaro.
    3)Driving above a stated speed limit is not actually breaking a law.I think if you look into it its actually a statute.If you google statute you will find that its definition is totally different to a law.
    4)I wondered how long it would be before the "losing much loved sons to speeders" argument came up.People sadly get killed all the time but that is not an excuse to portray all motorists as killers.Using your argument we should label air travel as dangerous because sometimes a plane crashes due to pilot error.Using dead people as an argument is never going to work is it?

    As your organisation is trying to make our roads safer perhaps I should notify you of an incident of speeding that I saw on Crowborough hill today at about 8.47 am.I witnessed the vehicle in front of me exceeding the speed limit past two schools (they were closed).
    The vehicle in question was a silver new model Ford Transit with no markings on the side but it had very distinctive back doors.On the back doors it said know your limit and listed all the different limits for various vans.It was one of your vans and it was driving over the posted speed limit oops.
    A Schadenfreude moment if ever there was one.

  10. It is clearly a waste of time to try to address all of the points you raise and I personally do not have the time.

    You are clearly, like so many people that argue against speed cameras, an intelligent person yet choosing to contrive an argument to support speeding.

    Speeding is responsible for the majority of collisions, low and high speed collisions. If a vehicle collides with something it is usually because it could not stop in time - thus it was going too fast. If the speeds are high the chance of death or serious injury is HIGH.

    Even a collision as a result of tail-gating is technically caused by excess speed - if you are driving at say 60mph and are 3 car lengths from the vehicle in front, then you are driving too fast (you will not be able to stop if the vehicle in front stops).

    One other point - of course emergency vehicles should not take undue risks BUT they have to be able to exceed the law to fulfil their role.

    There will always be a higher level of risk, to all, when such vehicles drive at higher speeds but society accepts that the risk is worth taking given the benefit.

    Society is not prepared to to allow all vehicle to travel at such speeds and accept such risks just so that you or I can get home in time to see Coronation Street.

    Ordinary, decent people expect non-emergency vehicles to be limited to a reasonable and safe speed and drive at reasonable speeds themselves.

    All emergency services have to be able to contravene laws - if a police officer believes a crime is being committed he or she can force entry to a property, causing damage.

    To subdue a violent person an officer often has to 'assault' the offender.

    A surgeon commits assault to undertake an operation.

    The reason for this tedious debate is simple - drivers want to drive as they wish and at the speed they choose and they will do anything to justify that.

    The truth is, speed DOES kill.

  11. Oh please dont resort to the spurious statistic that speeding is a factor in all accidents because we know thats not true.
    Speed kills is just a stupid slogan thought up by some civil servant who thought it would sound good.The fact is I can travel at 500mph in a plane quite happily and no harm will come to me.Why then do people such as yourself view exceeding a speed limit that has been plucked out the air justification to photograph a vehicle and compel the owner of the vehicle to incriminate themselves (contrary to every law of the land).The driver is then found guilty without recourse to a court of law and judgement before his peers and fined illegally.
    If I get caught "speeding" I get punished for what might have happened not what has happened.Its a bit like walking past a house with an open window and being fined because you might have broken in and stolen something.
    The rabid pro speed camera camp always seem to have some link with the scameraships and are therefore tainted by their public sector ethos of raising as much money from the public to pay for their inflated salaries,inflated pensions and inflated egos.
    The Police should not be above the law-they are just civillians that wear a uniform.As such they should not be exempt from speeding laws or any other laws come to that.If its safe for a Police officer to drive at a speed above the posted limit then its safe for everyone-theres no difference.
    Everyone should be equal before the law -google common law if you dont believe me.Common law applies to everyone but most of the so called laws these days are just statutes.Statutes are rules
    imposed on people to control them and their behaviour.Statutes are valid subject to the consent of the governed and therefore are not laws.


Comments and abuse equally welcome.