Throughout the UK, just over four people are caught speeding every minute – or around 6,000 every day. Avon and Somerset police top the league table, at around 548 a day, the neighbouring force, Wiltshire, are at the very bottom – just 1,191, per year.
Do drivers immediately speed up when they reach Avon and Somerset? Or is there something more to it? Is it the heady thought of a holiday in the south-west that’s causing the problem? How can there be such discrepancy?
Thoughts turn to the oft-used phrase “revenue raising”; lowering the threshold for what constitutes speeding is simple enough, except in this case, Avon and Somerset’s police are adhering to the NPCC (formerly ACPO) guidelines of 10% + 2mph, ie, 30mph would need a minimum of 35mph to trigger an incident of ‘speeding’.
Similarly, Wiltshire hasn’t relaxed the speeding guidelines either.
It’s only by looking into the statistics that we get a clearer picture as to where the disparity may stem from; 100% of the offences in Avon and Somerset were caught by a safety camera, and out of the 1,191 motorists speeding in Wiltshire, 0% were caught by a camera.
While many forces are cutting the use of fixed speed cameras, either through a budgetary deficiency or other means, Avon and Somerset have 96% of their speed cameras active. Only five other forces (that responded to a Freedom of Information request) had the same percentage or higher, and out of those areas, only one force had a greater number of cameras; Nottinghamshire (with just 27,155 offences caught).
The study has been carried out by Dr Adam Snow from Liverpool John Moores University for the RAC Foundation, as part of some wider research into speeding offences and how they’re dealt with throughout the nation.
The biggest takeaway from the study is that speeding seems to be on the up, the increased use of speed cameras has had a dramatic effect on numbers caught (Avon and Somerset recorded a 416% increase in detections between the period 2011 – 2018), and that there seems to be no cohesion as to how the offence is dealt with – Derbyshire sent just 1% of speeders on a Speed Awareness Course, Durham topped the list at 60% being offered a SAC.
It’s easy to decry the use of speed cameras, and they do have their flaws, but it could be argued that they’re doing part of a job, of which has all but been made redundant thanks to budget cuts and reprioritisation. Steve Gooding, RAC Foundation director says: “A lot of it will come down to local policing priorities, it’s the job of the police, crime commissioners, and chief constables to target resources appropriately, recognising the issues of local concern”.
It’s worth noting that Avon and Somerset have over 130 active community speed watch schemes running, although being caught through the scheme means a stern warning, rather than penalty points.
The top five
The areas with the most offences detected are:
Avon and Somerset (27 of 28 cameras active)
West Yorkshire (98/396)
Metropolitan Police, inc City of London (figures only for City of London 4/4)
Thames Valley (no figures released)
Greater Manchester (43/177)
It’s no surprise to learn that the areas with the least detection rates have at least two without cameras, although it’s believed to be three.
Wiltshire (no figures released, but press cuttings say cameras deactivated in 2010/11)
Durham (no cameras)
Cleveland (no cameras)
Unfortunately, there is no dataset for road traffic collisions available for Cleveland and Durham, which would give us a good indicator as to just how ‘safe’ safety cameras are, but if road safety campaigners are to be believed, then surely Durham and Cleveland would be an accident hotspot, figuring in national news on a regular basis?
For the record, we aren’t saying that all safety (or speed) cameras are focused in revenue generation, with absolutely no need for them to be there, but it gets back to what is appropriate speed, and until they’re able to distinguish the difference between appropriate speed, and ‘speeding’, then perhaps the discretion of a traffic officer may always be the favoured option.
Crime fighting technology
We’re used to technology playing a bigger part in our lives, be that in an official capacity or for our own personal benefit, and surely it’s only ever going to increase. We often hear of people bemoaning the fact that driving standards seem to be falling, but as sensors get evermore intelligent, they could just be the saviour of driving standards, perhaps even encouraging change on a societal level, but then of course any change would be subject to the cry of ‘Big Brother is watching you’.
Should we rely on technology to aid driving standards? Do you think that technology can be used to improve our journeys? Or are we heading in to the abyss of machine dominance? Let us know in the comments.
Any technology that improves road safety and reduces the likelihood of our friends or family being killed or injured should be deployed. Use of technology should, if deployed correctly, help change driving behaviour and ensure a more consistent means of detecting those individuals who have no regard for other road users.
Although speed is only one area of concern it is a major one. And one where the use of average speed cameras could be extremely useful in reducing speed. For example if a car journey can be measured at regular intervals there would be no point in a drives doing excessive speeds.
Let’s use technology free up police time and make our roads safer.
It doesn’t free up police time, it just means they have to employ less policemen…
You have completed the circle of a self defeating prophecy. Bravo. The authorities have given up on proper intelligent road policing on major issues that always cause danger and all we hear about is automated speed speed speed policing. Mostly for marginal transgressions of no real consequence – take motorways where many do the limit thst is permissible in continental Europe with no Ill effect. What st we need us MORE police policing properly – not LESS for gawds sake! Pragmatic intelligence led not kneejerk simplicity that is a disservice.
Driving safely is about being alert and making judgements. In modern vehicles 30 mphis often between third and fourth gear so in a hilly area for example there is constant need to change gear. In addition watching speed limits and the speedometer takes attention from other hazards on the road. In some cases such as by schools at some times of the day and in shopping centres even 15 mph might be too fast whereas travelling at 40 mph in a 30 mph zone might, in some cases such as on roads with wide verges and good visibility, be perfectly safe with a well trained and alert driver, a good car and at a time when there are few if any pedestrians. These are judgement calls and technology cannot (yet) make such assessments. That is why speed cameras (lets not get confused by calling them safety cameras) are not respected as a means of enforcement. A trained traffic police officer can make those judgements. The difficulty with technology is, as you say Trevor, ‘deploying it correctly’ and, at present, technology is fundementally flawed.
