New Speed Cameras Can Spot Multiple Offenses At Once... And Send Off A Ticket Immediately

from the that'll-make-drivers-happy dept

Just as stories were spreading that speed cameras were finally on the decline in the UK, The Daily Mail is reporting on a new kind of speed camera that doesn't just check if you're speeding, but at the same time looks if you're tailgating, checks your insurance & car taxes (via a license plate recognition camera), and also makes sure you're wearing a seatbelt. All in one tidy package. It also sends off the images immediately to the police, so that they can start processing your (multiple) tickets before you're even at the next block. Of course, since evidence has shown, over and over again, that these kinds of cameras don't actually make anyone safer, shouldn't we be focused on finding technologies that actually do make the roads safer, rather than just those that boost local government coffers?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Jim, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 3:22pm

    Don't make roads safer?

    Can you show us a link to these studies? Certainly photo radar save lives in BC. A political decision lead to its cancellation, but it did slow traffic way down.

    "Of course, since evidence has shown, over and over again, that these kinds of cameras don't actually make anyone safer, shouldn't we be focused on finding technologies that actually do make the roads safer, rather than just those that boost local government coffers?"

     

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    MrWilson, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 3:25pm

    These are revenue machines, pure and simple.

    The entire concept of traffic cameras that can issue tickets is based on the concept that every offense should be ticketed but isn't only due to the limitations of surveillance.

    This is a seriously scary concept. If everyone were to be held accountable for every wrong they commit, everyone would be in jail or fined into poverty. Everyone would be afraid to leave the house for fear that they might commit some offense.

     

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  3.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Nov 11th, 2010 @ 3:26pm

    Re: Don't make roads safer?

     

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  4.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Nov 11th, 2010 @ 3:26pm

    Re: Re: Don't make roads safer?

    (many of those posts have links to studies)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 3:59pm

    http://www.johannhari.com/2010/11/08/is-this-david-camerons-deadliest-policy

    Johann Hari disagrees with the claim that speed cameras don't make a difference.

    He also disagrees with the claim that they make money;

    "Yet it is a fact that the cameras cost £110m to run every year, and raise £90m in fines. Thatís why Cameron is trying to justify this move, in part, as a cost-saving measure."

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 3:59pm

    Re: Re: Don't make roads safer?

    So where are links to opposing viewpoints showing that traffic cameras do help with safety? There are NONE? YOu are telling me that the threat of ticket hasn't slowed a single person down in a safe manner, or arose a need to drive a tad more aware? How would you publish such a study, anyway?

    Interesting conclusion from techdirt, yet again.

     

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  7.  
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    Kurata, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 4:13pm

    In my opinion, traffic cameras do help with safety, but only if they're put in some particular spots, such as a curve that, if missed, could lead to a fall. I'm now only speaking for France, as I do'nt know about USA, but over here, public radars are signaled by signs, so they're not even hidden, and in such case, don't think they are really used to raise money.

    However, this is merely opinions, and might not apply to usa.
    There is something i do dislike about the french system tho : pay and THEN say that you have been wrongly fined. Oh and it's an increased fine, not the regular one you gotta pay first.

     

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    TtfnJohn (profile), Nov 11th, 2010 @ 4:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: Don't make roads safer?

    Which leads to the question of why, instead of trolling, you don't post studies supporting your postion and Jim's?

    Photo radar has/had more than enough problems to get it pulled off the highways here though it has its defenders.

     

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    SquidlyMan, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 4:38pm

    I have no problems with the Revenue Generation

    If traffic cameras had no safety effects whatsoever, I would still not have a problem with them for the sole fact they generate revenue the government can use to run itself. I don't run Red lights so I don't pay the government their "Sin Tax" on reckless driving. If I speed and get caught - or, for that matter, drive reckless in any manner and get caught, I figure I deserve the ticket.

    Speaking of "Sin Taxes", we have "Sin Taxes" on other items such as Cigarettes and Liquor for the actions of smoking and drinking, why not on have the same for reckless driving since it probably kills more than smoking or drinking per year.

     

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  10.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 11th, 2010 @ 5:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Don't make roads safer?

    So where are links to opposing viewpoints showing that traffic cameras do help with safety?

    We're waiting for them... Do you have any?

    YOu are telling me that the threat of ticket hasn't slowed a single person down in a safe manner, or arose a need to drive a tad more aware?

    Ah, logic fail. No one said that not a single person slows down because of such cameras. That's a meangingless point. The question is -- in the aggregate -- do they make the roads safer, and most of the studies have shown that they do not. There is either no impact, or increased accidents, due to people slamming on their brakes to avoid running lights.

    I can't believe otherwise intelligent people still confuse aggregate conclusions with a single anecdote. Though, of course, they're always anonymous critics who do that. Wonder why...

