The latest blight on our freedom and ability to relax when driving, the “average speed camera” is being installed on the A13 from the Goresbrook interchange through to Canning Town.
These little miracles of technology will be the first in the country to be able to enforce the limit, despite the road having multiple entrance and exit points and a total of 84 cameras will be placed at 37 locations to monitor your speed. Its hoped (yeh) that the system will be fully operational by this summer.
Until the system goes live, Mr Gatso will continue to monitor what you are up to and whilst the variable system is in the process of being installed and tested, road signs will kindly be erected to let drivers know that the system is “not enforcing” at that time.
If you know the A13, you will know it’s a very busy road, so maybe the justification for these cameras which is sited as “nearly 500 collisions, 34 serious accidents and 3 fatalities in the 3 year period from 2006 – 2008” perhaps isn’t unexpected, but in real terms, do the collision figures shock you? when you look at just how many cars and trucks an hour drive on that stretch of road, “LESS THAN 500 collisions, of which only 34 were serious, resulting in just 3 fatalities” seems to be a bloomin miracle and suggests that drivers are already behaving well, are doing the right things, but accidents happen and to count as a collision, it could just be bumping into the back of someone at the traffic lights. It’s also noticeable that in everything I have read that these collisions referred to have not been blamed on speed! Accidents can happen at 30mph, just as they can at 60mph.
If you’ve read any of our comments before, you will know we are as committed as anyone towards road safety and making sure we all get home at the end of our days work, but this seems like another case of bringing in controls and revenue raising via the back door.
Variable speed cameras only serve to bunch cars up and bring them closer together (we’ve all seen that on motorway road works) and because the cars are closer, it’s more likely they are going to hit each other, that’s logical. If you’ve driven in an average speed camera area, you will also know its not relaxing, its stressful as you are constantly looking at your speedometer the whole time, just in case over a 5 or 10 mile stretch of road, you did a couple of miles an hour over what you are allowed and whilst you are concentrating on all that, you’re clearly not paying attention to the road, or the cars around you (which as we know, will be closer).
Everything said, at least the people who grab the revenue for these things can be planning what to spend their new income on! So that’s someone happy, but as a final thought, it would be nice to see what the accident statistics are after the first 3 years of the variable cameras, but you can bet your bottom dollar, what ever they are, the “cash-cow” will still continue to graze by the side of the road!