December 23, 2004 at 10:08 am #9270GixParticipant
Cumbria speed camera vans to hunt in pairs
A NEW campaign to cut speeding could spell double trouble for motorists in Cumbria.
Two safety camera vans are set to be sited within a quarter of a mile of each other on certain stretches of road where speeding is commonplace.
Roads targeted will include stretches of the A590 between Barrow and the M6, as well as the A595 along the West Cumbria coast and the A6.
The move by Cumbria Safety Cameras aims to outfox motorists who think they can escape punishment by slowing down for a speed camera and then immediately exceeding the speed limit once they have gone past.
Paul Smith of SafeSpeed.org responded with this press release:
According to press reports, Cumbria are to introduce “double” speed
traps – two camera vans just one quarter of a mile apart.
One might wonder at the purpose of such a bizarre tactic. Do they want
to issue double fines to passing drivers? Double fines would be bad
enough, but the truth is far more frightening.
It turns out than there have been a series of crashes as frustrated
and annoyed drivers leave a zone of speed enforcement. They have been
having crashes at the very next hazard. Safe Speed believes this
little known side effect of speed cameras is the true reason for the
bizarre Cumbrian double traps. It’s called “race away”, and the double
cameras are a misguided attempt to combat this special danger.
In an interview with the Times earlier this year Chief Constable
Richard Brunstrom, sometimes called ‘The mad mullah of the traffic
taliban’ said: “We have a particular problem with motorcyclists
slowing down for the cameras but then speeding up and dying on the
Paul Smith, founder of the Safe Speed road safety campaign
(www.safespeed.org.uk) commented: “We have been trying to monitor
these so called “race away” crashes for some time. Camera partnerships
are reluctant to give us any information, and we’re not surprised.
Race away is one of a series of dangerous speed camera side effects,
none of which have been properly investigated.
In February this year, Steve Callaghan, manager of the Cumbria camera
operation said: “The mobile sites we have set up have hard standings
where the vans are usually located but we can move them within the
location of that site. Let’s say the site is 0.9km long, we can
operate anywhere inside that distance and this will be done in the
coming months. Hopefully this will combat the effect of the ‘race
away’ and subsequent disaster at a nearby hazard.”
This is a difficult issue for the camera proponents – do they warn the
public of the hazard, thereby admitting that their cameras have deadly
side effects, or do they allow it to continue? Cumbria has a novel
‘solution’, but of course we’ll end up with drivers and riders who are
twice as annoyed crashing after the second camera.
On Wednesday 22nd December annual road deaths in Cumbria surpassed the
2003 total making 2004 the worst year since 2000, and there’s a high
risk week to go.
Paul continues: “After the formation of the camera partnership in
Cumbria (April 2003) road fatalities have gone up in both 2003 and
2004. Any suggestion that cameras save lives is a sick joke, and
especially so for the thousands who have been fined or even banned
from driving. Safe Speed demands that we immediately suspend all speed
camera operations nationally. The side effects are killing us.”
Important tips for all road users:
Anyone caught speeding twice, 1/4 mile apart should ignore the fixed
penalty notices and ask the court to deal with BOTH as a SINGLE
OFFENCE. Taking your case to court also PREVENTS the local camera
partnership from recovering any fine money.
Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.
LOVE IS GIVING SOMEONE THE POWER TO DESTROY YOU, BUT TRUSTING THEM NOT TO DO IT.
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