     

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    abc gum, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 5:43pm

    Re:

    Reminds me of the episode of Mayberry RFD where Sheriff Taylor had to go to Mt. Pilot and left Barney in charge. When he got back, Barney had the entire town locked up.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 5:46pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Don't make roads safer?

    " they're always anonymous critics who do that. Wonder why..."

    Because they sell the traffic cameras?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 5:50pm

    Re:

    Don't be silly... refusing to have surveillance equipment installed in your home would be a MUCH more serious offence than a little speeding fine..

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 5:51pm

    Re: Re:

    abc gum, you are fined one credit for a violation of the Verbal Morality Statute.

     

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    abc gum, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 5:53pm

    Re: I have no problems with the Revenue Generation

    That's cool ... whilst upon your high horse, you should try parking in a legal spot within the cameras view and tell us how getting speeding tickets while parked does not bother you at all.

    "reckless driving since it probably kills more than smoking or drinking per year."

    citation?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 5:55pm

    Re: Re: Don't make roads safer?

    I see a lot about red light cameras in this list (and much of the disadvantage in this case seems to come from yellow light timing issues, which can be fixed despite the perverse incentives), a little about speed cameras, but nothing about seatbelt-wearing-check cameras.

    Seatbelt laws absolutely do save lives, and it seems entirely conceivable that automated enforcement could save more. Where are the studies in either direction? I've never even heard of such a thing before...

     

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    bigpicture, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 6:30pm

    Re: Don't make roads safer?

    So did the communistic government in BC actually reduce injuries and fatalities by slowing traffic way down. Or did it just cause more traffic jams and frustration for commuters, while raking in more money, so they can pay out more Welfare.

     

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    abc gum, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 8:05pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Your repeated violation of the Verbal Morality Statute has caused me to notify the San Angeles Police Department. Please remain where you are for your reprimand.

     

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    scott, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 8:55pm

    Why not just send ticket to your mobile phone..

    that you are talking on while you running the red light... Lower cost and saves a lot of hassle for all involved.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 9:18pm

    Re: Re: Re: Don't make roads safer?

    Am I the only person that still believes you shouldn't be required to wear a seatbelt if you're over the age of 18? It's your life, take the risk if you want.

    I will admit that the moment someone shows me the wreck where someone flew out their window and collided with a baby stroller killing a poor innocent, then I will start to question this position.

     

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    Rose M. Welch (profile), Nov 11th, 2010 @ 10:18pm

    This is crazy.

    First, if all it does for tailgating is measure the distance, what happens when someone has to slam on their brakes, and you slam on yours, safely coming to a stop without hitting them, but within that distance. Will you get a ticket for being able to come to a safe stop? Or what?

    Next, what happens with stolen vehicles? Does the owner of the car get the ticket for no seat belt or tailgating, or does the camera somehow identify the actual driver? (I have problems with both answers, actually, but whatever.)

    Last, what happens when the records are just flat wrong? Ar one point, Geico reported me as having no insurance, when I did. A year later, I went to renew my tags and found that someone had made a typo the previous year, and registered my tags to a different VIN. Also in the past, checking our credit before buying a home, Progressive had reported my husband as a non-payer to both the state and the credit bureaus. That just two people, within a few short years.

    Based on both my own experiences and the multitudes of anecdotal experiences, I conclude that we're simply not good enough at record keeping to ticket people in this way yet.

    In other words, only real people need to write tickets. Not machines.

    Also, why not spend money and install roundabouts instead?

     

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  22.  
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    libertymatters, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 11:06pm

    Re: I have no problems with the Revenue Generation

     

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    libertymatters, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 11:18pm

    Re: I have no problems with the Revenue Generation

    Your attitude supports the coercive nature of government to the nth degree, and no one is holier than thou- we all commit three felonies a day just living our normal lives. Only when something YOU have done runs fowl will your attitude change. So far, you think everyone who speeds should at least be fined if not tazed or arrested, because you figure you never will be.

    You probably think e-stripping is ok, because you don't fly- something that formerly was not considered a sin but now is, since we are all guilty until groped and violated to "prove" that we are not.

    or maybe you could just give a damn about liberty and privacy.

     

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    darryl, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 11:27pm

    What evidence ?? 'shown, over and over again.

    Of course, since evidence has shown, over and over again, that these kinds of cameras don't actually make anyone safer,

    Yea ?? really !!!! are you sure ?? if you are so sure, why dont you point us to the evidence that shows over and over again, you're claim.

    Or do you just expect us to believe it because you say so.

    what evidence can you have that speed cameras that also check for valid rego does not improve road safety ?

    Or a system that automatically detected cars reported stolen ?

    No as far as you are concerned, taking stolen, or unregistered cars off the road, as well as those driving against the law. Will not improve road safty !!.

