Sunday, 9 March 2014

Speeding crackdown planned for Randlay Avenue

The police are planning a crackdown on speeding motorists on Randlay Avenue, including use of mobile speed cameras.

According to the speed camera partnership over half of drivers break the speed limit on Randlay Avenue and 15% drive faster than 38.1mph. They also say there have been 11 collisions in the area (but not necessarily on Randlay Avenue) in three years and "a high proportion" were attributed to speed.

I'm not a fan of speed cameras at all - they're a lazy way of policing that is more about generating revenue than improving safety. A speed camera is no substitute for a police officer making an informed judgement on someone's driving, it deals in numbers and you can drive as dangerously as you like as long as you stay below that number. You could drive backwards through a speed camera wearing a blindfold and 5 times over the drink drive limit and as long as you aren't breaking the speed limit you won't get a ticket.

The wording from the speed camera partnership is, you will note, very careful. There have been 11 collisions in the area in three years. Those collisions could have been on Stirchley Avenue or Grange Avenue or any of the side roads. There is no mention of the number of casualties (anyone who is seen by a medical professional, even if there is nothing wrong with them) which would suggest there weren't any or that it's very low because that is the speed camera partnership's favourite statistic. They also don't mention the number of collisions that were attributed to speed, just that it's a high proportion which is a strange word to use when you're talking about just 11 collisions. Attributing speed to a collision means that speed could be the only cause of a collision or it might be just one of them. It might be a major cause of the collision or it might be a minor factor where the collision would have happened anyway. It doesn't even mean the speed limit was exceeded, just that speed was a factor.

Having said all that, I'm not opposed to the idea of mobile speed cameras being used on Randlay Avenue or anywhere else but it should be part of a package of measures with actual police enforcement being the main one. I would also like to see enforcement on Stirchley Avenue, Grange Avenue, Holmer Farm Road and Brookside Avenue, all of which have problems with people driving too fast (which is different to exceeding the speed limit). This enforcement should be in place of the speed camera van that can be found on Stirchley Interchange most days catching speeding motorists on a perfectly safe stretch of dual carriageway whilst people are racing past it around the island and on into the housing estates.