Speed Cameras are Pointless

A GATSO speed camera
Image via Wikipedia

The GATSO camera, the most common in the UK, is the most pointless device for catching and dealing with speeding motorists. They only catch the idiots that don’t notice them and they only succeed at slowing down the traffic to the limit at their location.

In the middle of 2010, a few councils across the UK decided to announce they would switch their speed cameras off. Much to the pleasure of the motorist. Stats from Swindon’s shut down show very minimal decrease’s in casualties and seriously injured, but is this a good enough reason to scrap the speed cameras?

The main reason for the switch off is the government cuts to the Road Safety Grant, which funds the speed cameras. It seems that some small changes in road casualties are another reason but in reality we will need to see a stronger change over a period of time, rather than a small change over a year.

In the past week the BBC reported that most speed cameras in the England and Wales aren’t functional. A freedom of information request was put in by Which? magazine.

47% worked at any given moment in all 43 police authorities in England and Wales.

Its study also highlighted big regional differences, with all 60 cameras in Sussex working compared to just 10% of Lancashire’s 287 sites

Which? also did a survey of nearly 2,000 people and they were split as to whether speed cameras made the roads safer.

47% saying they did and 45% disagreeing.

Speed cameras make people think about their speed, but in doing so, they may be distracted from hazards in front of them.

The one time I notice all road users obeying the speed limits is through average speed check zones, these are most often found on motorways or busy/large A roads during road works. But why not apply these along roads where there is an issues with speeding in general?

Speeding on Britons roads is a big factor in crashes and casualties, we should kill our speed and not one another. Removing or keeping our common GATSO camera will not affect how the vast majority of motorists speed daily.

5 thoughts on “Speed Cameras are Pointless

  1. Average speed cameras on long stretches of road without roadworks are coming in. The A13 scheme was switched on today. Enforcement of average speed cameras on A13 to begin on 31 January

    I’m broadly a fan of average speed cameras. My main issue with them is they continue the speed limit = speed target mentality of a lot of drivers. I’m fed up having people driving half an inch from my bumper when I feel a slower than the limit speed is appropriate for the conditions.

    1. Thanks for the information about the A13 scheme, thats is good to see. It will be intresting to see if traffic levels on that route drop because motorists can’t go so fast on that road.

      There will always be a problem with speed cameras and the way people behave around them, the way they behave is depending on the type but more often than not they will not take the road conditions into consideration, as you say.

  2. Yep I could do without the one at the bottom of Gravel Hill. Just before the Tram crossing, with a small side road coming into the speed zone and then a major roundabout about 500m after. So I ride down at 20-30mph on a steep hill, and everyone else is doing 40+. They all see the camera, and don’t see me, tram and car coming out of side turning. Recipe for disaster I say. Hope it isn’t me on the Croydon Advertiser front pages.

    1. I think the one at the top of gravel hill is worse, just coming out of the 40 zone, where a lot of people are doing more. A lot of drivers slow down at the last second to 30 and are in the wrong gear to actually get up the hill.

  3. We were in Australia last year were I drove from Melbourne to Brisbane, well over 2000km.

    And I must say they are the most calm drivers I have meet in car or on bicycle. Never did anything stupid, kept within the speed limits and did give us plenty of room when over taking even when we were on our bicycles.

    I saw plenty of warning signs and a very explicit add campain on the telly, saying it simply put speed kills. Along with randomly placed speed cameras, so people will not remember where they are.

    I think that speed cameras do work if they are followed up with a fine the “hurts”. Just as they do in Australia points on your license and a hefty fine.

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