    So we will all be safer if we do not enforce the laws !!!

    And where are you example of this Mike ?? where its shown over and over.

    So you really dont have any proof or evidence, you just make shit up, and hope people will swallow it !!!..

    I guess you can fool some of your followers. the ones who cant be bothered to think for themselves that is..

     

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  25.  
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    Rose M. Welch (profile), Nov 12th, 2010 @ 2:15am

    Re: What evidence ?? 'shown, over and over again.

    "if you are so sure, why dont you point us to the evidence that shows over and over again, you're claim."

    He did. Check the links in the post and beginning commentary.

    "what evidence can you have that speed cameras that also check for valid rego does not improve road safety ?"

    He didn't specify this exact kind of camera, obviously. These cameras are still in the testing phases, and haven't been rolled out. He referenced real, actual research showing that this kind of camera doesn't improve safety.

    "No as far as you are concerned, taking stolen, or unregistered cars off the road, as well as those driving against the law. Will not improve road safty !!."

    No, he stated that these kinds of cameras don't actually make anyone safer. Of course, your statement is crazy as well, because driving without paying a tax isn't inherently dangerous.

    "So we will all be safer if we do not enforce the laws !!! "

    No, as he stated, we'll be equal or slightly better off without the cameras, not the laws. I'm not sure what dictionary you're using, but in my dictionary, the words 'camera' and 'law' have very different meanings.

    "And where are you example of this Mike ?? where its shown over and over."

    Again, click the links in the post and beginning commentary. It's very easy. They're all bright blue.

    "I guess you can fool some of your followers. the ones who cant be bothered to think for themselves that is.."

    Actually, the majority of the commentors here think fairly well. However, even if that were not the case, thinking 'with' Mike Masnick is better than not thinking at all.

     

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    Frosty840, Nov 12th, 2010 @ 2:16am

    Re: What evidence ?? 'shown, over and over again.

    "thing for themselves" appears to be wingnut code for "make shit up and avoid looking for any evidence contradicting their opinions"...

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 12th, 2010 @ 2:58am

    Re:

    He also disagrees with the claim that they make money;
    I'm sure he does, but it's also a fact that in Surrey there is a camera that was known as "the highest grossing speed camera in the UK". "Coincidentally" it was also the last speed camera in surrey to be painted yellow in accordance with the government directive (wow, public pressure accomplished *something* even if cosmetic) that speed cameras must be clearly visable since their intent was (alledgedly) as a warning and detterent on "dangerous" stretches of road. By the way, there was also an AA (I think.. maybe RAC) study that mentioned that camera as coming "Directly after a speed limit reduction on a strech of road where there is no clear reason for there to be one". The response? Move the speed limit 800 yards back up the road where there is even *less* reason for there to be one "to give people more warning and chance to slow down". Strangely that camera still makes a fortune.

    Also I'd pointed out in another thread somewhere how spurious the "safety statistics" are in some cases. As I understand it the standard in the UK is that if a stretch of road has 3 accidents in a certain period (a year I think) it is considered a candidate for a speed camera. Bear in mind that includes all accidents that may or may not be speed related or even the fault of the driver. If a dog runs under a car doing 20mph or someone commits suicide off a bridge over the road that counts as an accident. A speed camera is rolled out and if the next year there are only 2 "accidents" the claim is a 33% reduction in accidents due to the speed camera. Statistics based on a small sample are always suspect.

    The fact is the rabid crusade against "speeders" is another example of "be seen to do something", oh and make some cash in the process. Speed is a *factor* in accidents but often not the major one. What is actually "too fast" depends on too many factors for a sign - driver awareness, weather conditions, driver skill, road visability etc etc. The major problem is most people aren't taught well enough to be aware of their limitations (plus everyone is stupid sometimes). How many people on the road would you say are able to judge speed versus distance and time for example? How many aware of anything much outside 10degrees either side of straight ahead? From observation not a high percentage in the UK and a somewhat smaller percentage in the US. Blaming "speeders" is just an easy out.

     

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  28.  
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    Old Green, Nov 12th, 2010 @ 3:20am

    Also checks emissions + linked to centralised datbase

    There is more to this system than first meets the eyes. The system also checks emissions and sends off a report to the relevant national environment agency (not traffic agency). The system is designed to have a centralised data-hub. The system is planned to check tax and insurance details. That requires centralised databases of driver details. Insurance details have been available electronically, Europe-wide, due to the requirement for "availability" created by the Fourth and Fifth EU Directives on Motor Insurance. Ironically, the centralised database of tax details does not yet exist, but it seems likely that it must be planned. Here are some links for those who would like to find out more: - http://cordis.europa.eu/fetch?CALLER=EN_NEWS&ACTION=D&SESSION=&RCN=32722 http://www. vtt.fi/news/2010/102810.jsp http://www.worldcarfans.com/110110429346/european-union-testing-super-s peed-cameras http://ec.europa.eu/research/transport/news/article_10368_en.html http://www.project- asset.com/index1.php?lan=en http://ec.europa.eu/research/transport/news/article_10368_en.html

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 12th, 2010 @ 3:20am

    Re: I have no problems with the Revenue Generation

    why not on have the same for reckless driving
    I might agree if that's what it was "taxing" but that's barely the case - it's taxing. Such judgements are too subjective for this kind of enforcement.

