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No lighty? No likey

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In an opinion piece dated 4 October 2010, Birmingham Mail columnist Paul Fulford offered the following advice to motorists,

Truth is, drivers, if you want to avoid fines and points, obey the limit. And make the roads safer for the rest of us

and his column of 7 February 2012 mentioned his embarrassment at being

snapped by a speed camera on the Small Heath by-pass well over the 40mph limit.

Exceeding the speed limit is a serious road safety and quality of life issue in Birmingham, as it is in other towns. But speeding is also a lucrative ‘industry’, whose mainstays and beneficiaries include speed camera manufacturers, providers of speed awareness courses, and safety camera partnerships (police and local authorities).

Birmingham speed camera map, 2009

For PR reasons, speed camera partnerships were renamed ‘casualty reduction schemes’, but virtually their entire activity is speed cameras. As far as the partnerships are concerned, it’s “No Camera Flash Lighty? No likey”. Their interest in road safety starts, and finishes, with speed cameras firing off.

'West Midlands Casualty Reduction Scheme' website header

If the public policy objective were ‘maximise reduction of road casualties’, the pattern of expenditure would certainly not emphasise investment on speed cameras on rural sections of the A45 Coventry Road, the Small Heath by-pass, and suchlike. Instead, it would be on traffic calming and control in residential roads in populated areas, better signposting, a usable network of cycleways, etc.

Written by beleben

February 15, 2012 at 7:31 pm