“whereas travelling at 40 mph in a 30 mph zone might, in some cases such as on roads with wide verges and good visibility, be perfectly safe with a well trained and alert driver, a good car and at a time when there are few if any pedestrians. These are judgement calls”
Poor judgement calls! There’s generally a very good reason a 30mph limit was set- it’s not your call to judge which ones you consider to be appropriate.
Unfortunately those setting the limits can not be assumed to be experts or even setting a new lower limit for a good reason. In Poole the councilors reduced the limit on a dual carriagway from 70mph to 50mph; one reason given by councillors was that it was the only 70mph stretch of road in the Poole borough. Now does that sound like a good reason?
No it is not a good reason. But, I believe that the standard of maintenance has to be higher on 70mph roads. Therefore by reducing the limit you reduce maintenance costs.
Heaven forbid that any motorist should be allowed to use that thing that they keep between their ears to make a judgment. Driving is a continual process of observation, assessment & adjustment, i.e.judgments. A blanket speed limit of any kind cannot possibly be a safe maximum speed for all roads covered by that speed limit at all times. Sometimes it’s too high & sometimes it’s too low. You never see a mobile speed enforcement officer outside a school at “school run” times because the overwhelming majority of motorists self regulate according to the prevailing conditions. ( They wouldn’t catch anybody ). And no, I’m not advocating no speed limits before some bright spark suggests that, I just think that it’s not beyond the wit of mankind to use a little common sense, intelligence & judgement ( yes that word again ) in the application of enforcing road safety in its entirety & not obsess rigidly about one easily measured parameter & pretend that we’re constructively promoting road safety.
Not always true. Near me there is a 30mph limit past a school, 30 may be to fast ?
But, this is a wide dual carriageway with open spaces. On a quiet weekend 30 is VERY slow.
Technology does not improve safety if the ‘nut behind the wheel’ doesn’t have the wherewithall to drive responsibly. And that IS the real issue. In addition, drivers today are cossetted in a plush comfortable quiet car where they loose all sense of speed, then add ‘wall to wall’ stereo and other electronic gadgets and their complete distraction is guaranteed.
You would not want this, all you’ll do is cause more crashes because people will be staring at there speedo!
Its Black and White – speeding is speeding – don’t do it. It’s slso a measure of a lack of discipline by certain drivers
Wake up to the real world, some increase in speed on an empty motorway to me is acceptable, around the houses and school areas sure go slow, these scammy vans and Police hiding up lay-by’s to me is unacceptable , catch criminals not innocent members of the public . I don’t know anyone that does not exceed 70 MPH on motorways NO ONE.
Just how ‘innocent’ is a person who is breaking the law by speeding? I should know – I do it all the time!
Tom, “so you break the speed limit all the time.” No wonder that those who adhere to the limits look upon you as a dangerous selfish driver who has no regard for other road users and pedestrians. Your attitude is like so many on our roads today when should they be caught by a Speed Camera, those drivers and your excuse is “they are only there to raise revenue.”
If you have a problem with speed limits move to a country that does not have them and make our roads that little bit safer for the rest of us.
How can you be innocent if you are breaking the speed limit?
Because all too often the speed limit is simply vexatious
Only to those who don’t allow themselves enough time for their journey. We have to live with these speed limits, no matter how ridiculous they may seem. The only way to get over anxiety and rage is to actually go a lot slower and breath deeply!
It wouldn’t have been you by any chance, clocked at 151mph in a 60mph limit on the A17? 🤔
We ride horses on there……
I don’t drive German cars. Overpriced and not that reliable these days!
That may well be the case Tom. However there is a correct way to approach this, starting a campaign to change the speed limit/law is, I would have thought the way to go. Then a debate can be had, IMHO
Good idea? Although in the UK we do not have a functioning government and the police spend too much time on awareness courses and Krispy Kreme runs.
Tom, you need to stop watching Fast & Furious and Top Gun, as it seems your only thought when driving as per the quote “I Feel The Need For Speed” if that is the case, go to your nearest Race Track and drive on there as fast as you like but not on our public highways
The Speed Limit….. a limit that was set decades ago when cars had no servo assistance, no ABS, drum brakes around and no airbags or crumple zones and safety zones with very poor if any seat belts and where so poorly built that if you got it to 70mph most of them felt like they where shaking themselves to bits, if you where unfortunate enough to hit something you where whole heartily dead!
A sup-son different now I feel cars are now 1000% better and safer than then do 70 mph in a modern car it hardly feels like its moving and silent to boot, electric cars will be worse, however, you can slow us all down to 10 mph and you will still have accidents because you wont stop the idiot swerving across lanes to get off or up the slip and across to the outside lane without a glance, nor will you stop the idiot with his phone plugged into his head stepping out in-front of you, most times speed is not the actual killer, its the person who feels they can do as they please that causes the accident in the 1st place, the lane swerver, the idiot with the pushchair who steps out between parked cars without looking using the child in it as a stop sign, the moron on the cycle who rides out of side roads without stopping at the solid line, because he doesn’t want to take his foot out of the toe clips even though its your right of way, he has decided its his today, slow us all down the above idiots (and more) will just leave it later to practices their “rights”
Self preservation is not theirs to look after, its down to everyone else to preserve their life instead they are far to busy practising their rights to do what they want.
It is lack of discipline,arrogance AND lack of law presence. Government loves to introduce more and more laws(looks like they are doing something) but , as in many areas of life, the resources are not forthcoming. Until adequate spending by government is reached, this situation will worsen.
Taxation is a political hot potato- government are out to win votes after all- maybe if we paid more and gave up our 3rd holiday abroad , paid more in taxes, maybe we would be in a better position to criticise poor driving behaviour…. lack of police resources will not encourage better driving standards or behaviour.
This might be a tad controversial……
Any one who succesfully takes advanced training is indoctrinated to comply with all speed limits, and these are the safest drivers on our roads. Therefore the speeders are the ones with the least skills. Form your own conclusions as to the importance of speed compliance….
Really? Yes, I can say I have taken and passed a number of advanced courses. Yes, up until deer deliberately put itself in front of my car despite my best efforts, I had never had an insurance claim in 3 decades.