    As a simple example, in the days before red light cameras I have driven through a red light in central London in full view of 2 policemen in a parked police car and not got stopped for it. Why? Because it was 5 AM on a bank holiday and I'd paused at the red light first to ensure that my supposition that there was no other moving traffic visable anywhere was correct.
    They made a subjective judgement of no harm and simply watched me drive past. Do you think a red light camera would have given me the same consideration? Do you consider I was driving recklessly and deserved to be fined and potentially lose my license for it?

    Similarly, is it really "reckless" to drive at more than 77mph on a straight dry motorway with good visability and no traffic? I doubt most police would stop you until you got up near 100mph and on a clear road even then they may just caution you. You don't ever get a subjective decision from a camera. As someone else said this kind of enforcement is based on the supposition that everything is black or white.

    And by the way... UK statistics:
    2006 road deaths 3,172
    2005 estimate of tobacco related deaths 81,900
    No that's not a typo. Cars are dangerous yes, but don't believe the hype.

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 12th, 2010 @ 3:40am

    Re: This is crazy.

    Next, what happens with stolen vehicles? Does the owner of the car get the ticket for no seat belt or tailgating, or does the camera somehow identify the actual driver?
    Theoreticaly part of the technology allows visability inside cars even in bad lighting conditions to clearly identify the driver by picture. In the UK at least even if they send a notice because it's your car, being able to prove you weren't the driver at the time (or having someone else cop to it to save the points on your license!) is valid.
    Will you get a ticket for being able to come to a safe stop?
    I guess that depends how smart the software is - measuring the relative velocity change and measuring a time gap rather than a distance gap ought to get round that.
    All that doesn't make yoou wrong though. In the newspaper article I saw about this, even the inventor admitted it's "road safety" application would depend more on how it was implemented and expressed a concern that it could (would) be used for revenue genration rather than safety.

    To co-opt a well known line line "Technology doesn't remove common sense, the morons who mis-apply it do."

     

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  31.  
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    Rose M. Welch (profile), Nov 12th, 2010 @ 4:17am

    Re: Re: This is crazy.

    So you need to wear a face mask and you're good, then?

    Got it. :)

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 12th, 2010 @ 4:44am

    Re: Re: Re: This is crazy.

    So you need to wear a face mask and you're good, then?
    You'd need a stooge to take the blame too :-)

    Actually that brings up a reasonable point. I believe the standard is exactly that (willing to be corrected on the point). If it's your car it's assumed to be your responsibility unless you can prove you were somewhere else, or someone else owns up (confesses). That makes this kind of remote enforcement another case of "guilty until proven innocent". At least if you're stopped by the police they are also concurrently proving it's actually you committing the "offence" as well as having a "professional" subjective opinion in the mix.

     

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    abc gum, Nov 12th, 2010 @ 5:04am

    Re: Also checks emissions + linked to centralised datbase

    Does it also perform a prostate exam?
    Because that would sooo cool.

     

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    Rose M. Welch (profile), Nov 12th, 2010 @ 6:09am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: This is crazy.

    Yes, exactly. Because even if you point out who did it (a friend, a neighbor, etc.) you're still charged with the crime.

    What will they do with rental cars?

     

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    Richard (profile), Nov 12th, 2010 @ 6:47am

    Re: I have no problems with the Revenue Generation

    reckless driving since it probably kills more than smoking or drinking per year.

    It most certainly doesn't.

    Your lifetime chance of dying in a road accident is about 1 in 200.

    For a smoker the lifetime chance of dying as a result of smoking is more than 1 in 8.

     

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  36.  
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    Any Mouse, Nov 12th, 2010 @ 7:05am

    Re: Re: Re: Don't make roads safer?

    Has there ever been a 'seatbelt camera'? Of course these stories are about red light and speed cameras. Red light cameras especially, since yellow lights have been shortened, and cars making right turns have been ticketed. No one said anything about seat belts.

     

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    Any Mouse, Nov 12th, 2010 @ 7:12am

    Re: Re: I have no problems with the Revenue Generation

    Don't believe the tobacco hype, either. Just because someone was a smoker does not mean that it contributed to their death, but doctors will ALWAYS say that it did in instances of disease or illness.

