Latest Speed Camera News
Way back in the mists of time we warned of big increases in the number
of speedtraps on British roads, well the increase that occurred, it appears,
is just not enough to satisfy the so called Safety Camera Partnerships.
According to the Daily Telegraph 21 of the 33 so called 'safety camera
partnerships' who responded to their survey have said that they will be
increasing the number of speed cameras in their designated areas. Overall
the numbers could mean up to a 50% increase in cameras on our roads.
In alignment with the newer technology rather than the old type of Gatso
camera which had a film that could run out and needed to be changed, the
new ones will all have digital speed cameras alongside the radar speed
detector. The digital camera serves 2 purposes: it provides visible evidence
of a vehicle travelling at a certain speed due to the white lines on the
road and it also gives the control centre a means to identify a car via
the registration number.
with the new digital camera technology this of course means that an image
can instantly be sent to the control centre where it will be processed
and the letter of intended prosecution could be sent immediately, making
the process far more efficient and of course far more profitable for the
Some of the camera partnerships have even admitted that they expect to
make more money using the new cameras. The increase of upto 50% is due
to happen in the next 12 months.
Apparently this increase in cameras is down to the camera partnerships
wanting to make more money out of the motorist, as the government have
distanced themselves from the increase. Transport Minister Stephen Hammond
commented to the Daily Telegraph “It is for local authorities and police
to decide whether or not to use speed cameras and how they wish to operate
them,”.....“However, we do not believe that cameras should be used as
the default solution in reducing accidents, nor as a way of raising revenue.”
And here's the punchline.........Not only will there be 50% more cameras
on the roads but the speeding fine is set to increase from £60 to £90.
Police and local authorities in England are being told by the Government
to publish figures about the use and impact of speed cameras. Site by
site statistics from 1990 onwards are to be published by 20th July. The
statistics will include numbers of people killed or seriously injured
as well as all personal injuries. Information about the speeding offences
and punishments will also be published. Road safety minister Mike Penning
said "If taxpayers' money is being spent on speed cameras, then it
is right that information about their effectiveness is available to the
public. This will help to show what impact cameras are having on road
safety and also how the police are dealing with offenders."
In a recent news release it was reported that Ireland is rolling out a
new privatised mobile speed camera system. The new network will monitor
600 problem areas and will cost 65 million Euros. The new vans which are
clearly marked will patrol the 600 problem areas including 60 in Dublin.
The 5 year 65 million Euro deal is with the GoSafe consortium, so that's
13 million Euros a year, a nice deal for the group at a time when Ireland
has suffered economically, .
Denbighshire Free Press informs us that 84 people have been killed on
North Wales roads in just 2 years and a further 760 were seriously injured.
It also states that the latest Department of Transport figures show that
there has been an increase in the number of people killed since last year,
that's 41 to 43. There was also in increase in the number of people seriously
injured from 348 to 412.
In all there has been an increase in deaths, serious injuries and minor
injuries from 2,672 to 2,773. The increase in the figures of deaths, serious
and minor injuries seems to be at odds with the strict speed enforcement
that has become famous in North Wales. Is it possible that the speed of
cars wasn't really the area of road safety that should have been so strongly
targetted, maybe it's driver training and education that should have been
targetted so heavily.
Britain's former top traffic cop, Meredydd Hughes, has been banned from
driving for 42 days after admitting speeding at 90mph in a 60 zone. The
chief constable for South Yorkshire was caught by a speed camera in North
Wales during his holiday in May. He pleaded guilty through his solicitor
at Wrexham Magistrates’ Court this morning and was fined £350.
He did not appear in person. The Association of Chief Police Officers
(ACPO) said after details of the offence emerged that Hughes was to step
down from his role as head of roads policing. He remains in the post according
to ACPO’s website.
Richard Brunstrom upsets the family of a motorcyclist
North Wales Chief Constable Richard Brunstrom has yet again upset members
of the society that he purports to protect. This time by showing images
of a dead motorcyclist at a closed conference with journalists. The images
showed the head of a motorcyclist(40-year-old Mark Gibney) still in it's
helmet with eyes open following an accident on a bend on the B5105 between
Cerrigydrudion and Ruthin in 2003.
Speeding drivers to be offered courses
These courses are designed to alter attitudes towards speeding. Some drivers
who are caught speeding are to be offered a training course rather than
receiving points on their licences. They are designed to improve driving
skills, attitudes and behaviour, the classroom and practical sessions
are being launched by Hertfordshire County Council.
A six-hour course is to be offered, costing £100 and this replaces
the £60 fixed penalty fine and three penalty points on the licence.
Hertfordshire Police have commissioned the council's road safety unit
to run the training, which is by police invitation only.
Councillor Stuart Pile said: "We are pleased to have been chosen
to run this course and are confident that it will impact on driving habits
and reduce the number of speeding drivers across the county."
UK: Haywire Speed Camera Flashes the Innocent
In Cumbria a UK speed camera certified as accurate a few months ago has
been sending tickets to innocent motorists.
The speed camera situated in the South Lakeland area of Cumbria had been
flashing motorists who were driving at or under the 40 MPH speed limit.
The camera partnership responsible for operating the device had recognized
the problem only after innocent motorists called to protest the unjust
charges. The Cumbria Speed Camera Partnership now says it will not prosecute
motorists for driving the speed limit and claims none have been wrongly
"The flash on this type of camera is allowed to be set at a different
speed to the speed of the penalty threshold," Cumbria Partnership
Manager Steve Callaghan explained.
On March 1, 2006 the company RedSpeed International, Ltd. had certified
that the device located on the A591 at Ings was 100 percent accurate.