Guess what? I speed. I do track days. I have driven at speeds of more than double the UK Corporation’s maximum limit yet according to you, Dave C, I am the least skilled? Seriously dude, you know nothing.
I’d love to see the figures showing how many drivers Avon & Somerset caught for the following:
Driving in poor visibility with no lights
Using a phone
Not indicating at roundabouts or junctions
Motorcycles weaving and filtering at speed
I’m guessing I could count them on one hand (that’s five fingers for those of you from the Forest of Dean)
I live in Chester, too many motorist don’t use indicators when turning and another potentially dangerous habit is cutting corners when turning into a junction, to my mind it means the brain is somewhere else and not consentraiting or thinking ahead when driving.
concentraiting…!! do you drive like you spell
Do you? Concentrating.
It is because he was driving at the time and could not text properly!!
I noticed the error John but I wouldn’t have pointed it out. A person’s education or spelling ability doesn’t validate or contradict their opinion.
Well said Mark.
Especially not when you can’t spell the word either. Priceless!
There is always one tosser at the party. john is a supper tosser
drivers in Blackpool are guilty of cutting corners /junctions too. lots of people on Mobil phones.
I used to be on Mobil until the forecourt changed to Texaco
I totally agree with you Simon, where I live in Wiltshire, it’s true the cameras were switched off as all the revenue went to the Governments Treasury Dept as the local force had to service & finance the upkeep if these camera’s so they were disposed of. With the Avon & Somerset Police, the M4 junction crossing of the M5 is a contentious hot bed for the speeders with the viable speed camera’s in place, it could be said, it’s a cash-cow situation. Then again many driver’s today are clueless, they can’t drive, no awareness of people or other traffic, weather & general traffic conditions. Simon, if I may I think you missed out one category of driver …. the Red Light Jumpers!! where I live the local Police Force could make a fortune, as they are all colourblind in these parts.
I feel Petrol prices have conflicting articles here, one tells us of the pot holes situation that growing on our roads and this one tells us how more drivers are speeding?
Perhaps the speeding drivers are trying to get some uplift to “fly” over the pot holes, perhaps the pots are coming from Brexit, its the Europeans repossessing bits of tarmac from our roads, who knows but one thing is for sure the speeders will be in petrol cars as not many of us in diesels can afford to speed anymore.
The cameras are also variable .
Simon – indicating is a courtesy and NOT a legal requirement
That is correct although if it caused an accident the driver could be fined for driving without due care and attention.
It’s about time this was made law. It would increase traffic flow considerably although where I live there seems to be a new set of traffic lights on every roundabout every couple of months. How many times are you stuck at a roundabout and the driver from the right hand road does not signal that they are going left?
On my way to work, as I drive up the slip road to a traffic island, I want the 2nd exit. Now if I have my left indicator on the cars pulling out of the 1exit, could assume I required that exit. ( quite rightly so) . But if I have right indicator on to show I’m passing that exit there’s literally no time to change the indicator to signal left. It really is that close. There isn’t even a curb stone length between them, so rightly or wrongly on that traffic island I don’t indicate at all. Also the cars pulling out of the 1st exit have far more visability than the cars pulling out of the slip road, so are travelling much quicker than you can pull off. This traffic island is the 2nd exit off the A38 after J28 M1 travelling towards Mansfield. Any thoughts please cliff.
Try passing a driving test without the use of indicators!
Very true Tony. Also try passing an MOT without working indicators
Surprisingly, indicating your intentions is just a courtesy. Well spotted Bob.
Not indicating is an indication that you’re a tw*t.
Wot he sed…
Advanced trained, professional drivers are taught only to indicate when it can be of benefit to other road users. To not indicate for the benefit of other road users is selfish, thoughtless and quite simply hinders traffic flow and good driver relations. Drivers leaving a right indicator on when they exit a busy roundabout is also frustrating.
Or a bmw driver
Presumably, you are a BMW driver?
LOL. or Audi
I agree with you both. BMW and AUDI drivers think that rules don’t apply to them. Not all I must admit, but the majority.
Don’t start me on the reckless motorists , who , in heavy traffic, find it necessary to undertake and then pull straight in front jeapordising my breaking distance . Just to be one car ahead .
Maybe you should be in the left lane instead of being a middle lane driver like the majority of useless drivers in this country.
is that the spelling police again?
well the police have to find someting to do that requires less effort…
It is possible to drive perfectly safely without indicating 99% of the time.
If the movements you are making causes someone to change their path, regardless of whether you have indicated or not, you are not driving correctly (exception being when someone deliberately alters their path to let you make a turn that you’ve indicated)
Good point Tim, mirror, signal, manoeuvre. If you’re looking to join traffic you’re only supposed to signal once the road is clear, similarly changing lanes etc. However I would always indicate where there is or is likely to be someone to see it.
I believe the reason why indicating is not a requirement is to discipline the driver into looking, that most underused of driving skills. The intention is that the driver will firstly, as pointed out, use the mirror to determine if there is anybody behind you who will benefit from knowing what your intentions are, and also assess the road ahead (and pavement since pedestrians need to know what your intentions are too) for similar reasons. The idea is that you pay attention to the situation and signal if conditions warrant it, rather than acting like an automaton without really having any awareness of what’s going on around you. People have mentioned driving tests, however I believe the fault lies with instructors who tell their students to indicate regardless of the situation. The examiners are usually well aware of Roadcraft (the Police drivers’ manual) so I would expect them to recognise when a driver is making correct use of their indicators.
Trouble is so many don’t bother at all. then they get to not bothering about mirros either.
“Miiror Mirror on my door
I’ve often wondered what you’re for”
Very important when sitting at lights in a lane that is “straight ahead or right turn”. Traffic needs to know if you are going to go ahead, or move 6 feet and stop until the lights change and you cna turn right. If you don’t signal whilst waiting don’t be surprised to find frustreated people behind you who would ahve chosen the other lane if they knew you were ging to do that!!