     

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  38.  
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    maxnicks, Nov 12th, 2010 @ 7:15am

    Re: Don't make roads safer?

    Fer sure, Jim! Slowing traffic down saves lives!!!! A great idea would be to hire a bunch of those 65 year old drivers who do 25 MPH in a 45MPH zone. They'd save a bunch of lives wouldn't they? We could also hire a few more, strategically place them on side roads. When they see somebody speeding they could do just what they normally do. Pull right out in front of them! That'll slow things down really well won't it? Just think of how slow the traffic will become when they cause an accident. It'll only be one accident and they'll have traffic slowed to a crawl for miles.

    Wise up. Think a little bit. Take a gander at the traffic accident per capita reports for Montana or Texas. If you don't know how let me give you a hint...There's this amazing device that lets you search through reams of knowledge. It's called GOOGLE.

    Sorry about being such a dick. Idiotic statements based on complete ignorance and/or government propaganda set me off.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 12th, 2010 @ 7:15am

    It would be nice to drive on well paved roads.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 12th, 2010 @ 7:54am

    Re: Re: Re: I have no problems with the Revenue Generation

    Don't believe the tobacco hype, either. Just because someone was a smoker does not mean that it contributed to their death, but doctors will ALWAYS say that it did in instances of disease or illness.
    I don't... but the statistic I quoted was for diseases that have a proven link to smoking and only counting deaths of smokers. Even if you assume only 1 in 10 was actually related to smoking that's still coming up for 200% more than road deaths and that's total road deaths which would include some percentage of accidents that were pure stupidity and other couses rather than any "road use violation".

    The claim "probably kills more than smoking or drinking per year." was wrong by a large margin no matter how you look at it so I disputed it and supplied supporting statistics.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 12th, 2010 @ 8:00am

    Re: Re: Don't make roads safer?

    I had a plan for this (and have suspected the UK goverment of having the same plan....). Once upon a time it was required to have someone run in front of your car with a red flag to warn people it was coming. We simply go back to that "drafting" all the unemployed at minimum wage to do the running. The average speed then becomes about 5 mph with a max of about 30ish if you hire Usain Bolt to run for you.... it solves unemployment in 1 fell swoop, reduces obesity, completely removes road traffic deaths (apart from the occasional heart attack in the fatter runners) and reduces petrol consumption.

    Masterstroke huh? *pats self on back*

     

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    AJ, Nov 12th, 2010 @ 8:44am

    Re: What evidence ?? 'shown, over and over again.

    I don't usually respond to trolls, but this one is juicy...

    http://www.motorists.org/red-light-cameras/studies

    Sources include;

    Virginia DOT
    Monash University
    North Carolina A&T State University
    Virginia Transportation Research Council
    University of South Florida
    Transportation Research Board (TRB)
    Canada's Ministry of Transportation

     

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  43.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 12th, 2010 @ 9:11am

    CHA CHING

    CHA CHING CHA CHING CHA CHING

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 12th, 2010 @ 9:13am

    Re: Don't make roads safer?

    CHA CHING CHA CHING CHA CHING

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 12th, 2010 @ 9:14am

    Re: CHA CHING

    how about smart cars that have better safety controls, oh no money for the crown that way.

     

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  46.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 12th, 2010 @ 9:36am

    Re: Re: Re: Don't make roads safer?

    are you really this naive?

    it is just like any other social problem you try to solve with the law; it just moves the "problem" to another location.

    so what's the solution? cameras at every single intersection? besides being all kinds of f'd up, how much money would they sell themselves out for on some bs contract with the Good Ol' Boys Network(TM)..? only to have the cameras become completely ineffective, yet be on the hook for years to come.

     

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  47.  
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    BigKeithO (profile), Nov 12th, 2010 @ 9:47am

    Re: Re:

    Have you bought your Kinect yet?? I couldn't resist!

     

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  48.  
    identicon
    Gene Cavanaugh, Nov 12th, 2010 @ 9:49am

    Cameras in traffic control

    "Of course, since evidence has shown, over and over again, that these kinds of cameras don't actually make anyone safer, shouldn't we be focused on finding technologies that actually do make the roads safer, rather than just those that boost local government coffers?"
    Evidence has shown, over and over again, that news sources, including bloggers, love "knee jerk" reactions - "all X is bad, etc." The funny thing is the same sources are quick to jump on such things they are opposed to - men running in front of an automobile with a red flag (very similar thing, BTW, whether a "news source" would man up to it or not!).

     

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  49.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 12th, 2010 @ 11:27am

    Re: Re:

    Except that, as he points out, nationally speed cameras cost more to operate than they bring in, by about £20 million.

