Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Radar, radar everywhere

Gatso speed cameraImage via Wikipedia

It's interesting to see the backlash against fixed radar on British roads. The most recent news, albeit broken in the fascist's friend, The Daily Mail, is that Wiltshire town Swindon has scrapped fixed radars. Getting flashed on a British road means a £50 fine (about Dhs300, which is a snip compared to the rather more lavish fines doled out in the Emirates, which start at double that and rise depending on how much faster you're travelling.

Swindon's town council reacted to the news last October that the lucrative fines revenue would go direct to central government in Whitehall by withdrawing the lot of them, thereby underpinning the popular view that fixed radars were more about revenue than road safety.

Since the move, Swindon's roads have actually become safer - quarterly statistics show no fatalities since the radars were removed (the quarter before, with radars, there was a single fatality). Over the same periods speeding fines went down from 2,227 to 1,033 - hardly a surprise - the 1,033 fines came from mobile camera deployments.

This news adds to the increasing chorus from those in the UK who believe that fixed cameras have no effect whatsoever on road safety - an argument that could well apply to the streets of Dubai, where higher fines and stricter enforcement have undoubtedly had an effect on road mortality rates. The question as to whether having the highest penetration of fixed traffic cameras in the world today is about revenue or safety is one that does tend to nag me.

The Mail also carries the story of an unknown radar bomber who has taken the motorist's ultimate revenge, which I quite enjoyed. It's here.
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Oussama said...

Fixed radars safety's worse problem. Everybody knows where they are located and speeders have the tendency to slam their brakes as they pass by them. This act is the main cause of pile ups on highways. Mobil radars will not deter people from speeding if they are so inclined.
So... yes radars are a money generators. The best means to enhance road safety is through education starting from high schools onwards.

talha said...

Not defending radars but I think the argument here is a tad bit unfair..... as in its unfair to claim removing radars lead to a decrease in fatalities, especially in the case where the before scenario had just 1 (ONE) fatality!! It would take a SINGLE clumsy speeding driver to take himself and a passenger out and your statistics would be skewed to show removing radars increased fatalities!

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