Thursday, 16 April 2009

Radar Speed Traps. Fail.

Speed trap detectorsImage by hugovk via Flickr

The UK is the radar camera capital of Europe with 4,309 speed traps in the country by 2007 – up from 1,571 in 2001. There are over 430 speed traps in London alone. By comparison, Germany has some 3,000 cameras and France has under 1,000.

UK media report that despite the massive rise in fixed radars, the decline in road deaths in the UK has been slower than in other European countries, with the government conceding that speeding is a contributory factor in only 6% of road accidents and a causatory factor in some 13% of fatal crashes.

At the same time, papers like the Daily Mail (recommended reading for people who lean to the extreme right of politics, by the way) report that speeding fines are generating over $200 million per annum.

The UK’s Institute of Advanced Motorists believes that there is too much dependence on radars in road safety – ‘Speed cameras are not the be-all-and-end-all of road safety’, their spokesperson told the Mail.

It’ll be interesting to see where that leaves motorists in Dubai and Sharjah, where the proliferation of both fixed and mobile radar cameras has reached epic proportions. I rather suspect that we’re going to see the innovation eulogised by those responsible for it in a blitz of publicity based on non-independently derived statistics – but that would fly in the face of the clear statistics from Europe which clearly tell us that revenue-generating though they may be, radars are not the solution to road safety.

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Seabee said...

From the reports of orders placed for speed cameras by Dubai's authorities I'd say that we'll soon be the world capital for them. Another one for the Guinness Book of Records perhaps.

Rupert Neil Bumfrey said...

I only witness true, old style speedsters on 311 heading north, post-Sharjah, towards that Barracudaland!
(So unfortunately named when aqua is next door, with tawseel delivery trucks taking up so much parking space. Where and who is )
I never see such speed on return journey, just empties on the side of the highway!

Abu Dhabi Blogger said...

is the "largest camera in the world" about to be offered anytime soon here? :P

Anonymous said...

The rate of decline in the UK is lower because the death rate is ALREADY one of the lowest. It is more difficult for the rate of decline to be as much when you have already had the success in reducing deaths. Other European countries are merely playing catch up. It is easier to go from 10 to 9 per 100,000 than it is from 5 to 4 100,000, so your blog post is fundamentally biased.

Safety Cameras save lives it is proven fact. 5 deaths per 100,000. Only the Netherlands and Sweden are marginall safer.

Compare this to 25-35 per 100,000 in the UAE - you are 5 to 7 times more likely to die on the roads here than in the UK.

The statistic in the UK clearly show that speed cameras are one of the major factors in improving roda safety.

On the Nottingham Ring Road, the number of KSIs (killed and seriously injured) average over 5 years before and after camera installation has halved. There are people alive today would would not have been because of the cameras. They are not the be all and end all - they are one of the tools in the roads safety arsenal.

It is fact that when a person is hit at 40mph there is a 80% chance they will die. At 30mph there is a 80% chance they will live.

Simply, if you obeyed the law, you would not have to pay.

Look at these, and then say speeding is OK.

Grumpy Goat said...

Uncanny, Alexander, that you beat me to it. I was going to post a very similar post on my blog.

Consider your fly dipped in my ointment.

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