    The fact that a camera can be "the highest grossing camera in the UK" doesn't mean that it is making a net profit at all. And even if that *one* is making a net profit, it doesn't mean cameras as a whole are making a net profit. So... from figures he provides:

    Cameras make £90 million annually.

    Cameras *cost* £110 million annually to run.

     

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  50.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 12th, 2010 @ 4:03pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Except that, as he points out, nationally speed cameras cost more to operate than they bring in, by about £20 million.
    Opinions apparantly differ. Interesting that that one's the same number though.
    There's this too and this and this which seems to suggest that any potential lack of profit was due to "reinvestment" rather than the cameras not making money

     

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  51.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 12th, 2010 @ 4:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Opinions apparantly differ.
    Oh... and I meant that in the "Redbeard Rum" sense of the phrase.

     

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  52.  
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    btr1701 (profile), Nov 13th, 2010 @ 7:59am

    Re: Don't make roads safer?

    > Can you show us a link to these studies? Certainly photo radar save
    > lives in BC. A political decision lead to its cancellation, but it did slow
    > traffic way down.

    Sure they do. But only where the camera is. And it's likely that by slowing it down in that one place, they're creating a safety hazard for other drivers.

    I live in Washington, DC, and there's one spot on 395 where they've parked a mobile speed camera. It's just on the other side of a rise where it can't be seen from a distance. Every morning, like clockwork, when I get to that point, every car in front of me suddenly jams on its brakes. Now I know why they're doing and I'm prepared for it, but on any given day, there are plenty of people who don't know about the camera who suddenly have every car in front of them unexpectedly slow to a crawl and end up having to lay down some rubber to try to avoid rear-ending them.

    Over the last two years, I've witnessed no less than 10 rear-end collisions at that one spot on 395. There's no other one stretch of road where I've ever seen more than one crash.

    It's anecdotal, sure, but it seems pretty clear and basic common sense that this camera is causing a safety hazard rather than preventing them.

     

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  53.  
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    btr1701 (profile), Nov 13th, 2010 @ 8:10am

    Re: I have no problems with the Revenue Generation

    > Speaking of "Sin Taxes", we have "Sin Taxes" on other items such
    > as Cigarettes and Liquor for the actions of smoking and drinking

    I don't accept your premise. Those taxes are an improper (and I would argue unconstitutional) abuse of the government's taxing authority.

    Taxes are basically nothing but the government taking your private property by force. The only way that can be morally and legally justified is for the government to use that money to pay for the cost of running itself (building roads, paying for defense, etc.). That is the *only* proper use for taxation.

    It's not the place of government to mold the behavior of its citizens through taxation. As long as what I'm doing is not illegal, it's none of the government's business what I'm doing. It's certainly not proper for the government to use taxes to force me to do something I don't want to do (and am not legally required to do) or to stop doing something that is perfectly legal and that I have every right to do.

    So raising taxes on cigarettes to try and force people to stop smoking (which is a perfectly legal activity) or raising taxes on gasoline in order to make people ride the subway is an flagrant and improper abuse of power.

     

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  54.  
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    btr1701 (profile), Nov 13th, 2010 @ 8:13am

    Re: Re: I have no problems with the Revenue Generation

    > we all commit three felonies a day just living our normal lives

    We all my commit minor misdemeanor violations of the law each day, but a felony is a serious crime (murder, rape, etc.)

    If you're committing multiple felonies each day, you've got some serious problems.

     

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  55.  
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    btr1701 (profile), Nov 13th, 2010 @ 8:20am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: This is crazy.

    > What will they do with rental cars?

    I know that Nevada has a state law that makes the person who rents a car legally responsible for the violations.

    Basically, the ticket goes to Hertz or Avis or whoever, and the company sends back to the government the name and address of the person who was renting the vehicle during that time and the government issues the ticket to the person based on that info.

    Other states just hold the rental car company liable for violations committed by people using their cars and the companies just pass that charge through to the credit card you used to rent the car in the first place. It's all in the fine print of your contract. (You know that thing printed in 0.00001-point type that they hand you at the counter and which you have 10 seconds to read?)

     

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  56.  
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    Christopher (profile), Nov 13th, 2010 @ 3:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: I have no problems with the Revenue Generation

    No, there are some crimes that are NOT rape/murder/etc. that are felonies that you wouldn't even THINK were felonies until you got smacked for them.

    In my hometown in the United States, speeding over 10 miles over the speed limit is a felony.

    I know MANY people who do that, so yes.... they are committing a felony.

     

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  57.  
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    Christopher (profile), Nov 13th, 2010 @ 3:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: I have no problems with the Revenue Generation

    Good point, Any Mouse. My one relative was a smoker, and he died from an illness today UNRELATED to smoking, and the doctor still tried to put on his autopsy (he had one because it was an illness that most don't die from) that it was 'smoking related' until his relatives made a big stink about it.