Mirror, Signal, Mirror, BLIND spot, Manoeuvre, at the correct speed, using and observing you position, speed and the correct gears throughout the turn. Indication use is helpful for all other road users, pedestrians and simply good manners. After a while you indicate without thinking about it…. I do hope I’ve spelt everything correctly!!
RUBBISH. Any driver looking further ahead than the end of thier bonnet will want to know the intentions of other traffic well in advance, not just when they have to stop or swerve!! Try passing a test without indicating, or an advanced test without commenting on the intentions of drivers up ahead. Expect a car to move out and take thier place at the middle of the road, expect a car to begin to slow down before a left turn etc.
Basically it means you cna PLAN not REACT. Of course there are changes of plan but you’d be surprised how much smoother and calmer your journey is if you plan ahead.
You might change your attitude once you join the “Sorry Mate I Didn’t See You” club. Just indicate and prevent needless incidents / life changing injuries / death. Please.
read the highway code and look back at when you passed your test wouldn’t of not indicated then would you, or in front of a traffic cop oh no to devious for that aren’t you, I think you may have a c**p car and actually want somebody to plough into the back of you, not insinuating that this is done by you for this reason. but there are some individuals out there most criminal elements in our society that do these things. selfish people, selfish attitudes that’s why we have crashes and people are killed on our roads. take the human equation out of the system and we will all be safer. Human error is the biggest killer of all not just in motoring but all across the board.
Indicating is not a courtesy, it is a integral part of safe driving. By indicating, other road users can adapt what they are doing, giving you the time to carry out your manoeuvre safely. If you don’t signal, other road users have to guess what you are doing. What happens when they guess incorrectly?
If you do not indicate on your driving test it’s a fail therefore it is a legal requirement as if you fail to do so and cause an accident you will be held accountable in a court of law
Check your mirrors ……. if somebody is behind you likely to be effected by your move ….. indicate …….. If nobody is behind you it’s a wasted indication. ……… simples ! !
Rubbish. If you are on the outside lane of a three lane motorway and pulling back into the centre. ALWAYS indicate. that car on the inside lane may just decide to pull out into your lane as you manoeuvre.
Car in the inside lane? Don’t make me laugh!
That is why BMW, AUDI, MERCEDES and LANDROVER/JAGUAR are putting indicators on their options list and because drivers like you so rarely use them.
Filtering on a motorcycle is legal !
It is not legal when you ‘overtake by the left’ = RTA 1988.
I saw a police car racing down one main road in Birmingham with blue lights and siren on then a few yards down the road it was parked outside the fish and chip shop with the officers buying fish and chips must have been in a hurry for their tea
Simon, you cannot count either! You do not have 5 fingers on one hand, check your hand again!!! Apart from that I agree with your comments.
In medical terms you do. ‘Thumb’ is a lay term.
I don’t know for certain as I’ve never ridden a motorbike but I was told that weaving ‘safely’ through traffic is taught, encouraged and part of the test.
For motorways though the average speed cameras have to be the answer to road safety on motorways. Wherever I’ve seen them motorists behave themselves with regards to the limit and you don’t get the bunching that occurs as 80+mph traffic catches up with 60mph overtaking the 56mph trucks that are in the middle overtaking auntie Gertrude out for a drive or Bob the hypermiler doing his 48 mph to optimise fuel efficiency.
Its only legal <10mph
<10mph more than the surrounding traffic. Not <10mph. I can do 40 in between lanes through a motorway jam if the traffic is doing 30…
If you’re referring to filtering the above statement re legality is utter tosh.
If you think otherwise. link to the relevant legislation please.
It is recommended not to have a speed differential greater than 15mph.
It’s called or was called ‘making due progress’ and if not carried out, would have been a fail when I took my bike test but it also needs to be safely carried out.
Completely disagree regarding average speed cameras unless ALL you are trying to do is slow traffic down rather than improve safety which was my understanding of the point. Average speed cameras result in huge blocks of traffic traveling way too close to each other for mile after mile and if anyone sneezed at the wrong time, a huge pile up would result. Just go through any reasonably busy set of roadworks.
Gatso’s for safety I completely agree with but too many in the wrong place is counterproductive. Also if in the right area and show zero people caught means IT IS WORKING. Loads of prosecutions means the point of having the camera is NOT making things safer. The point is to improve safety or should be.
I think it would though be a great idea if all cameras also showed in full size the actual speed that people should be sticking too as far too many snoozing drivers slow down much more than needed because they cannot remember what they should be doing wen they didn’t need to slow down at all, they were already getting the way of everybody else.
Or is that four fingers and a thumb on one hand?
Mr Henly, just what do you mean by ‘motorcycles weaving’, pray tell?
Wadya mean. I have ten fingers dummy 😚
It would be a big help if speed cameras had a standard, why the same stretch of road has a 50mph speed limit with one council which changes to 60mph for another council both running through a rural setting with no apparent difference in houses.
I suppose you could call it “local democracy”, Mike. Where the representatives of one community place an emphasis for local issues, representatives of another community may see it differently. I always used to be irritated by an apparent speed paranoia within Staffordshire, where many roads have speed limits 10 mph lower than national limits, i.e. rural dual carriageways @ 60 mph and many other rural roads @ 50 mph, but now I’m a resident of that huge rural county, I’m obliged to admit to having a different perspective.
Living in Surrey where the county council have more or less set a blanket 40MPH limit on all country roads, against the advice of Surrey police who said it’s unenforceable, and without any consultation of the electorate I’m not convinced “democracy” is the right term. I’ll also bet that the likes of BRAKE never ever consider that perhaps the reason the speed limit gets broken frequently in certain areas is that the speed limit is inappropriate rather than the use of speed by drivers.
Choices of speeds is based on individual risk assessments carried out by the responsible organisation, in this case the council.
By UK, I assume you mean England.
This is certainly not the case in Scotland. We have been campaigning for well over 8 years in our part of Edinburgh. Result – tokenism from both the Police and Road Safety Department of Edinburgh Council.
