Friday, 1 April 2011

Policy-Based Evidence Making Again..?

The man in charge of policing the county’s roads has insisted motorists drove faster while our speed cameras were turned off.
Well, d’uh!
The comments by Supt Rob Povey, head of roads policing, came as lenses were once again trained on speeding drivers after a six month period which saw the number of deaths on Oxfordshire’s roads rise by 50 per cent.
That six month period, as commenters point out, encompassing the dreadful snow and ice-filled winter we’ve just had…
Cameras were turned off in August after Oxfordshire County Council said it would not pay £600,000 a year to help keep them on. But, after figures showed the number of deaths climbing from 12 to 18, and serious injuries rising from 160 to 179, police have decided to turn them back on.
And in what period did these ‘extra’ deaths occur? And were they down solely to speed? We don’t know, because Supt Rob doesn’t deem his public worthy of that sort of information. But wait, I thought the police were short of money?
The full cost of running the cameras, estimated to be about £800,000, will fall to the police from today. Oxfordshire County Council will, however, pay for maintenance at the 72 fixed camera sites, which will cost about £600 per camera.
Oh. Clearly not. But am I being a bit harsh, here? Maybe Supt Rob genuinely believes that the increase in the death rate is down to speed and speed along, and is therefore at least acting in good fai… Oh. Wait.
Supt Povey said police made the decision to turn the cameras back on last year, but it had taken time to find necessary funding and put the wheels in motion.
‘Last year’, eh? When, exactly? September?


Mjolinir said...

Let's see - cameras OFF; August, decision to turn back ON; Sept?
(action delayed whilst seeking 'funding')

So that decision was NOT taken on the basis of evidence.

Now we DO have some numbers - ONE 'additional' death, THREE 'serious injuries' (= 1 night or more in Hospital) per month.

IIRC, Gov't statistics suggest only ~10% of fatalities are 'caused by' speed.

Ian R Thorpe said...

If the speed cameras were of how does he know motorists were driving faster? We all slow down when we see a cop car in the mirror.
Tyoical bureaucratic b.s. again.

Uncle Badger said...

Just when are we going to be able to hold the police accountable for their actions?

I don't seem to recall voting for any of this carp. Or it being even vaguely suggested that my opinion might be worth having.

The Filthy Engineer said...

There just in it for the money made with their £95 driver rehabilitation courses, or what ever they call them now. The truth is speed does not kill. It is innapropriate speed that does. If I'm driving round the M25 at 125 MPH at three in the morning is it going to kill anyone? I don't think so.

Incidentally I was driving at 100 on the M25 at 4 in the morning when I was overtaken by a police car doing at least 120. late for his break maybe?

blueknight said...

So next year to April 2012, they will back down to 12 deaths a year?

If the Home Office road accident report forms are anything like they were, I think I know the answer.
the forms ask all sorts of different questions about the car movements and whether it was dark raining street lights on and then there are a list of causes, including 'cycling with head down' and object in the carriage way, but the one that seemed to jump out was 'speed too fast for prevailing conditions'.
It is quarter past midnight. The Officer should have gone off duty 15 mins ago. He has to complete the forms before going off duty. He won't get paid for half an hour of overtime and in any case he has done 10 hrs. and wants to go home
Tick, cross, tick. Sign and date and another road accident has been caused by excess speed.

Mike said...

speed killing is a joke. one may survive as a pedestrian struck by a car or bigger at less than 20 especially if when bounced you don't hit anything else or get run over but over that speed you pretty much dead. cameras a generaly on roads that are well over 20 for good reason. the trick is keeping pedestrians off the motorway and on pavements, keeping the cars off the pavements and making sure the cars on the road have brakes that work. modern cars are much better at stopping quickly the figures in the higway code are out of date and in fact most of the advice if followed to the letter would make a particularly dangerous driver. but unattended kids running around in busy roads or drunks walking home at night on a dual carrigways are not the motorists fault

Mike said...

sorry the good reason for having cameras on roads well over a 20 limit is that the tollerance of proving speeding would be impractical a such slow speeds most people self police in residential areas although it is difficult for small communities with a main road through them. the best solution for calming traffic in this situation is changing the shape of the road to make it difficult to carry on at 60 or 70 or whatever or don't repair potholes where you want people to drive slowly but again it wouldn't be the motorists fault if a pothole caused a crash. a final point about speed killing is it killing the motorist well again if you wear a seatbelt and have air bags you'd probably survive a head on well over 50, if your a joyrider and get flung from a car at 100 then hit a lamp post or a tree does anyone realy care if you die apart from your mother?

JuliaM said...

"Just when are we going to be able to hold the police accountable for their actions?"

When (if) we get elected chiefs?

"There just in it for the money made with their £95 driver rehabilitation courses..."

Ah! I was forgetting those.

"Tick, cross, tick. Sign and date and another road accident has been caused by excess speed."


"modern cars are much better at stopping quickly..."

Yes, it's about time someone remembered that we have made real progress in some areas.

Mike said...

I do wish the police in this counrty would make more of a stand for common sence and exercise thier power to make judgments in respect of conext. they used too. there simply is no encouragement and plenty of reasons to be robotic, thoughtless, tax collectors for the state. I probably cannot imagine exactly how infuriating and repetative it is to deal with fekless wankers that desrve no sympathy or benefit of doubt. Scraping teenagers off lamposts night after night after they have ejected themselves from shit nicked cars or trying to remain proffesional in the face of mindless drunk yobs or agressive husbands and wives knoking six shades of shit out of each other must be the most demoralising and capable of instituting a compartmentalised approach to 'the public' attitude job i can think of. but it is a choice to be a copper, it is the easy route to just go with the flow not always the right thing to do.
so good on the copper who overtook someone doing 100 on the m25 at 3am to get back in time for his or her break. no harm, no foul. challenge the sterotypes we are fed if you want to live somewhere nice, don't believe the hype and trust your instincts, if your going to be a good copper please treat every job individually because they involve individuals and putting your job or pension before what is moraly right makes you filth as far as i am concerned.

Anonymous said...

Don't get me started on speed-awareness courses....I went on one last year in Kent.It was £110.I worked out that the council rakes in over a million £ a year alone from this state tax.
I have never sat through such a patronising load of crap in my life and i've done numerous diversity courses in my job.