     

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  58.  
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    Rose M. Welch (profile), Nov 13th, 2010 @ 10:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: This is crazy.

    No, I don't know because I would read the whole thing, and would probably make a fuss about the type.

    Of course, I've never rented a car, except after two accidents (Not my fault, in either case.) and I refused to hand over my credit card both times.

    I guess I'm kind of a bitch about things like that. :D

     

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  59.  
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    TechNoFear (profile), Nov 13th, 2010 @ 11:23pm

    I get fined Au$75 for doing up 8 Kmph (5 mi/hr) over the speed limit. 9 - 19 Kmph is Au$150.

    More than 40 Kmph (25 mi/hr) is Au$1,000 (plus some other serious charges probably resulting in confiscation of both vehicle and license for a considerable time period).

    Speed cameras are randomly hidden, numerous and often check for seat belts, registration (even if by manual viewing of the image).

    I may not be safer, but I am spending much more time checking I am not exceeding the speed limit (and checking the side of the road for cameras).

     

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  60.  
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    Thomas (profile), Nov 14th, 2010 @ 11:52am

    Moe about money..

    the cities and towns need the money, pain and simple. It has nothing to do with safety. And don't forget that the cameras make mistakes.

     

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  61.  
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    KroniKlepto (profile), Nov 14th, 2010 @ 1:07pm

    Forget new tech... England still hasn't caught up on installing street lights. And now there are plans to turn the few that exist off.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/newsnight/9173729.stm

    Of course, since evidence has shown, over and over again, that these kinds of cameras don't actually make anyone safer, shouldn't we be focused on finding technologies that actually do make the roads safer, rather than just those that boost local government coffers?

     

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  62.  
    identicon
    Jake, Nov 15th, 2010 @ 12:17pm

    Let's not conflate the issues here. There's reasonable objections to speed cameras, but cameras that catch uninsured drivers are a different matter. The latter are only used by patrol cars around here anyhow; static ones were trialled in London, but they spotted so many violators that they couldn't even begin to react to them (driving uninsured is punishable by confiscation of your vehicle in Britain) and they're only used for tracking cars reported stolen or involved in robberies now.
    As for the tailgating and seatbelt-wearing functions, this is a Daily Mail article, so I'll believe that when I see it.

     

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  63.  
    identicon
    btr1701, Nov 15th, 2010 @ 9:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: This is crazy.

    > Of course, I've never rented a car, except after two accidents
    > and I refused to hand over my credit card both times.

    Most rental companies don't take anything but credit cards anymore. No cash, no checks. If you don't have a card, you don't get a car.

     

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  64.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 16th, 2010 @ 1:16am

    Re:

    As for the tailgating and seatbelt-wearing functions, this is a Daily Mail article, so I'll believe that when I see it.
    LMGTFY... seem to have been a bit more widely reported than just the Mail.

     

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  65.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 16th, 2010 @ 11:18pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Don't make roads safer?

    -- There is either no impact, or increased accidents, due to people slamming on their brakes to avoid running lights. --

    I thought the enlightened authorities were movign to average speed cameras over a stretch of road.

    Would you concede that THEY might make people safer ?

    My gripe with the way they do it in Wales (where I live) is that they have speed related accidents (ie caused in part by people significantly exceeding the 70mph freeway limit) and they respond by lowering that limit to 50 and enforcing it. Why not just enforce the 70 in the first place, we all ask.

    But I've never understood the objections of "drivers groups" to being fined for breaking clearly signed sopeed limits. And I aghree with the earlier poster, these devices are find by me as revenue generation devices.

     

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  66.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 17th, 2010 @ 1:18am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Don't make roads safer?

    Apologies for the typofest.
    Never post in the dark with a spaniel on your lap...

     

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  67.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 17th, 2010 @ 1:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: I have no problems with the Revenue Generation

    That's quite a logical jump from "I know many people who go 10mph over the speed limit" to "everyone commits 3 felonies a day".

    Most drivers seem to think that THEY are better than average drivers and can be entrusted with knowing when it is safe to do what speed.
    It's a fairly common theme amongst these discussions for people to imply (or say) that they may speed but it's not dangerous because they know what they are doing.

    We have all witnessed the effect where you leave a freeway after an hour at 70 and slow to 30 only to get the sensation that it's SO SLOW you could get out and walk.

    If it was left to drivers to judge a safe speed through a residential area just after an off ramp, they'd probably all cruise along at 50 thinking they were going really slow.

    Add to that, modern cars with
    - far less sensation of speed
    - soundproofing that cocoons a driver completely, making them immune to audible warnings of impending incidents.

    There IS evidence that the fatality rate of a "car hits pedestrian" incident is very different at 40, 30 and 20mph.