RedSpeed is not an independent testing laboratory without a financial
stake in the results. Rather, according to the company's website, "Our
main function is to market the RedSpeed range of traffic related equipment
for traffic law enforcement."
A man has been acquitted of speeding on the grounds that the form/document
used by the police couldn't be guaranteed to have been issued by the police.
This is a technicality that could affect a huge number of speeding cases.
Judge Bowers acquitted Dr William Dehany on appeal against a speeding
conviction, this week at Teeside Crown Court. Critical defects in the
prosecutions case was that the 'section 172' request form (notice to owner
requiring him to identify the driver at the time of the alleged offence)
could not be determined to have been issued on behalf of the Chief Constable
of the local police force. This is a fatal defect on behalf of the police
which renders prosecution impossible.
Evidence was also presented at the hearing stating the same form has
been used since 2000.
Commentators on the matter have said defects in speeding prosecution
cases are far too commonplace. Anyone convicted in Cleveland since 2000
on the basis of the above faulty procedure should now apply to have their
fines refunded, any licence points removed and in many cases compensated
for consequential losses.
Costs for these kinds of mistakes by the Police
force could run into millions of pounds. As authorities are enforcing
technical regulations against the motorist, motorists are fighting back
and enforcing technical regulations against the authorities. In this insane
situation of technical regulations, road safety has seemingly been forgotten.
An expert witness in the case, Richard Bentley said: "This is one
part of a symphony of errors present in Cleveland enforcement. The Judge
has ruled correctly on a critical defect that has implications running
into tens of millions of pounds."
Dr William Dehany said: "I did it for the common man and for justice
for motorists everywhere."
A speed camera on the M62 at Ferrybridge, West Yorkshire is reported to
have raised over £1 million and caught 18,000 drivers speeding over
a period of 18 months. Located in on the M62 motorway, the speed limit
was temporarily lowered from 70mph to 50mph whilst road works where undertaken.
Motorists caught by the Gatso device where charged £1,088,000 in
A spokesman for the Association of Chief Police Officers, Ian Bell, is
reported to have said that "Britain's roads need some 1,000 more
That's another 16 per cent increase over the increases over the past couple
of years which have seen speedtraps triple in some areas.
Local authorities are targeting the M4 from Wednesday 13th April 2005
with mobile speed cameras.
"One day soon we'll all get a speed ban."
In an article by Jonathan Leake in the Daily Telegraph he reports on a
study carried out by Rose Baker who is a professor of statistics at Salford
University, the research paper was published in Mathematics Today. The
study shows that due to the increase in speed cameras around the country
the average driver will face a ban every 15 years. In a drivers lifetime
that could be 3 or 4 times. It also shows that the average driver will
get a speeding ticket every 2 years.
'DEADLY DANGER OF SPEED CAMERAS'
This was the headline on the front page of the Manchester Evening News
in an article by Brian Lashley of the M.E.N., the story was also featured
in BBCs regional news, reporting that coroner John Pollard had said that
"The Gatso can distract the driver. The driver could momentarily
be distracted and concentrate on their speed instead of the road."
The camera on High lane in Stockport could have been one factor which
contributed to the tragic death of Myra Nevett a retired school bursar
on 16th December 2003. Part of the evidence to support this came from
PC Michael Jeffrey who said that "they do tend to draw a driver's
attention away from other areas and they concentrate on their speed, making
sure they are not exceeding the speed limit."
The speed camera it must be said was only one factor that could have contributed
to the unfortunate incident, poor street lighting was another.
According to recent news reports cats eye speedtraps are now with us on
test on the M8.
It has been reported that in Somerset 12 out of the county's 50 speed
cameras have been targeted by vandalism. The latest being the first ever
speed camera to be vandalised using dynamite. This was near Emborrow.
On the Tonight programme hosted by Trevor MacDonald the speedtrap detector
subject was hotly debated by various people including Ernie Harbon who
was jailed for refusing to pay a speeding fine, his offence was 38 in
a 30 zone. Because of the open road layout and lack of serious hazards
poor Ernie wrongly assumed that it was a 40 zone, so it would seem that
at 38mph he thought that he was being a law abiding citizen. That stretch
of road has no 30 mph speed limit signs. When Richard Bentley (an independent
expert) was consulted, he agreed that that type of road would normally
be a 40 zone. Ernie was given the prisoner number JH7915 and locked up
with murderers and drug addicts for his crime against society.
Other comments came from Steve Walsh a former traffic cop who supplied
evidence that some speed traps have monthly revenue targets that they
have to attain. He also said that there is an imbalance between the way
that a bad motorist is treated for dangerous driving who may kill or injure
somebody and a normally conscienscous driver who strays over the speed
limit in seemingly safe conditions. He did say that he supports speed
cameras in the right areas. He also went on to say that some speeding
convictions are based on spurious radar readings and that this is very
common, especially when Rover 2000s, high sided vehicles or Transit vans
with roller shutter doors are involved at the time a Gatso camera is activated.
One speeding offence seemed to be over 400mph.
One individual interviewed had the title Captain Gatso and is a self
styled Gatso vigilante, if he spots a Gatso camera in an area where he
doesn't believe it is necessarry and is there purely to collect revenue
he may damage it in some way, and there are plenty of supporters in his
Quentin Wilson also spoke out against the innappropriate sighting of
speedtraps and commented that we haven't seen this sort of civil defiance
since the Poll Tax.
On the Radio 2 Jeremy Vine show, Peter Wilby editor of the New Statesman,
said that speeding motorists are committing an offence the same as somebody
who kills their wife, commits a rape or is a paedophile.
The government is contemplating adding a surcharge to any offence including
motoring offences such as speeding. The surcharge will be put towards
support for victims of crime.