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Speed Cameras don’t work according to Alistair Coe

By 23 August 2010 25

The Liberals’ Alistair Coe has announced findings from his research into speed cameras:

Through answers to questions on notice, the Opposition has obtained information about the number of accidents taking place at the sites of mid-block speed cameras [fixed cameras not featuring red light cameras] since 2002.

The cameras analysed were installed between June 2007 and August 2008. Crash data obtained for the period between 2002 and 2009 shows that there has been an increase in the rate of accidents occurring at these locations, not a decrease since the cameras were installed.

The number of accidents at sites with speed cameras increased by 16% from 58.7 per year before the cameras was installed to 67.9 accidents after the installation of the fixed speed cameras.

Since 2002, there have been no fatalities at the sites of the 8 sets of cameras analysed.

Off you all go then.

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25 Responses to Speed Cameras don’t work according to Alistair Coe
#1
amarooresident35:57 pm, 23 Aug 10

It does not neccessarily follow that the increase in accidents is due to the speed cameras being in place.

#2
nhand426:04 pm, 23 Aug 10

Too few samples to be statistically meaningful.

#3
caf6:08 pm, 23 Aug 10

What’s the accident rate on a per vehicle basis? I’m sure the traffic has increased at those sites since 2002, which you would expect to increase the accident rate regardless.

#4
Grail6:09 pm, 23 Aug 10

I’d be interested to see what the nature of these accidents were before and after speed cameras were introduced. Which cameras, too? I can understand why there’d be a rise in the number of accidents on the roads from Gunghalin, for example. How many accidents were rear-end collisions in the 100m before the speed camera?

Not enough to go on yet, but plenty of food for the trolls :)

If it comes from Alistair Coe, you can bet the figures have been specially selected to make things look bad, and chances are any more than a cursory examination of the figures will point out a few holes in the reporting (eg: accidents before the camera installed were reported as a different section of road, so there are the same accidents but now with the camera installed the next section of road is magically safer).

#5
bd846:21 pm, 23 Aug 10

We already knew the fixed non-red light cameras were situated in locations that had no record of fatal accidents. The majority of accidents in those locations would be from illegal lane changes or rear end accidents, none of which a camera would catch. It is clear there is no valid reason for there to be speed cameras in those locations or for Stanhopeless to justify wasting money installing point to point cameras in the same locations.

If he was serious about road safety he would be putting more police on the road to identify drivers breaking all sorts of road rules as well as speeding.

#6
Captain RAAF6:41 pm, 23 Aug 10

I see evidence of this everyday on the Parkway, the traffic always drops from 100kmh to 80kmh or less with no visible reason other than the presence of the speed camera. If you’re not on the ball, you’ll end up in the boot of the car in front of you. Every now and again, I pass a couple of cars on the side of the road as their owners are exchanging details.
If the camera’s were’nt there, the traffic would just flow on smoothly…..where’s the logic?

#7
rebcart6:43 pm, 23 Aug 10

…okay, so there were more accidents over this time period at sites with speed cameras.

Was there any sort of control as to what happened at non-camera intersections? If accidents there increased by more than 16%, then clearly cameras ARE useful.

If they didn’t do a control, then this is just meaningless statistics, not research.

[/annoyed scientist]

#8
Genie7:53 pm, 23 Aug 10

Of course there is an increase in accidents… everyone is slamming their foot on the brakes to avoid getting booked.. most of the increase in accidents are probably rear -enders..

#9
milkman8:15 pm, 23 Aug 10

What’s this? People daring to air opinions that speed cameras don’t magically the roads perfectly safe?

For shame!

(cue the Woody-bomb….)

#10
Special G8:38 pm, 23 Aug 10

This is in itself semi policing tail gaters – person in front slows down for speed camera – person behind runs into them – their fault. Plus the fines of fixing cars. Who says the system doesn’t work.

#11
bigred8:39 pm, 23 Aug 10

bring on the point to point cameras if we must have the damn things at all. That way, people will be forced to average their speed across the zone thus cutting out the last minute brake tap. Maybe they could park the rapid ute 100m before the cameras each day in the interim to smooth it out – would stop the exuberant driver doing crazy u turns when he spots a mobile phone user.

#12
MJay10:20 pm, 23 Aug 10

Captain RAAF said :

I see evidence of this everyday on the Parkway, the traffic always drops from 100kmh to 80kmh or less with no visible reason other than the presence of the speed camera.

I see this happen often and this really frustrates me. People seem to think that even if there doing the speed limit there going to get booked and slow down? surely 10km is ample to slow down. and even then this stupid, because if your doing the speed limit you won’t get booked!

bigred said :

Maybe they could park the rapid ute 100m before the cameras each day in the interim to smooth it out

I have seen them park the mobile vans on the parkway just a few hundred metres away from the cameras to catch people out.

I am not a fan of the fixed speed cameras, most are quite visible and the majority of locals won’t speed in those areas, It surprises me that so many are still caught by them?

I would rather see more vans used, according to a report in the canberra times on the weekend they can only use 6 at any one time.

