Speed cameras – money, not lives

Gosh. Two rants about speed cameras in a row. How petrolhead of me.

There’s a road in Norfolk called the A47. It is, in fact, only one of two major roads in Norfolk, and runs east and west through the middle of the county. It’s a road I drive on almost every single day.

The A47 is almost unique in this county, as sections of it are dual carriageway. That’s as close as we get to a motorway round these parts. The town and city bypasses are mostly dualled, the rest of the route being single carriageway.

Ever since the Dawn of Time (that is, the 1960s), people have been campaigning to have the route fully dualled. This hasn’t happened. Things were promised, but never happened. Work even began, briefly, at one point – but was cancelled.

There are several notorious A47 accident blackspots. These include two stretches between Swaffham and Dereham, a bit between Dereham and Norwich, and a section known as the Acle Straight, between Acle and Great Yarmouth. In the section between Dereham and Norwich, there is at least one major accident a week, and a minor one almost every single day. There are several fatalities a year. I know this, because I’m often held up as a result. I also know this, because I know some of the people who have died.

As well as accidents, there’s also something these areas of road all have in common: they’re single carriageway.

In the last seven years, I only recall seeing three accidents on the dualled bit around Dereham. None of them were fatalities. I’m not saying there haven’t been any, but an accident a day on a similar length of the same road, compared to three in seven years? That says something, yes?

So imagine my surprise to see the new installation of some average-speed cameras on the dual carriageway this evening.

That’s right. They want people on the safe bit of road to slow down. No fixed cameras on the single carriageway section. No cameras around the blackspots where people have actually died due to people speeding.

There is just one reason why they’ve done this: money. They make money every time someone speeds. I’m not advocating speeding on any section of the road at all, far from it, but why put cameras where they’re not needed and not put them where they are? Because more people speed on the dualled section, and so would make the council more money, that’s why.

Who cares about saving lives anyway, eh?

3 thoughts on “Speed cameras – money, not lives”

  1. There’s a report up on the BBC Website right now, about this very topic. Nice timing!

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/6571257.stm

    In case they don’t publish it, here’s a comment I left:

    It’s very timely this report has been published today, as only yesterday I mentioned on my blog (https://lofi-gaming.org.uk/blog/2007/04/speed-cameras-money-not-lives.php) about some new cameras that are being installed near where I live.

    I travel a stretch of the A47 in Norfolk each day. About half of my journey is on dualled stretches, the other half on a single carriageway stretch. I’ve done this journey every workday for more than seven years.

    On the dualled section, they’re installing new cameras, even through I only recall three accidents in those seven years – none of which were fatalities. They leave the single section camera-less, despite the fact there’s a major accident there about once a week, and dozens of fatalities since I started using the road.

    How can they justify that the cameras are there to save lives, when they’re installing them on a relatively “safe” section, and not at a notorious blackspot just a few miles up the road?

  2. This issue drives me up the wall

    I’m of the same opinon

    If there is a dangerous section of road or somewhere you need drivers to slow down (outside a school?) then put a camera there

    But ignoring these areas and putting them up to obviously make cash….grrr!!!

  3. And yet they’re happy to spend a fortune pandering to the whims of cyclists who don’t even pay road tax by giving them cycle paths all over the place to help protect their puny bodies! Who protects the expensive bodywork of the cars when some lycra-clad nonce scrapes the paint off with his broken bones, that’s what I want to know.

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