News | Archive 06/2012

Speed Cameras

Speed cameras: 20 years on.   After 20 years in service, the Gatso has earned millions in revenue, but has it actually reduced accidents?

The man responsible for introducing speed cameras to Britain’s roads is angry. “I think it’s a fiasco now,” says former policeman Roger Reynolds.

It was Reynolds who, 20 years ago, flicked the switch on Britain’s first-ever camera, a Gatso on the westbound A316 over Twickenham bridge in Surrey.

Drivers were initially given a sporting chance. The dual-carriageway through this part of leafy south-west London is a 40mph zone but Reynolds remembers the camera being set at 60mph. “We were trying to catch the worst,” he says.

And the worst were pretty bad in what Reynolds described as a notorious accident spot. In an eye-opening reminder of the casual attitude to speed limits back then, the trial camera on the Thames bridge recorded an astonishing 22,939 drivers exceeding 65mph in 22 days, Reynolds told the Richmond and Twickenham Times back in 1992


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Music Distraction

Music-loving drivers are safer listening to the radio than having an iPod in the car, according to research.
Motorists are far less distracted by searching for a favourite radio station than they are by scrolling for a song from a playlist, it added.
Around nine in 10 new cars coming off the production line today have MP3 connectivity enabling drivers to play portable devices through their car stereos.
But the better the technology, the more distracting it is for the motorist as they take their eyes off the road to look for a particular song.
Tuning to a different radio station is also distracting but far less so, which means it is also much less dangerous, said ergonomics experts in the US.