Despite the proliferation of speed cameras on Bedfordshire's roads serious injury accidents are not falling in the county says the road safety group the Association of British Drivers.
Peter Davies, the ABD's local coordinator said
"If it were not for the fact that 2002 was a particularly bad year for fatalities in Bedfordshire, we would now be looking at an overall increase in the number of people killed and seriously injured in 2003. But the Speed Camera Partnership's bacon has been saved by the statistical feature of "regression to the mean" - a return to the average following a high blip in accidents the previous year."But why were there so many more fatalities in 2002? Is it coincidence that that is the year in which the Bedfordshire and Luton Casualty Reduction Partnership began collecting their share of fine revenue?
The number of Serious Injuries had been more than halved since 1989, but they are going up again, as they also did immediately after Bedfordshire began speed camera enforcement in 1997.
At that time, the number of Serious Injuries went up, from 320 in 1997 to 371 in 1998; the number of Killed or Seriously Injured (KSI) went up from 357 to 401 and overall the number of accidents increased from 3027 to 3102.
But in 2002-2003 the numbers of accidents fell and in that case one would expect a drop in the number of Serious Injuries. But Serious Injuries were up from 237 to 251 and there was only a reduction of 6 in the total number Killed or Seriously Injured.
Peter Davies commented:
"This obsession with speed in excess of the limit being the root cause of every accident is proven by these figures to be completely wrong - cameras just aren't working. The Camera Partnership submitted 34 cameras and mobile sites to the recent "independent" study commissioned by the Dft - the results make sobering reading:
One just hopes that these roads will be built to a rather higher standard than the A6 Clapham Bypass — which less than a year after being opened is having to be rebuilt, resurfaced and shored up.
Bedfordshire Flooded with Cameras
The Talivan are at it in Bedfordshire and Luton. The A6 between Bedford and Clophill has been saturated with no less than 7 forward-facing, reversible TRUVELO cameras, in addition to the area being targetted by the Talivan and their mobile mugging machines. Signs attached to lamp posts along the route declare that there have been "386 crashes in 3 years" - now that works out at roughly 1 accident every 3 days. I use that road quite often, I read the local papers and listen to the local radio - I find it quite remarkable that I don't see, hear or read anything about accidents on the A6 that often.
The A507 Shefford Bypass is a favourite location for the Talivan to sit. This is the stretch of road, photographed travelling from Shefford towards the A1(M): (Click on the photos for a larger version)
Now you can see the bush just to the right of the shot - this bush is fairly thick and they like to park the Talivan on the bit of black tarmac with its bonnet hidden in the bush. You can't see it when approaching from that direction, although the back of the van is clearly visible from some considerable distance away in the opposite direction. The Talivan Operator then stands at the side of the van (I haven't measured it yet, but I believe that he is further away from the roadside than the 10' specified in the ACPO guidelines for using speed enforcement equipment). All you can see until you are on top of the trap is the operator's yellow jacket — for all anybody knows he could just be somebody picking up litter!. I have now complained twice to the CRP people, and pointed out that if they really want to abide by the visibility rules, there is a perfectly good layby about 200 yards down the road, where I have seen the Talivan parked before. Next time the Talivan is parked up in this location I will take more photos to compare.
Last time I saw the van concealed in this location, I stopped and spoke to the Operator:
Me: "Are you aware that you are not clearly visible from 100m away?"
Me: "That is in the rules governing the Safety Camera Partnership."
Operator: "What has that got to do with anything?"
Obviously they have found that they weren't making enough money parking the van where it can be clearly seen, so have resorted to the underhand tactic of lurking in a bush. Such a flagrant disregard for the rules is, to say the least, hypocrisy of the highest order. So is the fact that on a number of occasions both my partner and I have followed a Bedfordshire Talivan through the 40MPH limit in our village where the Talivan has been being driven at a speed significantly in excess of that limit.
Until the Bedfordshire Talivan start playing by the rules — as they want us to do — I intend to publish all the details I come across on this page. Anybody who comes across any more examples of the Bedfordshire Talilvan ignoring the rules is more than welcome to email me the details, preferably with photographs.
Speed Limit Reduction Notice
The Department for Transport has recently published a notice in the local papers stating that the existing 70MPH limit on the A1 between the Black Cat Roundabout and Wyboston Lakes (about 2 miles) is to be reduced to 60MPH. Further details will follow shortly, however this is where the dual carriageway passes through the middle of the village of Wyboston and there are a couple of non-grade separated junctions along this stretch where it is nigh on impossible to get out onto the main road without taking your life in both hands and leaving most of your tyres behind.
Elsewhere on the ABD website:
Adjacent local areas|