    So what is to be done ? A speed camera just before entering a rural village from a trunk road makes sense to me.
    An unexpected camera at a random point on a freeway probably causes accidents.
    An average speed camera can't be accused of that, though I'm sure someone may argue that motorists then "have to speed on the unregulated stretches to keep the overall journey time down" but that is a fairly thin argument.


    Speeding is a bit like helmets in ice hockey. All the players want them to be enforced but none want to wear them voluntarily. This is because they feel "at a disadvantage" (peripheral vosion wise) when other players don't wear them.

    Similarly, if you drive along a stretch of freeway at the speed limit of 55 and so does everyone else, you feel fine.
    If, however you are the only one doing 55 and everyone else is zipping past at 75, you soon start feeling like a mug and I guarantee your speed will creep up.

    Personally, after a "banged to rights" camera fine, I now use the cruise control at the speed limit and driving is now much more relaxing. More economical, I*'d bet, too.

     

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  68.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 17th, 2010 @ 1:50am

    Re: Re: What evidence ?? 'shown, over and over again.

    -- Of course, your statement is crazy as well, because driving without paying a tax isn't inherently dangerous --

    Maybe not "inherently dangerous". But indirectly fairly dangerous.

    Here's why .

    Untaxed cars in the UK are quite likely to also be uninsured and/or without an MOT (roadworthiness) certificate (both requirements for being taxed). After all, why pay for those things if the only time you will ever get to show them is when you are already being arrested for the lack of tax. You are clearly banking on not being caught.

    Same thing applies to having a valid driving license. if you don't have a taxed car, and you'll be arrested if stopped for that, the incentive to respect a driving ban (or even to get a license) is diminished.

    People who know they will be arrested in the event of any traffic incident because of lack of tax/insurance/MOT are more likely to leave the scene of the incident, possibly not reporting / attending to injured people.


    I'd say the people these cameras would catch are, in the large part, a menace !

    So I'd say it WOULD improve

     

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  69.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 18th, 2010 @ 1:07am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I have no problems with the Revenue Generation

    Most drivers seem to think that THEY are better than average drivers and can be entrusted with knowing when it is safe to do what speed.
    It's a fairly common theme amongst these discussions for people to imply (or say) that they may speed but it's not dangerous because they know what they are doing.
    True... but not entirely. For the first bit the theory is correct though I know that's not how you meant it. A skilled driver is far more likely to have a better grasp of "safe speed" than an arbitary signpost. It works both ways - try driving up a motorway at 70mph in a heavy blizzard... dumb, right? But you're not breaking the speed limit. Speed in and of itself does not kill - the risk is being at the wrong speed for the conditions (and mixed with other factors such as wrong distance).
    Speed limits are often set below what might be safe in good conditions to take a better account of the "average", but for the same reason that limit is not good in the worst conditions. Given that wouldn't you say that the goal is to produce better skilled drivers than more and more arbitary and slower speed limits to take account of the moron factor? Because you were entirely right about the second bit people will always assume they know best whether they do or not (so why not make sure they do?)
    Reducing speed limits can go the other way - in some cases the speed limit is clearly arbitary and stupid, so people can assume by implication that they are all arbitary and stupid leading to an increase of the "I'm best" mentality you describe.
    An average speed camera can't be accused of that, though I'm sure someone may argue that motorists then "have to speed on the unregulated stretches to keep the overall journey time down" but that is a fairly thin argument.
    No it can't, but if you drove on a British motorway much you'd observe that average speed cameras do tend to cause "bunching" of the traffic, because if you enforce an average speed at a low (it's notmallly 50) level everything is going to go roughly the same "maximum" speed the same people that drove "too fast" will now drive too close instead - potentially as great a risk as the speed was
    Personally, after a "banged to rights" camera fine, I now use the cruise control at the speed limit and driving is now much more relaxing. More economical, I*'d bet, too.
    *smile* I can tell you're not British. Try using a cruise control on a British motorway - anywhere near a major city you're lucky if you can keep it on for more than a mile or 2 at a time.

    My main problem with speed cameras is it's the wrong battle - going after a single symptom rather than the cause. I've been driving over 20 years now and have have a number of accidents. Some were my fault (especially those when I was younger and more inexperienced) some were not. In every case the cause was stupidity - a lack of observation, a mis-judgement of some kind. In none of the cases was a speed limit being broken.

     

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  70.  
    icon
    Brendan (profile), Dec 1st, 2010 @ 10:08pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Don't make roads safer?

    Seatbelts do more than prevent you from flying through the windshield. They keep you, the driver, held firmly in place behind the steering wheel so that you can stay in control of the vehicle while swerving sharply to avoid a collision, or even after a collision has occurred. They give more control where just an ounce can make all the difference.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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