A camera would stop the problem in its tracks, but we have been told by the Council that we need deaths, before a camera would be considered. They also ignore traffic accidents, of which we have had a good few, unless there has been serious injury. Activated speed display signs were installed, which simply confirm the excessive speeds in the area.
Official road safety policy seems to rely on lucky rabbit’s foot !
Injury statistics are basically the only tool that cash strapped local councils have to decide how best to deal with the myriad injuries caused across their road network by the idiots who speed or otherwise drive recklessly. It enables us to operate a triage system whereby we spend what little money we have on sites where the most series and/or most frequent collisions occur. I’ve lost count of the times people have said “so you are waiting for an accident to happen”? Long story short, yes that’s unfortunately the way it is given what we have to work with. Roll on automatic in-car aids to prevent the idiots from affecting others!
Maybe the rabbit won’t be so lucky if crossing the road at the same time as a speeding motorist 🙂
They should put the speed limit on the camera box and if you are going faster that that your booked no matter how much faster than the limit you are doing.
I agree, they should have the limit on the box. My daughter lives near to one on the A1 and while I am visiting I can pretty much guarantee hearing a screech of brakes and horns going. She is pretty laid back about it and just says ‘oh someone else who didn’t know what the limit was’. She also says that there are frequent accidents outside her house – a straight road with nothing on it but the speed camera.
Thank you Wendy for a good example of the negative effect of speed cameras. Accidents on “a straight road with nothing on it but the speed camera” are not infrequent but posting the speed limit on the camera will, sadly, not help much and might even make matters worse.
What we need is observant, well trained and alert drivers. Unfortunately cameras, traffic calming humps and chicanes, and over population of sineage all take the drivers mind from loking at other hazards. I know that as a driver I have missed hazards while concentrating on the speedometer or negotiating calming measures.
I believe they removed the speed camera in the 50MPH stretch on the M4 through Port Talbot and replaced it with average speed cameras as it was actually causing accidents as drivers panicked, slammed on the brakes and got rammed in the rear by the unsuspecting driver doing 50MPH (but possibly driving too close) behind..
automatic head lights comes as soon as it get dark and sounder as soon as you approach mini roundabouts.
I agree with Charlie C, speeding is speeding and gratuitous flaunting of set speed limits does demonstrate a lack of self discipline as well as lack of respect for other road users. However, we can all have a momentary lapse often by a distraction which can cause a momentary drift over the prevailing speed limit. All of that said, motoring is persistently promoted by both the automotive industry and by motoring journalists as being good fun sport. Good fun motoring has always been dangerous and became a thing of the past by probably by the 1970’s. When do we ever see a tv series which promotes and encourages responsible driving? Rarely, if ever. The norm is for a programme to be centred around a handful of so called celebs performing totally useless stunts, invariably at very high speeds, all for little purpose than that of boosting their own egos and filling ther own pockets. The result of that is that a remarkably gullible public is not just entertained by that, but also greatly impressed with some actually being influenced to emulate those circus clowns. Whatever, those promotions rarely influence good driving habits and reasonable behaviour on our roads.
As a final note, it amazes me that more application is not given to traffic lights cameras. Red light jumping and even deliberately driving through a red light had reached virtual epidemic proportions in parts of West Yorks. I cannot believe other parts of the UK are much different. The potential revenue pickings from that must be substantial!
I guess you are having a go at Top Gear/Grand tour and the like. Given the massive popularity of those shows, its not down to boosting of ego’s or filling their pockets, that is simply a side effect for entertainers being employed to entertain. If there was no demand for the shows, the shows would not exist. As for calling people doing their jobs, entertaining the public, clowns, that seems overly harsh., especially given they do their jobs very well indeed.
Nah, it just shows we have a lot of “lads” who like moronic TV programmes.
Other countries have sensible and informative motoring programmes, rather than a group of yobs demonstrating how irresponsible they are.
You do realise that Top Gear made the BBC a fortune from selling it pretty much globally? Why do you think Amazon were so happy to cough up huge sums of money after the Beeb had had enough of Clarkson’s antics?
Come to London, traffic light cameras are everywhere.
I would like to see the figures to show the relative accident rates in areas who catch more motorists and those where the rate is low. We may then have a more realistic idea of how many accidents are really related simply to the speed of a vehicle rather than being a result of poor road craft and human fallibility.
Statistics can be skewed to misrepresent. For instance take a rural area with no speed cameras with a low accident record and compare it with the Avon bridge area on the M5 where there are speed cameras but the accident rate is likely to be higher due to sheer weight of traffic. Some would wrongly argue that speed cameras have caused an increase in accidents when comparing those locations. I’ve picked ridiculous extremes to make the point, and wouldn’t suggest that anyone has made that comparison.
Fit automatic speed limiters on all new cars then the problem will gradually go away – the technology has been around for decades but has only recently become affordable. The driver should be paying attention to all the other aspects of driving, particularly pedestrian and cyclists, and let the car computer handle speed control.
Automatic speed limiters (with the limit placed at anywhere near the speed limit) will not be popular because people will moan about living in a big brother state… Then they’ll moan about being caught speeding.
Speed limiters were very popular when trialled in Sweden
Maybe go back to us all riding horse and carriage and then no one will get anywhere.. At least the Government wouldn’t get all that greedy tax revenue from overpriced rip off petrol and diesel
Hi. There are speed cameras both fixed and mobile in Cleveland and in County Durham.
Thanks for the comment. The article itself relates to fixed cameras only, mobile cameras haven’t been included.
It’s interesting to hear that there are still fixed cameras in Cleveland and Durham, but are you sure they’re still active? A Freedom of Information request from the Press Association to all forces (of which, 36 forces responded) reported that both Cleveland and Durham no longer had active cameras. (But I could well imagine that they’ve kept the camera sites as an added deterrent).
Although a little out of date, there is a little more info here: https://www.wiltshiretimes.co.uk/news/15641090.only-half-of-fixed-cameras-actively-catching-speeding-drivers-figures-show/
Where are they in Durham John
Currently speed limiters I understand only prevent the exceeding of one predetermined speed limit. Viz 70mph
revenue generation is the ultimate intention , 70 MPH was around over 50 years ago when cars were far less powerful or able to stop quickly.