And not only more of them, but more RANDOM use of them, they are used on the same spots time and time again. Surely most locals would know where the local spots are that are targeted and not speed along them(and the good locals won’t speed along them anyway because there concerned about safety). If people are kept guessing where the vans are going to be used they might be slow down out of the fear of getting a fine and losing deremit points. The road safety message is obviously failing to get to many drivers so maybe harsher penalties are needed too.

#13
deye10:55 pm, 23 Aug 10

MJay said :

I see this happen often and this really frustrates me. People seem to think that even if there doing the speed limit there going to get booked and slow down? surely 10km is ample to slow down. and even then this stupid, because if your doing the speed limit you won’t get booked!

It’s probably done to account for the variance in your speedo and the variance in the camera. Wouldn’t you hate to be booked for speeding when you thought you were doing the limit only to find that one of them was wrong ?

bigred said :

bring on the point to point cameras if we must have the damn things at all. That way, people will be forced to average their speed across the zone thus cutting out the last minute brake tap.

Sure, bring them in so you can go 200 kph for most of the trip, stop just out of range of the second camera, wait for the right amount of time and tootle on through just to prove a point.

#14
TP 300011:15 pm, 23 Aug 10

MJay said :

I have seen them park the mobile vans on the parkway just a few hundred metres away from the cameras to catch people out.

I have also seen the Police park at the top of the hill on the Barton Highway catching. They were parked in such a way that you wouldn’t see them until it was too late.

#15
MJay3:20 am, 24 Aug 10

deye said :

MJay said :

I see this happen often and this really frustrates me. People seem to think that even if there doing the speed limit there going to get booked and slow down? surely 10km is ample to slow down. and even then this stupid, because if your doing the speed limit you won’t get booked!

It’s probably done to account for the variance in your speedo and the variance in the camera. Wouldn’t you hate to be booked for speeding when you thought you were doing the limit only to find that one of them was wrong ?

I can understand that but slowing down 20km seems excessive to me. I understand people easing off on the accelerator to allow the car to slow down a few km’s to allow for any variation between your speedo and the speed camera. But people hitting the breaks just seems silly.

I believe the Speed cameras are calibrated to ensure accuracy maybe people should do the same with there cars if they are slowing down so much.

It would be nice to see the police active throughout Canberra’s roadworks too. I have the feeling it’s going to take a poor young worker being killed before people get the message that the road work speed limits are there for good reason.

#16
facet4:24 am, 24 Aug 10

Of course fixed speed cameras work, they bring in much needed revenue. A kind of tax on really stupid drivers. In Sydney they even make it easier to get booked by having multiple speed zones over very short distances that vary according to time of day, school term, phase of moon etc.

#17
Sgt.Bungers9:25 am, 24 Aug 10

amarooresident3 said :

It does not neccessarily follow that the increase in accidents is due to the speed cameras being in place.

But we could be guaranteed that if there had been a decrease in crashes at these locations, the gubbinment would be laying praise solely with their speed camera program.

#18
Woody Mann-Caruso11:17 am, 24 Aug 10

(cue the Woody-bomb….)

Are you talking about me again? I already told you – I’m not interested, get a life.

#19
Thoroughly Smashed11:17 am, 24 Aug 10

Genie said :

Of course there is an increase in accidents… everyone is slamming their foot on the brakes to avoid getting booked.. most of the increase in accidents are probably rear -enders..

I too miss the days when you could sail through red lights with gay abandon.

#20
Waiting For Godot11:44 am, 24 Aug 10

I can’t see how speed cameras in the ACT would make any money at all. There are signs all over the place as you approach them and all you need do is slow down as soon as you see the sign. A pretty poor attempt at “revenue raising”, eh? If it was revenue raising they’d have cameras everywhere and no signs as in NSW and Victoria. Little Alistair has been listening to too much Sydney-based talkback radio.

#21
p111:45 am, 24 Aug 10

Things get cheaper as you buy more yes? So why doesn’t the gov buy a couple of hundred thousand small speed cameras, and mount them on every second light pole?

#22
Pork Hunt11:53 am, 24 Aug 10

Stop bickering all of you, Woody will tell us the truth…

#23
georgesgenitals12:19 pm, 24 Aug 10

Woody Mann-Caruso said :

(cue the Woody-bomb….)

Are you talking about me again? I already told you – I’m not interested, get a life.

I guess we’re all a little surpised you haven’t gone off on another big rant. History shows this is certainly one of your favoured topics for it!

#24
Wraith8:37 pm, 24 Aug 10

I too miss the days when you could sail through red lights with gay abandon.

Not that there is anything wrong with that of course….

#25
Lin4:28 pm, 02 Feb 11

Fixed speed cameras are not there to fine people who like speeding, it’s there to fine blind people or those who get really distracted whilst driving. Either way, neither category should be on the road so they’re not doing any harm. Apart from the stepping on the brake issue, but it seems to me that Canberrans step on the brake for all kinds of silly reasons, like a ‘form one lane’ or an ‘oh shit, a roundabout!’.

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