The ConDem government’s encouragement of dangerous and violent driving

The Government is trying to save money. That can be a very good thing.

However, when you use the excuse of saving money to make changes that

a) will end up costing far more money

b) endanger many lives

c) pander to the rich

then it is not a good thing. In fact it is a terrible thing.

Our government is doing this crazy thing by shutting down speed cameras and massively reducing funding for road safety. This makes no sense.

I have been caught by a speed camera a couple of times. The points from the first one have long expired and for the second I got an option to go on a speed awareness course (which was actually pretty good).

Speed cameras have changed my driving. It needed to change as I would break speed limits a lot. Now I am far more careful. That does not make me a better driver but it does massively reduce the chances of me killing someone (and it also saves me a lot of money in fuel).

One road near us that has benefited greatly from speed cameras is the A14 between Cambridge and Huntingdon which has average speed cameras all the way. Since they were fitted it has become a much better road to drive on. A simple comparison with the A14 from Huntingdon to the M6 makes it obvious that when it is busy the average speed cameras help traffic flow a great deal easier with far less sudden speed changes.

So now we are losing all the benefits of speed cameras (which can only be installed where there have been accidents) so that money can be saved. But

a) this ignores all the other costs associated with speeding. Hospital costs, loss of life, emergency services, fuel, carbon footprint

b) It ignores the costs of death and injury that speed makes so much more likely (and makes the results of an "accident" much more severe) such as loss of people from the workforce (bad for employers and bad for tax income), need to support families that lose the wage earner, support for children that lose their parents, support for parents who lose their children. The list goes on and on.

c) It ignores the fact that speed cameras are nearly self funding. A very low cost way of reducing death and injury on the roads. (Note the duplicity where we are told speed cameras are costing us money while at the same time we are told that they are a part of a war on motorists).

At the heart of this is an idea that speeding is not really breaking the law. That flexibility is needed to allow for special cases.  Rubbish.

Speeding is a crime that has the potential to cause more harm than many others (most other crimes do not result in anyone's death or permanent disability).

If we really want to save money then it makes good economic sense to install many more speed cameras.

For more see Crap Cycling & Walking in Waltham Forest: The ConDem government’s encouragement of dangerous and violent driving. For a scary catalogue of some of the deaths caused by speeding just look through the recent posts on Crap Cycling & Walking in Waltham Forest sadly there are multiple deaths and serious injuries reported there each week.

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