Nanny state getting worse. Pathetic really.
Woe is me!
Here’s a trick: if you don’t speed, they don’t get your money.
The weasel, probably apt. Now it’s not speeding on the motorway is a problem, 80 100mph+ no worries. How bout I’m 4 times drink drive, on my phone, lap top open on passenger seat, fag stuck to lip, 4 bold tyres and only half my lights working? Simply slow to 70 mph an speed up again after camera. Police man in car sees light of phone/laptop an thinks we should have a word. Who was most dangerous? 100mph man or drunk?
Since I got removed without a single swear word. Weasel, I’m 4 times drink drive limit, laptop open on passenger seat, phone clamped to ear, 4 bold tyres doing 70 mph in a 50, brake for camera, speed up again. Traffic police would have seen my laptop glow or phone an pulled me, then seen drink and bold tyres. 85mph on m74 1.30am in fully legal vehicle with sober driver, flash, ban. Camera did nothing to improve road safety did it?
…however, this is not an either/or situation! Both are unsafe driving behaviours and both need reducing. Arguing the relative safety of two situations does not make the safer one inherently safe!
Andy , never said it did. But most people wouldn’t care less about the 85 mph. It’s not speed that is a problem 99% of the time, its distractions and stupid actions like flying across the motorway when you nearly miss your junction.
50+ years ago I could and did drive at 100mph legally, difference now is the number of cars on the road and the actual Bl**dy size of them, quite apart from the state of road surfaces.
These are not safety cameras,that is just propaganda.Cambridge police spent a lot of money tacking Safety Camera signs over their Speed Camera notices and have to recoup the money somehow. Cynical money grabbing tactics from police forces who,attack motorists instead of concentrating on serious crime
Whilst police officer discretion might be the favoured option, it is no use thinking that way now, as Theresa May has cut police forces to the bone so that they no longer have sufficient officers out there to do this sort of activity. That’s extremely unlikely to change, even under a Labour government, so we just have to get used to the idea of cameras. Yes, it’s also about revenue, which is why Wiltshire ditched theirs – because they were not allowed to keep the money raised.
This doesn’t surprise me, speeding, aggressive and dangerous driving has become the norm in recent years, especially driver jumping red traffic lights. The new road traffic laws need to say” ensure that at least 6 vehicles pass in front of you before you take off from traffic lights turn green.
We’ve plenty of drivers around us who take their time pulling away at green lights…which means that the sensors on that stretch decide they can turn them red again and hardly anyone gets through, p***ing everyone off behind them.
I suspect that the reason people speed in Somerset at every available opportunity is because the road are so poor and so clogged that we have to take every chance to get above third gear. It’s a shame that Somerset County Council seem hell bent on reducing the smooth running of traffic by reducing visibility (for anyone who is local, think of the junction between the A37 and A39 at Ston Easton), reducing overtaking opportunities ANYWHERE and EVERYWHERE. No wonder we all behave like bullocks released into the field when we find ourselves unhindered! I say this as someone who has done one speed awareness course for doing 34 in a 30 limit and has no other driving convictions.
Strange how we have technology that if fitted would prevent ANY car from speeding , yet the government will not ask / tell manufacturers to fit it!
Speed cameras are just cash cows!
It was in the news a few weeks ago that there are proposals to fit all new cars in Europe from 2022 with automatic speed limitation using GPS and sign recognition technology.
What’s the odds that there will be an app to over ride the speed limiting software by 2021 ??
If you read the article correctly, it only limits the speed if you allow it, it CAN be overridden lF the driver so wishes. If you want everyones freedom of choice to be removed then get a taxi or use an autonamous car…or have a lobotomy.
Deadly!!! If Boeing cant get teh automated software right on the 737 Max what chance is there on cars that rely on GPS and hit the brakes when the sensor gets it wrong!!! (Cars do ahve safety tests, but not at teh level of airplanes, yet a glitch got through).
Cameras which are producing high numbers of fines are not safety cameras.
They are registering a high number of dangerous situation which by law should be addressed effectively. It is obvious they should be reinforced or replaced by other safety measures or they are just serving as revenue producers, not limiting speed.
These can usually be identified by the lack of early warning signs and the inconspicuous, and often anamolous, siting of the cameras on roads where a higher speed limit would be the norm and no obvious hazards identifiable.
‘Speed awareness courses’ should be better controlled and run on a national basis, and it should receive the income, removing any incentive, or basis for accusation, of them being a motivation for retaining cameras which are not reducing traffic speeds..
They’ll be mostly Audi, BMW, VW, Merc, Range Rovers/large vans with windows and white van man.
Serves them right. Unfortunately not enough of them are caught. Most of the above owners drive dangerously. See what I mean by going onto the M25 from the M3 at 7.0 am in the morning!
What is it you have against virtually all German cars…Grow up !!
Speed camera’s good deterrent, yes I think so. Not sure I can get on board with average speed cameras, Why? Well they are just set at so many different speeds in a short distance it’s impossible to say all the time what speed you should be going. Here is an example of my journey to work up the M1 from Watford to Northampton from on two weeks ago.
So over a 6 mile stretch from Luton Airport to and into the road works northbound with 14 over road sign gantries, and static signs the speed limit changed 8 times with the last overhead stating national speed limit within 200m of a road work sign stating 50mph. If I squinted I could see 3 different speed limits at the limit of my vision. not so bad if they go 70 – 60 – 50 but these were 40 – 70 – 50
I could see camera’s flashing all over the place! Not entirely fair.
Deliberate! And I have know people who regulalrly use the M62 doen because when they looked up the camera said 60 but as they were about to go under it dropped to 50 and flashed them. I myself have had one change just 4 car lengths before the gantry. Just as well I didn’t have a tailgater or it would be a choice of ticket or acident!
Dear sirs in my opinión speed cameras if they working would help a Lot. Also lane hogging needs to be controlled more. Thank you yours sincerely.
