This morning I was interested, and I have to say a little bemused, to read a North Yorkshire Police media release on
speed safety cameras. The content of said release gave a detailed list of proposed camera locations for the week ahead.
Regular readers will be aware I’ve commented on this subject previously (see here). I hope those readers also managed to glean from my post, I’m not a big fan of the way in which they are currently used, or indeed enamoured with their proliferation. It’s not that I condone speeding, or any other traffic violation for that matter, it is more to do with the way in which they are used.
You see ‘safety’ cameras, as the police and local authorities like to call them, are little more than a sneaky political cash-cow. However, many senior police officers (and politicians) also see them as an acceptable alternative to effective and fully resourced roads policing units. An issue which I highlighted previously in the post – Policing: prevention better than cure?
Despite the fact cameras in North Yorkshire captured more than 1,800 drivers in their first month of operation, I still question their ultimate value as a tool for enhancing road safety and/or influencing driver behaviour. Yes` they play a part but not in isolation from proper roads policing. They’re just one tool in the armoury of that function.
You have to wonder what is the corporate intention of the press release and it’s content, especially when you read the codicil at the end of it…
The mobile safety cameras will be in operation at the above sites at various times during the dates stated. Cameras will not be in use on the above routes all day, every day. The above locations were accurate when this news release was produced. Due to operating constraints at some of our sites, our mobile safety camera locations may change on occasions without prior warning.”
So, reading between the lines and in other words, the published information is mostly guess-work and not really a great deal of use. Perhaps it should read…
The safety camera unit may or may not be at one of the locations specified. It may or may not be in use at that location for some or none of the time it is there. Due to the fact we no longer wish to spend the required funds on a proper and tangible roads policing presence, we use the cameras to suggest to the public that we are actually doing something to reduce road collision statistics!
Unless you read it differently?
- Speed Cameras in North Yorkshire Nab more than 1,800 drivers in First Month (bigbrotherwatch.org.uk)
- Oxfordshire’s cameras switched back on (admiral.com)