In my experience, most people who complain about middle lane hogging are speed limit exceeders who for some reason don’t like to pull out into the outside lane to overtake and would rather flash/honk/ tailgate and generally intimidate people doing the 70mph limit in the middle lane – discuss
Join the discussion…
I abide by the highway code. Pull over if there is no vehicle in the inside lane.
Don’t exceed the speed limit.
What would the police do? I’m driving with due care and attention. Haven’t been caught for over 30 years so must be doing something right, ha ha!
Maybe they don’t want to overtake in the fast lane because there is someone who is travelling faster than them and getting the same treatment for being to slow
Left lane is for driving in. Right is for overtaking. Simples no excuses!
I wish car owners/drivers in this country had the same manners and courteousness as those in New Zealand.
Unfortunately we have a mixed cultural society where many from developing countries drive as if they are in their mother country.
Alan, you must be joking. Having spent 3 months driving in Wellington and Auckland and between the two Kiwi drivers are no better and sometimes worse regarding manners than here in the UK. As for driving in the countryside their 100 Kmph ( 60mph) blanket upper speed limit seems to encourage drivers to nod off, definately not pay attention to the road etc. Look at the accident stats for the Easter hols, more accidents than the UK!!!
Install an equivalence of truck tackograph. Provides Evidence of past speed if questioned and Always in the event of an accident.
all drivers – drive simulator test every five years. Excellent can do 90, Very Good 80, Good 70, below good GET EM OFF THE MOTORWAY……(HCV’s excepted but only allowed lanes 1&2 on 4-lane sections)
The reason that Avon & Somerset figures have gone up is the variable speed limits they introduced on the M4/M5 interchange. Not just that but last year they kept the cameras on even when there are no variable speed limits in action – so you can get caught doing over 70 now. That was how I got caught anyway!
If they are out of the local council remit. You will find they are operating unlawfully. In which case, I would contest it for a refund and/or compensation.
The local councils must submit speed restrictions in public notices by law.
I have had many refunds and compensation for the increase in my insurance premiums, because the cameras were working outside their boundaries.
Now we are getting “Smart Motorways” it has been stated that the gantry cameras will be active at all times on these motorways regardless of variable speed limits
These are very interesting statistics, however, how do these statistics compare to say 3 years ago, before local authorities found the need to increase revenue due to budget cuts. It would also be interesting to compare the road accident statistics for the same periods to see if there is a correlation between these vastly increased speeding convictions and their actual effect on safer driving conditions on these roads. I think that this would be a very interesting analysis of the data – perhaps Petrolprices could do some investigations of these other statistics
It’s clear from the stats that there are huge numbers of perfectly sensible, safe, drivers being nicked for straying over an arbitrary limit. It seems rather unlikely that thousands of ordinary people are being gripped by some sort of mass hysteria, so the only logical conclusion is that the speed limits unnecessarily low.
All this is being done with no resulting improvement in safety. We are milch cows being exploited. Get used to it because it is only going to get worse.
They always were arbitrary but now they are also ever lower in response to the hysterical health & safety brigade.
I think people would have more respect for speed limits if there was more joined up thinking about where and how they are applied. For instance what is the sense in having a 40 limit on a trunk road, but if you turn off it onto single track road with passing spaces you can race along legally at 60 through a small village with no street lighting, front doors by the road, no pavement and parked cars to avoid.
If you were to drive through a small village with cars parked either side of the road at 60mph and get caught you would probably be prosecuted for driving without due care or even dangerous driving irrespective of the speed limit.
Recent advert sits vac…… Man wanted to walk with red flag in front off motor vehicle. New safety regime.
A pity not everyone knows history because yes, once this actually was law in this country but not for long!
Yes, the rapidly expanding red flag manufacturing industry was brought to its knees before it really got going…
I hope you applied
I live in County Durham, and went to a Police Community meeting, a while back, where the Traffic Police, claimed that County Durham, has one of the lowest accident rates, per mile of road, in the country. So low accident rate, and no speed cameras, and some have the cheek to call them safety cameras.!!
I think that says it all!
That figure could be affected by the population density and demographics, the sort of roads, amount of through traffic, etc.; but it sounds worth investigating – comparisons with other areas, adjusted for relevant factors, might be revealing.
Why isn’t there cameras on traffic lights where it is just as dangerous if not more so.
Too many times I’ve been stopped as the lights have just turned to red when the car behind me has overtaken and gone through.
Orthe yellow box on the road. Does no one outside London know what’s it’s for.
There are cameras on many traffc lights and they will capture you if you go thru on amber or red. They don’t flash as the speed cameras do, so you may not always notice them
Partly correct, there are indeed camera’s named ‘Redspeed’ (used to be Monitron) that can do both red light and speed-on-green monitoring. Traffic light camera’s only operate on red lights not amber, as that is the actual offence.
Londons full of them
is it obligatory for police force to divulge the information, if asked the question of how many individuals caught in certain area
Sefton Council spent a fortune introducing 20mph on many of its roads but I do not believe anyone has ever been stopped even though many do 50 mph
As has been said before, it’s not speeding that kills, rather the very abrupt loss of speed…
Such as hitting another car, or a wall, or a tree, or even a pedestrian. So many ways to enjoy excessive speed
It is the new led headlights .THE FURTHER YOU CAN SEE,THE FASTER YOU CAN GO. BAN THEM. THEY ARE SO DANGEROUS
Yoou are joking aren’t you?
Maybe, but he does have a valid point.
I dislike them due to having a big 4×4 behind you with these lights at the same level as your rear screen making it daylight inside your car which is very distracting. OK, you can alter your rearview mirror but my car does not have electric wing mirrors so reflection from them is uncomfortable, to say the least. They are also a hazard when coming at you from the opposite side of the road.
Driving is all about the three A’s alertness,awareness,anticipation.
Driving fast doen’t cause accidents, driving at unsuitable speeds for the conditions does. The problem is any idiot can pass a driving test and they are then free to cause mayhem on the roads. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could have speed limits for competent drivers and restrict the idiots! Good drivers don’t need speed limit signs to advise them of a safe speed because they already know and it’s often nowhere close to the speed limit, schools for instance. Unfortunately, we have to share the roads with idiots, so should drive accordingly and accept that the speed limits are there for the stupid and the rest of us must also comply for the good of all. I think I drive in a safe, but spirited way and I haven’t had a ticket sine Princess Di’s funeral when the world went mad and the A303 was blocked with people standing in the road crying. I was crying too, but only because I couldn’t move. Just a comment, cruise control really helps with compliance.
Driving safely is about keeping your eyes on the road ahead & not getting distracted. The existence of speed cameras makes it more likely that you will stay below the latest ever lower speed limit, as opposed to what is a safe speed for the current road conditions but it makes it more likely that you will take your eyes off the roiad in order to check your speed. So rigid enforcement acts as a distraction because nobody can acurately determine their speed without reference to their speedometer. Also when seeing a speed camera the instinct is to brake & then check your speed but what about the car behind which doesn’t know why you braked? Instead of trusting us to drive safely according to the road conditions, they treat us like children.
It takes a fraction of a second to check your speed about 1/600sec so if your going to fast you brake. As for the car behind, if he is that close to you thats his fault and anyway if he is travelling at the same speed as you at a safe distance you have done him a favour by slowing him done also
Time it! – it’s a LOT longer than that. get a passenger to observe you at 70 and tell you how far you travelled whilst looking down.
A big thank you to all the drivers caught speeding for contributing to local funds and paying more for their car insurance so we can pay a bit less. If you don’t speed you don’t get caught.
All roads should have a speed limit that is appropriate for the road, not a lower limit that is there just to raise money. Too many straight wide roads have a limit of 50mph or less when 60mph is a safe speed.
That’s open for debate. Unclassified roads between farmers fields have a limit of 60 MPH – its definitely not safe to travel at that speed on them.
Filtering on a motorcycle is legal, as has been pointed out. Moving in and out of slow moving or stationary traffic is also legal, so long as it is done safely. Belting down the middle of stationary traffic is stupid, as is weaving at high speed. I once had a lorry driver open his door on me as I was carefully filtering, should have been done for attempted murder! Motorcycles should be given plenty of room and be allowed to pass other vehicles as they use the road in a slightly different way. However, complete d**k heads should be taken off the road like other idiots who can’t drive/ride.
Mike, I like you also ride motorbikes and agree with you. I have lost count of some car drivers who are in a jam or very slow moving traffic who deliberately place their vehicles in such a fashion as to try to restrict motorbikes etc. from filtering past them. Fortunately most drivers are courteous and allow room to pass them.
Yes; I’m not a rider myself, but I’ve seen analyses and stats that suggest that moving in and out of slow moving or stationary traffic in a responsible way is no more dangerous per mile than sticking strictly to lane discipline. The dangers occur when relative speed differences are high.
This argument about speeding crops up every so often. All motorists have a legal obligation to obey all speed limits from red circle to de-restriction sign on pain of a fine and a minimum of 3 penalty points. There is no exception. The Police in some measure have brought this on themselves. By putting up cameras and advertising them as safety cameras this somehow gives the impression that you can drive at whatever speed you like provided that you don’t do it at a speed camera. Revenue collection is a complete red herring. If you don’t speed, anywhere, you won’t pay a penny.
The law is the law and you should abide by the law .If you don’t you risk a penalty for breaking it whatever you might think .Follow the rules and you will not be punished ,break the rules and get caught doing it you will be punished no matter what you think about any law Too many drivers think they will not get caught but when they do they just turn into babies who did not get their own way
Anyone who has driven in both Wiltshire and Somerset will know that the speed limits are set differently. Wiltshire’s are mostly set reasonably and do not significantly impede progress for a reasonable drive. On the other hand, Somerset’s limits are almost all set unrealistically low and are therefore ignored by many drivers.
I was prosecuted in an average speed zone(PortTalbotM4)for doing57 in a 50 mile Zoe at 1.40 a.m.with not another car in site in either direction. No 10% +2here. Is this other than revenue collecting? Is this fair? Was this really a danger to anyone or myself? I do not think so. Brian Shepherd Carmarthen
I have lived in Taunton for the last 8 years and driven all over the UK and across several countries in Europe and I can honestly say, Somerset has some of the worst drivers I have ever witnessed.
speed limits are often too low because of political (i.e. election perk) reasons. these should be strictly used where absolutely necessary. authorities must EARN respect not take it for granted. if limits will be abused to get monet or used without a clear reason they will be ignored. for example on cash cow motorways when limit is left long after incident is cleared.
Smart motorways cameras will be active 24/7 so beware.
I personally feel a lot of the technology is unnecessary auto lights wipers people are becoming less and less involved in actually driving their car and I think it makes for lazy and thoughtless drivers
What is not discussed is the type of cameras being used, with Nottingham being a big user for Average Speed as opposed to national preference of Spot Speed. Compliance is far higher with Average Speed with the cameras on the A90 showing 99% compliance (Smart Motorways vol 7 no 1 – Transport Scotland) . This compliance is also effective over a long distance rather than just around the camera site.
What is also not quite correct is the fact that Avon and Somerset is also know to user Speed limit plus 2 on some of their systems. It is also know within the industry that the head of their enforcement team even did their own partner for breaking that limit.
If everyone drove properly we would not have these issues full stop.
I was on the A406 and someone is driving 40MPH in the right lane and has the cheek to flash me when I over take them… really.
Yes I wont say I don’t speed and when I do its night time and I am not upsetting anyone and I slow down in residential areas and near schools.
We all have our own styles of driving, unfortunately a lot of driver lack courtesy and consideration for others.
Too many phone users on the road a Range Rover driver nearly killed me and mum once was so busy on his phone that he didn’t even hear my horn, that’s scary. I am a young driver and do not use my phone whilst driving yet I see drivers much older than on there phones so what example are they setting to younger drivers???